5 Great Uses for Marriott’s 35,000 Points Free Night Certificate
One of the best perks of carrying certain Marriott Bonvoy credit cards is the annual Free Night Certificate, which is worth 35,000 or 50,000 points depending on which card you have.
The Free Night Award provides great flexibility for award travel. For example, you can use it to cover a night while staying at a hotel. Or you can get creative by taking Marriott’s fifth night free on award stays and combining it with the free night certificate to book a six-night vacation.
In this article, we find out five solid uses for the Free Night Certificate – but first, here’s a look at the cards that offer it and how to maximize its value.
Marriott Credit Cards
Marriott offers four credit cards, two issued by Chase and two by American Express. Two of the four credit cards come with an annual free night certificate of 35,000 points:
A free night of 35,000 points allows you to reserve a night in a category 1 to 5 establishment at the standard rate (up to 35,000 points) or during off-peak hours (up to 30,000 points). At the peak rate, the free night can be used in a category 1 to 4 hotel. Conditions apply.
While the Free Night Award doesn’t arrive until your account’s anniversary, the high welcome bonus on these two cards could come in handy if you want to use your points to pay for a four-night stay.
Marriott Bonvoy Program
Marriott is a massive hotel chain, with over 7,600 properties in 131 countries across 30 different brands ranging from mid-range to luxury. About 90% of all Marriott properties fall into categories 1-5, so there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the annual Free Night.
As we mentioned above, a great advantage of the Marriott Bonvoy Program is that for four reward nights reserved, the fifth night is free. The fifth night free allows you to truly expand the value of your points, as you can see here. And if you add your Free Night Award to that award, you can turn your vacation into a six-night stay.
5 good uses for the free night certificate
Below are a few examples of hotels you can book with your Marriott Free Night Award:
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino (Category 5)
the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino is a Category 5 beachfront property in Aruba that is separated into two areas: one for adults only and one for families. Rooms in both sections are available for 30,000 to 40,000 points per night.
You can combine the Free Night Certificate with the Fifth Free Night promotion to book a six night stay for as low as 120,000 points.
JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa (Category 5)
the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa is another Category 5 property, which is surprising given that JW Marriott is a luxury brand within the portfolio. This hotel is located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, which is a great location for water sports, especially surfing. The property has beachfront access, a spa and a swimming pool. Throughout October and November, the establishment offers off-peak rates at PointSavers level (27,500 points per night versus 35,000 standard points).
If you are planning a quick getaway in October or November, this could be a good bet. Again, the value really comes from booking a six night stay using the fifth night free combined with the annual free night award. This would only cost 110,000 Bonvoy points at the PointSavers off-peak rate.
At the standard rate, the same six-night vacation would cost 130,000 Bonvoy points during that time.
The St. Regis Beijing (Category 5)
the St. Regis Beijing, located in Beijing’s business district, is another surprising Category 5 property. The hotel opened in 1997 and offers amenities such as butler service and afternoon tea. A spa with natural hot springs is also included, ideal if you want to unwind after a busy day. A quick analysis of the calendar shows many availabilities at the off-peak rate (30,000 points per night) as well as at the standard rate (35,000 points) from December to February.
If you are traveling through Asia and find yourself in Beijing, staying at this property with your Free Night Award would be a great way to pamper yourself.
Residence Inn San Diego Downtown / Quartier Gaslamp (Category 5)
The hotel has decent availability over the next few months at off-peak rates (30,000 points). If you are looking for a fun weekend getaway in San Diego, this property would be a good choice for the free night price.
If you already have a lot of Marriott points and want to turn this visit into a six-night vacation, you will only need 120,000 Bonvoy points (four reward nights paid plus the fifth night free) and the annual reward in free nights. At the standard rate, the same stay would cost 140,000 Bonvoy points.
W Brisbane (Category 5)
If you are traveling to Australia and visiting Brisbane, you can use your Free Night Certificate at Brisbane. The W is arguably Marriott’s trendiest hotel chain. It is modern, luxurious and includes a gym and spa.
This property also has 29 suites, which Marriott says makes up the largest inventory of suites in Brisbane. So what does this mean for you? If you are hoping for an upgrade to a suite, it may be worth asking at reception, given the large number of people available.
If you’re in Brisbane for a quick overnight trip, using your Free Night Award (and potentially getting an upgrade to a suite) could be a really great experience. A scan of the calendar shows good availability at off-peak and standard rates in the coming months.
The bottom line
The reward of 35,000 Free Night Points, which is offered on each account anniversary, is a great benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless ™ Credit Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business ™ American Express® Card credit card. With over 90% of Marriott properties being Category 5 or below, there are plenty of ways to pamper yourself with a Free Night Award.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
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