You are currently viewing Marriott hotel searches with points: basics of the logistics and 5 pro tips

Marriott Bonvoy points give you completely free nights in hotels that are part of the Marriott chain. Marriott Bonvoy points are the currency of the Marriott hotel chain’s rewards program. So to find Marriott hotels with your Marriott points, you logically have to go… to the Marriott website!

A very important thing to understand is that the price in points varies! Marriott points are of the more lucrative type, so the amount of points required is NOT linked to the cash price. And on top of that, Marriott prices are entirely random and are not at all set by a predetermined price chart (contrary to most airline points, for example).

So you must simply do a search of the price in points, just like you need to do a search of the price in cash.

Thankfully, searching for Marriott hotels with points is really just as easy as all the many hotel searches you’ve ever done in your life!

While you await our detailed guide and our free webinar on the Marriott Bonvoy program coming soon, here are the logistic basics of how to search — with 5 pro tips too!

 

Basics of how to search for Marriott hotels with points

I’ll remind you that it’s so easy to get 22 free nights (11 without a companion) with the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card‘s current increased welcome bonus: just plan your trips around the hotels that cost the fewest points. If you prefer, you can get $6000+ to maximize value instead of maximizing free nights.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express® Card
Flytrippers Valuation
of Welcome bonus (net value)
≈ $
Rewards: ≈ $477*
Card fee: $120

minimum income required: $0
spend $1,500
in 3 months
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Amex is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "Apply Now" to see most up-to-date information.

 

But it’s a very good thing to know how to do your hotel searches yourself to see all your options, especially since it’s so easy.

The search process for hotels is always the same, whether you pay in points or cash. 

The only difference is that if you want to see the price in points, logically you have to select “Use Points/Awards”, one of only 5 options offered in the search tool.

That’s literally the only special thing you have to do.

Use points (image credit: Marriott)

 

So, here’s what to do step by step:

  • Go to the Marriott website
  • Choose your destination and dates
  • Select the number of rooms and travelers
  • Check “Use Points/Awards”
  • Click on the “Find Hotels” button

It can hardly get any easier than that.

You can see the price in points for all the 9000 Marriott hotels (it’s the world’s largest hotel chain).

Price in points (image credit: Marriott)

 

But below, I’ll still share with you some lesser-known pro tips to become a search expert and to make your life even easier.

I’d just like to finish off with the logistics of finalizing the booking with Marriott points: that is also as simple as for any hotel you’ve ever booked in your life. The only difference is that you select the option to pay with your points on the final payment page. Everything else is the same as if you were booking with cash. 

Anyway, it’s super simple, like almost all rewards-based searches… you just need to know how. Flytrippers is here to show you, and we’re going to have plenty of new concrete content like this with our newly doubled team.

 

Tip 1: Sort by lowest price

If you want to save money, sorting by price is the most basic step for any search for anything in the world of travel.

So it’s obviously the same with Marriott points. It only takes 2 clicks

Hotels sorted by lowest price (image credit: Marriott)

 

First, click on “Sort by: Distance”, which is what always appears by default for any search.

Sort by lowest number of points (image credit: Marriott)

 

Secondly, select “Rewards Points” from the menu that appears.

marriott-search-sorting-options
Sorting options (image credit: Marriott)

 

That’s it! 

The results will be sorted from the lowest price to the highest price in points. This is not always the same order as sorting by lowest price in cash because, again: with rewards uses of the more lucrative type, the price in points is NOT linked to the price in cash!!!

Cheapest hotel in Bali for these dates (image credit: Marriott)

 

Don’t forget that you always get the 5th night for free when you pay with points.

So if you’re searching for just 1 night like in this example, it shows you 6,500 points per night, but it really comes out to 5,200 points per night if you book 5 (26,000 divided by 5)!

Same hotel for 5 nights (image credit: Marriott)

 

Tip 2: See the price per night for a full month

Just like with plane tickets, hotel prices can obviously vary from one date to the next. With Marriott points, for most hotels, the prices don’t vary that much on the vast majority of dates, with some exceptions like the most peak of peak periods (like the Christmas holidays, for example).

So it comes in very handy to research for the longest possible date range to find the cheapest dates. You can do this with Marriott and see the price per night for a full month at a glance.

Price calendar view (image credit: Marriott)

 

But you can only get what’s called the calendar view for one specific hotel at a time.

So the preliminary step, if you’re a pro, is to choose specific dates in the month in question and use tip 1 to sort by the lowest price. That way, you’ll find the cheapest hotel for a random date, which means it’ll often be the cheapest hotel on most dates that month.

On the desired hotel, click on “View Rates”.

marriott-search-view-rates
View rates (image credit: Marriott)

 

At the top, click on “Edit Stay Details”.

Edit Stay Details (image credit: Marriott)

 

Click on the dates.

marriott-search-select-dates
Select dates (image credit: Marriott)

 

Click on the “I’m flexible” tab.

Flexible dates (image credit: Marriott)

 

I like to leave it at 1 night, but if you know you’re going to book 5, you can input 5 right away.

Calendar options (image credit: Marriott)

 

Click on “Done”.

Close options (image credit: Marriott)

 

Click on “Update search”.

Show calendar (image credit: Marriott)

 

The calendar of cheapest dates appears.

Daily price calendar (image credit: Marriott)

 

A useful green banner even shows you the nights with the lowest price.

Lowest price banner (image credit: Marriott)

 

As you can see, for January, the price is always just 6,500 to 7,500 points per night for this particular Bali hotel, if you exclude the first week (which is obviously one of the worst times to travel in terms of price, if not the worst).

You can then use the arrows at the top to easily view the calendar for any other month.

Change month (image credit: Marriott)

 

You can then repeat the process for other hotels that were among the cheapest with your initial search for specific dates. Because perhaps hotel #3 on your random date is the one that’ll be cheaper on different dates throughout that month.

It’s really so simple to save for everything related to travel: you just need to know the tips AND most importantly take the time to apply them and take the time to compare, compare, and then compare more.

 

Tip 3: Search for an entire country

You can view all Marriott hotels in an entire country instead of just one city.

It allows you to better plan a trip around the hotels that cost the fewest points and it’s easy.

In the search tool, simply enter the name of a country instead of the name of a city.

marritt-search-indonesia
Search for all of Indonesia (image credit: Marriott)

 

This gives you an overview of your options in the country!

Note that in the USA, as there are thousands of hotels, you can search by individual state rather than by country. I would like to remind you of another of the basics about hotel points: the USA (like Canada obviously) is a pretty terrible place to maximize the number of free nights, but it can be good for maximizing the value of the points. That’s because cash prices are often expensive there (on the other hand, it’s just good value if you were actually going to pay the expensive cash price).

 

Tip 4: View hotels on a map

This too is very basic for any hotel search, whether it’s in cash or points, with Marriot or anywhere else.

It lets you visualize the location, and it’s very easy to do with Marriott, too.

Simply click on the “Map” icon at the bottom, in the center of the page.

“Map” icon (image credit: Marriott)

 

This will show you the hotels on the map, with their prices too.

marriott-search-map-view
Hotels on a map (image credit: Marriott)

 

The only thing you need to know: if you want to use the map for an entire country (or a city with lots of hotels), there is a maximum amount of hotels that can be displayed at the same time on the map. So it’s important to sort by lowest price (or use filters that interest you) BEFORE clicking “Map”. If you don’t, some of the hotels won’t appear on the map, depending on the random order in which they were sorted in your initial search (which isn’t by lowest price by default), so the ones missing may be the cheapest ones.

 

Tip 5: Calculate the value of the points easily

The value you get from your Marriott Bonvoy points varies for literally every use. Always! That’s how points of the more lucrative type are!

It depends on the use. It’s such a simple concept: it varies. All you have to do is calculate the value to make sure it gives you a good value (sometimes it does… sometimes it doesn’t!).

The value in ¢/pt can be calculated easily, you just need to do the same simple value calculation as for any other points:

  • The amount of money you save (¢)
  • Divided by (/)
  • The amount of points you use (pt)

How much money you save for each point you use: that’s the value of rewards.

Our conservative Flytrippers Valuation of Marriott points is ≈ 0.9¢/pt. But this is unique to each traveler, as it varies. If you like luxury, your valuation should be higher. If you want to rack your brain a bit less or want to not have to be as flexible, it can be a little lower. Otherwise, just use ours.

Marriott’s site is well-designed to calculate the value, because it displays the cash price right below the price in points.

Almost well-designed… there are 3 details:

  • The cash price is in the hotel’s local currency
  • The cash price does not include taxes by default
  • The cash price is always per night
Cash price (image credit: Marriott)

 

So there are 3 simple steps.

First, click on “All filters” and select “CAD” from the menu that appears.

Change to an understandable currency (image credit: Marriott)

 

Second, select the “Show rates with taxes and all fees” option.

Include taxes and fees (image credit: Marriott)

 

Then click on “Apply” and the page will update.

Now you’ll have the right price to use for the value calculation.

Right price to calculate value (image credit: Marriott)

 

It’s important to include taxes to get the price you’re actually saving. That’s because free nights with Marriott points really are completely free and you don’t have to pay taxes (unlike with airline points). There are a few rare countries where you have to pay a few dollars in taxes each night, but it’s a very low amount and that’s the exception.

In that example above, with 26,000 points, you save $94 per night (the price with taxes included) and not just $79 (the price before taxes). But 26,000 is the price for 5 nights.

So thirdly, if you look at the price for more than 1 night, you need to multiply the cash price by the number of nights.

Because when you search for more than 1 night, here is what Marriott displays:

  • In points: the total price for all nights
  • In cash: the price per night, always

It’s strange… but that’s how it is.

So in that same example above, you would save $470 ($94 multiplied by 5 nights) with 26,000 points. That gives you a value of 1.8¢/pt, literally 2 times more than our Flytrippers Valuation of ≈ 0.9¢/pt.

The net value of the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card‘s increased welcome bonus would therefore be $1158 instead of “just” ≈ $519 with our conservative Flytrippers Valuation!

Here’s a last example, so you can clearly see that the value is very different depending on the points usage you choose. Again, that’s because the amount of points required is NOT linked to the cash price at all (with points usages of the more lucrative type).

Marriott Hotel search with points (image credit: Marriott)

 

Here’s the simple math:

  • 1st hotel: 1.5¢/pt 
    • You save $95 with 6,500 pts
    • $95 divided by 6,500 pts = 1.5¢/pt
  • 2nd hotel: 0.9¢/pt 
    • You save $87 with 10,000 pts
    • $87 divided by 10,000 pts = 0.9¢/pt
  • 3rd hotel: 0.7¢/pt 
    • You save $74 with 11,000 pts
    • $74 divided by 11,000 pts = 0.7¢/pt

So the 1st one gives you literally 2 times more value than the 3rd one. It varies. It depends. Just do the calculations.

You can read all the details about rewards value and the variations of value to learn all the basics.

I’ll add a last teaser that’s more advanced to be really accurate if you really want to maximize.

If a particular usage of Marriott points is close to our Flytrippers Valuation, you can take into account the fact that paying in cash with your Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card would also give you a minimum of 13 pts/$ (≈ 12% back). Or more with a card on which you are unlocking a big welcome bonus. Or more with the bonus points from Marriott hotel promotions in effect.

It’s another simple calculation. You would earn:

  • 10 pts/US$ (7.3 pts/$C): Base earn rate with the Marriott program
  • 1 pt/US$ (0.7 pts/$C): Bonus earn with your Silver Elite status
  • 5 pts/C$: Earn rate with your Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card

 

Learning how to travel for less

Join over 100,000 savvy Canadian travelers who already receive Flytrippers’ free newsletter so we can help you travel for less — including thanks to the wonderful world of travel rewards!

Sign up for our travel rewards newsletter

 

Summary

Searching for Marriott hotels with Marriott Bonvoy points is obviously done on the Marriott website. And it’s just as easy as any hotel search when paying in cash, with only one extra click to select the “Use Points” option.

 

What would you like to know about Marriott hotel searches with points? Tell us in the comments below.

 

See the flight deals we spot: Cheap flights

Discover free travel with rewards: Travel rewards

Explore awesome destinations: Travel inspiration

Learn pro tricks: Travel tips

 

Featured image: Mount Bromo, Indonesia (photo credit: Thomas Ciszewski)

 

Share this post to help us help more people travel more for less:

Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

Leave a Reply