How to Redeem Marriott Bonvoy 50K Point Free Night Certificates (Some Issues, Then Success)

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  At the end of October, my wife applied for the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card.  At the time, the sign up bonus was for 5 Free Night Certificates good for up to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points per night after spending $5,000 in 3 months.  Many bloggers (including my friends Nick and Greg at Frequent Miler) said that this sign up bonus was a great deal, but only for those who knew how to get great value out of the certificates and could use them all within 12 months.  Since Laura has never had any Marriott (or SPG) credit cards, she decided to apply for the credit card.  She was not instantly approved, but after calling the Chase reconsideration department, she was approved for the credit card.  In this post, I will show you how to redeem the Marriott 50K Free Night Certificates and show you some of the trouble Laura experienced in the booking process.

After completing the $5,000 minimum spending requirement for her new credit card, Laura received 5 Free Night Certificates in her Marriott account.  The Free Night Certificates posted to her account on November 23, 2020 and are valid for 1 year (stays must be completed by November 23, 2021).  The description of each Free Night Certificate is “MB BOUNDLESS VISA FREE NIGHT (UP TO 50K PTS)”.

To redeem your Free Night Certificate, sign into your Marriott Bonvoy account and go to the Free Nights page.  Enter your destination, dates (I recommend booking in 1 day increments), check the box to Use Points / Certificates, and click the Find Hotels button.  Laura and I are planning on spending a few nights in Santa Cruz in January.

There are 3 Marriott hotels in Santa Cruz, but the coolest hotel was the Hotel Paradox, Autograph Collection, Santa Cruz (no offense to the 2 Fairfield Inn & Suites hotels).  The Hotel Paradox is a Marriott Category 6 hotel with point prices ranging from 40K (Off Peak), 50K (Standard), and 60K (Peak).  For our dates in January, the nightly rates were around $189 or 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points.  This may not be the most exciting redemption in the world, but it is a hotel I have been wanting to visit for a while.

Image source: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sjcak-hotel-paradox-autograph-collection/

In comparison, I was recently able to use my 50K Free Night Certificate from my JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Visa Infinite Credit Card at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay where nightly rates were $900+ or 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points, but finding nightly rates for 50K are very hard to come by.

Anyway, back to the Hotel Paradox in Santa Cruz.  Laura clicked the Select button next to the 40,000 Points / Stay option…

But for some reason, the 50K Free Night Certificate option did not show up.  I tried from my Marriott account, on my Marriott app, and on a few different browsers over a few days.  But nothing seemed to work.  The Marriott website only showed the option to buy 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points for $375 or do a Points Advance (where you borrow points now to book the award and then Marriott will deduct those points from your account when your reservation gets closer).

After trying for a few days, Laura was about to call Marriott and book the reservation over the phone.  She tried one more time with the exact same info as before and it finally worked!  She was able to book the stay using 1 of her 50K Free Night Certificates.  There is only a small $3.20 fee for taxes/fees and on-site parking is $10 per day.

Her reservation was booked and the reservation showed up in her My Trips section.  She clicked the Stay Details link to view more details of her reservation.

Here are the details of her hotel reservation.

On the My Trips page, you can see your recent hotel reservation.

On the My Account Activity page, you should see 1 less 50K Free Night Certificate in your Earned Awards section.

If you have any questions about booking a 50K Free Night Certificate, please leave a comment below.  Have a great weekend everyone!

4 thoughts on “How to Redeem Marriott Bonvoy 50K Point Free Night Certificates (Some Issues, Then Success)

  1. A

    Ugh, I really hate the Bonvoy program. Got the 5 night offer, nights loaded to the account about two weeks ago. Went to book the Royal Hawaiian for 5 nights (cat 7, off peak) at 50k per night. I couldn’t get the certs to show at all when actually booking the property. Called up Bonvoy, apparently an it issue with loading them. Got that resolved. Still couldn’t book the royal Hawaiian because bonvoy then claimed that the certs were limited to a standard room (which I do not recall in the t&c), regardless, it was a standard in room at 50k per night. Had to push hard on that. Bonvoy rep called the property confirmed and manually did the reservation. 1 hour 30 minutes to book.

    My theory is that they aren’t letting the carts be redeemed at cat 7 off peak, as I found three hotels while I was on hold that I couldn’t book with the Ceres (once fixed), but anything with a cat 6 or lower worked. Marriott playing their usual games.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi A, yes, I think it has to do with some Marriott IT issues (#Bonvoyed). Their award search calendar was a little funky too. I’m sorry you had to spend 90 minutes on the phone to book your award in Hawaii, but I am sure the property will be worth it.

      Reply
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