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How to redeem Marriott Bonvoy Annual Free Night Awards?

To the point The 35,000 points Annual Free Night Award is a perk of Marriott Bonvoy credit cards. Here's how to redeem it!

The Marriott Bonvoy credit cards Annual Free Night Award

A Marriott Bonvoy credit cards perk

Marriott Bonvoy credit cards offer an annual Free Night certificate that you receive on your account anniversary, every year, valid for a one night stay at select Marriott properties:

This is a significant perk, putting into perspective the cost of their annual fee ($120 for the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card and $150 for the Marriott Bonvoy™ Business American Express® Card)at card renewal.

A 35,000 points certificate

This certificate has a 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points value. If you redeem it correctly, you could get more than $300 worth of it, especially when you stay in the heart of major American or European cities.

Here is for example with the Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel, where we stayed recently. The cost per night at this hotel was US$314!

sheraton tribeca rate
Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel

With the introduction of Marriott Bonvoy’s Peak / Off-Peak season rates, it is possible to redeem this 35,000 points Free Night certificate in all these hotel categories:

Category Off-Peak Standard Peak Season
1 5,000 7,500 10,000
2 10,000 12,500 15,000
3 15,000 17,500 20,000
4 20,000 25,000 30,000
5 30,000 35,000 40,000
6 40,000 50,000 60,000
7 50,000 60,000 70,000
8 70,000 85,000 100,000

It will therefore be possible to redeem the Free Night certificate in Category 1 to 4 hotels at any time.

For Category 5, this will only be possible during Off-Peak or standard season. In Peak-season, the 40,000 points rate does not allow you to redeem this certificate for a Free Night.

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The St. Regis Abu Dhabi - Catégorie 5 de Marriott Bonvoy

To help you find a Marriott Bonvoy hotel based on categories, check out our full map of Marriott Bonvoy hotels, with category filters!

When do you get the Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Award ?

You will have to wait between 8 and 10 weeks AFTER renewing your credit card to get the Free Night certificate directly into your Marriott Bonvoy account.

This certificate can be found in the Activity section of your Marriott Bonvoy account.

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Free Night Certificate - Marriott Bonvoy

Want to learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy program? Check out our ultimate travel hacking guide on Marriott Bonvoy!

Free Night certificate expiration

The Free Night Certificate is valid for 12 months.

However, it is possible to extend its validity for an additional year. You’ll have to call Marriott Bonvoy to do that.

The one-year extension will be valid from the date of your call. Wait until the last month of your certificate is valid to call Marriott Bonvoy!

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The St. Regis Abu Dhabi - Plage et piscine

How to redeem the Annual Free Night certificate ?

For a free night

To redeem this Annual Free Night Certificate, first, find a hotel.

For example, a one-night stay at the AC Hotel New York Times Square (a costly night at $500!).

ac hotel times square certificat
AC Hotel Times Square - Bonvoy Marriott

Upon confirmation of your booking, Marriott Bonvoy will suggest you to redeem this certificate.

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AC Hotel Times Square - Bonvoy Marriott

For a stay of less than 5 nights

If you stay between 2 and 4 nights in the same hotel, it is possible to combine the certificate with points that will pay for the other nights.

Here, for example, is a 2-nights stay in the same hotel:

  • The certificate will be used for the first night
  • 35,000 points will be redeemed for the second night
ac hotel times square certificate use 2 nights
AC Hotel Times Square - Bonvoy Marriott

However, if you are staying 5 nights or more, read on carefully!

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The St. Regis Abu Dhabi - Piscine

Beware of stays of 5 nights or more

If you are staying 5 nights or more in the same hotel, be careful!

Indeed, by redeeming a Free Night certificate, it is not possible to benefit from the advantage of Stay for 5, pay for 4 !

Here, for example, is a 5 nights stay in the same hotel:

  • The certificate will be used for the first night
  • Points will be redeemed for each of the other nights
  • No “Stay for 5, pay for 4” perk here.
ac hotel times square certificate use 5 nights
AC Hotel Times Square - Bonvoy Marriott

You will pay 135,000 points, but you will have used your Free Night certificate !

Whereas if you choose to redeem your points WITHOUT using the certificate, you will be able to benefit from the advantage of Stay for 5, pay for 4 !

Here, for example, is a 5 nights stay in the same hotel:

  • Points will be redeemed for each night
  • One night will be free (the cheapest in points)
ac hotel times square points use 5 nights
AC Hotel Times Square - Bonvoy Marriott

You will then pay 140,000 points, but you will keep your Free Night certificate for a later redemption.

Conclusion

The Annual Free Night Award is a great perk of the 2 Marriott Bonvoy credit cards.

If you have both cards, this advantage is cumulative: you will have, at renewal, 2 Free night certificates!

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