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How to redeem Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card Annual Free Night Awards?

To the point Here's how to redeem the Annual Free Night Award worth 35,000 points, a benefit of Marriott Bonvoy credit cards.

Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards: Annual Free Night Award

A Marriott Bonvoy credit cards benefit

Marriott Bonvoy credit cards come with an Annual Free Night Award that you receive on your account anniversary, every year, valid for a one night stay at select Marriott Bonvoy properties:

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

35,000 points value

This Annual Free Night Award worth 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. 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

As of May 2022, it is possible to top up a Free Night Award using up to 15,000 points you would have in your Marriott Bonvoy account. You will be able to get a hotel night worth up to 50,000 points.

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

When do you earn your Marriott Bonvoy Annual 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.

certificate marriott en
Annual Free Night Award - Marriott Bonvoy

Annual Free Night Award expiration

The Annual Free Night Award is valid for 12 months. This means that the stay must take place BEFORE the expiration date of the Free Night Award.

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!

st regis abu dhabi 44
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi - Plage et piscine

How to redeem your Annual Free Night Award?

For a free hotel night

To use your Annual Free Night Award, find the hotel where you would like to stay.

For example, here’s a one-night stay during the holiday season at the Residence Inn New York Downtown Manhattan/World Trade Center Area (note the $500+ price per night!).

certicat residence inn new york downtown
certicat residence inn new york downtown

Upon confirmation of your booking, Marriott Bonvoy will suggest you redeem this Annual Free Night Award.

certificate residence inn new york downtown
certificate residence inn new york downtown

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-night stay at the same hotel:

  • The Annual Free Night Award will be used for the first night
  • 35,000 points will be used 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, when redeeming an Annual Free Night Award, it is impossible to benefit from the advantage of Stay 5 nights, Pay for 4!

Here, for example, is a 5-night stay at the same hotel:

  • The Annual Free Night Award 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 then pay 135,000 points, but you will have used your Annual Free Night Award!

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-night stay at 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 Annual Free Night Award for later use.

What happens to my Free Night Award if I cancel the reservation?

You may need to cancel a reservation linked to a Free Night Award. If so, it will return to your account within minutes.

However, if you do it directly on the Marriott Bonvoy site, it remains in limbo, due to a bug.

Tip: We recommend that you call Marriott Bonvoy Customer Service. They will make your certificate reappear in a few seconds, in your account.

Conclusion

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

This advantage is cumulative if you have both cards: you will have, at renewal, 2 Free Annual Night Awards!

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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