How to get Marriott Bonvoy points with the Membership Rewards Program?
Marriott Bonvoy Points in Canada
With Marriott Bonvoy points, you can get free hotel nights in more than 7,000 hotels worldwide.
The easiest way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points is by applying for one of the two credit cards offered by the program in Canada :
But once you’ve earned 100,000 points (or even 200,000 points if you merge Marriott Bonvoy points earned by a spouse or friend in the same account), your points balance won’t grow easily.
Actually, to earn Marriott Bonvoy points, you’ll have to charge your monthly purchases to your Marriott Bonvoy credit cards; or regularly stay in the group’s hotels (while benefiting from recurring promotions).
And don’t think about churning Marriott Bonvoy credit cards: American Express ended that in 2020. The lifetime welcome offer rule came fully into effect, accelerated by the COVID-19.
So, unless you started to apply for US Credit cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, you’ll have to look for other ways to earn points.
Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy
American Express Membership Rewards is Canada’s best-known flexible points program.
You can transfer Membership Rewards points to partners such as Marriott Bonvoy. The conversion ratio is 1:1.2.
Thus, 10,000 Membership Rewards = 12,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
The Membership Rewards program’s advantage is to offer 7 credit cards for consumers and small businesses, or multiple ways to earn more Membership Rewards points or Marriott Bonvoy points!
72,000 points with the Cobalt Card
One of the best credit cards in the Membership Rewards program is the American Express Cobalt™ Card. With that Card, you earn many points for the day to day purchases like grocery or dining such as food delivery or restaurants.
With this welcome offer for the American Express Cobalt™ Card, you can earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points. That’s up to 36,000 Marriott Bonvoy points in the first year.
Every month you spend $500, American Express gives you 2,500 Membership Rewards points as a bonus (or 3,000 Marriott Bonvoy points). At the end of 12 months, this is therefore equivalent to 36,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
And by concentrating your minimum purchases in the 5x points-per-dollar categories (grocery, food delivery, convenience stores, restaurants), you could earn at least 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which is a total of 72,000 Marriott Bonvoy points in one year ! This will require spending at least $6,000 over the first 12 months (monthly breakdown shown in the table below).
Below, you can see the number of Marriott Bonvoy points earned over 12 months with the American Express Cobalt™ Card in the 5x points per dollar categories (which equals 6x Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar by transferring your points to this program):
|Month||Purchases||5x Categories||Monthly bonus||Total|
|1||$500||3,000 points||3,000 points||6,000 points|
|2||$500||3,000 points||3,000 points||6,000 points|
|3||$500||3,000 points||3,000 points||6,000 points|
|4||$500||3,000 points||3,000 points||6,000 points|
|5||$500||3,000 points||3,000 points||6,000 points|
|6||$500||3,000 points||3,000 points||6,000 points|
|7||$500||3,000 points||3,000 points||6,000 points|
|8||$500||3,000 points||3,000 points||6,000 points|
|9||$500||3,000 points||3,000 points||6,000 points|
|10||$500||3,000 points||3,000 points||6,000 points|
|11||$500||3,000 points||3,000 points||6,000 points|
|12||$500||3,000 points||3,000 points||6,000 points|
|Total||$6,000||36,000 points||36,000 points||72,000 Marriott Bonvoy points|
72,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for $6,000 in purchases in 12 months, that’s a nice gain for Marriott Bonvoy point collectors!
And even if you don’t want to convert your 60,000 Membership Rewards points into 72,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, those points still have a value of $600 for any purchase made with the Card!
This method is mainly intended for those who have already taken advantage of the Marriott Bonvoy credit card offers.
If you don’t have one of these, it’s a good idea to sign up for one of them first, as you could get a great welcome bonus:
The American Express Cobalt™ Card stands out against the two Marriott Bonvoy credit cards in its 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar earning categories (or 6 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar).
Grocery, Food Delivery, Convenience Stores, Restaurants and Bars: for every dollar you spend, you will get the equivalent of 6 Marriott Bonvoy points, where the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards only offer 2 or 3 points.
More and more grocery stores are accepting American Express (Metro, Super C, Giant Tiger, Safeway, Whole Foods, etc). And IGA just starts accepting it in some stores.
So, if in the first year you spend the minimum monthly requirement at these stores at 6 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar, you will earn 105,000 Marriott Bonvoy points ! Of course, if you spend more, you’ll get more points.
Actually, the only limit imposed by American Express is the limit of $30,000 in annual expenses in the 5 points per dollar (or 6 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar) categories, which equals $2,500 per month (or 15,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per month or 180,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per year)!
Reasonably, when compared to my average budget for a family of two adults and two children, $1,000 per month in grocery, food delivery, gift cards, SAQ, Amazon and gas purchased in grocery stores seems realistic. Especially since you can indirectly earn 5 points per dollar at hundreds of stores with gift cards.
With this type of budget, you could earn 6,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per month or 72,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per year.
To which you must add the welcome bonus equivalent to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, i.e. 122,000 Marriott Bonvoy points in 12 months! It’s up to you to calculate according to your monthly budget and your spending categories!
What do Marriott Bonvoy points offer you?
As mentioned in the introduction, these are for free hotel nights. The rate schedule, which was previously composed of 8 hotel categories, is now dynamic. Prices vary depending on the high and low season, but also on the country and the brand of the hotel.
You could look at these examples in South Africa, Morocco, Bali, the Philippines or other countries.
This could also be interesting for Disney Theme Parks (when staying outside of the parks).
This will save you a lot of money on accomodation!
If you like the Marriott Bonvoy program, and you’ve already taken advantage of the welcome rewards on both Marriott Bonvoy credit cards, the American Express Cobalt™ Card is your best option for quickly earn Marriott Bonvoy points.