Marriott Rewards members can purchase up to 50,000 points annually and I just did this the other day.
The price of a purchase point has stayed the same for years and I don’t ever remember seeing a discount for buying them (many other hotel programs are continually offering discounts or bonuses for point purchases).
You can access Marriott Rewards page for buying points here.
The price of 50,000 Marriott Rewards points is $625. You are paying 1.25 cents per point.
This is excellent way to top up your points for Travel Package awards (read more here), however.
I had 235K points sitting on my account and United was running a promo for an additional 10% bonus for Travel Package redemption (read more about this promo here). You get 10% base bonus due to Marriott/United Rewards Plus partnership.
So, for 270,000 Marriott Rewards points, I would get 7 nights at category 1 – 5 Marriott Rewards properties (you can always up the category by paying more points) and 144,000 United Airlines miles (120,000 * 1.2 (10% Rewards Plus bonus + 10% United additional promo).
The purchased points posted the following day and I then just called the Marriott Rewards customer service to have the Travel Package issued (cannot do this online). They told me that it should take three days for the miles to appear on my United account. I have no immediate use for them, so not important for me this time.
The bonus is that these purchased points count towards the lifetime status requirements (read more about lifetime Silver, Gold and Platinum statuses here). I now have close to 1.9 million lifetime points (2 million required for Platinum) and 530 or so nights (750 required).
Although the United MileagePlus miles are no longer all around good value for business/first awards that they were due to devaluations, there still are some bright spots and I like the fact being able to redeem online without having to pick up the phone and call.
Marriott Rewards Travel Packages are the only reward options that I have ever used with Marriott beyond the certificate promotions that the program used to have.
I always tend to redeem when an airline has bonus for hotel points conversions and I earned probably half of the miles required for lifetime American Airlines Platinum status (2 million) from these conversions (only flight activity count nowadays). I redeemed for a Travel Package last time back in January when American Airlines had bonus miles promo going on.
Buying Marriott Rewards points and then using them towards the Travel Packages is relatively cheap way to “purchase” airline miles and there are plenty of partners where you can credit them to. Note that the number of miles credited depends of the partner.
I probably have to do few “meetings” (10 qualifying nights per one) to get the lifetime status bagged in.