We love our Marriott Bonvoy credit cards because they come with annual free night certificates. Marriott gives you a 35K or 50K certificate each year when you renew your card depending on what credit card you have. In the past, you could only use them for a hotel that had a redemption of no more than the certificate. However, now you can top off a Marriott free night certificate with as many as 15,000 additional points. This makes it much more valuable in my opinion, especially since Marriott has gone to dynamic pricing and many hotels seem to cost more points.
A 35K property that I wanted to stay at was hard to find before but now it will be easier for me to stay at a nice property if I can top off my certificate to redeem it at a 50K property. With a 50K certificate and adding 15K in points, I can book a hotel with a redemption of 65K.
You can read Marriott’s FAQs regarding the ability to top off a free night certificate here. The ability to do this is now available and is easy to do.
I have had another trip to Greece on my mind. I found a hotel previously to stay at in Corfu, Greece for 35K. The Domes of Corfu, Autograph Collection looks like a nice place to use my certificate. However, since they went to dynamic pricing, the cheapest redemption I am finding for September is 41K. Thanks to the ability to top off a Marriott annual certificate, I can still use my 35K certificate and add 6K points for a stay there.
There are some hotels in Maui that I cannot stay at with my 50K certificate that I previously could have. I still can stay at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa if I top off my annual certificate with 15K points.
When I looked at the Sheraton for dates in September, I found availability easily. I picked a night to check it out and found this:
You can see that it already acknowledges that I have a 50K certificate and it will just cost 6,000 more in points plus taxes and fees. I really like how easy it is to book with a certificate and points.
Although Marriott’s decision to go to dynamic pricing has made booking some of my favorite hotels with free night certificates impossible, the ability to top off Marriott free night certificates still allows me to book some nice hotels. I will continue to keep their credit cards, hoping that I can find some great Marriott deals by combining my certificates with points.