It’s Back! Earn 5 Free Nights With Marriott Bonvoy Card

Marriott is offering five free nights when you sign up for the Chase Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card or the American Express Bonvoy Business Card and reach the qualified spending amount.

This is one of my favorite promotions and I’m thrilled that it’s back. I used the free night awards to save thousands of dollars at one of the most expensive places in the world. Below, I share how I took advantage of this promotion multiple times and what you need to consider before jumping in.

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Marriott 5 Free Nights Promotion

There are two versions of this deal. I recommend the American Express offer because it doesn’t show up on your credit report (good for those who have too many inquiries in the past 12 months), but the Chase version has a lower spending threshold.

Option 1: Chase Bonvoy Boundless Card (5 Award Nights)

Get 5 free night awards after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening with your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. Each award is valued up to 50,000 points. The Chase offer changes to 3 free nights after 3/27/24.

Option 2: American Express Bonvoy Business Card (5-Night Certificates)

Earn 5 free night awards after you use your new card to make $8,000 in eligible purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. The 5 free nights are redeemable for up to 250k total Marriott Bonvoy® Points (up to 50,000 Bonvoy points each) at participating Marriott hotels worldwide. The American Express offer will revert back to 3 free nights after 3/20/24.

I prefer the Amex version because it’s a business credit card and thus, doesn’t get reported on your credit report. As a reminder, you don’t need a registered business to get approved for this card.

For example, if you sell things on platforms like eBay, Facebook, or Amazon, you can get approved using your social security number and any “doing business as” (DBA) name. My friend Ben sells things at pawn shops and just opened one using his SSN and a business name called “DBA Ben’s Collectibles”.

It’s important to note that you can’t double-dip by applying for both the Chase and American Express versions of the Marriott card within the same time frame. I looked into this angle when I applied (getting 10 free nights all at once would have been terrific), but language found in the terms and conditions are very clear that receiving two Marriott credit card bonuses aren’t possible.

Below is Chase’s offer terms that excludes Amex cards (Amex includes essentially the same language that calls out Chase cards):

“The new cardmember bonus is not available to you if you currently have or had any of the following cards within the last 30 days:

  • Marriott Bonvoy® American Express Card

or if (2) you applied and were approved for any of the following cards within the last 90 days or (3) received a new cardmember bonus or upgrade bonus for any of the following cards within the last 24 months:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card

In a nutshell, while you can’t get both sign-up bonus offers at the same time, you could get the second bonus after 24 months of receiving the first bonus, provided that you cancel your current card at least 30 days before you apply for the second.

This is exactly what I did. My first card was approved in 2021, which I redeemed the five nights in Maldives in 2022. I applied for the second card in 2023 and used the five nights again for Maldives.

My Experience Using These Certificates For Maldives (saving $17,000+)

Let me preface this by saying Maryna and I love Maldives. We’ve traveled there several times and it’s a privilege that we’re fully aware of. Maldives is really far away and hugely expensive – most people view this place as a honeymoon or a “once-in-a-lifetime” destination.

However, it’s deals like this that we’re able to significantly cut down on the overall expenses of the trip. Some of our friends probably assume we pay so much of it out-of-pocket, but that’s not even close to being true.

Take for instance one of our favorite resorts there, Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa. It opened in late 2021 and has developed an excellent reputation, garnering 4.8 out of 5.0 stars in 270 Google reviews, but even a five-night stay during the off-season runs a whopping $4,726.60:

Cash price booking at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa in July 2024.
(Screenshot from Marriott.com)

By signing up for a Marriott credit card during this promotion, you can redeem the five award night certificates to zero out the costs associated with the hotel stay:

Five free nights redemption at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa in July 2024
(Screenshot from Marriott.com)

The leftover balance is the transportation charge of $1,030 ($515 per person x 2) + tax, which is the 35-minute seaplane flight from the main airport in Maldives to the resort island.

That still comes out to a whopping 77% reduction in hotel expenses! We’ve done this deal three times (twice for me, once for my wife) and I calculated that we have saved a total of just over $17,000.

The seaplane ride is a great experience in and of itself, as shown in Marriott’s video clip of Maryna “walking” out of it:

If you do end up going to this resort (tell them you know me – maybe you’ll get something extra), I can unequivocally say that the entire team there is nothing but superb. Employees like Thomas the General Manager, Chef Asaf, Turquoise Restaurant manager Shubham, and front desk director Nufiu will make you feel like it’s your home away from home:

Le Méridien Maldives management team
(Le Méridien Maldives Staff, March 2023. JOHN PHAM/THE MONEY NINJA)

One thing I’d like to call out is that while each free night certificate can be redeemed up to 50,000 Marriott points, you can use up to an additional 15,000 points to cover any differences, for a per night maximum of 65,000 points.

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino typically requires 55,000 points per night, so in this scenario, you would use a free night award along with an additional 5,000 points.

Here are a few of my personal recommendations of hotels and resorts to redeem these free night certificates for:

  • Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa, Maldives (typically costs 44,000 to 65,000 points per night)
  • Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino (typically costs 50,000 to 60,000 points per night)
  • The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert, United Arab Emirates (typically costs 40,000 to 50,000 points per night)
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Bali (typically costs 40,000 to 76,000 points per night)
  • The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa, Mauritius (typically costs 40,000 to 50,000 points per night)
  • JW Marriott Marquis, Miami (typically costs 42,000 to 76,000 points per night)
  • The Langley, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom (can be as low as 54,000 points per night)
  • The Bodrum EDITION, Turkey (can be as low as 57,500 points per night)

A lot of these are international destinations, but there are plenty of choices if you want to stay domestic. After all, Marriott is the world’s largest hotel chain, with over 8,800 properties.

The Bottom Line

I rank this credit card deal at the very top of my all-time best list. That’s saying a lot as I’ve been fortunate to hit some big ones over the years (the Chase Sapphire Reserved 100k points launch offer and the current Capital One Venture X 100k miles + travel credit come to mind). You can see other credit card sign-up offers on my dedicated credit card page.

What do you guys think? Does the elevated bonus make this a screaming opportunity? Did you take advantage of this promotion in the past, and if so, where did you redeemed your nights at?

About John Pham

John Pham is a personal finance expert, serial entrepreneur, and founder of The Money Ninja. He has also been fortunate enough to have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and U.S. News & World Report. John has a B.S. in Entrepreneurship and a Masters in Business Administration, both from the University of New Hampshire.

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Andy
Andy
1 month ago

If you’ve had the AmEx Marriott business card longer than 2 years, are you eligible to receive the bonus from the Chase Marriott boundless card?
Thanks!