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Frequent travelers have more choices than ever when it comes to earning rewards points with their favorite hotels. Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® and Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG®) have unified their travel rewards programs under the name Marriott Bonvoy™.
The new Marriott Bonvoy program gives members access to 6,700 hotels across 29 brands, all in one easy-to-use travel rewards program. Once you combine accounts, it will be even easier to achieve Elite status, book nights in Ritz-Carlton properties with Marriott points and gain access to a new, streamlined app that makes it easy to manage your account.
What does this mean for travelers? Is Ritz-Carlton Marriott now? The properties remain independent brands, but for the purposes of Ritz-Carlton Rewards, the points are interchangeable.
How points work between Ritz-Carlton rewards, Marriott and SPG
It’s important to understand that Ritz-Carlton rewards, Marriott rewards and SPG rewards are all part of the same program now.
When you stay at any Ritz-Carlton, Marriott International or SPG property as a Marriott Bonvoy or Ritz-Carlton rewards member, you’ll earn 10 points per dollar spent on your room purchase. Marriott Bonvoy also gives you 10 points per dollar on any qualified hotel purchases, including spa visits, golf rounds, drinks or dining at most Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and SPG properties.
How to redeem Ritz-Carlton Rewards with Marriott Bonvoy
You can redeem points for hotel stays, hotel purchases, travel, merchandise and Marriott Moments such as exclusive Oscar viewing parties, concert tickets and sporting events.
You’ll get the best return on your points when you redeem for hotel stays.
Marriott Bonvoy requires different numbers of points for different categories of hotels. They will also be rolling out different points requirements for peak or off-peak stays, so points values will vary widely depending on the hotel you choose and when you book your stay.
You can search the Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Award Chart to find out what category your preferred hotel is in. Most Ritz-Carlton properties are category 5 or above. For instance: The Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., is a category 7 hotel and costs 60,000 points for one night, making it one of the pricier properties in the family.
Pay how you wish
Marriott Bonvoy offers a lot of flexibility in how you redeem points. You can redeem points at regular rates, or you can use PointSavers awards, which provide a discount at select hotels.
You can also combine Cash and Points for discounted stays. Use Cash + Points and pay as little as $55 and 3,500 points per night. You can book a stay using a combination of cash and points so that you don’t have to wait until you have tens of thousands of points for a single stay.
Earn free nights
You earn a fifth night free when you book four award nights — even if you use PointSavers awards. If you combine cash and points, your points redeemed must equal four nights before you earn the free night.
Plan ahead with Points Advance
Unlike many travel rewards programs, Marriott Bonvoy lets you redeem your points before you earn them.
Let’s say you’re planning a summer vacation at a category 7 hotel, but you find yourself short 5 points — or even 50,000 points. You know you have some business travel coming up before the summer. Book your stay to lock in your room before it sells out, and then accrue the points you need before your travel date.
The Points Guy likens it to making a refundable reservation with a credit card — no payment is due until the time of your stay.
With Points Advance, you’re not committed to using your points on that stay, either. You can change your mind and book a different hotel or transfer points to an airline partner.
Exclusive benefits for travelers
The advantages of Ritz-Carlton Rewards (now Marriott Bonvoy) just keep coming, too. Members enjoy many benefits when they stay at Ritz-Carlton, Marriott or SPG properties, including free Wi-Fi, lower rates when you book through the website or app, and no blackout dates (although award stays will cost more points during peak times in the near future).
When you download the mobile app, you can check-in remotely before you arrive, and even use your smartphone as your room key.
As a member, you can redeem points immediately, on-site, to pay for meals, drinks and more at the hotel, at a rate of 250 points per dollar.
Considering you can use 35,000 points to make a $140 purchase at a Ritz-Carlton hotel or book a stay at select Ritz-Carlton hotels for the same number of points (which would most likely cost more than $140), redeeming points for purchases is not the best deal.
Achieve Elite status for even more perks
As with many travel rewards programs, you can unlock additional benefits the more you stay. See the chart below to learn how much more you’ll receive as a Silver, Gold, or Platinum Elite member. Marriott Bonvoy has also hinted at two additional rewards tiers but has not yet released specific details.
Your prior stays as Ritz-Carlton Rewards member for the calendar year count as qualifying stays toward Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.
|Elite status tier||
How to qualify
|Silver||10 qualifying stays||10%||Priority late checkout, Ultimate Reservation Guarantee, dedicated Elite reservation line|
|Gold||25 qualifying stays||25%||All Silver benefits plus: enhanced room upgrade, 2 p.m. checkout, faster internet, 250 or 500 bonus points at check-in|
|Platinum||50 qualifying stays||50%||All Gold benefits plus: welcome gift, annual gift, lounge access, 4 p.m. checkout|
Earn or redeem points with travel partners
As if access to 6,700 hotels across the world weren’t enough, Marriott Bonvoy members can also earn points with 40+ airline partners, as well as travel partners such as Hertz and CruisesOnly.
Redeem points — or book with Points + Cash — with more than 120 airlines and a choice of rental car companies by booking travel through the Marriott Bonvoy portal.
Best Ritz-Carlton rewards card to earn points
Since Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, and SPG combined rewards programs, you have an even greater choice of credit cards to earn Ritz-Carlton rewards.
The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card, which has been rebranded as the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card from Chase, is the best.
As a Marriott Bonvoy Boundless cardholder, you’ll be upgraded to Silver Elite status immediately and receive 15 Elite Night credits toward Gold status. Earn 100,000 points after spending 5,000 within the first three months of account opening if you apply after February 28, 2019.
In addition to this generous welcome offer, the card gives you 6 points per dollar at Marriott Bonvoy brands and two points per dollar on all other purchases.
The Marriott Bonvoy card carries a $95 annual fee and a variable APR of 18.24% to 25.24%, so it’s important to avoid carrying a balance.
How does Ritz-Carlton rewards/Marriott Bonvoy compare to other programs?
With a choice of 6,700 properties across the world, a free night after four award nights and tons of added benefits, the new Ritz-Carlton rewards card, rebranded as Marriott Bonvoy, offers an incredible value.
If you frequently stay at Ritz-Carlton, Marriott or SPG properties, this is a good program to join.
How to join
Your Ritz-Carlton Rewards card automatically became Marriott Bonvoy after February 13, 2019. You should download the Marriott Bonvoy app to enjoy all the benefits of the new program.
New members can sign up here for Marriott Bonvoy rewards and start earning points with every Ritz-Carlton, Marriott International or SPG stay.
For more insights on Bonvoy and other rewards programs, check out our latest rewards program guides.