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Redeeming Bonvoy Points for Marriott Bonvoy Moments T.J. February 5, 2020

Redeeming Bonvoy Points for Marriott Bonvoy Moments

Marriott Bonvoy Moments is the current iteration of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Moments and Marriott Moments legacy programs, allowing Bonvoy members to redeem points for “exclusive and VIP access to concerts, culinary experiences, premier sporting events, and more,” through an online portal.

While many of you (myself included) may tend to collect Bonvoy points for aspirational stays at swanky hotels or for offsetting the cost of accommodation on trips, the Moments program offers a variety of alternative uses of your Bonvoy points if “suite-talking” or pursuing Platinum Elite status don’t tickle your fancy. 

What Are Marriott Bonvoy Moments?

Marriott divides Moments into five categories:

  • Culinary: wining and dining at well-known restaurants, culinary courses with renowned chefs, private dinners in unique locations, etc. 

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  • Entertainment: attending concerts, awards ceremonies, exclusive parties, and sporting events often with premium seating

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  • Lifestyle: a broad category encompassing fashion events, amusement parks, cultural experiences, and float rides often including a hotel stay

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  • Sports: prime access to a range of sporting events in famous arenas worldwide

  • Partners: events from organizations and venues with whom Marriott Bonvoy Moments has a particular relationship

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Note that the Moments program is separate from the Tours & Activities program offered by Marriott. The former may only be paid for using points, while the latter are paid packages that earn Bonvoy points. It would be worthwhile to compare the options available in the Tours & Activities program with those offered elsewhere, as some reports state that the same packages are available for less.

Bonvoy members may redeem points for up to five Moments per calendar year, with two packages per event. Unfortunately, residents of Quebec are not currently eligible to participate in the Moments program, but this seems to depend solely on the address that’s listed in your Bonvoy profile.

If you’ve reached your maximum of five Moments redemptions per year, remember that you can always transfer up to a maximum of 100,000 Bonvoy points to another individual’s account for free every year in order to book additional Moments under a separate account.

At the time of writing, there are 59 unique Moments available, as well as 32 recently expired events available to view for comparison. Within each Moment, there may be a variety of packages available. For example, there are currently 34 packages available under the “LA Lakers at STAPLES Center” page.

According to the Marriott Bonvoy Moments FAQ, auctions tend to be offered between 15 and 30 days from the launch of the event. The list is frequently updated, so it may be worthwhile to check in once a month to see if anything piques your interest.

How to Redeem Points for Bonvoy Moments

There are two ways to redeem points for Marriott Bonvoy Moments.

The first is to buy packages at a fixed price. For these Moments, you can instantly confirm your experience and the points will immediately be deducted from your account. Note that once purchased, the Moments are non-refundable, so be sure to check all details prior to clicking through.

The second is an auction-style format, where bidding starts at a fixed level and Bonvoy members place bids. Bids must increase by increments of at least 2,500 points. You have the option to place a one-time bid or to enter a maximum bid amount.

If someone out-bids your one-time bid, you will have to enter in another bid if, for example, you really want to see Lewis Capaldi from Premium Stadium Seats in London.

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If you enter a maximum bid amount, you can enter the most Bonvoy points you’d be willing to part with to enjoy a particular experience. If someone outbids you, the bidding system will automatically increase your bid by the lowest possible increments until your maximum is reached. 

Note that if the maximum bid is not reached, you cannot alter or remove the bid, so be prepared to part with the full amount of your bid before clicking “Bid Now.” You will automatically be disqualified from the auction if your balance is insufficient to cover your bid at any point throughout the auction

You will be notified if you win an auction or if you are outbid. A Marriott Bonvoy Moments specialist will contact you to finalize the details of the experience if you win, and the points will be deducted from your account. If you don’t win, the points will not be deducted from your account..

Does Marriott Bonvoy Moments Represent Good Value?

Since Marriott Bonvoy Moments claims to offer exclusive access to a variety of experiences, it may be difficult to calculate the exact value of a Moment. This is especially true if the general public is unable to pay cash to access a similar event.

Further, the particular value associated with a Moment fluctuates depending on how important a particular experience is to you. An Arsenal fan may feel giddy with excitement to enjoy VIP hospitality at Emirates Stadium, while someone who is completely indifferent to football might balk at that same proposition. 

Meanwhile, I imagine that some very dedicated Canadian Miles & Points enthusiasts will have come into a significant amount of Bonvoy points over the past while, so perhaps the idea of throwing 100,000 points at a particular experience is a fun way to put a small dent in your account balance.

Whatever the case, an objective way to consider the value of a Moment is to use a current valuation of Bonvoy points and asking yourself: am I getting good value by using $X worth of Bonvoy points for this experience?

What’s difficult to quantify, though, is the “X-Factor” value that a particular experience brings. If you’re a die-hard opera fan, and a Moment offers you a luxury seat, backstage access, or a meet-and-greet with your favourite soprano, you might not stop talking about this for the rest of your life. The same is true for foodies, sports fans, fashion gurus, and music lovers – the groups for whom Moments seem to be designed.

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For example, there was a recently closed auction for two tickets to see the New York Rangers play the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Marriott Bonvoy Luxury Suite at Madison Square Garden. 50,000 Bonvoy points (with an approximate value of $500) got you access to the game from a premium level suite as well as food and beverages during the game.

Considering that lower bowl seats at Madison Square Garden currently cost around $150 each, if you can each eat and drink your way through an extra $100, then I’d consider the value to be reasonable (especially given the price and quality of concession food/beverages at sporting events). If you are a big Toronto Maple Leafs fan, the X-Factor of seeing your team live in such glamorous surroundings might elevate the value further.

As another example, consider the following currently available Moment:

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Included in this package are:

  • Two nights in a Chambers Junior Suite at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London ($1,232)

  • Couple’s Pink Himalayan package, which includes full access to the spa facilities ($200), a 30-minute hot salt rock massage ($200), and a 60-minute Ultimate Aromatherapy Facial at the St. Pancras Spa ($380)

  • Dine Under the Star-case Experience for two with private candlelit dinner ($534)

  • Opera performance during the meal

  • Romantic welcome amenities

The values listed above were taken from the hotel, spa, and restaurant’s websites. The opera performance can in theory be booked for an additional $1,026, but I’ve left it out of the calculation in this case, since I imagine that most people wouldn’t ordinarily be splurging that kind of cash for an opera performance during their dinner.

I’m also not entirely sure how to value the romantic welcome amenities, so if we discount those for now, then an estimate of the total fair value of this package comes to around $2,546 – and we can therefore say that a fair price for this Moment might be roughly 254,600 Bonvoy points.

(If your partner is absolutely dazzled by the experience, assume that the X-Factor would increase the value of this Moment, perhaps exponentially!)

Well, the Moments auction is currently valued at only 82,500 points and is set to close in less than two days. If the auction closes for anything less than 254,600 points, I’d say that you would be getting outstanding value from this Moment if a romantic dinner in London is something that you’d be interested in.

(Keep in mind that if you were to redeem Bonvoy points directly for the Category 6 St. Pancras Renaissance, that would cost you 50,000 points per night at the standard rate, and that upgrades to the Chambers Suites are exceedingly rare at this hotel even for elite members.)

All of this is without even considering the X-Factor. Maybe this Moments experience coincides with a big life moment and you talk about it for years to come. Maybe it’s the first time you’ve indulged in a bit of luxury, sparking a lifelong pursuit of similar experiences.

Maybe dinner underneath the famous St. Pancras Renaissance staircase will allow you to truly sweep your future life partner off their feet, and the entire relationship hinges on this Moment. (I’m hamming it up a bit here, but I’m sure you get the point).

While there are many other factors that could change the above valuation, let’s agree that the value that Moments offer varies widely depending on the package price, the current valuation of Bonvoy points, and most importantly, an individual’s tastes and preferences.

Conclusion

The Marriott Bonvoy Moments program offers an alternative redemption option for those who don’t find great value in hotel stays or transfers to frequent flyer programs. It also serves as an interesting way to burn your points for something that you find valuable without having to shell out the cash.

As the selection of Moments is constantly changing, it may be worthwhile to occasionally check the website for experiences that may be of interest to you. The experience could be a great compliment to a holiday or a nice surprise for someone special, perhaps even offering you an unforgettable experience that money can’t buy (but points can). 

Have you ever redeemed Bonvoy points for a Moment? What type of Moments would you consider redeeming your points for? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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2 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Florian

    Sorry for the Arsenal fans out there… Marriott only has partnerships with Manchester United and Bayern Munich 😉

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      While this is true, it should be noted that there was a "Play a Charity Match at the Emirates Stadium" Moments experience last year… which I had actually bid for, but got out-bid at the last second.

T.J.

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