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Marriott Bonvoy has one of the most diverse point currencies in the travel loyalty community, but one of the most valuable ways to use Bonvoy points is for “Marriott Bonvoy Moments” and not on hotel stays.
Marriot Bonvoy Moments is back after not being available during the pandemic and it’s ready to help you create some exciting memories. Their new offerings of mind-expanding, money-can’t-buy moments for travelers may change your perception of the world.
Bonvoy Moments are available in four categories: Sports, Culinary, Arts & Lifestyle and Entertainment. Below are some examples of what they offer.
What are Marriott Bonvoy Moments?
Years ago, Marriott International and Starwood Preferred Guest merged to create one of the world’s largest hotel chains. Aspects of each program were considered to form the Marriott Bonvoy program. One such program was SPG Moments which thankfully made the cut to the new combined program.
Moments are auctions or fixed-price access to exclusive or hard-to-get events. For example, years ago a lifetime Cleveland Indians fan got the chance to throw the first pitch in Game 7 of the World Series with his team playing for the title. He spent more than a million points for the once-in-a-lifetime chance.
Other moments have included exclusive concerts, cooking lessons and dinner with a celebrity chef or a practice with ten of your closest friends at Wrigley Field.
In our Everything You Wanted to Know About Marriott Bonvoy post, Suites and Lobbies indicated that some of the best opportunities to redeem your points are for things other than Marriott hotel stays. In that point we highlighted how converting your Bonvoy points to airline miles is one of the best redemptions, but these moments might be better.
Everything you want to know about Marriott Bonvoy
Marriott Bonvoy is relatively new as a combined program, an amalgamation of Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Marriott Rewards. See our complete guide…
How Do the Auctions Work?
Moments sometimes have fixed prices, but for the very best ones the price is auctioned off to the highest bidder. Auctions typically take place weeks in advance of the event and work similarly to eBay in that the lowest amount of your maximum bid it takes to win will be the final price.
Unlike the auction portion of Marriott Bonvoy Moments, some Moments are offered for a listed price without an auction necessary. Often these are for concert tickets or event passes without a backstage or “exclusive element” to them. In years past these have included lawn section seats at outdoor summer concert venues for a nominal rate.
However, while the fixed-price Moments are sometimes more generic than auctioned Moments, they still offer value to Bonvoy members. The Bonvoy points earned from a couple of hotel stays for a convention can be spent securing last-minute tickets to a show for yourself or as a gift to friends or family.
Types of Moments
While categories are always subject to change or expansion, each aims to offer value for members to create unique, memorable experiences that may not have otherwise been possible. Marriott balances everyday events with once-in-a-lifetime experiences so that almost every member can connect with a unique experience.
Culinary experiences may be something epic (more on this below) or something more pedestrian like a wine-tasting with an expert sommelier. Entertainment Moments may be tickets to a concert or extremely limited access at the event. Lifestyle events run the gamut of ultra-exclusive to better seating at Fashion Week New York. All categories deliver on providing some breadth to their offering which makes this such an amazing aspect of the program.
Some of the most unique experiences in the world of sports are available exclusively to Marriott Bonvoy members. Your favorite team might not be available, but there is something for almost everyone. You might not be a fan of the Cal Bears or UCLA Bruins college football teams, but on-field access is a pretty special event for any in-state rivals (75,000 points won that bid.)
Packers fans would love to lead the “Go Pack, Go” chant at a game, but throw in field-level access and premier outdoor seating for 107,000 points for a pair of tickets and any football fan would gladly cheer that opportunity on. Also at Lambeau Field, is a fully-catered suite with game access for you and 23 of your closest friends which went for 747,000 points – a hefty sum in aggregate, but just 31,125 points per guest.
In the past, Moments has offered tennis with Andy Roddick, and access to virtually any game from the suite level at Madison Square Gardens including New York Rangers NHL hockey or New York Knicks NBA basketball.
Experiences are not exclusive to the United States. A truly luxurious experience for three days of F1 racing in Jeddah Saudi Arabia or Abu Dhabi in the UAE included luxury access to the race, catered meals, transportation, special access to the team with a gift, and three nights at the Ritz-Carlton nearby.
Perhaps the most legendary use of Marriott Bonvoy moments points ever was when deal blogger Dan Eleff of DansDeals.com spent 1,060,500 SPG points (the equivalent of 3,181,500 Marriott Bonvoy points after conversion) to throw the first pitch in Game 7 of the World Series. But it wasn’t just any World Series. He justified his expenditure after backlash flooded his website. His explanation is perhaps why this is the greatest redemption of points there has ever been:
“There have only been 38 Game 7s in history. How many people have thrown out a first pitch at Game 7 of the World Series? How many of those people threw it out while watching their favorite team playing at home?
I’d venture to say that’s a very, very low number. Probably in the single digits and way less than the hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of people who have stepped foot on Antarctica. Fans just aren’t given opportunities like that, it goes to former players and celebrities who may not even care about the team.”https://bit.ly/2JJqmr9
I couldn’t have said it better myself. To be able to redeem for something truly invaluable, un-buyable and unattainable is the ultimate reward in the loyalty game.
Moments are a great way to score seats at the most desirable hot spots. In the past, Moments offered guaranteed Reservations at the best restaurants in town like Thomas Keller’s Per Se (New York) & The French Laundry (Yountville, Calif.), Enrique Olvera’s Pujol (Mexico City), and Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat (Los Angeles).
Keller’s Per Se packages sold out at 137,500 points each and included a glass of champagne, a kitchen tour, and then an incredible nine-course marathon meal for two guests. That package had an incredible cash value for the dinner alone but really speaks to the exclusivity of the offers that are generally unavailable to the public like behind-the-scenes access.
Moments in the culinary space have added some additional key experiences and they can be very affordable. For example, MYDO at the W Osaka offered a 15-course Teppanyaki Dining Experience starting at just 30,000 points.
Chef Asma Khan, featured on the Netflix show Chef’s Table, will even give a live cooking demo to Moments auction winners before treating them to her famous Biryani Supper Club. A pair of tickets were just 50,000 points in a recent auction – an absolute steal.
World-famous chef, Daniel Boulud, cooked a custom dinner in London for Moments auction winners from the US that included a behind-the-scenes introduction to the chef. Luckily a camera crew followed that journey when it was part of the SPG Moments program.
In past years, Moments have offered Bonvoy members the chance to Walk the Red Carpet at MTV’s Music Awards or secure a VIP Experience at a music festival (more on that below.)
A package for Craig David at the O2 in London last year came with a ton of extras:
- Seats in the Marriott Bonvoy Luxury Suite at The O2 to see Craig David “Hold That Thought UK Arena Tour”
- Food and beverages while in the suite
- Meet & Greet with Craig David
- 1-night stay in a Deluxe King Room at The London EDITION including breakfast and late check-out
- Access for two people
The final price for that Moments auction (225,000) included almost a third of its value in the hotel stay alone.
Tickets to Coachella are one thing, but a tent that comes with a butler, or a Safari-themed Yurt with backstage passes – that’s next level.
The couple bid just over 300,000 points on VIP festival passes with exclusive access to the Marriott Bonvoy Bungalow, a curated space within the Bonvoy Lounge that included individual butler service, a fully stocked bar and snacks, and amenities including a glam squad and masseuse.https://bitly.com/2IFqUxC
Arts & Culture
Some of the most innovative Marriott Bonvoy Moments have come from the Arts & Culture segments of the program. One such Moment was the chance to have a custom wedding dress made by a top designer for a winning bidder.
Some Bonvoy Moments don’t cost a thing. Marriott has rolled out exclusive co-branded cardholder events where registration is required but no points are exchanged. Here’s one that recently took place in Miami:
“Your Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express Card® is your ticket to an exclusive evening with DJ Swizz Beatz and artist Tanda Francis. Join us on Saturday, December 4 from 7-11 p.m. at the W South Beach Pool for an open bar, light bites, and more at one of the hottest Miami Art Week events. Even better: it’s all complimentary. Simply RSVP to secure your ticket.”https://moments.marriottbonvoy.com/moments/12254/external/ca338c92125a2848d767c852c9336415
Private openings, seats, and access during New York fashion week have just been some of the incredible Arts & Culture Marriott Bonvoy Moments over the last few years. Check out the latest Marriott Bonvoy Moments.
Bonus Category: Partners
For avid frequent flyers, one of the most tempting Marriott Bonvoy Moments has to be time in a real airline flight simulator with a training pilot. One of my favorites was a partnership with Egypt Air in its 777 simulator in Cairo. Included with the package were two nights at the Le Meridien Cairo Airport in a club-level room and access to the Le Meridien club inside the airport as well. Packages like these are worth flying for.
How to Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points for Moments
The easiest way to quickly earn points and miles is through credit card sign-up bonuses. As with other products in the space, Marriott Bonvoy credit cards offer bonus points for completing spending targets after signing up. These range from 30,000 to more than 150,000 bonus points depending on the card.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a points collector, Marriott Bonvoy has one of the most flexible loyalty currencies. Successful applicants will receive a lump sum of points upon completing the spending target and then a number of points per dollar spent with multipliers for particular spending categories. Marriott credit cards earn more on Marriott purchases per dollar than any other category.
Some of the best opportunities to utilize Marriott Bonvoy points are beyond just booking free hotel rooms. Moments are just such a case where members can make lasting, once-in-a-lifetime memories by using their points. In many ways, the experiences provided are literally priceless as money can’t buy the chance to participate. Whether it’s impossible-to-get tickets to sporting events, intimate concerts, celebrity encounters or exclusive memorabilia, Bonvoy Moments are some of the best ways to spend loyalty points.
What do you think? What are the best Marriott Bonvoy Moments you have found?
Disclaimer: This post is our opinion only, we are not financial advisors. Neither Marriott nor card providers Chase and American Express have reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed this assessment of their products. If you choose to apply for a card, terms apply.