Whenever you make a reservation, you need to be aware of which Destination Points are used. If you are reserving online, Marriott makes an assumption on which points to use, but more than half the time, I need to tweak what they try and do. I wrote a post explaining all about a typical reservation and how to verify it is done correctly you should check out if you didn’t read it. https://maxingmarriott.com/2021/06/14/be-very-careful-in-how-marriott-allocates-your-points-important-tip-to-save-your-trust-points/.
What rules should you follow when determining which points should be used? I’ve been getting questions from owners regarding just this, so I decided to explain the general guidelines to help all of you.
First of all, points are points. This is confusing to some owners — what is the difference between Destination Points, MVC points, Trust Points, Elected Points and Bonus Points? NOTHING is different with these points — they all have the same priority in reserving. Destination Points and MVC points are just different names for the points used to make the reservations. Trust points are points you actually purchased from Marriott. Elected Points are points you received when you “elected” to trade your deeded week for MVC points. I explain Bonus Points further down in this post. No higher priority is given to any of these, they are the same and can mixed, banked and borrowed (Bonus Points can’t be banked).
Holding points are points that were returned to you after canceling a reservation within 60 days of travel. They must be used within 60 days of travel and cannot be banked. Some holding points returned during COVID in 2021 were “120 day holding points”, and you may use those within 120 days of travel. They are listed separately in your account. An example is shown below.
OK, now that you understand the points, let me help you know which points you need to allocate to your reservation.
Always use the points that expire first — and that includes considering the banking option. Always verify that the holding points are used if reserving within 60 days (or 120 days if they are 120 Day Holding Points). That seems obvious, but Marriott often doesn’t allocate your points that way — again explained in my previous post linked above.
If you have BONUS points, make sure you remember to consider the expiration of your other points if banked, and not the usage year they are assigned. Bonus points are points that were given to you by Marriott as a promo for purchasing points from Marriott. If you purchased points, you may have receive BONUS points to use within 2 or 3 years — 1 time usage — when they are gone they are gone. Bonus points cannot be banked.
Let’s use the scenario that you received 6000 bonus points, to expire July 2023. You have 5000 Trust points that expire at the end of 2022. USE THE BONUS POINTS FIRST before the Trust or Elected points!! You can’t BANK bonus points. If you don’t use all the 5000 Trust points in 2022, you can bank them for at least 1 year, and possibly 2 years, depending on your ownership status. So those 5000 points actually won’t expire until Dec 2023 or Dec 2024 if you bank the extra points by the deadline — later than the 6000 Bonus Points that will expire in July 2023.
I made a reservation through Owner Services today, and I had them redo the reservation because they used my 2023 points for a 2023 reservation. I had him allocate my remaining Bonus Points, then Banked my 2022 points needed to complete the reservation. That kept my 2023 points available to use (and bank if needed) and they will expire after the other points. When he questioned me on why I did that and I explained it, and he agreed it was the smartest usage of points. And now you know.