Redeeming HDFC Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Awards

By | December 16, 2023
Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Awards

If you’ve recently applied & approved for the HDFC Bank Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card and the joining fee is charged & paid, chances are high that you might now be seeing your Free Night Award (FNA) on your Marriott Bonvoy Mobile app, as I do.

It took about ~15 days for the FNA to kick-in in my case post the fee getting charged to the card. I see that it’s being done in batches, so all those who got charged last month are likely getting the FNA this month.

So if you’re wondering how to maximize it for your upcoming stay, here’s everything you need to know.

How to use?

hdfc marriott free night award details

To get started, tap the FNA and start exploring the hotels as usual. Doing so, you might come across 3 different scenario’s based on the Marriott Bonvoy points requirement, and here is how it works for each of them:

Points <=15,000

If the points required to book the property are under 15,000 points then simply choose the FNA at the checkout and you’re done.

Points >15,000 & <=30,000

If the Points required to book the property is over 15,000 and upto 30,000, then you can use the combination of FNA+Points.

For ex, if the hotel costs 23K points, you would need to use FNA+8K Points as FNA is valued at 15K points. Here’s a quick look:

Marriott FNA redemption
Marriott FNA and points redemption flow

Points >30,000

If the Points required to book the property is over 30,000 then you “cannot” use the FNA. While that feels like a limitation I think that’s fair enough for most!

In a nutshell

Free Night Awards are considered as 15K Marriott Bonvoy Points equivalent and comes with a flexibility to use FNA+Marriott Bonvoy Points (upto another 15K points).

As you see, using FNA is quite simple and definitely comes with an AMAZING value for just 3,000 INR with the HDFC Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card.

And to earn additional points to use with the FNA, HDFC might not be lucrative with it’s low earning capability but you always have Amex Gold Charge & Amex MRCC that comes handy with their lucrative monthly bonus points.

Where are you planning to use your Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Awards? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Author: Siddharth

Helping Indians to choose right credit cards, pick right offers and enjoy luxury vacations for less. Day & night exploring the spiritual reality of our human existence.

29 thoughts on “Redeeming HDFC Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Awards

  1. Amarnath B

    I got this showing on my marriott app few days ago. The 3rd month cc statement has been generated and I have paid already. But the due date for the statement is 1st jan. So the FNA kicks in as soon as the cc joining fee was showing on the statement.

    Futhermore, few of my peers already got the silver status + FNA + 10 free nights, after apply for the card just 15 days ago.

    Surely HDFC works in mysterious ways!

    Hdfc stole my 20 mb points which I have aqquired on the 1st month, never heard back again after multiple calls and emails. Decided to give them the points as a gift LOL.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      HDFC launched the product before they fully setup the system.

      Now it seems all ready and running. I could see spend linked points getting credited as well.

      So hopefully newly onboarded users will have to wait less time to get these benefits.

      Reply
      1. Amarnath B

        Haha..well said Siddharth. We went to war in front lines for the future generation.

        Btw, one of my friends, he said the 10 nights showing now will vanish by max feb 2024? I know its 31st dec each year they count the nights. I was actually rooting for hdfc to add these 10 nights by next year. If this happens, I cannot get to gold by next year, cause no plans till summer time for a small vacation maybe, and that would mean plus 25 nights again. I dont think so.

        Reply
    2. Anshul

      Even for me, the MB points earned in the first month have disappeared. HDFC statement says “transfered to MB”, but they aren’t there in MB. Not sure where they are gone!!

      Reply
  2. Amarnath B

    Oh, taking about benefits – with this card, we get golf play as compli, not golf lessons. And even though my card is 3 months old, the consierge was unable to validate my card, it says card is either blocked or inactive, which is neither. After talking with the manager the concierge told me to email them with the golf request, and they will take my booking thru email. And they ask me to attach last months statement with the email, which seems concerning. It was just for info, so I let it go.

    Reply
  3. Malav Karkar

    My fee was charged on Nov 30, bill was generated on Dec 17, and due date is Jan 5. I’m deliberately pushing the payment to 2024 so that I’ll get 10 elite night credits in the year of 2024 and will count towards the year 2024. Do you think this will work?

    Reply
    1. Proximo

      It didn’t work for me. I first bill was due on January 1, and I planned to pay it on the due date so the 10 elite nights get credited in 2024. However, to my surprise, those nights were credited on December 29, 2023 and vanished on January 1, 2023. So, they lasted for two days only!! What a pity…

      Reply
      1. SK

        Did you check the lifetime nights count…if the lifetime nights count has not increased with those extra nights, you should raise a ticket with Bonvoy support.

        Reply
        1. SK

          Well, the lifetime count of nights actually increased by 10 days. I guess I’ll get the set of next 10 nights only after the payment of card renewal fees this year.

          Reply
  4. Nikhil

    I haven’t even got joining fees charged yet. But I got 10 elite nights & FNA award. So it looks like it has no correlation with joining fees being charged or paid.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      I heard that there is a change in how the benefit works going forward for the newly onboarded cardholders:
      Welcome benefits would get fulfilled within 7 working days of making the first txn.

      So You’re likely enjoying this already!

      Reply
  5. Darshan Doshi

    My first bill cycle was 11-Oct-2023. Not charged in last 3 cycles, but awarded the 10 nights and FNA. I assume I will be charged in 11-Jan-2024 bill. Let’s see.

    Reply
    1. Darshan Doshi

      As assumed, I got charged in Jan-2024 bill cycle. Fyi, if it helps anyone…

      Reply
  6. Sudheer

    I am already Marriot platinum member. If I apply and get this card, is Marriot downgrade my account to Silver (I hope not). Please someone confirm.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      If you’re above Silver, your status won’t get downgraded.

      Reply
      1. Sudheer

        Thanks Siddharth for quick update. I have applied the card through Marriot app 2 days back and got the approval today without any additional documents submission. I already hold LTF Diners Black and Neu Infinity cards.

        Reply
  7. SK

    I got my Marriott HDFC card delivered this week and it carries new Bonvoy Number (saying JP NO…) even though i have entered my existing MB number during the application…does anyone merged the accounts and still using the old account and getting the points credited to the old account…just one year platinum away from LTP and don’t want to mess up with this merging.

    Reply
    1. Anshul

      I had same issue. Had provided the existing MB number in online application, but HDFC still created new MB account (MB no not printed on card). I merged with accounts, keeping old account no as merged account. FNA and elite nights were credited after merger, however the points earned on spends on this card are not getting credited. I haven’t raised with HDFC yet. Anyway I won’t be using this card except for FNA and elite nights. Even for use at Marriott, it has a very poor reward rate, so I didn’t bother.

      Reply
      1. SK

        Thanks for the info Anshul. I am also in it for Elite Nights to speed up my LTP. This scenarios works for me as well.

        Reply
  8. Anupam

    HDFC mistakenly printed internal reference numbers JP… instead of MB numbers. They will be re-issuing the cards for this erroneous batch.

    Reply
    1. Amarnath B

      As stated in the TnCs when you apply for the card, you have to use the new account when merging, and delete the old account for points to get added from your card use every month.

      And this process is un-reversable. Thats the reason, I had merge my 12 yr old account with this 2023 new mb account.

      Even when applying for this card, hdfc didnt ask me for my old mb account and created a new mb account. This is for everyone. Hdfc doesnt care for old members and making mb referral points by creating new mb users from their card database.

      Reply
      1. Anshul

        After how many days from HDFC Marriot card statement generation date, are the points credited to Marriott Bonvoy account?

        Reply
      2. SK

        How is your Lifetime nights and Status showing up after the account merger in the new Marriott Account. We have been with Marriott rewards far too long and we know how that Marriott IT systems works in some cases.

        Reply
      3. Amarnath B

        First 2 months, points took some time to get added to marriott acc. Now it gets credited on same date as the card statement date. Im still missing 20points from 1st month. After few emails, i let it go.

        As for the lifetime nights, 10 nights are added and yrly nights showing 0 as of now, cause of no stay this yr. Going to stay in fairfield mumbai end of this month, im sure it will get credited after stay.

        Reply
      4. Anshul

        While merging you can keep any account number (old or new) as the primary account. It is nowhere mentioned in tnc that the new account need to be made primary. Both accounts are linked at the backend in MB. So doesn’t matter. I merged both keeping old MB as primary and it’s working perfectly fine.

        Reply
  9. Amarnath B

    @Anshul, you getting the mb points from the card to your old mb account after merging ?

    Dunno about now, but before hdfc says to keep the new acc, for addition of mb points from hdfx to mb account. Maybe they streamlined it now a days. I lost my old account cause of this.. jeez. If only hdfc cc application form were uptodate and asked for my mb number (as they said it should), when i had applied, which they didnt.

    Reply
    1. Anshul

      Yes, I am getting MB points earned from HDFC spends credited to my old MB account (post merging). I didn’t keep the new one as Primary as then I would have to update it everywhere for points transfer for all cards (esp nuisance with Axis).

      Reply
    2. SK

      I gave my MB account while applying the card still they created new account and credited the 10 elite nights and 15K FNC. I called in the HDFC help desk and got the new account number and activated it. Still no points credited to the account though. Will have to merge post the 30 day period. Will update.

      Reply
  10. Baalakrishnan M S

    I received my HDFC Bonvoy Card in Sept. and did the first transaction in Oct itself. I also did a pre-payment of the joining fee by advice of one of our brothers here!!
    I am still yet to receive either the free night or the point…
    I am already a silver member and has 15 elite nights in my kitty last year – so my plan was to get this 10 elite night credit and become gold…. End of 31st nights my 15 nights got reset to ‘0’ again!!
    Stupid HDFC is now saying there was some internal technical issue and I will get these by “mid of Feb”
    Best part is I am one of their Imperia customers!! 😀

    Reply

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