Did you know that as a Marriott Rewards member, you can reserve a hotel room even if you don’t have enough points?

This is a great way to make sure you get the room you want while you are awaiting a point transfer to be completed.  As an example, while I was waiting to complete my Membership Rewards to SPG to Marriott Rewards transfer, I was able to reserve a hotel room in San Francisco even though I didn’t have the points in my account.

How To Do It

All you need to do is log into your account, and search for a room (make sure you search using points).

Marriott Use Points

Find the hotel you want to stay at and choose the rate.  You will see a warning about not having enough points but you can still proceed.

Ritz Reservation Step 1

You will be then given the opportunity to book the room.  Notice that you are reminded that you will need to come up with the points and then pay for the room with the e-certificate you will receive when you cash in the points.

Ritz Reservation Step 2

You will receive a final confirmation, again reminding you to order your e-certificate once you have the required points.  You may notice that the example above has a different hotel than my confirmation … that’s because I neglected to get the screenshots when I made the booking so I just recreated something fanciful … the Ritz Carlton was an obvious choice.

Marriott Reserve without Points

Fulfilling Your Commitment

When you do get the points in your Marriott account, all you have to do is to order the e-certificate to pay for the room and it’s fairly simple.

Marriott e-Cert - Step 1

All you have to do is click on the Order e-certificate link.  Once you click the link, you will be taken to a confirmation page.

Marriott e-Cert - Step 2

Click the Submit Changes button and you will complete the order.

Marriott e-Cert - Step 3
You are given the confirmation that your e-certificate has been ordered and will be sent to your hotel, thus fulfilling your payment obligation.


There aren’t a lot of hotels or airlines that will allow you to hold a reservation until you can come up with the points but when you find one, you start to realize how much freedom it gives you.  Take advantage when you can.

Jayce is the founder of PointsNerd, and avid traveller and a teacher by nature. He prides himself on flattening the learning curve through step-by-step guides because everyone needs to start somewhere.


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