JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge Dining Area

Marriott Bonvoy 85K Free Night Certificate Redemptions in Africa & Middle East


Marriott’s 85K Free Night Certificates is the highest level of Free Night Certificate in the Marriott Bonvoy program, which can be earned through the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card and the Chase Ritz-Carlton Card with the annual fees of $650 and $450 respectively.

Marriott still secretly assign category to their hotels, and with this information, we can infer the potential of Marriott’s free night certificates with topups. Here’s the secret chart:

9C (StR/RC Maldives)70,000164,000
RC Reserve Zadun (Cat 11)131,000212,000
RC Reserve Dorado Beach (Cat 12)170,000254,000
Nujuma, RC Reserve (Cat 12)163,000299,500

After studying the chart, I’m pleased to see that the 85K FNC is quite valuable. While not as valuable as Hilton Free Night Certificate, you can still redeem 85K FNC’s at really nice hotels, and they’re not as difficult to use like 50K FNC’s. In Africa, there are few aspirational safari properties you could book. In the Middle East, there are few desert resorts you could enjoy as well.

Due to the high-value nature of 85K FNC, I would only list hotels listed as Category 6 at minimum, and up to Category 9 which is the max Category an 85K FNC could be redeemed on hotels set at that Category. Countries excluded either mean that there’s no Marriott hotels there, or the max Category level found in the country is Category 5 or lower.

CategoryPoints Range85K Cert ViabilityRecommendation
635-81k/NightGuaranteed without topupsRedeem during peak season, or if you can't find Cat 7 hotels at destination
744-102k/NightGuaranteed with topups for ~99% of Cat 7 hotelsThe sweet spot category for 85K Cert. Try to aim for this!
852-130k/NightGood chances, but some of dates will be out of boundsRedeem during low-mid season or plan trip around redemption
980-140k/NightSlightly harder, though the difficulty level could be similar to Cat 8 depending on the propertyPlan trip around the redemption

Category 7 is the sweet spot for 85K FNC redemption as the pricing during peak season is just below 100K points, and as long as you have the required Marriott points for top-up, then you’re pretty much guaranteed to redeem as long as award availability exists. So far, I only found 2 Category 7 hotels that’s out of bounds with 102K points max, and they’re Sheratons in Hawaii.

Understandably, there’s not as many Category 7 as Category 6 hotels in the world, so one might have to settle for that if they still wish for a guaranteed redemption without worrying about planning your trip around a hotel redemption.

Most Category 6 hotels are still very nice though, and would most likely cost more than the effective annual fee for the Bonvoy Brilliant, and even more so for the Ritz-Carlton Card at peak seasons.

If you really want to maximize the potential of 85K FNC’s belonging to Category 8 or 9, then you’d have to plan your trip around that redemption and look ahead months in advance for better chances.

Here’s the list for the hotels you can redeem 85K FNC’s on in Africa & Middle East:



  • Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain (Cat 7)



  • Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel (Cat 6)
  • Sheraton Grand Tel Aviv (Cat 6)
  • Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya (Cat 7)
  • The Jaffa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tel Aviv (Cat 8)



  • St. Regis Amman (Cat 6)
  • Ritz-Carlton, Amman (Cat 6)



  • JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge (Cat 9)



  • St. Regis Kuwait (Cat 6)



  • Le Meridien Ile Maurice (Cat 6)
  • Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa, Mauritius (Cat 6)
  • JW Marriott Mauritius Resort (Cat 6)



  • Eden Andalou Aquapark & Spa, Autograph Collection (Cat 6)
  • St. Regis La Bahia Blanca Resort, Tamuda Bay (Cat 8)
  • Ritz-Carlton Rabat, Dar Es Salam (Cat 8)



  • St. Regis Al Mouj Muscat Resort (Cat 6)
  • Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel (Cat 6)


Saudi Arabia

  • St. Regis Riyadh (Cat 6)
  • Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah (Cat 7)



  • Laïla, Seychelles, a Tribute Portfolio Resort (Cat 7)


South Africa

  • Leopard Sands, Kruger Park, Autograph Collection (Cat 8)


United Arab Emirates

  • Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Waterpark (Cat 6)
  • Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites (Cat 6)
  • Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah, Dubai (Cat 6)
  • La Ville Hotel & Suites CITY WALK, Dubai, Autograph Collection (Cat 6)
  • Hotel Boulevard, Autograph Collection (Cat 6)
  • Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection (Cat 6)
  • Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai (Cat 6)
  • JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai (Cat 6)
  • Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi (Cat 6)
  • The Abu Dhabi EDITION (Cat 6)
  • St. Regis Abu Dhabi (Cat 6)
  • JW Marriott Hotel Marina (Cat 7)
  • Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre (Cat 7)
  • Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina (Cat 7)
  • St. Regis Dubai, The Palm (Cat 7)
  • W Dubai – The Palm (Cat 7)
  • Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa (Cat 7)
  • St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (Cat 7)
  • St. Regis Downtown Dubai (Cat 8)
  • The Dubai EDITION (Cat 8)
  • W Dubai – Mina Seyahi (Cat 8)
  • Ritz-Carlton, Dubai (Cat 8)
  • Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert (Cat 8)
  • Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach (Cat 8)
  • Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai (Cat 9)



85K Free Night Certificates are quite valuable and can deliver in having you stay at many of the nicest Marriott properties worldwide. It can be worthwhile to collect as many as you could if you really enjoy Marriott’s luxury hotels, and to mitigate you from spending too many points for redemptions as Marriott points are harder to recoup compared to other hotel loyalty programs.


If you find this list useful and are interested in 85K Free Night Certificates signup bonuses when they come, please consider using my referral links below for the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant and/or Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless (for upgrade path to Ritz-Carlton Card) to help support this site! Thank you very much!

American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

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