The Marriott Rewards program is very popular, especially to those outside of the core miles and points community I interact with online, day in and day out. I am always blown away by how many awards their loyalty program receives each year at the Freddie Awards and this loyalty/popularity is backed up by how many business and leisure travelers I talk to in everyday life who almost always bring up Marriott Rewards once we start talking miles and points. I know that Marriott has a tremendous footprint with more than 4,000 hotels around the world, compared to the 500 – 600 that are currently under the Hyatt flag, so I have to assume this massive presence around the world has something to do with it. They also have lots of family-friendly properties that may or may not be luxurious, but they offer a clean bed close to the attractions that families want to visit.
I think it is time to devote a post to discussing how to stretch your Marriott Reward points to get as many “free” nights as possible.
Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Save Up To 33% With PointSavers:
You can stretch your Marriott Reward points up to 33% further by taking advantage of PointSavers. PointSavers are hotels that are available for a lower number of points on select dates. If a hotel is available via a PointSavers rate the price in points essentially goes down one category.
A quick look at the current list shows PointSavers hotels such as Castle Hotel, Autograph Collection, in Orlando and the Courtyard Rome Central Park. Given that there are 4,000+ hotels in the Marriott family the list was pretty short, but of course it is still worth checking to see if the two dozen hotels on the list may save you some points.
Some of the hotels on the list had PointSaver rates only on select dates, while others had the lower points price available for months at a time. The easiest way to search and find the PointSaver rates are to select “My dates are flexible” and “Use Rewards points” when searching an eligible hotel. The Castle Hotel Orlando had availability for 25,000 points per night throughout August thanks to PointSavers while the Courtyard Rome Central Park had hit and miss 25,000 point availability toward the end of the year.
Both hotels are normally Category 6 hotels at 30,000 points but were just 25,000 points per night via PointSavers. Ritz Carlton also has PointSavers, too, but I don’t see any hotels currently on the list.
5th Night Free on Points:
Just like with the Starwood Preferred Guest program you can get the 5th award night free if you redeem points for a Marriott hotel for 5 nights or longer. This even stacks with the PointSaver rates, so you could get the Castle Hotel Orlando for on PointSavers for five nights for 100,000 points (20k per night) compared to the normal rate of 30,000 points per night.
The 5th night free is available on point redemptions whether you are on a PointSavers rate or not.
Get Hotel Nights and Airline Miles with Marriott Hotel + Air Packages:
Similar to the SPG Nights + Flights concept, the Marriott Hotel + Air packages offer you seven nights of hotel plus an amount of airline miles ranging from 25,000 – 132,000 miles depending on the airline selected and the number of miles desired. You pay one points price for the entire package and of course the more airline miles you want, the higher the cost of the package.
They have a few different pricing models for this that you can see here, but I’ll share a couple examples using United miles since they are one of the best deals. Let’s say you wanted to stay for a week on Marriott points at the Category 8 Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Hawaii. Category 8 hotels typically cost 40,000 Marriott points per night. You would get the 5th night free bringing the seven day reservation to a total of 240,000 points. However, for just 290,000 points you could get the seven nights of hotel + 55,000 United miles to use however you wish. 55,000 United miles are worth more than 50,000 Marriott points every day of the week and twice on Sunday. The largest package in that category would be for 360,000 Marriott points and would get you the seven nights + 132,000 United miles. That is an additional 120,000 Marriott points for 132,000 United miles. Again, great trade if you have the Marriott points to do it.
If a Category 8 is too rich for your points blood, then if you are looking at a Category 1-5 property for seven days those packages start at 200,000 points for the seven nights + you receive 55,000 United miles. That means you could have a week at Fairfield Inn & Suites Steamboat Springs and 55,000 United miles to help you get there (or anywhere else) for 200,000 Marriott points. The seven nights without receiving airline miles would normally cost 150,000 Marriott points. Your family of four could also hit the free hot continental breakfasts, enjoy two queen beds, and free internet at that property. It may not be overly luxurious, but it is a way to bring a ski trip back into the realm of affordable!
Another popular use of the hotel + air packages would be to credit the miles to Southwest in order to get closer to the Companion Pass that requires 110,000 eligible points in a calendar year. You can get more than that via just one package! The Points Guy has a recent story of how that worked out well for his travel plans.
PointSavers, 5th Night Free, and Hotel + Air packages are three ways to stretch the Marriott points you earn from the limited time Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card, or any other source, that much more valuable. In fact, earning points is generally regarded as the “easy part” learning the nuisances from each program to stretch your points is the part that takes a bit more effort.
If you are a Marriott pro, I’d love to hear how you stretch your points to cover as many ‘free’ nights as possible for your family!