How I Would Use 80,000 Marriott Points

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The limited time increase of the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card has ended and while I have done a few different Marriott related posts recently that were inspired by the offer (like how to squeeze 12 award nights out of it!), I haven’t actually sat down and thought about exactly where I would personally want to use the sign-up bonus points if we were to pull the trigger on the card right now.  To be transparent, I am not planning on getting the card myself right now, largely because of this, but it is still a very tempting offer that made for fun vacation daydreaming…

Winter Weekend at Vail Mountain Marriott Resort

Ski hotels with have easy access to the slopes are generally very expensive during the winter ski season.  It is a simple supply and demand situation that results in $500+/night rooms at the top end resorts that are on the base of the popular ski mountains like Vail.  For points lovers, this means that ski season is often the perfect time to use hotel points to stay at properties that otherwise would be outside most of our budgets.

Entrance

The Vail Mountain Marriott Resort is 150 yards from the Eagle Bahn Gondola at Vail, has a ski valet (super helpful for skiing families), and looks like a nice upscale lodge themed property.  This property is a Category 9 Marriott property and goes for 45,000 points per night, so a two night winter weekend would run us 90,000 points for a room with either a king bed or two doubles rated for a family of four.  The cash price for a two-night weekend stay in January can easily clear $1,000, so this is a great use of points if you like to ski.

 

Relax at Powerscourt Hotel, Autograph Collection, in Ireland

I absolutely loved the Powerscourt Gardens when we went to Ireland, and I think staying in the Powerscourt Hotel would be so beautiful and relaxing.  This is an absolutely breathtaking part of Ireland just 30 minutes outside of Dublin, and I highly recommend a visit to the area even if you don’t stay at the hotel.

Powerscourt Hotel

However, if you want the full experience you can stay here for 35,000 Marriott points per night as a Category 7 property.  Rates seem to often be in the 200 – 250 EUR/night range if paying with cash.

 

Family Vacation at Atlantis in the Bahamas

Many families want to take their kids to the Bahamas, but the price tag can cause some sticker shock – especially during peak seasons.  When we went to Atlantis, we stayed at the neighboring Comfort Suites, but if you want to stay on Atlantis property then using Marriott points can be a good alternative to paying hundreds of dollars per night.  There are four different property types in Atlantis that range from 35,000 – 45,000 points per night as Category 7 (Beach and Coral Towers), Category 8 (Royal Towers), to Category 9 (The Cove) properties.

The Cove Atlantis Exterior

When you stay at Atlantis you have access to the water park, pools, etc. included at no additional cost, so you can think of using points here as not just covering your lodging, but also a bulk of your entertainment costs as well.

 

Stay in London with Room for Four + Lounge Access:

If you have ever tried to use points for a family of four in London you know that is a tall order.  Rooms are small, occupancy rules are strict, and getting a standard room rated for three in a prime area is a stretch – a room for four is virtually non-existent at most places outside of paying for a pricey suite or similar.

However, at the London Marriott Hotel Marble Arch there are deluxe two double bed rooms available for the Category 9 points rate + a 60 – 95 GBP per night surcharge depending on whether you want executive club access with the room or not.

Central London Deluxe Double/Double Guest Room

Obviously that means this property doesn’t have standard rooms for four available on points either, but I consider that surcharge price to be reasonable in order to keep a family of four all in one room and have perks in the executive lounge like continental breakfast, midday snacks, evening canapes, and complimentary beer/wine in the evening all included for four people.

This may not be the swankiest Marriott in London, but given rooms for four and the location near Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, etc. it may be the best options for families of four like mine.

Stay on a Private Island in the British Virgin Islands:

If you want to spend your Marriott points to be on a private island with amazing blue water then you have to consider Scrub Island Resort Spa and Marina, an Autograph Collection Marriott.  This hotel has 52 total rooms and is on an island with no private cars with access requiring a ferry transfer!  All the rooms have their own patio or balcony with marina and ocean views.

Upper Infinity Pool

It is a Category 9 property that goes for 45,000 points for a room with a king bed.  Cash prices often range from $350 – $700 a night depending on the season, so it can be a tremendous value on points.  If you need one of their suites with multiple bedrooms for a family stay expect a cash upgrade price and/or a higher points price per night.

Those certainly aren’t the only five Marriott properties I would want to visit using points from the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card , but it is a strong wish list to start with!  Remember if you have a spouse or domestic partner and want to both get in on this offer and combine points for a specific award, you can do that in the Marriott program for no additional fee at the time of redemption.

Which Marriott properties are on your “wish list”?

 

 

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Disclaimer: The comments below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Powerscourt is a great hotel but if you’re there with family bear in mind that everything is expensive (food, drinks, afternoon tea) and can add up quickly. You can take a quick drive into Eniskerry, the adjacent town, but it’s a solid 5+ minutes, and you have to drive. So you could be stuck spending hundreds of dollars on a “free” stay if you don’t have a car.

  2. Or, instead of getting just 2-3 nights out of the signup, pick award stays at cheap 7500/10k properties – each of which typically run for $100-$130 a piece, giving you almost the same value for 90k points. In this case you’ve gotten many many nights out including free breakfasts and free car parking and no bullshit transfer/resort fees, so overall higher value with less cash outlays and more nights stay.

    E.g. There’s one at Andrews Base (15 mins outside Washington DC) for only like 7500 points a night, which is perfect for a DC/Baltimore/Virginia vacation.

    • N, totally on-board with that strategy, too, but already did a post on that end of the spectrum. 😉 Personally, when I daydream about travel I like to shoot for the higher end of the spectrum…though we do sometimes absolutely book the 10k properties from time to time too. All good strategies based on travel preferences.

  3. I have 120k worth of Marriott points that I was thinking to redeem for 3 nights in Maui, for 35k/night. Good idea to redeem this way? Is it worth it?

    • save more points and get enough for 4 nights, because Marriott gives 5th night free on point awards, you could get better value.

  4. Applied, and hoping to use mine for a flights + nights package, convert to Lufthansa and hopefully fly first!

  5. Thanks for the great suggestions. My wife and I just took a look at the Scrub island property… Never heard of that resort until today… And I think it just made to the top 5 on our bucket list of places to visit!

  6. if you get the personal and business card and wait until the ritz carlton card offer rolls around again, you wind up with a bunch of points and can book a travel package which is a week long stay (which includes the 5th night free discount) and airline miles…as seen here: http://www.marriott.com/rewards/usepoints/morepack.mi
    if you get at least 250k (spouses accounts can help with points for award) you get cat 1-5 hotel and 110K airline miles. which is awesome if you choose southwest because the points given by Marriott qualify you for the companion pass.

    • Ryan, the terms state that: “not available to either current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months.”

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