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Marriott has offered a seven-night package redemption option for some time now, letting you redeem a set number of points for a week-long hotel stay plus a certain number of airline miles. But, as TPG Contributor Richard Kerr explains, an unadvertised five-night package also exists. Read on to see why this might be an even better option.
One of the most interesting ways to redeem Marriott Rewards points is the seven-night Hotel + Air package. The amount of airline miles you receive for one of many different frequent-flyer programs, in addition to seven free nights in a Marriott or Ritz-Carlton property, make the redemption very lucrative.
A few weeks ago, FrequentMiler was able to get details on five-night hotel plus air packages, which provide several advantages over the seven-night packages. The news was so exciting I called up Marriott to see if the agents were consistent in the information they provided as well as to ask a few clarifying questions.
Five-Night Package Details
Apparently these five-night packages were once on the Marriott Rewards website but were removed and are only supposed to be for Marriott Vacation club owners. Both agents I spoke with noted no restrictions for being able to redeem for these packages.
I specifically asked each agent, “Do I need to be a timeshare owner or have a certain level of Marriott Rewards status to book a five-night package?” Both agents replied no and were happy to allow me to redeem my points. I called the Australia Marriott Rewards office for the second agent to see if they would provide the same info — also because an agent usually picks up immediately when you call this number (+61 2 8298 5250).
You may redeem points for five nights plus air miles at the following rates to earn Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Southwest or Virgin Atlantic miles:
|Rewards Category||5 Nights + 50k Miles||5 Nights + 70k Miles||5 Nights + 100k Miles||5 Nights + 120k Miles|
If you’re redeeming for United miles, like with the seven-night packages, you’ll earn 10% more miles than the chart lists above. Both agents told me I couldn’t redeem for Ritz-Carlton properties with the five-night packages.
Booking for five nights instead of seven is attractive for a few reasons. For example, when my family travels we never stay anywhere for seven consecutive nights — we usually don’t have that much vacation time to burn on one destination. So five nights can be more attractive for a week away. It’s also easier to find award availability for properties when searching for five consecutive nights instead of seven.
The five-night packages also cost less than their seven-night counterparts and you can earn 120,000 (132,000 United) miles (including the ability to earn a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass) for 235,000 Marriott points. Plus, any of the packages above the 165,000-point redemption (five nights at a Category 1-5 property and 50,000 airline miles) get you miles at a 1:1 ratio. For example, to get 20,000 more miles for a five-night package at a Category 1-5 hotel, you’ll need 185,000 points — 20,000 more than the lower option for 20,000 fewer miles.
This is a great addition — er…rediscovery — for the Marriott Rewards program. I recommend redeeming for the Category 1-5 and 120,000 mile package to maximize your return on points. You can always go up a category at a later date by paying the difference in points.
If you’re looking for points to redeem toward a package or stay, note that the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card offers a standard 50,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $2,000 in the first three months of account opening. However, if you log in to your Marriott account, you can usually see a targeted offer of 70,000 points. Also note that Marriott is a transfer partner of the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program, so you can move over points earned from a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Would you redeem for a five-night or a seven-night package?
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Balance Transfer||Credit Rating|
|N/A||16.24%-23.24% Variable||Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95||See Terms||Excellent Credit|