Sunday Reader Question: What is the Best Use for Marriott Points?

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TPG reader Mary Lynn writes:

“What’s the best value for Marriott Reward miles?  If you try to exchange them into airline miles the exchange ratio is so bad I’m wondering if I’m completely misunderstanding things.”

In my opinion, transferring Marriott points to airlines at a ratio of 10,000 points to 2,000 miles is not a great deal. In general, redeeming hotel points for hotel stays is going to get you the most bang for your point, but as with all redemptions- it depends on what you personally value the most.

If you need miles and want to stay at a hotel, check out Marriott’s Hotel and Air packages. If you need 50,000 miles, it would normally cost 250,000 Marriott points. However, with the hotel + air package, you could get 7 nights at a category 1-5 hotel and 50,000 airline miles for only 200,000! Not only do you save 50,000 points, but you get free hotel for a week too. They even have a sliding scale, so if you need more airline miles you can up-gauge, for example and extra 70,000 airline miles only costs an additional 70,000 Marriott points for a grand total of 270,000 points.

Even if you don’t necessarily need miles, it often makes sense to take advantage of these packages if you have 7 night hotel stays. For example, 7 nights at a category 5 hotel normally costs 150,000 points. It’s only an extra 50,000 points to get the 50,000 airline miles and I personally think trading Marriott to airline miles at a 1:1 ratio is a steal of a deal.

Marriott Hotel & Air Chart- some great deals!

Another redemption opportunity that can be a great value is the PointSavers program, which are free hotel nights discounted up to 33%. This list rotates, so check it frequently to see if any participating properties align with your travel plans.

I personally don’t accrue tons of Marriott points because I see better value in other hotel elite status programs, but I know a lot of friends and TPG readers who get tremendous value out of these redemptions. As always, please feel free to share your experiences.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Aside from the 75,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$595
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses 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.