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Any solvent points strategy not only involves a blueprint for accrual but also a judicious spending plan. When it comes to the Marriott Rewards program, the basic pillar of expenditure is booking in five-night blocks — for the entire portfolio of properties, when you book four nights using points, you get a fifth night free. Should you choose to book a seven-night stay, for example, it’s wise book the first five nights using points and the final two using cash.

But that’s not the only strategy you should use to maximize your Marriott points. The program offers what it advertises as PointSavers properties, a group of hotels that offer up to a 33% discount during certain dates indicated on the site. The specific offers vary from hotel to hotel, but the program offers an array of properties from the brand’s portfolios, including some Ritz Carlton properties.

The discounts offer immediate vacation options but also extend into the winter months. Also note that the offers rotate quickly, so you usually need to jump on deals. As the end of summer nears, we scoured the PointSavers offers to identify the most attractive options to book now for an end-of-the-year vacation.

Top PointSavers Options for Winter 2017

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Escape winter weather with a luxurious trip to Aruba. Image courtesy of Ritz-Carlton.

The Ritz Carlton, Aruba

PointSavers dates: Now through December 14, 2017

Total cost for a five-night stay: 200,000 points

Total savings for five nights: 40,000 points

Hailed as one of the most luxurious resorts in the Caribbean, this Tier 4 Ritz property sits on the exclusive Palm Beach area of the island. It features a 15,000-square-foot casino with 17 table games. In addition to enjoying the property’s four dining options, you can arrange a private dinner on the beach with personal butler service for an extra fee. The highlight: white-sand beaches and clear-blue ocean waters that are just steps from your room.

JW Marriott New Orleans

PointSavers dates: Various dates from now through February, 2018, including December 17-21

Total cost for a five-night stay: 140,000 points

Total savings for five nights: 20,000 points

Marriott knows its program well, too. So, while it’s offering scattered Point Saver dates through the end of the year, the aforementioned time period is the only opportunity during which you can take advantage of a fifth free night when spending points. That said, if you’re able to get away that week in December, the JW Marriott offers one of New Orleans’s most luxurious stays. It’s ideally located on Canal Street, in the French Quarter, an easy walk to Bourbon Street, French Market, Jackson Square and the world-famous Café Du Monde.

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The Courtyard in Midtown East features a 12th-floor lobby with free Wi-Fi. Image courtesy of Marriott.

Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown East

PointSavers dates: November 16-21

Total cost for a five-night stay: 140,000 points

Total savings for five nights: 20,000 points

This property also limits the ability to capitalize on the fifth free night, but still offers a great deal if you’re able to get away in mid-November. Don’t be fooled: Though Courtyards are known as cost-effective options and are marketed toward the business traveler, this property offers the ideal location for a leisurely trip to the Big Apple. Walking to Central Park and the Empire State building is easy, and public transportation is very accessible if you want to venture to other parts of the city.

Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection in Tsifliki Clounda – Crete, Greece

PointSavers dates: October 1-31, 2017

Total cost for a five-night stay: 160,000 points

Total savings for five nights: 20,000 points

Probably the best single room offering among PointSavers is a one-bedroom suite at this Autograph Collection property — accommodating up to three adults and one child — which includes a king bed, two sofa beds, a whirlpool and balcony with a seaside view of the island of Spinalonga. The hotel offers nightly wine tastings and a multitude of outdoor activities, including tennis, picnics and boat trips.

Earning Marriott Points

To book these PointSavers properties, you’ll need a substantial number of Marriott points in your account. Luckily, you have some solid options for earning them or transferring them in. For starters, there’s the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card, which is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 75,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. This card has an $85 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, and it earns you 5x points at Marriott and SPG hotels, 2x points on airfare and at car rental agencies and restaurants and 1 point per dollar on everything else. You can also transfer Starpoints to Marriott Rewards at a rate of 1:3.

Bottom Line

Take a hard look at Marriott’s PointSavers list if you’re banking points with this program and are planning an award trip. Not every property or hotel is worthwhile, but there are some real gems in desirable destinations. Quite a few of these could make for a great winter escape toward the end of the year.

Featured image courtesy of Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection.

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Now that Marriott and Starwood have joined forces, you can transfer your points between the two programs depending on what makes the most sense for you. Each year after your anniversary date, this card will earn you 1 complimentary night stay at a category 1-5 location and you will earn 15 Elite Credits that will guarantee you at least Silver Elite Status.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $85.
  • Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 hotel every year after your account anniversary date!
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Rewards points and get Free Night Stays faster
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Rewards & SPG hotels
  • 2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants. Plus 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
  • The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards Elite Status. Receive 15 Elite Credits guaranteeing Silver Elite Status or better.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.24% - 24.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for First Year, then $85
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

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