11 places to get more than $1,000 in value from 100,000 Marriott points
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Marriott recently announced changes to its 2020 award chart, with the majority of the properties that are changing category going up instead of down. There’s no doubt that this devaluation is a tough one to swallow, but there are certainly still ways you can get tremendous value with your points.
Not only can you lock in properties now before the award chart changes take effect on March 4 at the current award rates, but even after the changes take effect, there are many great ways to redeem Marriott points.
In honor of the current limited-time increased Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card offer of 100,000 Marriott points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, here are 11 different ways you can redeem 100k Marriott points for potentially more than $1,000 in value.
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Generally speaking, Category 6 Marriott properties tend to be “sweet-spot” hotels (depending on the location, of course), as they often are higher-end properties that can become expensive during various times of the year, but can be had for 50,000 Marriott points per night on standard nights.
But, don’t discount lower category properties where the value to be had can be compelling, especially for a longer stay. We’d like to show you how to get upwards of $1,000 in value out of those 100k Marriott points. .
Theme park stays
If you’ve been dying to visit Disneyland to check out its new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but don’t want to spend a fortune on lodging, the Four Points by Sheraton Anaheim is a fantastic pick. As a Category 4 hotel, you can snag off-peak dates for just 20k points per night. If you’ve got 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, that will cover six nights — pay for nights one through four with points and get the fifth night free as a Marriott Bonvoy member. Then pay with points for the sixth night. Nearly a week is more than enough time to explore the new Star Wars attractions and well beyond.
And, you can’t beat the location, which is just a 10-minute walk — or five-minute shuttle ride — to Disneyland. In addition to nice inclusions like free Wi-Fi, the Four Points also has a pool and hot tub, a grab-and-go market and fitness center.
The home of the most magical place on earth, Orlando, Florida, is one of the world’s top travel destinations. The area has all sorts of hotels, from budget brands to five-star luxury properties. If you’re staying on or adjacent to the Walt Disney World property, though, your options are fairly limited to Disney’s own properties.
However, two properties in the Marriott portfolio — the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin — are located just steps from the major theme parks and offer travelers who have Marriott points a very well-located option that won’t cost a ton out of pocket. Best of all, both of these properties (the Swan falls under the Westin brand and the Dolphin under Sheraton) are Category 6 properties that require 50,000 points per night under standard availability.
On a quick search of the spring break months of March and April, we were able to find plenty of nights with standard — and even off-peak — availability. And, given that many nights are showing cash rates of about $350+ per night, you’ll get around $1,000 in value for those 100,000 points (or less!) when you factor in taxes and fees on top of the nightly room rate. (Just remember that you’ll still pay a resort fee on Marriott award stays.)
If you’re not dead-set on staying on Disney property, check out the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, another Category 6 property with plenty of off-peak and standard award availability in peak visiting periods. With cash rates often exceeding $500 per night in April (a very popular month for Orlando), you’ll get a great return for your points — especially when you can redeem for standard award nights at 50,000 points per night.
Hitting the world’s best beaches
Though not located right on the beach, the recently renovated Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove is a great option for anyone visiting the Miami area who wants a high-end, laid-back property away from the hustle and bustle of South Beach. A Marriott Category 6 hotel, it’s a great value on points — rooms consistently hover between $400 and $500 per night, so when you can find a room for off-peak or standard award pricing, you’re really maximizing your Marriott points.
The Category 6 Ritz-Carlton, Cancún is a beachfront resort in one of Mexico’s most popular vacation spots. It’s very accessible especially from the eastern half of the U.S., with many cities featuring nonstop flights multiple times per week, if not daily. Since this is a Category 6 hotel, you’ll be able to book nights for 50,000 points during standard availability. And while cash rates at this property aren’t typically sky-high, rates do approach $500 per night during the peak winter months and around holidays.
If you’re a fan of planning far in advance, you could score the coveted Christmastime redemption, where cash rates exceed $1,000 per night. Even if you have to pay 60,000 points per night for peak nights, you’ll get great value out of them, given how pricey it is to travel during that time of year.
We love the JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort and Spa for its stunning location, high-quality rooms, gorgeous public spaces and superb staff. Oh, and the fact that it’s a great deal on points. Similar to the Ritz in Cancún, cash rates at this property aren’t especially high for most of the year, but if you have your eye on a more peak time of the year, you can get an amazing value for your points — especially if you can find standard availability where you’ll pay 50,000 points per night.
How does a private island in Thailand on points sound to you?
Yeah, it sounds pretty great to us, too. The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Phuket is located on its own island off the coast of the popular city of Phuket — though it feels like a million miles away. You can only reach the island by speedboat — and once you do, you won’t want to leave. Each of the resort’s villas are gorgeous and very private, and the resort’s pools and private beach are drop-dead gorgeous.
The best part? It’s a Category 6 property, meaning you can book rooms for 50,000 points per night during standard availability.
An archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea, Langkawi, Malaysia, is emerging as a hotspot for travelers to Southeast Asia looking for a beach getaway. And, it’s where you’ll find some spectacular deals with your Marriott points. The St. Regis Langkawi is a jaw-dropping luxury resort that consistently shows cash rates around $500 per night. Fortunately, there appears to be plenty of nights available at the standard rate for a Category 6 property: 50,000 points per night.
Tip: If you can’t find availability at The St. Regis, there’s also a Ritz-Carlton in Langkawi, and it too is a Category 6 property.
Europe’s top properties
Explore Austria’s capital city from the Vienna Marriott Hotel, which will become a Category 6 property after the award chart changes go into effect next month. Vienna isn’t known to be particularly cheap, so when rates eclipse $500 per night during the peak summer travel season, you’ll be sure to get a great value for your points, especially if you can find off-peak or standard nights.
Fancy a trip to Spain’s Canary Islands off the coast of Northwest Africa? Park yourself at The Ritz-Carlton, Abama on the island of Tenerife to soak up some sun and the relaxed Spanish lifestyle. Summer is high season in Europe, but on a quick search of availability, we’re seeing plenty of days with standard award availability — even on days where the cash rate is more than $3,000 per night.
On dates where prices are closer to earth (around $350 per night), you can get a great return for your points at “one of Spain’s best-kept secrets,” according to TPG senior writer Lori Zaino.
Explore the Douro Valley in Portugal from the city of Porto, famous for its port wineries and many beautiful bridges spanning the Douro River. The Sheraton Porto Hotel and Spa is a Category 4 property located in the city’s business district, which likely wouldn’t be your first choice for a leisure trip to the area, but ride-sharing services like Uber are easy to use and very cheap in Portugal.
Since the Sheraton is a Category 4 hotel, you could potentially stay six nights on points, assuming you’re able to find off-peak award availability (20,000 points per night) and take advantage of Bonvoy’s fifth award night free perk.
There’s no doubt that the upcoming Marriott award chart changes sting. Many properties that have become go-tos for travelers are increasing in category, meaning your points generally aren’t going to go as far in some cases. However, we roll with the punches, and if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to do the appropriate research, there are still plenty of gems to be discovered where you can squeeze a lot of value out of each one of your Bonvoy points even if you are just working with the 100,000 bonus points available from the limited-time Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card offer.
Featured photo of St. Regis Bahia Beach by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy.