Marriott points worth so little

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Old Dec 19, 18, 1:32 pm
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Marriott points worth so little

I was planning to book 8 nights in Athens, Greece using my Marriott points. After doing a search I found Marriott rooms for around $160....or 37,500 points.

Is this typical?

I had thought that 37,500 points would get more than a $160 room or vice versa, $160 wouldn't require 37,500 points.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 1:34 pm
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Obviously youíre going to get different value for different uses of points. An n of 1 is not exactly useful in gauging value. You can look online for where bloggers suggest you could expect for ďparĒ value. I recently got $1,800 for 60,000...
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Old Dec 19, 18, 1:34 pm
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If the question is, "should I redeem 37,500 points for a room that costs $160 US," the answer is "no."

It's not that hard to redeem Marriott points for around a cent per point or higher, but not every redemption is a good redemption. This would be a bad redemption.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by iowa guy View Post
I was planning to book 8 nights in Athens, Greece using my Marriott points. After doing a search I found Marriott rooms for around $160....or 37,500 points.

Is this typical?

I had thought that 37,500 points would get more than a $160 room or vice versa, $160 wouldn't require 37,500 points.
Which hotel in Athens and what time of year? Points are not linked to the value of the room at any given time! The true value of points is using them in higher season when rates are high! For instance in London sometimes you can stay at one of the central hotels for $200 or less a night, other times they can be $ 500 plus a night but the number of points is still 60k a night.

Not all hotels are good value to use points on, it like most programs that don't just convert points to a cash value is all about finding the sweet spot! I for one would hate Marriott to go down the route where points simply equate to a discount off the rate!
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Old Dec 19, 18, 1:45 pm
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Agree that this is bad redemption.
Those 37.500 points are the equivalent of 12,500 old SPG points prior to the merger that devalued the crap of the surviving program.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 1:47 pm
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You are mistaken. For now, hotel points aren't linked to cash price (well, at Marriott. At Hilton they are).
So cash price and points have nothing to do with each other.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
If the question is, "should I redeem 37,500 points for a room that costs $160 US," the answer is "no."

It's not that hard to redeem Marriott points for around a cent per point or higher, but not every redemption is a good redemption. This would be a bad redemption.
Agree that this is a bad redemption. Disagree that it is not that hard to redeem Marriott points for around a cent per point or higher. I'm not saying it can't be done, its just the majority of rates I see are less than 1 cent per point.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
Agree that this is a bad redemption. Disagree that it is not that hard to redeem Marriott points for around a cent per point or higher. I'm not saying it can't be done, its just the majority of rates I see are less than 1 cent per point.
"Not that hard" doesn't mean any particular percentage of rates. It means if you look around, you can find redemptions at that level without too much difficulty. I believe that to be an accurate statement. Particularly with the current 60k per night cap.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 3:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
"Not that hard" doesn't mean any particular percentage of rates. It means if you look around, you can find redemptions at that level without too much difficulty. I believe that to be an accurate statement. Particularly with the current 60k per night cap.
I think this is a very accurate statement, especially if you take advantage of the 5th night free. I recently booked a room at a beach resort during high season for 5 nights. ~$470/night, or with the 5th night free, it worked out to 28,000 points per night. I've also found that rate to be accurate in the more expensive European cities.

I'm sure it's much less accurate if you're booking the Courtyard in Omaha. Personally, I don't know that it's a good value ever to use points on a $160 room, but certainly there can be other circumstances that require someone to.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 3:14 pm
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Certainly not a great redemption in this case but hard to make a sweeping statement based on a single case. Since Marriott uses categories there can be instances where the points value is really high because the prevailing rate for that given time period is high or could be cases like this where the points value is low because the prevailing rate is relatively low.

FWIW, TPG slots Marriott points as being worth ~0.9 cents up from pre-merger days of ~0.7 cents (largely due to the legacy SPG ---> airline transfer program moving over without much change to the new Marriott program) so it's hard to point at the new program and say that the points redemption value has been devalued because it hasn't been significantly, if anything it has gone up slightly because of the points transfer option and the addition of numerous new hotels to redeem points at (and of course some winners and losers among hotel categories for 2019 and beyond with short term arbitrage opportunities).

By comparison, Hilton usually comes in around 0.5 cents/point though their promotions often make it easier to obtain Hilton points but their dynamic categories linking room cost to redemption cost means it is hard to get beyond that 0.5 cents value unless you are booking the aspirational hotels where you hit the maxed out category value but have a cash value that by comparison is significantly higher (e.g., Conrad Bora Bora) or are able to snag a base level maxed out redemption during a special event (e.g., Super Bowl, NYE, etc.) where the cash price is sky high
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Old Dec 19, 18, 3:43 pm
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Itís very easy to find Marriott offering 35k redemptions on $150 rooms, and equally easy to find them offered on $300 rooms. Pay cash when the roomrate on a Cat5 property is $150, redeem when its $300+. That way you avoid poor redemption values.
My own records show that Iíve redeemed my 3million lifetime points at an average of 1.3UScents per point. This year, because I spent out my stash in 2016 and 2017, Iíve only redeemed 3 nights using 100,000 points at 1.2UScents per point.
Incidentally Iím also a Spire with IHG. Points on spend accumulate at roughly the same rate but IHGs promos pay out way more points than Marriotts. There I redeemed 19 nights using 450,000 points at 0.9UScents per point
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Old Dec 19, 18, 3:48 pm
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Originally Posted by iowa guy View Post
I was planning to book 8 nights in Athens, Greece using my Marriott points. After doing a search I found Marriott rooms for around $160....or 37,500 points.

Is this typical?

I had thought that 37,500 points would get more than a $160 room or vice versa, $160 wouldn't require 37,500 points.
Very typical, you should cash out all your points for gift cards.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by spgplat21 View Post
Very typical, you should cash out all your points for gift cards.
That's certainly what they want you to do.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 5:08 pm
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You can certainly find redemptions for over 1 cent if you are looking for it. Just plug in ski resorts around Christmas time.

But if you're not looking to ski at Christmas time, the "ease" of finding them isn't really relevant.

I have a spreadsheet for staying in Barcelona and Madrid next summer. Of the 25 properties I looked at, comparing points vs redemptions for that specific period, I found 3 properties over 1 cent - 1.006, 1.021, and 1.012. They averaged 0.84.

5th night free raised it to about 40% of the properties, but going to 6, 7, etc. nights starts bringing it back down.

I suspect if I searched other then prime holiday time, the values would drop, with off-season rates, as OP probably is searching. That's the time to pay cash.
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Last edited by CPRich; Dec 19, 18 at 5:18 pm
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Old Dec 19, 18, 5:08 pm
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I don't really agree with saving your points for better redemption rates. We travel mostly off season and would rather use our points than have to pay cash. Acquire points and use them, wash and repeat.
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