Best way to use 1 million points

 
Old Feb 11, 17, 7:11 pm
  #16  
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I appreciate all the replies - I still think that the best value for the points is to use them at full service hotels in China for 40,000 points for 5 nights. and then I guess I'll try a couple packages to get some airline points.
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Old Feb 11, 17, 8:29 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by Tedgrrrr View Post
I appreciate all the replies - I still think that the best value for the points is to use them at full service hotels in China for 40,000 points for 5 nights. and then I guess I'll try a couple packages to get some airline points.
The Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing in my opinion is the top deal in Beijing and it is a cat 3 but it will become cat 4 in March (most Marriotts are cat 4 in Beijing), so you better lock it now. A lot of Marriotts in Shanghai are going up too.

Another great deal is the cat 2 Courtyard Mumbai International Airport.
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Old Feb 11, 17, 8:42 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by Tedgrrrr View Post
I appreciate all the replies - I still think that the best value for the points is to use them at full service hotels in China for 40,000 points for 5 nights. and then I guess I'll try a couple packages to get some airline points.
You're wise to consider our advice about travel packages, but ultimately the decision is your own. You've got to decide based on your own needs. Travel packages are a great value in general but some people don't see much value in 7 consecutive nights at one property because that doesn't match how they prefer to travel. The 5th night free on points benefit is a nice one, and I've used it several times myself-- instead of saving for a travel package.
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Old Feb 12, 17, 5:32 am
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This all goes with what fits into your travel plans, and what you value. Without doubt the Travel Package when used on first class flights represents the "best value" if you'd travel first class and hence really save all that money, but the 5-nights-for-4 brings excellent results on hotels you actually stay at, meaning real -as opposed to perceived- value, and more humdrum redemptions can prove real money-savers too.

I've never systematically saved Marriott points for anything, I've just used my stash whenever the value seems good, so yes, for a Travel Package redeeming for a Virgin Atlantic Upper Class transatlantic award and 7 nights at Miami Beach. And I've used the 5 nights for 4 at New York, Monaco, Moscow and more prosaically, Swansea.

Good value can however be found redeeming some hotels just for a night or two. Pricey Cat8 or 9s such as the Cat8 London JW at $600/nt, the Cat9 NYC Marquis when rates were running $550/nt and the Cat9 Champs Elysees Marriott at $750/nt are obvious but also low category hotels at more humdrum rates such as the Cat1 Houston CY at $180 and the Cat2 RI's in Harlingen and Hamilton, each at $150.

Whenever I'm booking a leisure stay I always look at the possibility of awards, for instance on an upcoming vacation to China visiting Shanghai and Beijing I chose to redeem 5 nights at the Cat3 Beijing Renaissance Wangfujing for 60k instead of paying $950 but not for my 5 night stay at the Cat4 Shanghai Marriott. However the Shanghai Marriott reduces to a Cat3 in March and I will then cancel my $850 5-night paid stay there replacing it with a 60k redemption.

In terms of value, the Travel Package made the best value at 3c/pt, the miles redeemed at about 6c each but the 7-night hotel cert only managed about a cent. As a headline the 6 cents per point from Virgin Atlantic sounds good but these kinds of values are only possible on first class seats and I'd never ever, not ever, pay that cost. I did the award and saw the value this once for my honeymoon, but I'm too tight to repeat that. I could have paid the same for Economy seats on the same flight as I paid for the taxes and fees on the redemption. I valued it for my honeymoon, that once only. On my ordinary Premium Economy redemptions the miles tend to redeem at about 2 cents each.

The 5-nights in Moscow and Monaco managed 2c with the 5 nights in NYC and Swansea making 1.5c as will the Beijing Ren and the Shanghai Marriott. But so did the shorter stays at the London JW and the Paris Champs Elysees Marriott. And it's worth remembering that the low category single nights at the Cat2s in Harlingen and Hamilton also made this value and that actually everything (except the first class flights) are beaten out by a single night at that lowly Cat1 CY at 2.2c per point!

In this way I've made my way through 2.5 million Marriott points attaining what I believe is real value all the way through...

Last edited by BrightlyBob; Feb 12, 17 at 5:41 am
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Old Feb 12, 17, 12:00 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
You're wise to consider our advice about travel packages, but ultimately the decision is your own. You've got to decide based on your own needs. Travel packages are a great value in general but some people don't see much value in 7 consecutive nights at one property because that doesn't match how they prefer to travel. The 5th night free on points benefit is a nice one, and I've used it several times myself-- instead of saving for a travel package.
fair enough - i'm going to give it a try - i fly DL, not UA - but then the issue is that i have 300k DL miles saved up already - though hopefully I will kill a good chunk with an F seat to Singapore.

The only reason I'm starting to use my Marriott Points is because I've made it to LT Gold and so now I don't need to worry about qualifying each year, though I'm currently PP
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Old Feb 12, 17, 2:39 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
You're wise to consider our advice about travel packages, but ultimately the decision is your own. You've got to decide based on your own needs. Travel packages are a great value in general but some people don't see much value in 7 consecutive nights at one property because that doesn't match how they prefer to travel. The 5th night free on points benefit is a nice one, and I've used it several times myself-- instead of saving for a travel package.
Even the travel packages are better even if you don't use all 7 of the nights. I had a 45 minute conversation with Marriott Rewards about this last year...
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Old Feb 12, 17, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by t1c View Post
Even the travel packages are better even if you don't use all 7 of the nights. I had a 45 minute conversation with Marriott Rewards about this last year...
So what's the deal if you need to change your hotel booking, how easy is that with the package, or is it a nightmare?
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Old Feb 12, 17, 2:55 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
So what's the deal if you need to change your hotel booking, how easy is that with the package, or is it a nightmare?
No just book the package according to the hotel level and make sure that you will have enough points before you get to the destination.
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Old Feb 12, 17, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by t1c View Post
No just book the package according to the hotel level and make sure that you will have enough points before you get to the destination.
So you can cancel and rebook online easily, as with a normal reservation? Have you done this?
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Old Feb 12, 17, 3:05 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Tedgrrrr View Post
I appreciate all the replies - I still think that the best value for the points is to use them at full service hotels in China for 40,000 points for 5 nights. and then I guess I'll try a couple packages to get some airline points.
See what that same 7 day package looks like with including 132k in miles..
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Old Feb 12, 17, 3:06 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
So you can cancel and rebook online easily, as with a normal reservation? Have you done this?
Yes I have done this. But I always call into Marriott Rewards..
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Old Feb 12, 17, 3:37 pm
  #27  
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but for vacation packages wouldn't the bang for your buck depend on what category hotel? I mean, obviously relating to the Category 1 to 5 package; if you are staying at a Cat 2 or 3, you don't get same value as Cat 5.
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Old Feb 12, 17, 3:45 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Tedgrrrr View Post
but for vacation packages wouldn't the bang for your buck depend on what category hotel? I mean, obviously relating to the Category 1 to 5 package; if you are staying at a Cat 2 or 3, you don't get same value as Cat 5.
True but your missing out on the airline miles. Unless your driving or taking a train to your hotel room your probably flying. I would work the miles into the equation even if you don't use them for years.
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Old Feb 12, 17, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by t1c View Post
True but your missing out on the airline miles. Unless your driving or taking a train to your hotel room your probably flying. I would work the miles into the equation even if you don't use them for years.
Well, he wants to redeem for DL miles, which are pretty useless anyway, so he may as well stick to hotels only. I don't know if you are familiar with Delta, they charge 350k miles for an economy award, check them out, I have heard good things about them.
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Old Feb 12, 17, 4:10 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
Well, he wants to redeem for DL miles, which are pretty useless anyway, so he may as well stick to hotels only. I don't know if you are familiar with Delta, they charge 350k miles for an economy award, check them out, I have heard good things about them.
I'm very familiar with Delta. The 120k in miles I could use on Skyteam with KLM/Air France for 37K rt in economy specials right now to fly to Europe for 7 days. And I can bring 2 other people with me if I wanted to.
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