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You can use Marriott’s new Cash + Points option to stretch your points to stay more award nights!
This 1 of Marriott’s positive changes to its loyalty program. But so far, Cash + Points is limited to certain hotels. And while it’s sometimes a great deal, other times it’s not!
I’ll share the details. And help you decide when to use it!
What’s Going On?
Link: Marriott Cash + Points
There’s no pattern as to which hotels have Cash + Points rates and which don’t. It could be Marriott is still rolling out this new feature. And it hasn’t made its way to the majority of Marriott hotels yet.
That said, if you can find a hotel that participates, you can get a good deal!
It can be worthwhile at Marriott Category 1 through 4 hotels because the points portion covers closer to half of the cost when compared to a normal points award stay (where points cover all of the cost).
Note that Marriott and Ritz-Carlton share the same frequent-guest program (just with different branding and marketing), so you can use your Marriott points to stay at Ritz-Carlton hotels and vice versa.
Even when Cash + Points becomes more available, they will have blackout dates. And you will NOT get the 5th night free on Cash + Points stays like you do when you redeem Marriott points for an award stay.
You will earn credit toward elite status with Marriott with the Cash + Points rate. But, you will NOT earn bonus points on the cash portion of a Cash + Points booking.
Should You Book With Cash + Points?
1. Find the paid price of the room.
2. Compare it to the Cash + Points price.
3. Decide if you’re happy with the cash you’ll save versus the number of points you’ll spend. (Sometimes you’ll smile, other times you’ll scratch your head!)
I’ll show you a great deal and a not-so-great deal using Marriott’s Cash + Points.
But overall, I’m glad Marriott added this option!
Some of the Cash + Points rates are fantastic deals. When you find them, it’s definitely worth it.
For example, I found a room in May at the JW Marriott Hotel Ankara in Turkey for 45 Euros (~$51) and 5,000 Marriott points.
Or, you could pay ~$483 out-of-pocket. In this case, your 5,000 Marriott points are worth ~$433 ($483 – $50 cash co-pay), or nearly 9 cents each. That’s a terrific way to use your points!
Are There Drawbacks?
Cash + Points rates vary A LOT.
I found another Cash + Points rate at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina. You can pay 17,500 Marriott points + $75. Or book the same room for ~$245 with taxes included.
In this case, your 17,500 Marriott points are worth ~$170 ($245 – $75), or roughly 1 cent each.
I found a similar redemption rate, though slightly better, at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center in May 2016.
You could pay ~$316 for a 1-night stay. Or 17,500 Marriott points + a $75 cash co-pay. But your Marriott points are still worth ~1 cent apiece ($316 – $75 / 17,500 Marriott points).
If you have lots of Marriott points, you might decide it’s worth saving some money with a Cash + Points rate. Or if you want to save your Marriott points for a big award stay, you might use Cash + Points to stretch them farther.
In short, always run the numbers to make sure you’re getting a good deal. Because sometimes you’ll get an excellent deal with Marriott’s Cash + Points rates. And other times, you might decide it’s not worth it.
Need More Marriott Points?
You’ll earn 80,000 Marriott points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier personal card OR Chase Marriott Rewards Premier small business card.
If you get the personal version of the card, you can earn another 7,500 bonus Marriott points when you add an authorized user who makes a purchase within the 1st 3 months of opening your account. Its $85 annual fee is NOT waived for the 1st year.
Emily and I receive a commission for the 80,000 point personal card but NOT the business card. Regardless, we’ll always tell you about the best deals!
Anyone with a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or (no longer available) Chase Ink Bold card can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.
In the example for the Cash + Points rate at the JW Marriott Hotel Ankara above, it would be well worth it to transfer 5,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a free award night.
But if you’re only getting ~1 cent per Marriott point, it’s NOT worth it to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent per point for cash back, 1.25 cents for travel portal purchases, and potentially much more when you transfer to partners.
So do the math BEFORE you transfer. Because once you transfer, it can NOT be reversed.
Marriott Cash + Points rates are live! You can now use a combination of Marriott points and cash to book each night of your stay at Marriott hotels (including Ritz-Carlton hotels). This is great news because it gives folks another way to spend their Marriott points.
However, the selection so far is still very limited. I hope we’ll see this feature available at more Marriott hotels in the future. It might be delayed because it’s still very new.
If you can find a Cash + Points rate, be sure to run the numbers before you book. Because there are some fantastic deals to be had – and some that aren’t so good.
If you find a great deal and need more Marriott points, you can earn 80,000 Marriott points after completing the minimum spending requirements on the the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier personal and small business cards. Or transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott.
Emily and I receive a commission from the personal version of the card, but NOT the business version. No matter what, we’ll always tell you about the best deals!
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