How to book the best Marriott hotels in the world for less than 50k points a night
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If you’ve been reading MMS for a while, you might remember that insane period in 2018 when Marriott was offering their absolute best hotels (Category 8) for just 60,000 points per night — hotels that charge well over $1,000 per night. It was one of the biggest no-brainers in miles and points in quite a while.
Soon after, Marriott raised Category 8 hotel prices to 85,000 points per night. Then, they introduced “peak” and “off-peak” prices, meaning you could pay as little as 70,000 points per night, or as much as 100,000 points per night for these hotels. Now, Marriott has announced they would temporarily discount off-peak pricing by an additional 10%. That means you can now book Category 8 hotels for 63,000 points per night (or even less!). If you’ve recently opened a Marriott credit card, or if you’ve got a stash of points gathering dust, this is a great time to make a speculative booking or two.
I’ll give you a quick rundown of some enticing hotels you might want to think about booking — you don’t even need the points to make your reservation, thanks to Marriott Points Advance! I’ll explain.
Five-star hotels for (almost) cheaper than ever
Yes, you can book the best Marriott hotels for just 63,000 points. But keep in mind, you must book your stay by Feb. 21, 2021, to receive these rates. Marriott also says that the discount is only valid for stays occurring by Sept. 30, 2021, but I’ve seen discounts through November.
A five-star hotel for 63,000 Marriott points is great –but here are some other things to remember that’ll make your stay even cheaper:
- When you book five consecutive nights with Marriott, you’ll receive your fifth award night free
- Marriott also publishes “PointSavers” nights, which further discounts your stay. I found a few off-peak Category 8 hotels with PointSavers rates for 62,000 points per night. Not huge savings, but still, I’ll take it!
In other words, if you find off-peak PointSavers rates at a hotel, you could pay as little as 248,000 points for a five-night stay. That amounts to 49,600 points per night. Don’t count on those PointSavers rates, though — they’re few and far between.
Here’s a chart of what you can expect to pay for each hotel category during this promotion:
|Hotel category||Current off-peak price||Normal off-peak price||Average price when booking 5 nights at reduced rates|
|Category 1||4,500 points||5,000 points||3,600 points|
|Category 2||9,000 points||10,000 points||7,200 points|
|Category 3||13,500 point||15,000 points||10,800 points|
|Category 4||18,000 points||20,000 points||14,400 points|
|Category 5||27,000 points||30,000 points||21,600 points|
|Category 6||36,000 points||40,000 points||28,800 points|
|Category 7||45,000 points||50,000 points||36,000 points|
|Category 8||63,000 points||70,000 points||50,400 points|
And thanks to Marriott Points Advance, you can reserve your room without even possessing all the points you need. The giant caveat here is that Points Advance bookings don’t lock-in the price of the stay, but instead just secure award availability for you.
For example, if you see a hotel you like, you can book the 63,000-point rate before anyone else jumps on it. But if you don’t earn the points by Feb. 21, 2021, you’ll see your reservation’s rate increase.
Here are a few fun Category 8 hotels that are available at off-peak prices.
Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe probably doesn’t find itself in the immediate travel plans of anyone — the coronavirus currently seems more focused there than most other areas in the U.S.
Fortunately, there are scads of award nights for 63,000 points spanning through June, many days costing $760+. And if conditions improve, there are certainly plenty of award nights in late winter for a last-minute ski vacation. In March, you’ll pay 252,000 points for a five-night stay, or $3,823. That amounts to 50,400 points per night, giving you a value of 1.5 cents each. Double what we value Marriott points at.
Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Island
With a negative PCR test, U.S. travelers are welcome to the Maldives. The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Island is a spanking new resort that will open a few months from now. Admittedly, there aren’t too many off-peak dates in 2021. There are a handful in July, when rates cost $1,823 a night. By using 63,000 points, you’ll get a value of ~2.9 cents per point.
The cheapest five-night stretch I see costs 295,000 points. That comes to 59,000 points per night, giving you a value of 3 cents per point.
Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki
At the moment, Hawaii requires a negative PCR test to reach — if you want to avoid a mandatory extended quarantine. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach is Marriott’s most luxurious property in Oahu. There are practically unlimited off-peak nights available through April. You’ll pay 63,000 points per night, or $675.
Or, by booking five consecutive nights, you’ll pay 252,000 points price for a $3,379 stay. That’s 50,400 points per night, giving you a value of 1.34 cents per point.
Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
Dubai is one of the few places that welcome travelers with no quarantine restrictions, as long as a negative PCR test is provided (though note that if you enter the UAE via Abu Dhabi, you will have to quarantine). Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, is a five-star resort in the middle of the desert.
The cheapest five-night stay I can find is in August for 274,000 points, or $6,587. That means you’re spending 54,800 points per night, receiving a value of 2.4 cents per point.
St Regis New York
One of my biggest bucket-list hotels is The St. Regis New York — the original historic St. Regis hotel. The flagship hotel that other St. Regis hotels try to emulate. It’s got sprinkles of 63,000-point free nights in 2021, but there are also five-night batches in the summer. The hotel costs $800+ in cash.
By booking five consecutive nights, you’d pay 252,000 points for a $4,000+ stay. That’s 50,400 points per night, or a value of 1.58 cents per point.
Gritti Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel
Italy is sealed tight for U.S. travelers right now, due to the pandemic. If you’re willing to make a speculative booking months from now, though, you can book an absolute steal of a vacation. At the Gritti Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel in Venice, there’s no shortage of 63,000-point nights through April (and pockets of off-peak rates later into the year). Prices are $1,768 per night.
If you book five consecutive nights, you’ll spend 252,000 points for $8,840. That’s 50,400 points per night, giving you a value of 3.5 cents each.
How to earn Marriott points
The quickest way to earn Marriott points is through welcome offers from Marriott credit cards. Current bonuses on most of the cards will get you at least one night at a Category 8 hotel at these reduced rates, plus you’ll have some leftover to put towards your next trip. Here are the current Marriott card welcome offers:
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card – Earn 5 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 in the first three months from account opening.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card – Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months.
- Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card – Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card – For a Limited Time Only! Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
You can also transfer Chase and Amex points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.
You can currently book Marriott’s best hotels for almost the best price we’ve ever seen. By combining their current 10% discount on off-peak awards with their generous fifth-night free policy (and potentially even PointSavers discounts), you can book rooms for as little as 49,600 points per night. That’s a 35,000-point discount over the standard rates! You can read our post on how to earn Marriott points so you’ll be ready when another good deal presents itself.
Let us know if you jump on any of these hotels — and subscribe to our newsletter for more fun deals like this delivered to your inbox once per day.
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