Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
This is big Marriott news!
I have been waiting for Marriott to make this move for a long time.
Lots of the best Starwood resorts, like the St Regis Bali and W Maldives, don’t have “regular” hotel rooms. They’ve instead got nothing but gorgeous gigantic suites. Previously, you could NOT book these hotels on the Marriott website, and you had to call to book. But no longer!
You can now book these awards online. And you can reserve them even if you don’t currently have the points balance to swing it. These 2 things, combined with the current (soon to disappear) amazing award chart gives you every opportunity to stay at stunning bucket list hotels. I’ll give you a quick guide!
If you don’t want to miss out on news like this in the future, sign up for our email newsletter.
How to Use Marriott Points to Book 5-Star Resorts
Marriott is seriously making travel dreams come true at the end of 2018. Here are the 5 things that make Marriott amazing at the moment.
1. Book Directly Into a Suite
You can book into all-suite hotels like the St Regis Bora Bora, St Regis Bali, Al Maha in Dubai, etc. Until now, these hotels weren’t available through the Marriott website. But it’s now super easy to take care of everything online, no phone calls or customer service reps necessary!
2. Take Advantage of Amazing Marriott Award Chart Before March 2019
Marriott and Starwood’s best hotels will cost 85,000 points per night beginning March 2019. Until then, you can book them for a measly 60,000 points per night. That’s a ~30% discount!
You can book hotels as far in advance as the calendar will allow.
Check out Marriott’s award chart here. Category 8 hotels are the best deal when you book by the end of the year.
3. Receive 5th Night Free
As if 60,000 points wasn’t an amazing enough discount, you can book nights at these 5-star hotels for even less!
When you book 5 award nights in a row, you’ll receive the 5th night free. In other words, you’ll pay 240,000 points for 5 nights (60,000 points per night X 4 nights). That amounts to just 48,000 points per night! Pretty amazing, especially if you book a resort like the St. Regis Maldives, which sells for ~$1,400 per night.
Several dates are still available at the St. Regis Maldives, by the way. Here’s the September 2019 calendar.
4. Ability to Use “Points Advance”
This is perhaps the most beautiful feature, which was previously only available for Marriott hotels.
You can now book these Starwood hotels with Marriott’s “Points Advance” program. This allows you to reserve a hotel even if you don’t have the points to cover the bill. As long as you have the points 14 days before your stay, you’ll be good. So if you have nowhere near the points you need, you can reserve a hotel for November 2019, and have 11 months to collect the points.
You can collect them in a hurry by opening and earning the welcome bonus on cards like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. Check out this quick guide to see which cards you’re eligible for!
5. Combine Marriott Points
If you’ll have trouble achieving enough points for your stay, here’s some great news for you. Marriott allows members to transfer up to 100,000 points between any 2 accounts each calendar year. And each account can receive transfers from multiple accounts for a maximum 500,000 points per year.
So you and a travel buddy (or two) can open the AMEX Starwood Card, earn its 75,000 point welcome bonus, and then combine your points to help you reach your goal faster!
Call Marriott at 801-468-4000 to combine your points.
Let us know if you reserve a 5-star hotel!