There currently is a Marriott offer I received to buy points with 40% bonus points through July 2, 2023. This brings the price of points down from $12.50 to $8.93 per 1,000 points. It is possible to buy 140,000 points for $1,250. This is a targeted offer I received by email, so check your email.
Yesterday I wrote an article showing how IHG generally has competitive points rates compared to cash rates at most hotels. Members may find significant savings redeeming IHG points for hotel rooms this summer compared to cash rates.
For a Marriott comparison, this article looks at hotels in these same cities or region to see if buying Marriott points at $8.93 per 1,000 points offers similar value for booking Marriott hotels with points. My assumption is they will not based on years of rate analyses, but I have not examined the evidence for this summer.
Since travel is focused on going to a place, this comparative analysis for Marriott points rates to published rates uses the same cities I checked for IHG hotels: Anaheim, California; Bend, Oregon; Gatlionburg, Tennessee; Savannah, Georgia. I had to choose a different lakefront city with Petoskey, Michigan since there is not a Marriott property near Mackinaw City.
- $8.93 per 1,000 points is value assigned to Marriott points since that is price to buy points with 40% bonus promotion. You may have a different valuation for Marriott points if you happen to have an account already loaded with points.
- Rates shown include taxes and fees. I used AAA/AARP rates when they were lower than member flexible rates at each hotel. In 4 of 5 hotels surveyed for this piece AAA rates were lower.
- Dates are same 2-night dates I used for 5 hotels in IHG article.
- Hotel rate and points searches were based on 4 guests to accomodate 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.
- Since Marriott has far more brands than IHG I tried to match a Marriott brand in a comparable market segment to the IHG brand. Unlike the IHG article where I chose hotels at random, for this article I tried to find the best value hotel for each location.
Springhill Suites Anaheim Maingate Tue Aug 8 – 10
Better Deal: AAA Cash rate = $280 per night = $561 total for 2-night stay after taxes and fees.
Points Rate = 81,000 points = $723.33 to buy points for 2-night stay.
Paying AAA cash rate saves $162 on this stay at Springhill Suites Anaheim Maingate.
Two other factors favor paying cash rate:
- Earn Marriott points on paid rate.
- Marriott usually sells gift cards at 20% discount during Daily Getaways annual sales (begins June 12).
There are five different Marriott brand hotels in Bend. I chose Element Bend for 4 people because that looked like best value hotel deal using Marriott points.
Element Bend August 6-8
Better Deal: AAA Cash rate = $250 per night = $500 total for 2-night stay after taxes and fees.
Points Rate = 64,000 points = $571 to buy points for 2-night stay.
Paying AAA cash rate saves $71 on this stay at Element Bend and earns Marriott Bonvoy points.
Fairfield Inn & Suites Gatlinburg Downtown June 27-29
Better Deal: AAA Cash rate = $265 per night = $530 total for 2-night stay after taxes and fees.
Points Rate = 81,000 points = $723 to buy points for 2-night stay.
Paying AAA cash rate saves $193 on this stay at Fairfield Inn and earns Marriott Bonvoy points.
Obviously, Courtyard Gatlinburg Downtown would be a better points value, but since Marriott cash rates are preferable to points rates, the Courtyard still favors paying cash to get room type for 4 persons and earn points.
Courtyard Gatlinburg Downtown June 27-29
2 Queen/Balcony = $683 AAA rate, this room type not available with points.
King/Sofa Bed, Max occupancy 3 = 77,000 points = $688 to buy points.
Courtyard Petoskey at Victories Square, Petoskey, Michigan
Better Deal: Member Flexible Cash rate = $203 per night = $506 total for 2-night stay after taxes and fees.
Points Rate = 70,000 points = $625 to buy points for 2-night stay in suite.
Paying cash rate saves $122 on this stay at Courtyard Petoskey at Victories Square, and earns Marriott Bonvoy points.
This is the one hotel where AAA rates were higher than member best flexible due to AAA booked into higher room category that is not available with points.
For Savannah, where there are 11 Marriott hotels in the historic area of the city, I picked a hotel that I think is the best value for hotels comparable to IHG’s Kimpton Brice. The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront, Autograph Collection is the Marriott brand hotel I would personally recommend based on my last visit to the city. The 122,000 points rate for Bohemian made Alida Savannah look like a better choice at 91,000 points. I am not familiar with this hotel.
The Alida Savannah, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
Better Deal: Member Flexible Cash rate = $298 per night = $596 total for 2-night stay after taxes and fees.
Points Rate = 91,000 points = $813 to buy points for 2-night stay.
Paying cash rate saves $217 on this stay at The Alida Savannah, and earns Marriott Bonvoy points.
As I expected before writing this article, buying Marriott points, even at the discount price of $8.93 per 1,000 points is not a good deal for most Marriott brand hotels. The cost of points and the high reward night rates Marriott Bonvoy charges usually favors paying cash rates with Marriott stays and earning points. This is why the opportunity to buy Marriott gift cards during June’s Daily Getaways sale is a great deal for people who want to stay at Marriott brand hotels.