This article gives you an overview of how to use Marriott points to redeem free hotel stays and how to buy points to stay at Marriott hotels at low prices.
Marriott Free Stay Rewards official website:
What are the benefits of points for rooms
Usually, we join frequent flyer programs because we can accumulate points and redeem them for free accommodation. Especially for business parties, you can collect points by staying at a hotel on official business trips and then use them to stay for free when you travel personally.
Those who don't have many opportunities to stay in hotels and lack the means to accumulate points can purchase points directly. Because Marriott has several hotels, the cost of buying points for redemption is lower than that of paying for a stay.
We know booking a hotel through Marriott's website requires an additional service charge and tax regardless of the paid rate type while using points redemption does not. Don't forget this tax cost when you compare the price of cash to the cost of a room with points.
Stay 4 get 1 free
Marriott also offers a "Stay 4, Get 1 Free" policy when redeeming points for a stay. This means that when you redeem points for five or more consecutive nights, every 5th night is free. That means you can save four nights for five nights with four points.
As we know, Marriott hotels have multiple rates for a room type depending on the terms and conditions, and the cheapest is usually the prepaid or promotional rate. However, the terms of these rates generally state that you cannot cancel them, whereas a room with points is cheaper and can also be compensated for free up to a few days before arrival. This is very useful for people who are uncertain about their itinerary.
Flexible Point Redemption Policy Program
On March 29, 2022, Marriott announced the implementation of its flexible point redemption policy. From this point forward, Marriott will no longer issue redemption charts, and hotels will no longer have a Category. Each hotel will no longer have a fixed redemption score, which may be adjusted at any time based on inventory, and will be dynamically scheduled by Marriott's central system.
When the points redemption table existed, hotel points were subject to this table, and there was always a cap. Even though current prices soared during the peak travel season, the points were still fixed, making it highly cost-effective for many hotels to use points for redemption.
However, with the implementation of flexible point redemption, what will adjust the hotel's redemption points according to the cash price, and the more expensive the cash price is, what will redeem the more points? Marriott has now taken the initiative and can adjust points to maximize its benefits at any time. On the contrary, members become passive, and the redemption points depend on Marriott's mood.
Points purchase and redemption cost
In addition to redeeming your usual points for hotels, you can also purchase points directly for redemption.
Marriott usually has a points sale every two months or so, each lasting about a month, and the cost to buy points is usually about $8/thousand points. The current all-time low price is an additional 60% bonus and the cost to buy points is $7.80/thousand points.
You can check out Marriott's latest points sale by clicking here.
When booking a hotel, it becomes profitable to buy points for redemption if you find that the cost is lower than the cash price. Even though the flexible point redemption policy is now in place, there are still many hotels like this, so remember to compare when booking.
How to check and redeem points
First, go to the Marriott website and log in to your Marriott Travel Plus member account. When checking, select the dates of your stay and check "Use Points / Certificates" to see the actual hotel points.
One trick we can use when checking is to select "Flexible Dates" so that you can narrow your scores for one month at a time.
With "Flexible Dates," you can quickly pinpoint which dates have lower scores.
Many hotels have free cancellation 1 to 2 days before check-in when using points redemption, so if you cancel your trip, make sure to cancel your order to avoid credit card chargebacks.
Note: Points are not awarded for stays redeemed for points, but you can accumulate valid room nights (stay/night) and enjoy premium member benefits (free breakfast, upgraded room type, etc.).
Simply put, the way to stay at Marriott hotels at low prices is to buy points when Marriott has a points sale promotion and redeem them for hotels where the cost of buying points is lower than the cost of cash.
You can stock up on points when you encounter historically low prices, but buying too many is not recommended. Because Marriott has implemented a Marriott flexible point redemption policy, it can adjust points at any time, and the overall trend is to increase, meaning the value of points tends to depreciate.