Earning points is easy—deciding how to spend them is the hard part. There are more than 250 ways to redeem your points, from a relaxing day at the spa to a once in a lifetime trip across the globe, and whether you’re just building your balance or have a lifetime of points stashed away, there’s a reward that’s right for you.
Most members use their points for free stays at the more than 3,600 Marriott® properties worldwide. How many points you need depends on the hotel’s category. Insiders member tjcnewyork gives you a break down here. Alrenaissance discusses using points at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas with an in-depth review. Marriott Cheques are also a great way to make the most of your points when booking stays. Learn how sdbroker used them in both Colorado and Indianapolis. And, if you’ve been saving up points for something special, see how jaybee used them for an “awesome” 3-week adventure in Thailand, including airfare and hotel.
Using points doesn’t mean you have to wipe your balance out. With PointSavers, winner of this year’s Best Program for Redemption at the 2012 Freddie Awards, you can save up to 33% on top destinations. And, with Air + Car, you can use cash, points or both to book air and ground transportation all on one convenient site.
Looking to give a gift (to yourself or someone else)? Missgee lets you know where you can pick up all the things you love about staying in a Marriott hotel—from bedding to bathrobes—with Shop Marriott. You can also use your points to purchase brand-name electronics, travel accessories, retail gift certificates, Marriott GiftCards and memorable experiences, including culinary classes, bungee jumping, a recording studio session and more. To use your points to better communities—both in your backyard and beyond—you can also donate them to a number of worthy causes, including disaster relief.
Special thanks to members tjcnewyork, alrenaissance, sdbroker, jaybee and missgee To see one of your posts featured, we encourage you to contribute helpful tips, thoughts, experiences and insights throughout the community.
My wife and I have been in the rewards program over twenty years, but are uneducated to using rewards. Some time ago we were able to use the generous flight-hotel-car packages . This time we are using rewards for a hotel, a flight to Hong Kong and a flight from Alaska to Ohio. Some of the mistakes we made are: Using a travel agent because he can't book reward flights or hotels. Not transferring miles into two separate frequent flier accounts. Not knowing each flier needs their own frequent flier account.
Not sure where to post this, but some things we learned are: Great source for flight information is www.hipmunk.com. United has a very good resource for determining the miles needed, but the points must be times 2 and put into separate accounts for each flier. Asiamiles.com which is the Cathay Pacific site allows grouping of frequent fliers to "share" miles, but finding that link on the site is very difficult (found it once and can't find it now). Our travel agent says it may take 4 weeks to get miles posted. Cathay Pacific won't expedite, even with a fee.
We were lucky to make the transfer error with Cathay Pacific. The United site seems to describe a premium cost to transfer miles.
Looking forward to any replies and browsing this site.
We did use customer service in the past and also this time. In 1996 we used the package to travel to London then to Amsterdam for a week where we used the rental car. We flew open jaw.
We also used them to book a hotel in San Francisco, a car for the drive south and a hotel in San Diego as well as open jaw flights to and from Ohio.
We also used them to book two honeymoons for kids.
This time the experience wasn't so good. Didn't get the expertise advice needed. Had to book travel ourselves.
I don't necessarily place any blame. The changes in airline procedures has made travel complicated and difficult before even arriving at the airport. I am book marking travel web sites and spending hours reading and finding good comments.
Keep in mind that if you do the travel package redemption option (air miles and week hotel stay) you do not have to use the miles and hotel at the same time.
Several years ago I did this. Redeemed points for the package. Had enough miles for RT air to Europe. Then 6 months or so later used the week stay in Asheville, SC in the spring - gorgeous time of year there.
Saving up points to do this again.
We found out that by using MR points for strictly hotel stay-you receive "nights stayed" credit.
However, if you use a vacation package-either all together or as separate units-you do NOT get credit for "nights stayed".
Being that we just recently hit "Gold Status" the past 2 years, it can be a "bummer" when yearend arrives and you're short 4 nights to maintain "Gold".
My husband enjoys the "Concierge" level of rooms and the use of the "Executive" lounge. I think he's getting spoiled.
I'm pretty sure that point stays do not earn nights stay credit toward elite status (you can earn the check in bonus points and elite perks). If you are borderline on some elite status levels, it would probably be a good idea to doublecheck this, so you're not coming up two or three nights short at the end. If it turns out you do earn nights with point stays, great, (and advise, please) otherwise, be forewarned.
I can verify that you do NOT get night counted toward elite status when you are using reward points. Just came back from a five night stay in Grand Cayman using points and not one night was added to my total nights for this calendar year.
Check out the asterisk on this link and that will verify it is paid nights that count. https://www.marriott.com/rewards/member-benefits.mi
Did you use a Marriott Rewards points travel package? (air, hotel, & car) or strictly MR points for the hotel? Are you the Marriott Rewards point member? And did you personally check in at the front desk?
No credit for nights stayed with travel package (whole or in part). This was told to me by a MR Gold elite CSR over the phone.
However, if you are the MR points member and you personally checked in - using points strictly for hotel stay-
if nothing shows up in 2 weeks, I would definately send in a Missing Stay form to get credit.
I never use MR for travel packages, book it all using my car rental, airline and hotel selections.
I am the MR point member. I did check in at the Elite line front desk.
So what would show up other than any points gained from a MR credit card which I did NOT use? There is nothing to send to the missing stay folks.
Again, you should wait the 2 weeks (like they say). If the nights stayed do not show up, reach out to the Marriott Rewards line (via phone). Explain the situation to them. Get that person's name and fax number. Then send in the Missing stay form with a copy of your check-out statement directly to that person.
By the way, does your "billing statement" reflect your Marriott Rewards number? That could also be a clue as to why no credit.
Thank you for sharing your experiences with Marriott Packages and using customer service to do this.
Its a great reminder for all of us to check out this option.
Hope to hear more about your travel experiences!
Right now, travel packages seem to be the best value for MR points. I am on the last night of a 7 night stay at the Marriott Waterfront in Seattle as part of a travel package with 120,000 Southwest Airlines points. After I transferred 120,000 points to SWA I discovered that I had qualified for a 1 year companion pass on SWA. Suddenly, my wife was flying free for the next 12 months! Note that you can also request a 5 day travel package instead of the 7 day travel package. Also, any time you use points to reserve a room you will NOT get credit towards Elite status. There have been several discussions about this topic on MRI.
curiousone not sure why some think you get room nights that count toward your elite level when you are using reward points for a stay. Just like airlines, when you are using FF miles for a trip you do not get any miles for the trip.