I've bought Marriott travel packages off and on for several years now and as time has gone on, the air miles required by my preferred airline for frequent flyer tickets for travel outside the continental US have gone to a point where 120000 airline miles is not sufficient for my needs. Is there any consideration being made to up the miles that can be purchased to something more than 120,000 miles, to say, 160,000? This year, it took 160,000 miles to buy one roundtrip ticket to Australia where I have a Marriott travel package in Sydney for the end of this year and the most miles I could buy was 120,000. I had enough miles in my frequent flyer account that with the 120000 I bought with the travel package it gave me enough miles to buy the two tickets my wife and I needed, but, still, the 120,000 miles wasn't enough for even one ticket in economy class. It would be nice if the program would up the miles that can be purchased to at least 160,000 miles to help for travel to further points away on the globe, like Australia and other destinations. And as time goes on, the airlines seem in general to be requiring more miles to fly to locations than required in prior years. It would be nice if the Marriott program might help somewhat by making it possible to buy more airline miles to guard against the mileage "creep", or devaluation, as comes as the airlines require more miles than in past years.
This is a most interesting subject to me and I am sure to others!
Could you elaborate on the "Advantages" of getting Marriott Travel Packages?
Having never done this, I think it would make great "Subject Matter" at one of out "World Tour", get togethers!
Hope you can make one of them!
Jerrycoin, the Travel Packages are not always easy to find on Marriott's site. I always use google, as odd as that may sound, to find a link back to the package. However, as far as I'm concerned, for those whose work requires signficant travel, with the opportunities to earn points, the best thing going in any of the affinity programs is the Marriott Travel Package. I've also been a Royal Ambassador in the IC program for many years as well, and have never found anything comparable within its program that allows buying airline miles so inexpensively with hotel points. The Marriott Travel Package is enough of a reason to switch loyalties, in my mind, from other affinity programs. That's my opinion.
Here's a link to the Marriott Travel Package site: Flight and Hotel Packages | Marriott Hotel Packages . Check it out.
If one is a Platinum member in the Marriott rewards program, and also has a Chase Marriott Visa, then, for every dollar spent (excluding taxes, of course) for a night's stay, the total points earned per dollar spent is 18 points (5, platinum; 3, Chase card; 10, regular program rules). For convenience, say the bill is $100 a night. That's 1800 points per night. Room rate higher? Then, points are too!
I typically spend 200 or more nights a year on the road, so, the points add up. Throw in the periodic mega bonuses, such as the one now going and for which I'll earn 50,000 points after 35 paid nights (which I'll do by the middle of November), and you see how one can get to a travel package level award in a relatively short interval if spending 100 nights a year, and even faster if spending 200 nights a year on the road, as I do typically.
Most of my travel, however, requires short haul air travel so that I do good to earn 40000 airline miles a year flying my preferred airline. At that rate, it would take me 4 years flying my airline of choice to have earned enough airline miles to have bought just one roundtrip ticket to Australia. When I bought my Marriott travel package earlier this year for the Marriott Quay in Sydney, I bought 120,000 airline miles. That would have taken me 3 years on my airline to have earned those miles. So, as far as I'm concerned, and I speak for myself, if one has the need to travel extensively on the road with hotel stays, as I do, the best thing going for acquiring frequent flyer miles is the Marriott Travel package. The only difficulty now though, is that the airlines have devalued their programs to where it takes more miles to get a ticket than it did before in years past and with that situation it would be nice if the Marriott program would up the amount of miles one can buy to at least 160,000.
Jerrycoin, it's an interesting observation you've made that I've made as well over many years of travel and participating in the Marriott Rewards program that most members are unaware of this benefit. It may be in part that most members aren't able (make that, don't have to) travel as extensively as I do, so, they don't necessarily end up with hundreds of thousands of points. Those who do my line of work, however, will spend a half of their year or more away from home on road trips.
At times in years past I've been a millionaire in Marriott points, but that's been a long time ago. Buy a few travel packages and you can burn through the points pretty quick, but, as I've indicated, I spend a couple hundred nights a year on the road and there are a lot of people I know who do as well.
Indeed, I recently successfully encouraged a loyal IC member to switch to the Marriott program. She is working alongside me in my line of work. She checked out of the Holiday Inn in the town where we're working and now she and her boyfriend are staying at a Marriott Courtyard property. I'd not known her before, but, once I started explaining the benefits and she saw how I'm able to travel the world with frequent flyer tickets and stays in lovely Marriott properties, she switched. What clinched it for her was my most recent purchase of another Marriott package. About 2 months ago. I bought a week's stay at a Renaissance in Barcelona and 120,000 airline miles. Now, I actually had enough airline miles before the redemption to buy super saver flights to Barcelona and back and so did not need the 120,000 miles for Barcelona, but I topped up my airline miles with the 120,000 miles from the Barcelona travel package, and then, turned around and used 80,000 of those 120,000 miles to buy roundtrip tickets to Peru, where my wife and I will travel in May, 2013, to see Macchu Pichu. We'll stay a total of 3 nights in the Cuzco Marriott on points but that isn't a travel package redemption, just the regular nights rewards redemptions. Any way, this young lady looked at her Intercontinental Hotel (IC) benefits, compared notes, and didn't just take my word for it. She proved to herself why she should leave the "dark side" and come to the light! And, I don't know if Marriott has had a "refer a friend" program in prior years, but, I accidentally found out about that in time to ask her to join the rewards program under my sponsorship, so to speak. I've earned 10,000 points and she got 10,000 bonus points too (2,000 for each stay, up to 10,000) for joining under my "sponsorship". I wish I'd known of this referall program before. I've referred other people in years past who've joined and they've done so because I've shown them how the Travel Packages work. In the line of work that I do, people who end up working with me also are road warriors who spend a couple hundred nights a year on the road. So, they too see how they can travel the world. I'd rather have had my family life than life on the road, but, you've got to make lemonaide from lemons and Marriott Travel Packages are the best lemonaide I've found to date!
Jerrycoin, it makes me ill that I only stumbled on this "refer a friend" program recently but here's the link: Refer a Friend Bonus Points, Marriott Rewards Refer a Friend . It makes me ill because those are points I've thrown away from prior referrals, being unaware I could have earned bonus points as could the party referred. I don't know if this has been available in prior years and I've missed it or if it's something recently added but I'll sure be paying attention going forward!
I just introduced our team to the world of Marriott on our last trip as they tend to stay at Hilton.
I was able to convince everyone to stay at the Courtyard with a lower rate (hard for them to pick a property with a higher rate when we are analyzing options in email).
Once we picked the Courtyard, I had everyone signup for the Marriott Rewards, and explained if they signed up for the fall special, and stayed one more night they would get a free Cat 1-4 certificate from the fall program.
I know at least one person did this.
Is it too late for us to take advantage of the sponsorship option for points?
Gemprincess, that's a question you'd have to ask of the Rewards program. It's basically asking for "back dating" a prior enrollment of a friend who you referred to try to get credit for both the friend and you. This would have to be a matter of the program's discretion. All they can do is say, "No." If they say, "Yes," you're ahead of the game! Good luck.
Information on Travel Packages!