i posted last month that the MR cheques promo ends Dec 31.
I remember seeing that someone said you can earn points for the value of the checks when you apply them to your bill at the hotel however I have never gotten points for the value of the cheques when i redeem them.
Could those that have used these wonderful cheques let me know if you earned points also. They usually appear as Cash on my hotel invoice but sometimes they appear as "vouchers'.
Dont forget to order your cheques before the promo ends.
interesting.... I guess is should call MR customer service and see if they could look into my stays where i used them. i keep my electronic receipt every time so i can research when i used them to get the points added to my account.
Maybe MR will run a special promo on the new gift card and offer the 135K or even 150K points for $1000, At 210K points I doubt i will redeem my points for the new gift card.
I have been using the checks for about 2 years and have always received points and stay credits. I too am going to miss the 135,000 point program. At 135K points I calculate a value of 0.74 cents/point. At 210K points I calculate 0.47 cents/point. It may be time to look at the Travel Package again as a reasonable $/point value.
I was just looking at the cents/point by denomination, and it seems to be lower for the lower dominations. Am I calculating this correctly as you have 0.47 cents/pont for 210K points ($1000 certificate)
Given the cents per point differences above, and that the cards are not protected per eb5147 (recommends taking just enough to pay and a littel extra), are we better off with a twenty $50 certificates instead of one $1000 certificate?
Are folks buying the largest denomination, or multiple smaller denomination checks?
Also, do the discounts for platinum members no longer exist, e.g. 204K v. 138K for the $1000 gift card?
The larger the value that you purchase, the better the value. For the $1,000 in gift cheques they mail you 20 $50 cheques. The discounts will disappear at the end of this month. Remember that the cheques are only good for 12 months. I will be buying $1,000 in cheques tomorrow for the next year.
What do you mean by the discounts disappear at the end of this month.
What is the discounted price versus the full price?
To me, I don't see the value. I try to never use points unless they are worth at least $0.01/pt or 1 cent/pt. I will be using 100,000 points for 5 nights in Seattle and if I paid, it would cost me $249 + tax per night which could be $1449.22 for 5 nights. If I got checks, I would not even have enough to pay for all the nights and the points would not make up for this.
I have another reservation at Marco Island using 140,000 points for 5 nights. If I paid using the best rate, it would cost $2447.50. This is a little more than the cost of $1000 checks and that would not even pay half.
Am I missing something?
I think the difference is that when you are spending points to stay, you do not earn points. If you use the points to buy gift cheques, and then pay by gift checque you would earn points.
So your Seattle stay at $1,449 at 10 points per dollar would earn you 14,490 in points, and Marco Island would earn you 24,475 in points, for a total of 38,965 points that will not be earned when paying with points.
Since I am Platinum Lifetime, the extra nights of credit do not help me, but if you are not platinum lifetime, then you would get 5 nites in Seattle and 5 more nights in Marco Island for a total of 10 nites.
Also if you are buying the gift cheques on your Marriott Mastercard, you will also earn points for this as well.
When spending points, you are not earning points or nites.
I was just hoping that I might be able to get the platinum deal, $1000 gift check for 138,000 points instead of 204,000 points.
I actually get 15 pts/$ since I am lifetime platinum and the nights don't matter.
For Seattle, I would need to pay $449 or use 135,000 X 1.5 (if I round amt paid to $1500) = around 200,000 - about 22,500 = 177,500 points would be needed vs just paying 100,000.
You mentioned paying for the gift checks. I will have to look into that but at this time can't see how that would give me anything more.
I took that into account for the one stay by subtracting 22,500. I just don't see them as being a good deal for my stays. There are some cases where the rooms are cheap and using points would not be a good thing then checks might be good but I don't use my points on those rooms. I use them where I see value. At this point I don't have a ton of points like I did at one time.
I am not trying to argue that they are a good or bad deal.
Just evaluating all perspectives to see if I should use my points on them or not this coming Monday.
Appreciate the input from everyone in helping me make my decision
You do get maximum use of your points.
However, if you want to build your points back rather than just using them all, you might take advantage of all the things GP suggested, including buying a gift card (anywhere from $25 - $2000) with your Marriott MC getting the points for that, using the cheques and / or cards during MegaBonus for spring if you are going for the 40,000 or 50,000 points. You'd also be getting the 10 pts. per $1 spent and then the plat. bonus of 50%, so that would be 15 points per $1 spent.
If you don't want to use the 135,000 points for the $1000, and you know best there for your travel, then the gift card purchased right now would give you a lot of points back.
While traveling this weekend I also encountered another 'pro' situationn for gift cheques versus points.
For the Key Bridget Marriott this weekend, they wanted 40K points, but were had a Rewards price of $95/nt, which is ~ 1/10 of the $1000 gift check (138K points) = 13,800 points, so better than using points.
My only problemis that I am short 20K points today to make the trade, so I guess I will miss out on it.
I think there is a bit of confusion. The gift cheques are now being redeemed for 135,000 points. They are not secured tender, and they should be mailed bearing that in mind according to the 3rd CS who sent these out to us. The first CS did also, but the 2nd and 4th didn't. It was the first time for the 4th one to ever send them out, and I didn't think to mention to her that the previous CS had sent them in a higher mail class.
Beginning in Jan., the $1000 gift cheques will no longer be available and will be replaced with SECURED gift card or cards totaling $1000 for 205,000 points.
Keep in mind that the cheques can be used to pay your room, or any room charges. For the last 2 years I have used them for room and meals/drinks. My wife and I have had some enjoyable long week ends for the last 2 years at "effectively" no cost. Since I have Plat locked for the next 3 years, I am going to start using points for for the rooms in and pay for meals/drinks with the cheques in 2013.
From what I see, you have a whole lot of points and would just like to use them and not have to pay with money. I can understand that.
At one time I had over 2,000,000 points and when Marriott started to water them down, I began cashing them in and now have only a few and so watch how I spend them.
I think there might be some interpretive difference here. When people have said that points are earned on the value of the cheques, they are talking about the room counting as a stay and earning points on the charges. This is opposed to using points to pay for the room itself when the stay does not count and no additional points are earned for that stay.
What this mean is that if you stay at a place that gives you 10 points per dollar earned and you use all $1000 at such places, you will get a return of roughly 10,000 points back on your initial payout of 135,000 points, plus the welcome gift at however many places you are able to use that $1000. You will also get stays counted at those places, whether 1 place using $1000 or 20 stays using $50 at each one.
The cheques end on Dec 31, so I got my last set that I would want to get this past week. That made 4 sets since last Dec 31.
BTW, I don't carry them with me since they aren't protected. I only carry enough to cover what I anticipate being used plus a little bit more.
If the gift card is still paying 10 points per dollar spent, that is more in line with what it seems to me you were referring. I think that is also until Dec. 31 of this year. Good deal there, too. It is a secured pre-paid purchase and then you also get the points when you use them on the room charges and the stay will count.
P.S.: I forgot to mention the 50% bonus back, which would make another 5000 points with a net outlay (assuming 10 pts. back per stay) of 120,000 points per $1000. The main drawback that I see is that they are unsecured.
That is what I am doing too.
Reading up and discussing with other MIs.
Am trying to decide if I will buy (points v. money) on Mon, Dec 31st.
I thought I heard that we could use 138K points if we were platinum to buy $1000 gift check.
If I can find that deal, I will probably do it.
If you have trouble finding them online, just call the CS and they can help. There is even an 877 number listed for Platinum redemption.
If buying the cheques, one has a year to use them so you can choose points of cheques according to which method will help you best, remembering that you get points for rooms where you use the cheques where you don't by using points. If one was to use just one cheque for 20 of the nights of MegaBonus, that would give most of the nights needed for the 50,000 points or however many are being offered this spring.
If a person was to buy the Gift Card while Marriott is offering 10 points for dollar spent, the excess of the stay could go on that. I bought a $500 gift card and got the extra 5000 points and then got the $1000 in cheques since it's a "last call" offer, even though I still had about $300 left from the last set of $1000. This makes a total of 4 sets we've bought in a year's time, and then I'll use the gift card for the excess since no change can be given for the cheques.
When you get the points back, that makes 10,000 points back if you stay at a property that offers that many points which would make the outlay just 125,000 points, That's more than a class 2 but less than a class 3 property. The properties I usually stay at are less than $100 per night whether CY, FFI, RI, Ren., or Marriott; so the cheques work best for me, especially staying just 1 or 2 nights at a time instead of 5 at those times.
I agree with Californian that you usually get more bang for your buck by redeeming MR points for room nights rather than 'cash", even at the currently available platinum cheques award level. However, the cheques provide the ability to use MR points at properties that often don't have any award nights available (example: Residence Inn Treasure Island), as well as for restaurant and other charges. Although $1000 for 135k points is not that great of a value, it is far better than $1000 for 200K+ points. My greater concern is that Marriott appears to be eliminating all platinum benefits, likely because there will be significantly more lifetime platinum members in the near future due to lowering requirements.
Thanx superchief1 for pointing out other non-monetary benefits like being able to book a property when it has no more award stays available.
My take on Marriott reducing and eliminating platinum benefits is that they no longer own the hotels, and are instead in partnerships. I highly suspect that the hidden costs that the partners complained about in the TV segment, and are suing about are the cost of awards benefits. They all want to be in the Marriott umbrella of products to take advantage of the clientele, but they don't seem to want to pay for the benefits that built that clientele.
I wonder if anyone in MI is familiar with the lawsuits that the partners have, and whether any are over the cost of loyalty benefits.
I kinda of suspect that the reason that the Lifetime Platinum qualiffication requirements, and all other lifetime levels were reduced is so they will grandfather the benefits to the lifetime categories, By lowering the requirements, it will cover a larger amount of long-time Marriott frequent travelers while those newer to Marriott will not fair so well.
This would be one way to negotiate a settlement by providing benefits and keeping commitments to long-time customers, but lowering them for newer members who are not yet vested in the program.
This is what is happening in the pension world as well. Those that are already participating and of a certain age are grandfathered, and anyone new after a certain point, has a different program.