I just came across a new article from "The Points Guy" who is a well known travel blogger and gives excellent advice on how to make the best use of different travel rewards programs. While he is not a fan of Marriott Rewards he recently discovered how valuable the Marriott Travel Packages can be.
In his article he describes how he made use of his Dad's rewards account and boosted up the point level to make use of a Category 8 travel package which includes 7 nights at a Category 8 hotel and 120,000 airline miles for 360,000 Marriott Points. He also describes how he chose Southwest Airlines over his preferred preference of United in order to score a Southwest Companion Pass he received from the 120,000 Southwest miles in the travel package . Once earned the Southwest Companion Pass allows the frequent flyer to receive free companion tickets for the remainder of the calendar year all the way through December of the following year. So if you were to earn the Southwest Companion in mid January of 2015 your companion could fly free with you through December 2016. If your able to make use of Southwest airlines it is a really sweet deal. Here is a link to the article:
tag: tker (Insider's Travel Package Expert) =)
Thanks for the heads up. I was aware of the Marriott Travel Packages and the value they represent. For some reason it never dawned on me to use the 120,000 Travel Package miles for a Southwest Companion Pass. This strategy represents an excellent value, especially if timed right to gain the Companion Pass for almost two years. Now the hard part, accumulate the Marriott points.
You are welcome! It's nice to have a forum to be able to share this valuable information with fellow travelers. Another note to pass along...Southwest awards Companion Passes at the 110,000 Reward Point Level. Here is a screenshot of the current Marriott/Southwest Travel Package offerings.
So one could get the Southwest Companion pass along with "A-List Preferred Status" with the Category 1-5 package for 270,000 Marriott Rewards Points. Not a bad deal at all! For those who maybe more interested in the Southwest Companion Pass here is a link to the Southwest page: