I have saved a few Marriott Rewards points for a family trip (5 person) to Germany in the summer of 2015. I am trying to understand the air & hotel packages with Marriott Rewards. I have 100K+ miles with Delta SkyMiles.
Looking for a suggestion on how best to get a family over there and travel for two weeks. I looked at the mileage fares with Delta, United, Lufthansa, and AirFrance. Not encouraging at all.
Any suggestions on how best to plan a trip?
You haven't provided enough information for this request to be even considered. How many Marriott points do you have? Do you have any flexible points (e.g., star points, ultimate rewards points, membership rewards points)? Delta miles are the least valuable out there, so you will need a lot more help from other sources to get the family of 5 flown there. Moreover, you probably won't find it easy to locate a flight this close in with 5 reward seats open. You took a long time. Your best bet is probably to get you and your wife Citi Prestige and Premier cards with 50k bonuses each. Quickly spend $12,000 on the cards combined. Then use the 220,000 points you get from the spending and sign-on bonuses for $3520 worth of travel on American Airlines.
SkyPesos are not what they used to be.
Best for europe travel (in my opinion) would be american airlines. 100k miles for r/t business class on a milesaaver award on airberlin. Delta is gonna run you something like 300k+ skymiles to get to germany in business class.
Where are you travelling from, and what dates?
I know. But looking at what he has available, I see no way to redeem that many business-class tickets on ANY airline without serious help. Economy will be the only viable option--especially given the close-in travel. Finding 5 business-class award seats available this close in will be hard...getting the miles will be harder. Economy is probably it.
I know. I was just using business class as an example (as I was looking into flights to germany myself) so I knew the difference in miles was great.
My suggestion would be OP and SO each get an aadvantage platinum card for 50k AA miles, then maybe a prestige and citigold account for the 90,000 thankyou points redeemable for $1440 in AA fares, PLUS a $250 credit towards any ticket purchased with the card. Prestige will also get the whole family admiral's club access, and the aadvantage cards will get them 5 free checked bags. then pay out of pocket for the last 2 3 tickets.
Depending on the dates of travel, if an economy milesaaver is available it'll be 35k miles each way, so the two free cards will pay for 1 ticket, the prestige will probably pay for another (again depending on dates and fares). OP could then also save all the marriott points for hotel stays, or use citi prestige's 4th night free if they plan on paying for a hotel stay. Prestige will also get rental car elite status if OP plans on renting a car while there.
First, welcome to the Insiders forum stablegate!
As you have taken the time to do so here, the Insiders network is the perfect place to introduce topics like the one you've posted, and seek insight from a large group of well traveled and knowledgeable individuals that are always willing to help.
In addition to other members sharing their experiences, photos, and recommendations, there are numerous discussion threads that cover everything from destinations to food and everything in between! From the casual traveler to the road warrior, this site is a fantastic resource.
While you explore the page and interact with some of the people who've responded to you post (way to go ndn and Jsucool76) I encourage you to check out our Getting Started Guide for tips and tricks on how to best navigate the site. Also, don't hesitate to reach out to me (joshm), lindseyh, or CariJ with any questions about the site or anything Marriott Rewards. We make up the moderation team for this site and we're here to help!
Best information I can possibly offer is to wait until next year and save more points. The start planning the trip about 9-12 months ahead particularly when you are attempting to use miles/points.
Our last trip to Europe in Business Class we had it totally booked 9 months from the departure date just to be able to use airline miles at a saver rate as well as Marriott Reward points for two different properties.
The early bird usually gets the worm so to speak!!
I am amazed at the response to my post! Thank you for sharing your experience and suggestions. Let me give you some details about our trip.
Proposed Dates: June 25, 2016 - July 9, 2016.
Delta SkyMiles: 121,000 miles. I earn about 12,000 mile/month.
Marriott Reward Points: 1,210,000+
Hertz Points: not an issue as I will have at any one point over 10,000+
So, given those numbers, I do not understand the package deals that Marriott offers with hotel nights and air miles. Does anyone have experience using the Marriott Travel Packages (Flight and Hotel Packages | Marriott Hotel Packages)?
Trying to establish is that is a good way to go.
Thanks for your help.
Oh, wow. That is a lot of marriott points.
Essentially how the marriott flight and hotel packages work is that you pay a certain amount of points, and you get a certificate good for 7 nights in a certain category (or tier for ritz hotels) hotel. In addition to the certificate for 7 nights, you get a certain amount of airline miles in certain programs. Each package grouping (package 1,2,3 and 4) have different participating airlines in them.
For instance, 7 nights in a category 9 hotel, and 120,000 skymiles would cost you 390,000 marriott points. I'd say the biggest problem you're going to have won't be a lack of points, it will be finding 5 available award seats on the same flight. A dummy booking for those dates from delta (once again, dont know where you're flying from, but I searched MIA and FLL (where I live)) returned no results with 5 passengers selected (flights to TXL). R/T tickets from a dummy booking (for 5 people) from FLL-DUS would be 512k delta skymiles + 507$
You can do a package with american who (from dummy bookings from FLL, once again,search for your own airport and check) show milesaaver economy availability, 30k each way. You'd need 300k AA miles to make it work. You could do 2 7 night packages (depending on hotel category) would range from 270k-390k marriott points for a marriott properity, or 420k-540k for a ritz property. Each would get you 120k AA miles. From there you could either buy another package and get a 7 night certificate to use for later, or buy 60k AA miles for 1700$.
You can also do a package which would include airberlin miles, and see if that is a possibility for you, I don't know a lot about their award chart though. Something to look into.