Hi. My husband has traveled alot for business and has about 300,000 points that we would like to use for our family a little getaway. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting the most bang out of them. I thought about using the vacation special package where you get a 7 night hotel stay and so many airmiles or credits. I would use this with southwest and wondered if anyone had done this and how well it worked out. Thanks.
Marriott rewards vary by each hotel. Check out the deals sections at the top and flex your dates around. Also look at the Marriott Rewards emails...they are loaded with deals and Reward codes. Also search a general area...for example, my wife and I love Hawaii, Maui the best, but I search the whole islands and sometimes can find a much better deal for points at other islands...It takes a lot of time, but I am usually successful.
The best deal is to trade in 135,000 Marriott points for 1,000$ of Marriott Cash. You then can take advantage of any hotel specials that you find around the world and you get to use the cash for food and activities. The best part is that you also get points for the hotel stay which puts Marriott points back into your account.
Most Hotels will have specials so you spend less money then what the points are worth. The Marriott cash is good for 1 year and comes in $50 increments.
The poster who suggested 135K points for 1K cash really intrigued me. So I wanted to look into it a bit more, and I'm not sure it makes sense unless you can find a really good deal on the hotel otherwise.
For one stay, you can only spend ~130 points at Cat 6 or Cat 7 hotels
Eg. at the JW Marriott in Hawaii (the cheapest Cat 7 I could find)
5 nights for 130K points
Cheapest room available $250/night. 5 nights = $1250. Not a good deal, but it is still close to a wash given the flexibility and the fact that you get bonus points for using cash.
A more typical example for a Cat 7 is about $500/night. 5 nights = $2500. Definitely a bad deal.
For a Category 6 the cheapest deal I could find was at
Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa
7 nights = 130K points
$112/night. 7 nights = ~$800. Definitely a good deal!
Typically a Cat 6 costs $235/night. 7 nights = $1700. Not a great deal.
So all in all, if you use your points efficiently, I don't think getting the cash makes sense. The only way it could make sense is if you can use the cash for discounted room rates.
Re 135k points for $1000
This was a "duh!" moment for me. We very rarely use our points because we are military/AAA and often travel with seniors and if you are flexible, the discounts can be substantial.
So if you qualify for the discounts, this could definitely be beneficial!
"We currently own three Cypress Harbor weeks along with one Boston Custom House week. We use points constantly as we have never stayed at any of our home resorts!" That a huge MVCI portfolio. I also own in Orlando at the Palms on the Orlando World Center property and know several owners at Cypress Harbor. We love the Custom House especially around Christmas and have exchanged there many times.
"The rewards program has been nothing but outstanding with us as we have been all over the world many times." In the wake of the changes in the 2009 Marriott Rewards point redemption schedule, do you still feel the same about the program and why?
With the devaluation of points, I highly recommend exchanging MVC weeks into other MVC resorts rather than convert to points. This represents the best value for your investment, and there are great resorts in many popular locations. If more owners exchange their home resort rather than deposit for points, there will be more available for exchange.
I'm with Superchief's recommendation on exchanging vacation resorts within the Marriott Vacation Club program.
To get the "best bang" from points earned through business travel consider Pointsavers. For example, Marriott announced the 3 for 2 Special Resort Redemption offer*