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25 Replies Latest reply: Nov 14, 2012 11:30 AM by GemPrincess RSS

making the most of rewards

n8280n Platinum 2 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

Hi. First post on the forum. I'm a new member, trying to build up points to use in early retirement for personal travel. I'll be looking for tips on how to maximize the points I'm accumulating. In one year's travel I've hit the Gold level and just got the high end credit card to run up the score.

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Welcome and congratulations: Some tips:

    1. Use that Marriott Premier Visa every time you stay, and use it at Marriott restaurants in hotels even when you're not staying there, since there is a higher point award for Marriott purchases.
    2. Be sure that when staying you charge everything to your room, since points are based on the net charge (exclusive of tax).
    3. Buy things from the Marriott store online.
    4. Make Platinum and get a 50% bonus.
    5. Participate in all the extra earning promotions Marriott offers.
    6. If you can host a meeting or two those points may accumulate to your account (see the MR fine print).

    But, watch out:  Marriott can terminate the program at any time (years ago I would have said that would never happen, but you never know).

    Keep those points coming and good luck!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    boomer Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I agree with the previous poster's comments and have to echo the bonus promotions.  Sign up and track each one, they are an easy way to get extra points.  If you are a night shy and the program is ending I have been known to take my wide away for a night to a somewhat local Fairfield or Courtyard on a weekend night if I can score a cheap rate just to get that final night to cross the threshold. 

    I always try to stay at a Marriott brand location rather than a competetitor even if it is a little further gfrom the meeting as every night counts.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    barnesgene Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated
    Wife and I have a balance of 1.2 million points travelling to Marriott properties worldwide.  Admittedly, most of our points come from business travel, but we also have the Marriott credit card and it is our prime card.  Don't forget to pay for ANY expense at a Marriott using the card, since you will get more points than usual.  So if you eat a dinner in a Marriott restaurant, don't pay cash, use the card, etc., etc.  We take weekend trips to small, inexpensive Marriott brands in the countryside to get the nights we need for the next level, and we've had some pretty wonderful mini-vacations that way.  Getting to the next level means more bonus points, and if you get up there high enough, you can use the exclusive "concierge lounge" that many Marriotts have, which, if you're not terribly hungry, you can substitute their finger foods for a meal.  Don't use points for a cheaper property.  Save them for a pricier place -- it's a better value.  We spent a week in the JW Marriott Phuket Resort in Thailand, one of the great hotels in the world, just on points.  Otherwise it would have been prohibitively expensive.  We've already had some terrific vacations with the Marriott program, and are looking forward to many more.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    jaybee Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    great start using their credit card.  I have about 2.3 million miles in my account, after having given my ex wife 1 million, and after travelling to Thailand for 3 weeks (on points) and 2 weeks to Aruba (on points).  Make a point of doing their tours at any place that is available  through Marriott, of course.  Take the points, usually 15 or 20 thousand for doing the tour.  I always find something new and valuable that I did not know.  It's always an education, and sometimes the deals are so great, it is almost impossible to turn down.

    good luck

    Dave Berg

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    ravnwyng Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hello,

     

    Quite simply, make sure, whatever reward you are thinking of getting, get the Travel Pckages.  Even with the changes to the point system, they are still the best value here.  You get airline miles on a 1 to 1 basis when you redeem your points for these packages.

     

    Enjoy your retirement.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    ravnwyng Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    In addition to my advice about the redemption, there are a few ways to maximize your point accumulation.

    Call Marriott and see if they would be willing to"fast-track" you to Platinum level.  Sometimes they will give you a goal to attain (10 stays in 60 days or something like that).  This will get you to the top level, for point accumulation (with the Marriott Visa you will earn 18 pts per dollar spent), which will open up the following:

    Platinum Arrival Gift - 500pts or a snack.  ALWAYS TAKE the POINTS!!(equivalent of spending about $28 on the Marriott Visafor 500pts; $11 for 200pts)

    If you are staying in an area that has more than one hotel in the Marriott chain, split your stay between two or more hotels.  This will give you your arrival gift (always take the points - 500pts at Marriott and Renaissance, 200 at Courtyard, Fairfield, Springhill Suites, TownHome Suites, Residence Inn).

    It is a bit annoying to check in and out of hotels one night at a time, but it could add up to an extra 2,000pts a week, if you have two full service Marriotts or Renaissance hotels in the same area. The more times you "bounce" between hotels, the more points you can earn.

    Remember:  Ask for the check-in bonus, even when you are using points for a reward stay. It is like a "discount" or "rebate" on your reward stay.

    Avoid staying at TownHome Suites or Residence Inn, as you only earn 5pts per $1 spend at these hotels instead of the 10pts/$1 at all others.

    Use your credit card for paying common bills, like your utilites and such.  Then pay your credit card.  Might as well get hotel points for watching TV at home.

    I hope this helps a little. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    kahunapremier Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    N828ON,

    Welcome to the Marriott Forum, it is a great place to read on what other Marriott members are doing to leverage marriott points.

    I echo what others have posted, namely:

    1.When checking in at Marriott properities, to ask for points instead of ice cream, etc.

    2. More points consumed at full service Marriotts, so staying at the Fairfield, Towneplace Suites, Springhill or RI will use less points.

    3. Sign up and use Marriott Premier Visa card for ALL activities.

    4. Take the time to fill out your marriott.com profile of what you like. It is all about managing your account, so let the "system" do it automatically for you.

    5. Watch for Spring and Fall promos, because they are the best in the business!! 30,000 points or so for staying between months of Feb-April (something like that). Not sure if only Plat members get that or not-double check with marriott or call your gold line.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    richmondrumble Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated
    I would suggest you watch out for promotions by logging in regulary at marriott.com. There are some amazing promotion offers that they throw out there. As an example - 5000 points for every 3 nights stayed at marriott properties, etc. For some you may need to register, for others you do not.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    us_specops_af Silver
    Currently Being Moderated
    Be sure to sign up for the MegaBonus.  I'm not sure where, but there is an option to have yourself automatically signed up anytime they become available.  There is one starting in Feb I beleive.  25 nights by the end of April gets you an extra 50,000 points.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Great advice,

     

    This is really a good deal.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    mikiegfla Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    The advice given here just about covers it all. Watch for the Mega bonuses and use the Visa card at every opportunity.

    BTW, I learned to fly in a Cherokee. Great aircraft. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    onetiredpuppy Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Use companies that Marriott has a partnership with, like Hertz.  I have earned as many points with a three day car rental as I did staying at the hotel.  Then when you pay for it all with your Marriott Visa, your getting even more points.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    jsnieri Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated
    Run and Stay at Starwood or Hilton while you can.     MARRIOTT does not care about you or your past or future loyalty....   Read the MR 2009 posts....

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    nwcusick Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated
    Given the devaluation of points that we all just went through, spend your points as soon as you earn them and if you have a choice stay at Hilton or Starwood - Starwood has a great bonus program going on and they have a real no blackout program - if a room is available you get it for points!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    ready42 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated
    The best value when redeeming by far are the travel packages .  On these, you can get airmiles to the airline of choice and 7 night hotel stay at any level. SUPERB!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    lesliepamel Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Superb, maybe. But when you get them you can't cancel them, and they must be used within 12 months.

    The 120 K award for 120K miles + 7 nights in a cat 7 used  to cost 270k points, they now cost 330K points.A 22% raise - or a devaluation for those left holding 'Old 2008 Points.) AND NOW MANY CAT 7'S ARE CAT 8. iT'S STILL AN ALROUND BUM DEAL.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    90golfer Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    My suggestion for making the most of your rewards account is to explore Marriott Vacation Club.  I own 2 weeksat Hilton Head Island.  I have had over 20 years of wonderful vacations--and three "world-class trips" from those two purchases.

    Each time I have bought I receive enough points for a free trip anywhere in the world--I spent 10 days in Maui with free air fare the first time in 1989.  Last year we spent a week split between Maui and the J>W>Marriott at KoOlina on Oahu, then spent a week at the vacation club in Kauaii, with free air fare.  What a wonderful vacation.  That went with the second purchase.

     This year we are heading for London, Brussels and Paris with free air fare on a travel package and a Europe Travel Hopper.

    If we choose to trade our weeks for points, we can have another world trip in a couple of years when you add in the charge card points. It's tough to decide--we feel very fortunate!  90golfer

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    conman Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    As a fellow owner (2 weeks Ko Olina) I used to share the enthusiasm for the travel packages, getting miles and a stay. Now however, after the Program devaluation, you need a LOT more points for the same package, or pay the same points for the special Owners Packages but for 5 instead of 7 nights. That's a 28% devaluation in nights, so you will either have to deposit more weeks to get the extra points you'll need, or go on vacation for 5 instead of 7 nights. With this, I still love my Home resort but like the MR program a lot less. MVCI could help us feel a lot better by issuing annual Elite nights per week owned, credit card style, and increase the points per week's deposit.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    james30 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated
    I did exactly what you are doing in that I saved almost all of my points for 20+ years for retirement.  Be careful with that strategy, as Marriott just increased significantly the required points for a stay.  For a week stay in some of the prime properties, points required have increased by more than 50%.  Their communication of the changes was rather vague and confusing, and certainly did not provide full disclosure.  Marriott just alerted us of these changes recently and there was no grandfathering.  You may be wiser to do what most of my colleagues did--spend the points along the way.  Good luck.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    kovacici Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    To Gold members. 

    Once you become a  Gold member do you keet it  for life or do you have to stay 50 nights every year to stay Gold member?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    gamoniker Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    To Kovacici:

    I believe that you must satisfy the yearly requirement to retain the Gold Status...same with Platinum.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    jim72150 Silver 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Waht is the procedure for doing this

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Making the most of rewards
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Now that Marriott recognizes nights stayed at Vacation Club resorts and credits them towards the next level of membership, the  recommendation to purchase a timeshare is spot-on. Checkout purchase specials @ mvci.com and ask about the incentive bonus: hundreds of thousands of points.  Make the most of rewards by s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g points with Pointsavers.  See: Marriott Pointsavers

     

    Postscript 4/2:  The Marriott Vacation Club Friendshare program has upped the incentive for owners to fork over referrals.  For  the first friend you refer that buys you get 50,000 points.  Subsequent referrals that buy delivers 100,000 points each!  Keep in mind that the timetable is about 6 months from the point of contract signing to awarding of points.  

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Making the most of rewards
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    One of the ways to make the most of rewards is to take advantage of special discounts like the one Marriott announced a few weeks back, the 3 for 2 Special Resort Redemption offer. Worth a look:

     

    *  3 for 2 Special Offer

    **  Participating Resort Locations

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: making the most of rewards
    GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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