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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.
Welcome and congratulations: Some tips:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Travel Package Information!