I just joined the community and spent the last few weeks reading and learning about the Marriott rewards. This is my first post and I'm hoping to get some advice to maximize my points.
Goal: 120,000 points (I'm hoping to use the points for my 3 night stay in Kauai, HI in Nov)
Elite Status: Silver
Points to date: 0
I applied and was approved for the Marriott Premier CC awarding me 80,000 points if I spend $3,000 within 3 months (which I will complete). That automatically gave me 15 elite credits to put me at Silver.
I have an upcoming stay in Aug. for 10 nights at a Marriott hotel, 10 nights at a Residence Inn in Sept. and 22 days of rental at Enterprise. I will receive 5 points per $1 for the hotels, 2 points per $1 for the rental plus 1 point per $1 I spend on anything else.
What other way can I try to maximize my points?
Should I call the rewards and see if they have the Gold challenge? Thanks for any advice.
Welcome to Insiders, ihearttravel826!
You've joined a wonderful community. One that loves to share insight, perspective, and recommendation pertaining to all things Marriott and Travel. In addition to the constant exchange of information, members of this forum are extremely helpful when folks need help or are requesting the take of the community on a given travel topic. As you've probably seen.
I don't doubt that, as other members of the forum see your post, they'll chime in with their thoughts. Regarding your post specifically, go ahead and give the folks at customer care a call about the the Gold challenge!
If you have any questions or concerns you would like us to look into, don't hesitate to reach out to me (joshm), lindseyh, or carat. We make up the moderation team for the page and we're here to help!
A Gold challenge may not be helpful for you as it requires 6 stays (not nights) over a 3 month period. If your 10 nights at Marriott are all at one place, that still only counts as one stay regardless of how many nights.
With the Marriott Rewards credit card, you'll not only earn 10 points per dollar spent (plus the 20% Silver bonus), but you'll earn an additional 5 points per dollar by charging your stay to the MR visa. At the Residence Inn, it's not quite as good. You'll get 5 points per dollar for the stay (plus the 20% Silver bonus) plus another 5 points per dollar using the visa card. Don't forget that the points from the card don't show up until a couple days after the statement date, so those don't actually appear until a bit after the stay. All restaurant, airline, and rental car purchases on the card earn 2 points per dollar, so that can help a little.
If you want to maximize points, I'd consider changing the Residence Inn stay. Res Inn and TownePlace Suites earn points at half the rate of other Marriott brands.
There are a few other options. You can buy up to 50,000 points, so if you're still short, that might work. Also, starting in mid-September there is usually a MegaBonus promotion that will allow you to earn additional points. No word exactly what it will be this year, but it normally begins Sept. 15.
With the 80,000 points from the card and a couple long stays, you may not be as far from reaching your 120,000 point goal as you think. Even so, it will take a bit of effort to push over the top. I'm sure others may have some additional suggestions, so stay tuned.
Welcome and good luck.
Thank you for the insight bejacob. If the Gold challenge does require 6 stays, I should be able to put some effort into reaching that. I'm in RI, for 2 weeks in Aug. and plan to leave to NY on the weekend. So I actually plan to check-out in RI, check-in NY and check back in RI for the rest of the work week. I return in Sept. doing the same thing, but going to Boston on the weekend instead.
In that case it might be worth trying to get signed up. You won't get Gold status until you complete 6 stays, but once you complete the 6th stay (call customer service as soon as your 6th stay is complete so they update your status immediately) the bonus points go up from 20% to 25%. While that's not much, the other benefits of Gold are quite good (and wouldn't it be nice for your Kauai stay to be a Gold Elite member? ).
In any case, just signing up for the Gold challenge won't do anything to help you earn extra points, at least not until you reach Gold. If you think there is a good chance of achieving it, sign up just before your first stay and go for it.
A couple of questions...1) It looks like you're thinking about Kaua'i Marriott Resort, is this correct? That would be 120,000 for 3 nights. 2) If your heart is not set on that property, are you aware that there is a Marriott Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach? That would be 105,000 for 3 nights.
One way to obtain additional points for a stay is to see if the properties in August and September offer a special rate offering a points bonus. Often times, properties will offer 1000 to 5000 for booking a stay. These can be found as "Marriott Rewards Offers" rates. They will look like this:
Marriott has also started a program for longer term stays, like yours. Some hotels will offer 500 points per day if you don't request housekeeping. I'm not certain how this works, but check with the hotel.
Also, once you have your 80,000 points, you'll have enough for two nights. I'm sure you don't want to pay for the third night with cash, but that's a way to get almost all that you want.
Thank you for the insight. I definitely have my heart set on Kauai Marriot Resort. If it comes down to it, I'll have the 2 nights and I'll pay for the 3rd. Still getting a great hotel for paying just one night.
I'll definitely check back often to see if there's specials for the month of August and September.
All great recommendations so far, but you may want to consider if the cost of obtaining those points are worth it? Would you be better off simply paying for the stay, accruing those points, and saving them for later? Or what about a combination of paid nights and award nights?
Since you're starting from zero, would you also consider the Hyatt card from Chase? You get 2 nights free at ANY Hyatt property worldwide after meeting the minimum spending requirement. Might want to check property availability first. So this could be applied to the Grand Hyatt Kauai.
There's also the Chase Ultimate Rewards method. Open a Chase Sapphire Preferred card if you don't already have one and spend $4,000 is 3 months to earn 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points, which transfers at a rate of 1:1 to Marriott Rewards, putting you at your goal. Furthermore, Sapphire Preferred earns 2x on dining & travel (including parking). You can further boost your UR points by getting a Chase Freedom card and earning 5pts/$ on quarterly bonus categories. The current quarter is gas!
If you decide it's cheaper to pay, you could also apply for the Citi Prestige card and use that to pay. That card provides the 4th night free for hotel stays booked through their travel service (check first), but the annual fee is steep.
Hope this helps!