First post ever on this site so sorry if this is a dumb question.....does anyone have any suggestions on how I can redeem Reward Points even when they are not an option on a specific Properties website? I am looking to take the family on a Caribbean Vacation this summer and want to redeem points...however can only find availability using $$ and not Reward Points.....anyone have any suggestions?
Depending on how far away the trip is, one option is to just wait. What may only show as available for cash now could be available to book on points in a month or two (or five). This is especially true for Marriott Vacation Club properties, but might also happen for other brands in popular locations. In my opinion, if a room is available for cash, it should also be available for points. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case.
Marriott has a no blackout policy for redemptions which means every hotel has to offer all their standard rooms as available for redemption every night but can obtain some exemption nights each year where they only have to offer a small number of redemptions. If you book early (11 months) every hotel should have redemption availability. Note however that Marriott Vacation clubs are exempt from the no blackout rule, and MVC makes up the majority of Marriotts Caribbean inventory.
Keep checking, redemptions often open up nearer the date as those with reservations cancel...
If you dont mind overpaying in points you can redeem points for marriott gift cards, and pay with the gift card just like using cash. I would not personally use this option now as the cards are no longer a good redemption in my opinion, I think that the relative cost in points to reward ($) ratio is not good ( much less then a penny a point CURRENTLY 250,000 POINTS FOR $1000 GIFT CARD). But it is an option if you have way too many points and don't want to spend money. Before you do this you might want to make sure the hotel accepts Marriott Gift Cards as a payment -- in my experience most do after some complaining but you should still check.