I recently stayed at the Marriott Marquis during September 2 - 9.. Paid for the first two nights and used points for the other five nights to get the one night free on points. This maximized my use of points while at the same time getting a favorable weekend rate making it a good combination of paying and using points. Can't beat the Marriott Marquis for a perfect location in NYC.
I am staying at the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas. I will be paying for the first night and using points for the second night. I have reserved these seperately to assure I get a nights credit for the paid night. Does this make sense? or will I get or not get the nights credit either way?