I'm somewhat new at this. Any suggestions as to when might be the best time/situation to use points instead of money?
Figure out the bang for the point -- if you have reservation where different nights are vastly different prices, it makes sense to book the higher price nights on points, and pay the lower price nights cash.
brightlybob, you're the expert on when to Pay or Redeem?
Could you give some advice to mandpw?
@mandpw My personal rule of thumb is to use my points over a 5-day reservation (4 using points + 1 free as part of the 5 day extended stay), which essentially gives you a 20% discount over the period (5 for the price of 4). I also use the cash+points feature when available, if the paying cash ends up being a significantly better deal (typically the valuation is $0.009 per point ) for a portion of that stay. Last I use points on full service / non-resort Marriott properties as my status gives me perks as concierge lounge access and breakfasts.
Thanks for the shoutout bejacob.
I have a pretty simple simple rule of thumb, valuing points at 1 cent each. Hence using new categories staring Saturday I would redeem the points if nightly cash rates including taxes are $75 at Cat1, $125 at Cat2, $175 at Cat3, $250 at Cat4, $350 at Cat5, $500 at Cat6 and $600 at Cat7. Since redeeming 5 nights requires paying only for 4 all those prices decrease by 20% on 5-night redemptions.
Its important to realise that other people prioritise differently. Some don’t bother so much with the monetary value and instead save their points for their annual vacation taking the view that theres a lot of pleasure knowing their annual family vacay is free on the points. Others prefer to redeem at certain brands they otherwise wouldn’t consider due to the price, such as St Regis, Luxury Collection, Ritz-Carlton or Edition Properties. Some only use them for weekends away thereby attributing the points to extra breaks they would never have had. Others still select a dream exotic vacation and will save up their points not only for the hotel but also to convert to airmiles to get that trip-of-a-lifetime free of charge.
The one one thing I think we all agree, they’re your hard earned points, make sure you enjoy redeeming them!
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