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Are you frustrated with the ability to redeem points for hotel stays?

Question asked by mcombs on Feb 3, 2012
Latest reply on Jun 30, 2012 by absolutelegend1

I can tell you that I am.  In fact, frustrated is putting is mildly (and is probably more politically correct).   I am trying to book a suite at a Residence Inn in Florida, as part of a Spring Break trip for my wife and kids.  I have spoken to just about everyone that I can (Platinum line, Rewards desk, General Manager of the property, Customer Care line), and while they are empathetic with my concerns, no one seems to be able to rectify the situation.


The property has 2 bedroom suites available.  But because the time of my travel is considered "peak season", they are unavailable for points.

I can understand that part of it.  What I can not understand is this:

The rooms are available online for $369 per night.  They have rooms available for points, but only the studio.  A studio only houses 2 people.  This will not work for me as there are 4 in my family.  Per the hotel, they do offer the ability to upgrade by using a combination of points and cash.  To upgrade to a 1 bedroom, it is 30,000 points per night plus $40-$100 per night (apparently the rate fluctuates).  For a 2 bedroom, it is 30,000 points per night plus $140 cash per night.  While I am willing to use the points and pay the cash difference, apparently they can not do that either as the "allotted" rooms for points are not available. 


Over 1/3 of the total 2 bedroom suites at this property are still available for $369.  Yet a combination of points and cash (which to me would seem to have the same value equivalency) can not be done.  The 80+ nights a year or more that I stay in Marriott properties does nothing for me in terms of being able to use the points that I have. 


I understand that with points that you typically are not going to be able to reserve a suite.  The policy seems to be that if there is one available at time of check-in, then you may get lucky.  How can I risk traveling to Florida 2 months from now with my wife and kids on the chance that I might get "lucky" with an upgrade?.   While I can appreciate that they most likely want to maximize the opportunity for revenue during this period of time, what about the opportunity of allowing me to burn off some of the liability that they have accrued with the points that I have accumulated?  I am not expecting to get the 2 bedroom suite on 30,000 points alone.  I am not asking them to displace someone who has already reserved a room so that I may use points.  All I am asking is to be able to use the system that already exists whereby one can use the points for a "base" room, and pay what is essentially the cash equivalent for the value of the upgraded room. 


Am I unreasonable in what I am looking for?

Does anyone have any thoughts on what could be done? 

Have you experienced similar issues when trying to redeem your points for a stay?