6 Ideas for Where to Spend Your Marriott Points

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Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card 80,000 Point Signup Offer

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers 80,000 points after spending $3000 within the first 3 months of cardmembership and an additional 7500 bonus points when you add your first authorized user to the account and make a purchase in that same timeframe.

Now that Marriott points transfer to Starwood, it’s the biggest current public signup offer for Starwood points as well.

In fact, you can only get an American Express signup bonus once for a given card product. If you’ve already had the bonus for a Starwood American Express card, this is an opportunity to get another Starwood bonus as well.

But the signup bonus can go farther than with many other hotel cards:

  • It’s worth two nights in a category 8 hotel or 4 nights in a category 4 or 8 nights in a category 2 hotel.
  • And you can also, of course, top off a Marriott account with points from for instance a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. That’s not generally the best use of Chase points but if you’re close to an award it can make sense. (In fact, Chase points now transfer to Starwood as well, at the same rate as American Express Membership Rewards do, through the transitive property of Starwood-Marriott transfers.)

It can make sense to get the card for the bonus. And to keep the card for the annual free night.

There’s a ton of hype around transfers between Starwood and Marriott. There are great arbitrage opportunities, but here are 6 great Marriott hotels where you can spend your points:

Protea Hotel Stellenbosch, South Africa

The Protea Hotel Stellenbosch is set in vineyards of the Cape Winelands district, bordering nature reserves. It overlooks wineries, and is a great jumping off point for exploring the region’s wine and arts scene. This is the second oldest town in the country with Dutch-heritage architecture. It’s 15 minutes from the beach and beside two golf courses.

And it’s a category 1 hotel, 7500 points per night and 5th night is free — so 30,000 points for 5 days.


Credit: Marriott

Courtyard Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Explore the beaches on Puerto Rico’s West Coast. The property is minutes from the airport and it’s just a category 3 hotel. That’s a great value since prices are often $150++ per night.


Credit: Marriott

JW Marriott Bucharest, Romania

This is just a category 3 hotel so only 15,000 points per night with fifth night free. This one first stood out to me a year and a half ago when it was featured as one of Travel is Free‘s unbelievably cheap hotel award redemptions.


Credit: Marriott

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Hawaii

This Autograph Collection property is on the western side of the island of Hawaii. All rooms have private lanais and soaking tubs. This is a category 9 hotel.


Credit: Marriott

JW Marriott Grosvenor House, London

The JW Marriott Grosvenor House in the Mayfair area overlooks Hyde Park. Nearby is Buckingham Palace and Madame Tussauds. It’s a top property in Central London.

Meet the spending requirement on this card and earn the full signup bonus, you have enough points for two nights at this category 9 property that’s 45,000 points per night.


Credit: Marriott

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

There are few archetypal luxury prestige properties quite like the Ritz-Carlton Central Park. Sure, the Ritz in Battery Park is cheaper. But this is the one that’s on bucket lists, right on Central Park with an Art Deco exterior.

It’s 70,000 points per night as a tier 5 Ritz-Carlton redemption, but you’ve got the points to stay here so why not? And transferring Starwood points to Marriott you’ve got a better deal than using Starpoints at Starwood’s own top luxury New York hotels.


Credit: Marriott

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card 80,000 Point Signup Offer

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Completely understand the “bucket list” motivation for including the Ritz, but personally, I would take the Essex House over it if my points were being used. Not as, uh, ritzy, for sure, but only 45k/night and in my experience the elite treatment is good, including one of the nicer U.S. lounges (whereas at the RC you get nada as a Marriott/SPG elite).

  2. Puerto Rico? Really? C’mon, Gary. Actually think about what you’re doing before you hit publish on these spam posts.

  3. I think the sensitivity police needs some training. I see nothing at all wrong with including a hotel in Puerto Rico. If anything, it’s a reminder that when some semblance of normal returns, PR will need the tourism dollars!

  4. I don’t see the issue with Puerto Rico? If anything it’s nice to be included. They’re going to need all the tourism money they can get.

  5. WTH is the matter with you people complaining about him mentioning Puerto Rico? The post talks about nice hotels that you can use Marriott points at. Talk about delicate snowflakes…

  6. @Gene – I disagree. Insensitive? I wrote about staying away from Puerto Rico for awhile, tourists would initially be more of a burden on infrastructure but they need tourist dollars too. The expectation has been 95% power restoration by mid-December.

  7. I fully agree with CW. We recently spent five nights at JW Marriott Essex House (on points, with the 5th night free); we were very pleased. (We might stay at the Ritz one night, just for the experience, but Essex House is now our go-to property in Manhattan….at least until the points run out, since cash rates there are often un-affordable.)

    Gary is a master of understatement – “transferring to Marriott is not generally the best use of Chase points”. Chase points are worth at least 1.5 cents each; Marriott points are worth about 0.7 cents each. I am putting as much spend on my SPG Amex as possible, since that is the only cost-effective way of earning SPG (and now Marriott) points in large quantities. (I do agree with Gary that transferring a few thousand points can make sense to top off an award, but if you have any SPG points, transferring them to Marriott at 1:3 is definitely preferred.)

    In London, I was very pleased with the St. Pancras Renaissance (housed in a delightfully restored Victorian train station). The London Marriott Park Lane also has an excellent reputation.

  8. Gary,
    Your post is really only to get credit card ckicjs. There is not a shred of new information, just recycling and reposting the same info.

    Can u do some original research and/or present any original thought?

  9. One of the best redemptions ever was at the Marriott Kigali in Rwanda. It’s a beautiful property. Flew there using Etihad miles on Brussels Airlines. Also in additon to the one mentioned by Gary the other Protea hotels in Africa can be an excellent redemption value. But read the reviews carefully–some are way better than others.

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