Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Marriott Rewards - Redeeming for Ten Nights

I've been a point hoarder when it came to the Marriott Rewards program. The problem is that Marriott changed the award requirement that did not benefit the person trying to save for a two-week vacation in some of the most popular visitor destinations in the world. First of all the point value per night increased. Secondly Marriott added another tier of hotel award level which included the most desirable properties. Prior to this there were only seven levels.

The biggest loss for the faithful traveler is the point value system. They increased significantly because under the old chart, the more nights you stayed the less points were required. Now the point value per night was higher and the same for every additional night.

Despite these changes Marriott uplays that fact there are no blackout dates (but you may be denied a stay if the allotted rooms for award is not available) and for every fourth night, a fifth night is awarded free. In other words, the point value for four and five nights is the same.

So bottom line, my 300,000+ Marriott points allowed me a 10-day stay at a level seven property rather than fourteen. Marriott did announce the change in the spring of 2009 that any awards redeemed prior to end of the year would be honored at the old award chart. But planning a two week European vacation is probably not what most working people can normally do on the fly.

My consolation was the hotel I finally chose was the Renaissance Chancery Court in London which fell in category seven. I had planned to stay only seven nights but with the 5th night free offer, I added an eighth night and my total stay would now be ten nights. A lot of points but there was no way to go back to the old chart so I just dealt with it and booked my stay.

So which hotels are in Marriott's elite hotel category 8? The entire list is below the reward chart.

Marriott Hotel Rewards
Marriott properties are grouped in eight categories by location and hotel type. The table below indicates points required for free nights in each category. Point amounts are based on a standard room.

*Point values are based on a standard room and may vary by length of stay and hotel category. Upgrades may be available for extra points.
ViewMarriott Hotel RewardPointSavers Hotel Reward
Points Reward for 1 Night Stay
17,500Redeem 4 Nights.
Get the 5th Night
Marriott Vacation Club resorts do not participate in No Blackout Dates.

Category 8


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