Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Looking at the details of Marriott’s new ‘cash and points’ rewards

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Marriott Rewards announced four changes to its programme on Monday as I outlined here.  What I didn’t know at the time was how the new ‘cash and points’ option would work.

Marriott has chosen to take the path of Hyatt and Starwood and make ‘cash and points’ redemptions a separate redemption ‘bucket’.

This means two things:

Availability will be worse than for ‘100% points’ redemptions

They are, in some scenarios, a good deal if they are available and increase the value of your Marriott points

Here is the Marriott redemption chart using ‘cash and points which is taken from the Marriott website here:

Marriott cash points

…. and here is the Ritz-Carlton version:

Ritz cash points

If we get the calculator out, you will see that you are, de facto, ‘buying’ the additional points from Marriott at the following rates:

  • Category 1: 1c
  • Category 2: 1c
  • Category 3: 0.79c
  • Category 4: 0.67c
  • Category 5: 0.59c
  • Category 6: 0.6c
  • Category 7: 0.64c
  • Category 8: 0.94c
  • Category 9: 1.29c
  • Tier 1: 0.77c
  • Tier 2: 0.79c
  • Tier 3: 0.71c
  • Tier 4: 0.93c
  • Tier 5: 1.05c

I usually say that I conservatively value a Marriott point at 0.5p, which is around 0.8 cents.

On that basis, I should definitely do ‘cash and points’ for Category 4 to Category 7 redemptions.  Marriott is ‘selling’ me half of the points I need for a redemption for less than my valuation of them.

For the other categories, plus Tier 4 and 5 at Ritz-Carlton, it does not look so attractive.  I am not sure of the logic of this, because ‘cash and points’ is capacity-controlled by each hotel.  If a hotel is worried about getting too many redemption requests, it can simply not participate – you don’t need to use pricing to put people off.

You cannot book ‘cash and points’ rooms yet – we are promised ‘early 2016’.  More details can be found on the Marriott website here.


Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (3)

  • koroleon says:

    Worth mentioning this bit from the FAQ:

    No, the NEW Cash + Points will not count toward “Redeem 4 Nights, Get the 5th Night Free.”

    Also, I imagine the cash portion of a Cash + Points award will be subject to the various taxes and fees hotels charge, which can be as high as 20% in some resorts. These two factors make the value proposition of Cash + Points much lower for me.

    • Rob says:

      Interesting point. Technically, Marriott could take payment upfront for these, treat it as a points purchase and the booking as a full redemption and that would avoid tax. I agree that it probably not how it will be though.

      In the UK it has to include VAT, many other countries have similar rules.

      • koroleon says:

        My experience is based on a SPG Cash+Points redemption in Thailand. It will be interesting to see how Marriott will treat this.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.