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:
…. and here is the Ritz-Carlton version:
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.
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.
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.
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).
(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.)