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Forums Hotel loyalty schemes Marriott Bonvoy Cash out or carry on – at what point do you decide? Q from a low-earner.

Cash out or carry on – at what point do you decide? Q from a low-earner.

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  • MuppetThumper

    6-7 years ago I did a reasonable amount of travel for work that enabled me to acquire enough points for a night in Paris and 2 in Santa Monica. I’m left with 65k that I have been ticking over ever since. Those free nights were nice but I do wonder if it was really worth it if you can’t push on like many forumites here and earn well into the 100’s of thousands to get some really super redemption possibilities (there was a within reach F1 Silverstone race day offer a few years ago but it went in a flash).

    I love a good deal but I find keeping these balances going (I have similar with Accor) waiting for the right opportunities, and worrying about expiry, to be rather fatiguing. I’m just not sure its worth it for a balance like this if I’m not actively accumulating? Am I better off just looking for good value bog-standard package holidays than keeping these for travel? My current work doesn’t involve travel so opportunities to acquire more points look slim.

    I have considered just blowing it on the shopping options but of course they are relatively poor value (65k points will get you a Sonos Roam, currently £140 equivalent). I could do the air-miles conversion – I have built up 230k Virgin airmiles over a long period hoping one day for a nice upper class redemption – but again that could be a single blow-out then done.

    Curious if anyone else finds it more effort than is worth to keep mid-smallish balances alive. Thanks

    NorthernLass

    You have to treat points collecting like a hobby to keep your balances up if you don’t earn masses of them through work. I approach it like the kind of job we used to get as teenagers (e.g. paper round or Saturday job at Woolies), put in a few hours a week and reap the benefits of a much enhanced travel experience – only without the attendant hassles of a real job!
    I’m probably going to give up on Marriott when I’ve burned through my dwindling stash of points, redemption levels are crazy high and the points not that easy to earn. HH and IHG give a much better return for me. I’d probably use the 65k for a night somewhere really nice like the Langley then move on.

    memesweeper

    There’s no reason to “save up” Accor points. They have a fixed value each. Spend ASAP, just in case there’s an unfavourable change to the scheme ahead.

    There’s not much reason to “save up” Marriott points. There’s an unfavourable change to the scheme in progress so points are being less useful. However, if you think you’ll ever want to use their 5-4-4 offer, and think you can get enough points to exploit this within the time available, you might want to keep on with Marriott.

    hotels.com, for now, is the best bet for occasional travellers IMHO. You get a reasonable return every 10th stay booked with them. Also consider Nectar hotels and Rocketmiles.

    YC

    Agree why cash out on a very poor redemption when it is relatively easy to keep the points alive and wait to burn it at a much better value (langley/regional/random European weekend where you need a bed). I would however look to burn sooner rather than later.

    I am in a similar boat with bonvoy having cashed out my stack on aspirational properties since the merger with SPG. What I am unsure about is chasing lifetime platinum (about half way in terms of nights/years). I am still young by most standards and do all of my travel for leisure. Points/cash have just skyrocketed post covid and I am beginning to question the overall value proposition and increasingly poor earn and burn rate as a platinum+ / lifetime platinum.

    YC

    Agree why cash out on a very poor redemption when it is relatively easy to keep the points alive and wait to burn it at a much better value (langley/regional/random European weekend where you need a bed). I would however look to burn sooner rather than later.

    I am in a similar boat with bonvoy having cashed out my stack on aspirational properties since the merger with SPG. What I am unsure about is chasing lifetime platinum (about half way in terms of nights/years). I am still young by most standards and do all of my travel for leisure. Points/cash have just skyrocketed post covid and I am beginning to question the overall value proposition and increasingly poor earn and burn rate as a platinum+ / lifetime platinum.

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