Marriott recently released their new cash and points chart, allowing you to redeem points for an award night with a cash supplement. This is part of their four improvements that they’re releasing for next year.
Award Rates Breakdown
These rates will be available in early 2016, bringing Marriott in line with other major programs such as Hilton, Starwood, Hyatt, and IHG in offering points and cash. The award charts posted on Marriott look like this:
|Points Used||Cash + Points||Cents per Mile|
|Category 1||7,500||3,000 + $45||1.00|
|Category 2||10,000||5,000 + $50||1.00|
|Category 3||15,000||8,000 + $55||0.79|
|Category 4||20,000||11,000 + $60||0.67|
|Category 5||25,000||14,000 + $65||0.59|
|Category 6||30,000||17,500 + $75||0.60|
|Category 7||35,000||21,000 + $90||0.64|
|Category 8||40,000||24,500 + $145||0.94|
|Category 9||45,000||28,000 + $220||1.29|
|Tier 1||30,000||15,000 + $115||0.77|
|Tier 2||40,000||20,500 + $145||0.74|
|Tier 3||50,000||26,000 + $170||0.71|
|Tier 4||60,000||32,000 + $260||0.93|
|Tier 5||70,000||38,000 + $335||1.05|
I’ve also added the cent per mile value at which you’re “buying” the additional miles with the cash component. The values range from 0.59 to 1.29 cpm, a huge difference.
There are several other caveats to keep in mind:
- These are not like free night awards, and availability will be limited depending on the property and dates. Most likely, a lot of hotels will start offering these when the awards first start, with gradually restricted capacity as they realize that these rates aren’t generating the revenue per room they quite expected.
- These rates do not qualify for the current fifth night free system that Marriott uses, reducing the value of the award.
- You do not earn points on the cash portion of your award, but the night is elite-qualifying.
Marriott has never been my preferred nor backup chain. Most of their properties aren’t outstanding, nor are their elite program and points too valuable. These new awards don’t really change that, as they’re merely catching up to other programs.
My value of Marriott points are 0.75cpm, so the best values are Category 4 – 7 Marriott and Tier 2-3 Ritz Carlton properties. Even then, however, I’d still very carefully consider their use, given that the cash value for a Tier 3 Ritz Carlton property using C/P is around $400, with no upgrades, club access, other useful elite benefits. At that price level, it almost makes sense to look at other properties that may offer lower rates and/or luxury hotel travel rates.
However, this is still a positive change, giving your points more flexibility. The current best offer to gain Marriott points for Canadians is the 50,000 Marriott points via the Chase Marriott Rewards Visa, which also comes with no foreign transaction fees.
Will you be redeeming Marriott points with their new Cash + Points rates?