Marriott introduces a different kind of “Cash and Points”

I was rather excited when I saw the headline that Marriott is introducing “Cash and Points.” Hilton, Priority Club and Starwood already offer this, and it’s one of the most popular redemption options, so I figured Marriott was just “catching up.”

Check out the banner for the new feature:

Flexibility and choices like never before? This must be good.

The text below the banner reads as follows:

Coming Soon: Cash + Points

Get ready for Marriott Rewards Cash + Points, a new way to book a stay that lets you combine redemption nights and cash nights within a single reservation of two nights or more. Along with this new flexibility, you’ll still earn points and Elite night credits for your nights paid with cash. So add a few days of relaxation onto a business trip or redeem just a portion of your points for a vacation.

Convenience, flexibility and rewards. It all adds up to a better way to book your stay.

Wait a second, so you’re not introducing cash and points, but rather just giving members the option to book a paid night and award night on the same reservation? And the benefit of that is what, exactly? I’ve never had an issue just having the hotel link reservations that were booked through different channels, so this is a solution to a non-existent problem, in my opinion.

I think the fact that Marriott considers this to be “flexibility and choices like never before” says a lot about their program. Either their marketers are the sleaziest people on earth, or Marriott seriously misunderstood how other hotels do “cash and points.”

(Tip of the hat to Loyalty Traveler)

Comments

  1. Pretty sure you can do this already. I’ve had numerous bookings where I’ve gone to places like London and Brussels on work, and added on a weekend paid with points on the same reservation. Is this then the ability to do it online (as before you could only do it if you called CS)?

  2. Marriott –

    It is dumb features like this (among other things) that have led me to status match to Hilton Honors Diamond, which I am enjoying so far.

    Lark

  3. “Either their marketers are the sleaziest people on earth”

    A little hyperbole, no? I mean, I’ve seen far sleazier marketing…

  4. I actually have had problems linking award and cash reservations before across different chains (never Marriott), especially when the hotel is near capacity and I book late.

  5. Pathetic. For Marriott to trumpet a benefit that’s essentially of zero value really tells me they are out of touch with their guests. If this wins another Freddie award there needs to be an investigation.

  6. Hah I must be the only person excited about this! It actually will work out perfectly for a reservation I need to make for NYE in Vegas where only 2 day bookings are allowed.

  7. Actually, I think this is great. There have been times where I’ve wanted to use points for three nights and pay for the fourth, or something like that. I’m happy that Marriott is now giving the functionality to make this work without having to do two different reservations.

    I get that it’s not “cash + points” a la Hilton / Starwood, and yes it would be nice if Marriott had that, but I’m still happy to have this.

  8. I work with a bunch of guys who stay at Marriott’s. Can’t quite figure it out. I’m sure they’ll be bragging up this feature as soon as they get the email about it next week.

  9. I have done this before with a customer service agent. It works if you want to use points for expensive nights and pay for the cheaper nights. The redeem 4 nights and get the fifth night free will count, as long as the paid and award nights are a continuous stay at one property.

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