How To Book Marriott Cash And Points Stays

Last October we learned about four improvements coming to the Marriott Rewards programs. Probably the most significant announcement was that Marriott was finally introducing Cash and Points, allowing members to redeem part cash and part points for a hotel stay.

Marriott-Changes

This is a really popular offering with Hyatt and Starwood (Hilton and IHG offer something similar, though the values aren’t as compelling), so it’s exciting to see it expand to Marriott.

Here’s the chart for Cash + Points redemptions at Marriott properties:

Marriott-Cash-And-Points

And here’s the chart for Cash + Points redemptions at Ritz-Carlton properties:

Ritz-Cash-And-Points

For a bit more context, here’s a chart showing how many cents you’re getting per point by booking Cash + Points at Marriott properties:

CategoryPoints RequiredCashPointsCost Per Point
17,500$453,0001.00
210,000$505,0001.00
315,000$558,0000.79
420,000$6011,0000.67
525,000$6514,0000.59
630,000$7517,5000.60
735,000$9021,0000.64
840,000$14524,5000.94
945,000$22028,0001.29

And here’s the same for Ritz-Carlton properties:

CategoryPoints RequiredCashPointsCost Per Point
130,000$11515,0000.77
240,000$14520,5000.74
350,000$17026,0000.71
460,000$26032,0000.93
570,000$33538,0001.05

With all that out of the way, it’s worth noting that Marriott Cash + Points reservations are finally bookable as of this week. On first glance I’m really underwhelmed, both by the number of properties offering Cash + Points, as well as by how complicated it is to search for availability, given that it’s capacity controlled.

It’s very possible that this is simply a function of this being a new offering, and that the search functionality and availability across properties will improve. I certainly hope so.

To search Cash + Points availability with Marriott, you have to pull up reward night availability at a specific hotel. So on Marriott’s homepage, check the “Use Points” box when doing your search.

Marriott-Reward-1

Then on the results page you’ll see whether or not the hotel has points availability, though you can’t see if there’s Points + Cash availability.

Marriott-Reward-2

It’s only when you click on the “View Rates” page and look at an individual hotel that you’ll see whether or not the hotel has Cash + Points available.

Marriott-Reward-3

Marriott has thousands of properties around the world so there’s no way for me to easily figure out how many properties have availability. But based on searching availability in about a dozen random cities, I’m extremely disappointed by the availability.

Here are the frequently asked questions Marriott has regarding Cash + Points bookings:

Is Cash + Points available for members of both Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®?
Yes, Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards both offer Cash + Points. Participation varies by hotel.

Does Cash + Points follow No Blackout Dates?
No, members can redeem their points for Cash + Points at participating Marriott® brand hotels and The Ritz-Carlton® hotels based on availability. Participation varies by hotel.

Will I earn Elite night credits with Cash + Points?
Yes, you will earn one Elite night credit for every night redeemed and stayed using Cash + Points.

Will I earn points on the cash portion of Cash + Points?
No, members will not earn points on the cash portion of Cash + Points.

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

Do Cash + Points amounts fluctuate?
No, Cash + Points amounts remain the same within each hotel category. Please refer to the chart for further details.

Bottom line

I’m happy to see Marriott finally introduce Cash + Points, and think it’s a great new addition for members. This offering is only available as of the past couple of days, so it’s my hope that many hotels are still in the process of getting onboard with the new system and adding availability.

Either way, I really hope Marriott makes it easier to search this availability, especially if there’s going to be such limited space. Cash + Points availability should show up on the results page when people are searching for points availability, in my opinion. Ideally there should even be an option to search just for Cash + Points availability.

What are your first impressions of Marriott’s Cash and Points offering?

Comments

  1. “here’s a chart showing how many cents you’re getting per point by booking Cash + Points at Marriott properties.” This should be rephrased, as your chart shows not how many cents of value you’re GETTING out of each point (as your wording suggests, and which would only be possible by knowing the all-cash rate) but rather what you’re effectively PAYING for each point. On first reading it looks like the bottom and top categories are the best values, but it’s actually the other way around.

  2. I found the assertion that Hyatt and SPG cash and points offer a compelling value and Hilton does not to be mystifying. Hyatt points cost 1.25 to 1.5 cents, SPG 1.5 to 2 cents and Hilton 0.27 to 0.33 cents using cash and points. I don’t think the case can be made that Hyatt points are worth substantially more than 5 times or SPG substantially more than 6 times the value of Hilton points. Not sure exactly what you value these points at, but I have commonly seen valuations of 0.4 to 0.5 for Hilton, 1.5 to 1.8 for Hyatt, and 2 to 2.25 for SPG. Using these common valuations, Hilton actually provides the most compelling value for cash and points.
    IHG points and cash can now be found for 0.56 to 0.7 points and are fairly consistently valued at around 0.7 points, so certainly no compelling value there. Marriott points can now be had for 0.59 to 1.29 cents. I think valuations commonly run 0.9 to 1 cent each, so close to the best values at the low end and pretty much the worst at the high end.

  3. In the past the points plus cash was only available on stays of two nights or more. Is it now available for one night stands? Will try to see by booking HKD airport which refused a single night stay previously.
    thanks

  4. @ Alan — Well in the past points plus cash consisted of them letting you book one night using cash and one night using points on the same reservation. It wasn’t actually a points plus cash offering in the same way. Now this is valid on one night stays as well.

  5. @ Farnorthtrader — Sorry, to be clear, I think Hilton’s cash and points represents a great value, I just haven’t found it to be very widely available compared to Hyatt and Starwood. Maybe my experiences don’t represent those of others, though.

  6. A Marriott point isn’t worth close to a penny for hotel stays. If it were, a category 5 hotel would have costed $250 a night (even ignoring points one would have earned on paid stays). Very few, if any, category 5 hotels are in that price range. A fairer estimate is 0.7 to 0.8 cents per MR point. If that’s the case, then the cash+points rates represent generally poor value, with the exception of categories 4 through 7 for which they represent some (minor) value.

  7. Big item left out – the Ritz credit card gives me three Club upgrades per year. Does a Cash and Points stay qualify for the upgrade the same way that Hyatt C&P stays do for GSU’s?

  8. Will the cash and points for a 2 nights stay (you pay cash one night points the next) count as a “stay”? I know you get the Elite nights but I am doing the Platinum challenge and need the stay.

    Thank you.

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