If you’re planning a short break at a Marriott hotel and don’t have enough points to book as an award stay, or just want to save on your points, you can consider booking a Cash + Points booking. Marriott’s Cash + Points redemption options allow you to book a stay by paying cash and a fraction of the points for a traditional award night. Your choices are listed in a handy table.
For example, instead of redeeming 35,000 Marriott points for an award night at a Category 5 hotel, you might be able to book the same stay by paying $ 140 and using 17,000 points. Here you can see in more detail whether booking a Cash + Points tariff is worthwhile.
About the Marriott Cash + Points prizes
Before going into the details of redeeming Marriott Cash + Points, it is important to understand that Marriott has a discretion in the availability of Cash + Points rooms. As a result, the number of participating hotels is extremely limited.
In addition, there is no easy way to quickly determine which hotels are offering Cash + Points availability for your desired travel dates. You can only see if there is availability available on an individual hotel’s website. This can be time consuming when comparing multiple hotels.
The repayment table
Similar to Marriott’s Free Night Awards tableThe Cash + Points redemption table shows the cost of off-peak, standard and peak bookings in the eight Marriott categories. Booking a Cash + Points night starts at $ 55 + 1,500 points for off-peak booking at Marriott’s lowest category 1 hotels.
When booking an award stay with points only, you typically do not have to pay any taxes or fees on top of the points, with one exception: if the hotel charges a resort fee, you have additional monetary expense for the stay.
However, if you book a Cash + Points plan, you are responsible for all taxes and fees that apply to the cash portion of the plan. Depending on the hotel category, the additional taxes and fees can noticeably increase the cost of your stay.
Note that when you book a Cash + Points plan, you will not earn points based on the cash portion of the reward.
Finding value (or not) with Marriott Cash + Points rewards
Before booking a Cash + Points plan, be sure to enter the numbers to make sure you get a good deal. In certain cases it may be better to pay the Standard Cash Room rate, as the cash portion of the Cash + Points rate plus taxes and fees can be higher than what you would pay for a regular stay.
For example, the Union Station Hotel Nashville, Autograph Collection is a Category 7 Marriott hotel. A sample night award is 45,000 points, or you can book the Cash + Points rate for $ 250 + 25,000 Marriott points. At first glance, you’d pay $ 250 to save 20,000 Marriott points. However, the standard room rate for the same stay is only $ 210.
In this example, the Points + Cash option is not economical.
Here is an example where the Cash + Points rate could make sense. An example of an overnight stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, a Category 7 Marriott hotel, costs nearly $ 600. However, you can book a Cash + Points stay for USD 250 + USD 40,000 during this peak travel season Marriott points.
A free night for the same sample booking would require 70,000 points. In other words, paying $ 250 in cash can save about $ 350 off booking the standard room rate and save 30,000 points for a future stay. In addition, redeeming Cash + Points may also be the best option for travelers who do not have the 70,000 points on their account.
NerdWallet values Marriott points up 0.9 cents everyone. Normally you will not go beyond this value when redeeming Cash + Points (this example gives 0.8 cents per point). However, using Cash + Points can be useful to enable you to stay in a hotel that you otherwise could not afford.
The final result
Is it worth booking with the Marriott Cash + Points price? In short: it depends.
Booking this rate may reduce your hotel expenses and appeal to Bonvoy members who do not have enough points to book a free night at a particular property. Compare the Cash Copay portion of the Cash + Points price with the standard room price for your stay. In certain cases, the cash price of the stay could actually be cheaper.
Note that the hotel’s participation in the Cash + Points program is at the property’s discretion, which means availability is limited.
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