As the Starwood and Starpoints coming to an end, people have accelerated the rate of collecting Starpoints worldwide. Many were able to acquire a sizeable amount of SPG currency, and planning to convert them into Marriott Rewards (MR) points for redeeming Air and Hotel Package, which is one of the ways to use the Marriott Rewards points.
Recently, Marriott has quietly added two more options for people redeeming air and hotel package, for 420K MR points, you can get the usual 120K airline miles (e.g. Aeroplan, Alaska or Virgin Atlantic), and a seven-night certificate at any tier 1-3 Ritz-Carlton or Edition properties. For 120K MR points more, you can get a seven-night certificate at any tier 4-5 Ritz or Edition hotels.
At first glance, we all cheer about this enhancement (notice it is not in quotes). I started to wonder, is it a good deal?
To answer this question, I have come up a “need for travel,” and have used two scenarios to test against each other.
1. The first scenario would be booking the Ritz/Edition Air and Hotel package directly;
2. The second scenario involves booking those properties separately but redeem for additional three air and hotel package.
Which one is a better deal?
Before I dive into the details, I would like to point out one disclaimer-ish notice: personal travel preferences may vary, so this is purely my real-world preference, and it may be different from yours.
One of the most significant discouragements for me to redeem the Air and Hotel package has been the length of the certificate. I would not want to stay at the property for seven days unless I have to, say work-related travel. In the past, when I redeem air and hotel package, I would use it to book trips for family and friends, and I personally never used this seven-day certificate.
Therefore, for scenario 2, I calculated Ritz/Edition redemption rate as four nights, because you get the 5th night for free under current Marriott Redemption rule. And to be honest, a 5-day stay is probably the longest days I would want to spend in one city.
The table below is a list of items I have described from scenario 1 and 2 (tier level for Jiuzhaigou is purely speculation):
And you can see, for scenario 1, you will get 21 hotel nights in total, and 360k airline miles. For scenario 2, you get 15 nights at Ritz/Edition, 21 nights at any cat 5 or below properties, and 360k airline miles.
So basically, you are trading 6 Ritz/Edition nights and 30,000 MR points for 21 additional nights.
In my opinion, I would go with the scenario 2, because it is better tailored to my travel needs and I believe it is a better value.
Also published on Medium.