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During the long transition to a single rewards program, Marriott delivered a bunch of new features to the Marriott Rewards program – Points Advance, Points Sharing, Redemption Stay Credit, and Cash + Points.
The availability of Cash + Points redemptions varies by hotel, and properties participating in Cash + Points redemptions are not listed anywhere on the Marriott website. Unless you know prior to searching for a reservation that the hotel is offering Cash + Points, it's sheer luck if you stumble onto a property searching by location.
We've touched on Cash + Points in other posts, but this time we want to dive deeper into how much they cost, when best to use them, and other frequently asked questions.
How Much Does a Marriott Cash + Points Stay Cost?
The table below shows the value of Cash + Points stays across the combined Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and SPG portfolio. Marriott has added the value of Peak and Off-Peak pricing to the new Cash + Points table.
By paying cash in place of points, you are effectively purchasing the points at a pre-determined price. The decision to book a Marriott Cash + Points stay, therefore, comes down to whether you value the points you are purchasing higher than the cost of paying for the room in full using cash.
New Marriott Rewards Cash + Points Award Chart
Cash + Points | Points Only
Cash + Points | Points Only
Cash + Points | Points Only
|1||$50 + 2,500 | 5,000||$55 + 3,500 | 7,500||$60 + 4,500 | 10,000|
|2||$60 + 5,000 | 10,000||$65 + 6,000 | 12,500||$70 + 6,500 | 15,000|
|3||$70 + 7,500 | 15,000||$80 + 8,500 | 17,500||$90 + 9,000 | 20,000|
|4||$90 + 10,000 | 20,000||$105 + 12,000 | 25,000||$120 + 13,500 | 30,000|
|5||$120 + 16,000 | 30,000||$140 + 17,000 | 35,000||$165 + 19,000 | 40,000|
|6||$165 + 22,000 | 40,000||$190 + 25,000 | 50,000||$225 + 27,500 | 60,000|
|7||$225 + 27,500 | 50,000||$250 + 30,000 | 60,000||$325 + 35,000 | 70,000|
|8||$325 + 35,000 | 70,000||$440 + 42,500 | 85,000||$635 + 50,000 | 100,000|
Are There Blackout Dates Using Cash + Points?
According to an FAQ page on Marriott's website, Cash + Points stays are subject to blackout dates which are determined by the hotel.
Essentially, Marriott Cash + Points stays are only available at select properties, and you have no way of knowing whether they will be offered until you reach the room selection page on Marriott’s website. In our view, fixing this would be a huge benefit to Marriott Rewards members.
It would be great if Marriott could incorporate a Cash + Points checkbox into the Advanced Search function, or directly under the ‘Use Rewards Points’ option, as there is currently no way of telling if Cash + Points is available until you have clicked all the way through. The added time and frustration to search for Cash + Points stays can almost outweigh the financial benefits.
Do Cash + Point Stays Earn Elite Credits?
Yes, all Cash + Points stays at Marriott properties earn elite credits. If you are closing on an elite tier and don’t quite have the points to cover the nights required, Cash + Points stays offer a cheaper alternative than shelling out cash for the entire stay.
Do You Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points on the Cash Portion of Cash + Points Stays?
Unfortunately, no. When booking Cash + Points stays, you will not earn Bonvoy points from the cash portion of your booking. You will, however, earn points on the cash portion if you pay with a credit card, so we suggest using a Marriott co-brand card or the best card in your wallet for travel purchases.
When to Book a Cash + Points Stay
There are two primary reasons to book a Marriott Cash + Points stay.
- When you are short on points for a chosen redemption. Don’t let being short on points stop you from chasing your dream holiday. Marriott Cash + Points allows you purchase the required points for less than the 1.25 cents per point you would pay through Points.com, and also allows you to bypass the annual limit on purchasing and gifting points as there is no limit to how many Cash + Points stays you can make outside of room availability.
- When you are trying to reach a specific elite status. When on the verge of achieving an elite status and you need to bank a few more nights, Cash + Points stays can reduce the cash outlay required to get there. They also provide an alternative to transferring valuable points from flexible programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Note: One of the downsides of using Cash + Points is you don’t receive the fifth night free as you would for Marriott Free Night Awards.
How to Book a Cash + Points Stay
As an example, we'll use a hotel we stumbled on offering Cash + Points when researching a previous post, high-value Marriott Bonvoy redemptions for budget travelers. At the time, the Renaissance Shanghai Yangtze Hotel was offering Marriott Bonvoy Cash + Points stays.
- Head to the Marriott website and type in your destination city, remembering to select the ‘Use Rewards Points’ checkbox. It also pays to choose the ‘Flexible Dates?’ option too, as it will allow you to view the available award nights for the month you wish to travel.
- Select the hotel
- Pick your desired dates
- On the Choose a Room Rate page, select the Cash + Points option, and you will be taken through to the checkout page where any applicable fees and taxes will be added before checkout.
One aspect of Marriott Cash + Points stays that is harder to find information on is the Customize Cash + Points tab which pops up when you select more than one night for a Cash + Points stay. There is no information alluding to the Customize tab on the Cash + Points page of Marriott's website, in fact, the only reference I could find was in a lightbox accessed directly through a google search.
Use Cash + Points: Select the “Cash + Points” link to show a “Cash + Points Combination” for your stay. You will also be given the option to select “Customize Cash + Points” to build your own cash and points combination for stays of two or more nights.
It allows you to customize the combination of cash and points you are using per night, in this instance, dropping the points required down as low as 5,000 points.
Marriott Cash + Points stays are another fantastic feature of the Marriott Bonvoy program. It always pays to run the numbers on different payment options to discover whether you will be better off paying in cash, points, or a mixture of the two.
They can prove especially useful when trying to achieve elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, and when you are short the required points for a holiday redemption and want a cheaper option than purchasing points.
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