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If you are short on Marriott Bonvoy points, you may consider a Cash + Points redemption for your next stay.
The availability of Marriott 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 when searching by location.
We've touched on Cash + Points in other posts, but 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?
Marriott Cash + Points stays start at $55 and 3,500 points for a standard redemption.
Since Marriott Bonvoy uses fully dynamic award pricing, the number of points required per night for a specific property can vary when you book a Cash + Points stay. However, the cash portion per night for a specific property should remain constant on these bookings.
Before booking a Cash + Points stay, consider whether it would be better to book a paid rate or buy Marriott points during a promotion. Specifically, calculate the rate at which you'd effectively be buying Marriott points before booking a Cash + Points stay.
Are There Blackout Dates Using Cash + Points?
Marriott's website does not explicitly say there are blackout dates for using Cash + Points, but it does say the rate is “subject to availability.” The only listed exclusion for Cash + Points bookings is all-inclusive resorts.
Unfortunately, it is not easy to determine which hotels offer Cash + Points since availability is up to the discretion of each property. There is currently no way to tell whether Cash + Points will be available for a particular hotel until you reach the room selection page for a specific property on Marriott’s website. It's not possible to filter by available hotels or start your search with Cash + Points stays as your preference; you'll only see this availability as you go through the reservation process.
Related: Do Marriott Bonvoy Points Expire?
Do Cash + Point Stays Earn Elite Night Credits?
Yes, all Cash + Points stays at Marriott properties earn elite night credits. If you are closing in on an elite tier and don’t quite have the points to cover the nights required, Marriott Cash + Points stays may 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, you will not earn Marriott Bonvoy points from the cash portion of your reservation when booking Cash + Points stays.
When To Book a Cash + Points Stay
There are two primary times you might want 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 redemptions sometimes let you effectively buy points for less than you otherwise could. Plus, Cash + Points redemptions let you bypass the annual limit on purchasing and gifting points since members can purchase up to 100,000 additional points in the Cash + Points channel.
- When you are trying to reach a specific elite status. If you are on the verge of achieving a specific Marriott Bonvoy elite status tier and you need 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 or American Express Membership Rewards.
How To Book a Cash + Points Stay
To book a Marriott Cash + Points stay, head to the Marriott Bonvoy website and search for a hotel stay as normal. Be sure to check the “Use Points/Certificates” box.
The next screen shows the full award redemption rate for each property in the results.
You'll have to click “View Rates” for each result to see whether a “Cash & Points Redemption” option is available. If you have some flexibility in hotel choice and/or dates, you may be more likely to find the option available at your destination. In our example here of a sample trip to Nashville, Tennessee, we got lucky and located a “Cash & Points Redemption” in the second hotel option, the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.
This hotel is charging 59,000 points for the full redemption or 29,500 points plus $200 for a Cash & Points Redemption, which works out to approximately 0.67 cents per point. Given that I try to get anywhere from 0.8$ to 1$ per point from my Marriott Bonvoy points redemptions, I would not consider the Cash + Points or the full points redemption a good deal since the nightly rate with taxes comes to $400. To save $200, you'd spend 29,500 points — a redemption value of 0.68¢ per point.
If I had to book this specific hotel, I would pay cash. But more than likely what I would do is return to the search results and look for a less expensive hotel.
When To Build Your Own Cash + Points Combination
If you have a multi-night stay and the property does not offer a fixed “Cash & Points Redemption,” you can use the “Customize Payments” option to select which nights you'd like to redeem points for and which nights you'd like to pay for in cash. Searching for a three-night stay at the Sheraton Grand Nashville Hotel shows this option to “Customize Payments.”
For each night, you'll click the appropriate button to select whether you want to redeem points or pay cash.
Marriott Cash + Points stays can prove especially useful if you lack the required points for a redemption and don't want to buy points. But 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.
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