I was looking back at an article I wrote in October and I used the JW Marriott Ihilani as my example hotel for saving cash by just buying marriott Rewards points. This is text from my article in Hotels-and-Points October 2007. The 12-page newsletter can be downloaded as an Adobe PDF file. It is about 3 MB size so takes a a little bit to download and open. The focus of my October report was purchasing hotel points for room discounts.
[from Hotels-and-Points, October 2007-Ric Garrido]
"Marriott Rewards Points Purchase ― Prices Too High, Just Buy
Marriott Rewards members may buy or receive up to 50,000 purchased points per calendar year ( Jan 1-Dec 31) at the price $12.50/1,000 points. Another program rule allows spouses to transfer points, free of charge, between their accounts at the time of reward stay redemption. These rules mean spouses can buy a combined total of 100,000 points per calendar year and opens up the pos-sibility of buying the best high-value reward stays.
See the possibilities:
$1,250 = 100,000 Marriott Rewards points in 2007.
$1,250 = 100,000 Marriott Rewards points in 2008.
In practical terms, a couple can buy 200,000 Rewards points over the next three months for a vacation goal.
Marriott Buy Points link: http://www.marriott.com/rewards/usepoints/tranpurc.mi
The bottom line is:
Does buying points save money overall?
Hawaii Resorts on Marriott Rewards Hotel Points
Example of how to use a "buy points" strategy for Hawaii hotel savings:
JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa at Ko Olina, Kopolei, Oahu, Hawaii
Marriott Rewards Category 7 hotel. 150,000 hotel points for a 7-night Rewards Stay.
JW Marriott Ihilani Resort, Oahu, Hawaii
Regular Hotel Rates
July 10-17, 2008 (Search conducted Oct 2007)
$341 (AAA rate) Quality Room-Mountain View
$389 (AAA rate) Ocean View
$436 (AAA rate) Deluxe Ocean View
When booking Marriott Rewards stay, the website offers an upgrade at JW Marriott Ihilani to Deluxe Ocean View room for an additional $100/night or upgrade to Ocean View room for additional $50/night.
Cost to buy 150,000 Marriott Rewards points = $1,875 = $268 per Reward night
Cost of upgrade to Deluxe Ocean View room is additional $100 per night or an additional $700 for a 7-night Marriott hotel points stay at Ihilani Resort.
Total Hawaii vacation cost is $2,575 for 7-night Marriott Rewards stay with a paid upgrade to a Deluxe Ocean View room at JW Marriott Ihilani.
This is $368/night to buy points compared to AAA rate of $436/night.
JW Marriott Ihilani Resort Deluxe Ocean View room, July 10-17, 2008 (search made Oct 2007)
AAA Paid Rate $436 ($488 with 12% tax) x 7 nights = $3,417
Senior Paid Rate $373 ($418 with tax) x 7 = $2,926 (great savings if you qualify)
Marriott 7-night Reward Stay (Buy Points and upgrade with $700 cash) = $2,575.
Save $842 on this 7-night hotel stay. This hotel savings covers other travel expenses for the week. "
This points purchase vacation option I wrote about in October 2007 is still the best deal for a Deluxe Ocean View room at JW Marriott Ihilani considering my analysis of the Marriott Hawaiian Sand Dollar Vacation value this morning.
Look at the numbers and see the dollars washing away in the sand dollar vacation.