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Marriott - buy points with a 50% bonus offer

Bell21

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This is an 'off the cuff' question, but I wondered if people feel this offer is so good it's worth buying points speculatively, even without a redemption in mind?

I've bought Marriott points in the past, but usually with specific redemptions in mind. Given the travel impact of Covid-19, I don't have any immediate travel plans, but hope to travel April next year.

One of the reasons for asking is that prior to a number of Marriott devaluations, it would probably be a 'no-brainer', but with a) the move to peak/off-peak awards, b) change in hotel categories, and c) changes to their 'book ahead' policy without points in your account, I wondered whether the program is compelling enough to buy points under this fantastic offer.

My guess, without doing any analysis, is probably yes.
 

LadyC

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I would consider what hotels you are interested in and what time of year, then test whether cash or points is better. Factor in that you may not be able to use them for 12 months. It's a mixed bag.

For me, paying cash is usually cheaper than buying points. But others on this forum have found the opposite. All depends upon the hotel.
 

Bell21

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Thanks - that's normally exactly what I'd do - I purchased a decent chunk of points pre-XMAS last year at 30% bonus b/c we were staying at the Marriott in Khao Lak at XMAS and it was one of those situations where the points purchase was cheaper than cash. However, I don't have any set plans now, so i need to work through whether to speculatively buy some points --- I probably will as I doubt this offer will repeated anytime soon!
 

Dr Ralph

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I'm going to buy some more points for a rainy day. This will mean I have around 500,000 points in the 'bank'.

As I see it the main risk is Marriott going bankrupt. And from my, brief, research, this looks unlikely at present.
 

Bell21

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Thanks - that makes sense to me, esp since if we did hear any rumblings of issues at Marriott, you always have the option of airline transfer albeit at relatively low value.
 

LadyC

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I still haven't decided yet. I'm more worried there will be a significant increase on points required for redemptions making using the points effectively a lot harder.
 
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Just FYI, Executive Traveller article:

"Here's why you shouldn't buy hotel loyalty points right now
Many hotel chains are offering compelling deals on buying points, but this is perhaps the worst time to take them up on that offer"

 

Dr Ralph

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Just FYI, Executive Traveller article:

"Here's why you shouldn't buy hotel loyalty points right now
Many hotel chains are offering compelling deals on buying points, but this is perhaps the worst time to take them up on that offer"

I think that this is the only valid reason that I would be concerned about:



The number of points you need can change
 
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Yes, it happened to me and I had a painful and time consuming discussion about almost doubling the amount of points required. Eventually they gave me the room for the lower point amount.

Now, I’m going to try to get that same booking delayed until next year on still hopefully much lower points that are required now. Should have that sorted out in the next week also. If they just refuse and give me the points back they won’t be worth much.

I think that this is the only valid reason that I would be concerned about:



The number of points you need can change
 

winfred

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Just received another offer from Bonvoy:
Now until 30 June, buy or gift up to 100,000 points and get up to 60,000 points free. Redeem when you’re ready.

Will there be an even better offer round the corner?
 

Danger

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Marriott points transfer to a number of airline partners at a rate of 3:1 (except Air New Zealand) so there's that to consider, too.
 
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Short answer, cancelled the points reward spoke to a supervisor at elite services told them I was worried about re-booking but would not have enough points so she gave me 20,000 points to cover a future bkg.

Yes, it happened to me and I had a painful and time consuming discussion about almost doubling the amount of points required. Eventually they gave me the room for the lower point amount.

Now, I’m going to try to get that same booking delayed until next year on still hopefully much lower points that are required now. Should have that sorted out in the next week also. If they just refuse and give me the points back they won’t be worth much.
 

Dr Ralph

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Just received another offer from Bonvoy:
Now until 30 June, buy or gift up to 100,000 points and get up to 60,000 points free. Redeem when you’re ready.

Will there be an even better offer round the corner?
Unclear as to how this is different from the offer discussed here ten days ago:


Are you suggesting a new or additional offer has now been made?
 

LadyC

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Unclear as to how this is different from the offer discussed here ten days ago:


Are you suggesting a new or additional offer has now been made?
I think Marriott are just republicising the same offer.
 

winfred

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Unclear as to how this is different from the offer discussed here ten days ago:


Are you suggesting a new or additional offer has now been made?
Oops. It is the same. I only read the "Marriott - buy points with a 50% bonus offer" heading and didn't read all the posts.
 

Bell21

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Just about to buy some points speculatively and i was curious to run my reasoning past AFFers --- although the main downside is that I'd be spending $ now that I won't utilise for say 12 months (based on covid-19 travel restrictions), there actually seems to be little 'risk' in the purchase (unless Marriott ran into serious trouble, your points expired due to lack of account activity, or there was a significant devaluation before you could use the points and it would need to be 'significant' to have too big an impact).

The reason for low 'risk' is the ability to transfer Marriott points to airlines (and a range of airlines that are typically hard to access) - according to my calculations, if you had to transfer the points to airlines and could utilise the points for approximately 3 cents / point (not difficult for business class), you would break-even on the original $ spent (and still wind up with a relatively cheap J fare, that whilst not as good as normal points use, at least you wouldn't be losing $).

As a rough example, we often stay in Category 5 Marriott hotels during peak season, which would now be 40,000 points / night. For 5 nights (with 1 night free), that's 160,000 points. That would currently cost $1350USD, approximately $2,000AUD. Transferring those points to airlines would be 66,666 points. Used at 3 cents / point, you would regain the original value mitigating your original spend.

An assumption above is that I could use the 66,666 points for an effective J fare, but given the airlines Marriott partners with, I could probably transfer them to an airline in which I already have points.

Does anyone see any serious flaws with my logic?!
 

Dr Ralph

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Just about to buy some points speculatively and i was curious to run my reasoning past AFFers --- although the main downside is that I'd be spending $ now that I won't utilise for say 12 months (based on covid-19 travel restrictions), there actually seems to be little 'risk' in the purchase (unless Marriott ran into serious trouble, your points expired due to lack of account activity, or there was a significant devaluation before you could use the points and it would need to be 'significant' to have too big an impact).

The reason for low 'risk' is the ability to transfer Marriott points to airlines (and a range of airlines that are typically hard to access) - according to my calculations, if you had to transfer the points to airlines and could utilise the points for approximately 3 cents / point (not difficult for business class), you would break-even on the original $ spent (and still wind up with a relatively cheap J fare, that whilst not as good as normal points use, at least you wouldn't be losing $).

As a rough example, we often stay in Category 5 Marriott hotels during peak season, which would now be 40,000 points / night. For 5 nights (with 1 night free), that's 160,000 points. That would currently cost $1350USD, approximately $2,000AUD. Transferring those points to airlines would be 66,666 points. Used at 3 cents / point, you would regain the original value mitigating your original spend.

An assumption above is that I could use the 66,666 points for an effective J fare, but given the airlines Marriott partners with, I could probably transfer them to an airline in which I already have points.

Does anyone see any serious flaws with my logic?!
Looks sound to me.

My main reasons for not buying any more points are:

1) When will I use them?
2) I have 50 nights recently refunded because of cancelled bookings in the US.
3) Devaluation possibilities.
4) Marriott financial security.
 

Bell21

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Thank you! That's right - I recall you had a whole stash of points refunded from extensive travels pending to the US - that's really unfortunate. How concerned are you re Marriott financial security? I haven't read much in particular about this, although of course, being a large organisation in the hospitality business right now is problematic to say the very least.
 

Dr Ralph

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Thank you! That's right - I recall you had a whole stash of points refunded from extensive travels pending to the US - that's really unfortunate. How concerned are you re Marriott financial security? I haven't read much in particular about this, although of course, being a large organisation in the hospitality business right now is problematic to say the very least.
Not enormously concerned. But I didn't intend to hoard so many points.

I was intending to buy some more points, but that was before my refunds from cancellations.

I dumped all of my velocity points because of the high risk. But I'm not intending to dump my Marriott or Qantas points (yet). Of course no business is immune.
 
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