I recently applied for a Chase Marriott Visa. Part of the reason was for the no-foreign currency conversion fee, part was for the signup bonus and immediate Silver Elite status for Marriott. You can get more details on the Marriott status benefits here. I wouldn’t keep this card for my day-to-day spending though, more for the bonus and the free annual certificate.
Again, using my usual methodology on determining the value of loyalty points, I look for what can I get with the points, and what my opportunity cost is for acquiring them.
The interesting thing about Marriott points is that the value changes depends on where you redeem them.
Let’s look at the Marriott hotels in Toronto.
||Value of points
|Marriott Downtown Eaton Center
|Residence Inn Toronto Downtown
|Renaissance Toronto Downtown
|Marriott Bloor Yorkville
So it looks like the value varies from 0.5 cents per point to almost 1 cent per point across the Marriott hotels in Toronto.
I then explored around, and I found some of the hotels in Mainland China yields much better redemption rate.
||Value of points
|Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing
|JW Marriott Beijing
|Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park
|Shanghai Marriott Pudong East
We are now getting between 1-2 cents/point for many of the Marriott properties in China, while the Shanghai Marriott Pudong hotel is netting a 2.7 cents/point. It puzzles me as to why these hotels are of such low category yet offers the same, if not better quality, than the establishments in NA.
Keep in mind that if you choose to redeem with points, you also do not pay any of the taxes/hotel fees, you literally check-in, check-out, without spending a dime. Perks of being Marriott Silver elite means you will automatically upgraded to a better room, usually one level above what you book, welcome gifts, such as fruits and chocolates, and a dedicated faster Elite check-in line.
In summary, if China is somewhere you may visit in the near future, Marriott points could prove to be very valuable there! Below is the JW Marriott Beijing, and this is only a category 4 establishment!
Leave a comment if you also enjoy using Marriott rewards and what were your most valuable redemptions?