Marriott Cash & Points Redemptions – Are They Any Good?

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Recently, Marriott announced four changes to the Marriott Rewards program that are all, to one degree or another, a net positive for members. That’s a rare thing nowadays – we’ve definitely seen more devaluations than true enhancements over the past 18 months.

One of these changes has been the introduction of a true Cash & Points redemption option for Marriott Rewards members.

In the past, Marriott has had a type of Cash & Points redemption option available to Marriott Rewards members….it just wasn’t a very good one. Members could book a stay by combining nights paid for with cash together with nights paid for with points but there was no option to for a single night with a combination of cash & points.

From “early in 2016” (Marriott hasn’t given us a firm date yet), guest will be able to “mix cash & points to cover single or multi-night redemption stays.” Redemptions will start at 3,000 points + $45 cash for a single night.

The new award charts look like this:

Cash & Points Redemptions At Marriott Properties


The simplest way to look at how this system works is to think of it as if you’re purchasing the points to buy an award night.

For example:

In the case of a Category 3 hotel if you elect to pay with “cash & points” you are effectively “buying” 7,000 points (15,000 – 8,000) for $55. So you’re buying 7,000 points at $0.0079/point ($55/7,000).

I’ve put together a table to show what price you would effectively be paying for points if you use the cash & points option that Marriott have just brought in:

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 15.24.50This bring me on nicely to my post from yesterday which showed how I value my Marriott Rewards points. In that post I showed I how I valued my points at $0.007 so, using that knowledge, I can now see when I’m better off using the cash & points award option.

When using the cash & points option for Category 1 – 3 properties or Category 8 – 9 properties I’m effectively buying points from Marriott at over $0.007/point…so, to me, that’s a bad deal. Why would I buy points for more than I consider them to be worth?

On the other hand, if I use the cash & points option for Category 4 – 7 properties, I’m effectively buying points from Marriott below my own valuation (at a discount) which makes it good value for money for me.

This is good news because, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I tend to stay at mid-tier Marriott properties…. so the fact that I can get good value for cash & points redemptions at Category 4 – 7 properties is great 🙂

Cash & Points Redemptions At Ritz-Carlton Properties

Marriott also own the Ritz-Carlton brand and they’ve introduced cash & points redemptions for those as well:


Cash & points redemptions at Ritz-Carlton properties work in exactly the same way as they do at other Marriott properties so I’ve compiled another table to show the points costs here:

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 15.29.08

Bearing in mind that I value my Marriott Rewards points at $0.007/point there’s no obvious good option for me here. If I happen to be short of points for a redemption at a Ritz-Carlton property then the cash & points option would be an acceptable alternative for Tier 3 and, possibly, Tier 2 properties but elsewhere it’s an expensive proposition for me.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, different people will value their points in different ways so it’s up to the individual to find a method and price that works best for them. As long as you know what a Marriott Reward point is worth to you you’ll always know if you’re getting a good, bad or indifferent deal when dealing with Marriott award stays – and that’s what’s important.

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