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Marriott PointSavers are similar in many ways to the Saver Awards we see published by airlines – they’re cheaper than standard awards and aren’t all that easy to find – and I have to come clean here and admit that I hadn’t realised they still existed.
I hadn’t noticed a PointSaver award for so long that I pretty much assumed they had been quietly enhanced away when SPG was folded into Marriott Rewards back in August.
If you take a look at the new award chart Marriott published back in August (which had no mention of PointSaver awards anywhere)…..
….and compare it to the old Marriott Rewards award chart…..
…you may forgive me for assuming that PointSavers had gone the way of the DoDo.
The good news is that they haven’t, they’re still here for us to book and Marriott even has a page dedicated to PointSavers.
The fact is that Marriott’s new award chart should really be viewed as two completely separate charts…
Marriott Standard Award Chart:
Marriott PointSavers Award Chart:
As you can see Marriott has continued to make sure that no PointSaver award is more than 5,000 points less than a standard award and so there aren’t any huge savings to be had…but they’re savings none the less.
PointSaver Availability Is Not Always Obvious
Even if you hadn’t forgotten about the existence of Marriott’s PointSaver awards you may not have been having too much success finding them. If that’s what you’ve been finding then it may have a lot to do with the fact that Marriott’s website isn’t particularly helpful.
When you perform an award search on Marriott.com the results often look something like this:
As the red square indicates I’d like you to pay particular attention to the JW Marriott Hotel Rio.
Marriott’s pricing says “from 35,000” but, if you continue reading, it also goes on to say “points first night” and that’s very easy to miss if you’re not being careful (I definitely managed to miss it)
Anyone performing a search and getting these results may, after a quick glance, come to the conclusion that every night of the trip being priced up will cost 35,000 points (at the JW Marriott Rio)…but that may not be the case.
The 35,000 points/night being quoted only applies to the cost of the first night of the search and gives no indication what other nights of your stay will cost.
It’s only if you go ahead and select the 35,000 point rate from the search results that the real cost of the trip becomes apparent.
In this example it’s only the first night of the 4-night stay that will cost 35,000 points – the remaining 3 nights are available at the PointSaver rate of 32,500 points/night. The total trip will actually cost 7,500 points less than someone may have imagined.
If you’re fortunate enough to perform a search where the first night happens to be available at the PointSaver rate then all is fine….
…but otherwise you may be none the wiser.
I can’t remember if things have always been like this on Marriott.com but the way Marriott is displaying award pricing strikes me as being somewhat unhelpful.
Sure, this may not seem like a big deal (and it probably isn’t) but this could easily lead to people thinking that a trip will cost more points that it really would and it could end up putting them off booking.
Marriott PointSavers still exist and they could still save you a healthy chunk of points….but be aware of how Marriott is displaying award pricing and make sure you don’t assume that the first number you see in the search results is how much every night of your trip will cost – that’s not how Marriott.com works.