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Marriott 25% bonus on UA Miles transfers and travel packages

Xpat

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Xpat

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Thanks!

I was researching whether to opt for a 5 or 7 night package and came upon this which I thought was very helpful.

http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.c...-marriott-travel-packages-5-night-vs-7-night/

Thanks, this is very useful. So the best value is with the 5-night, cat 5, 120k (132k for United) mile package.

It is getting hard to find some good cat 5 Marriott hotels to stay at, but these can be found, especially internationally.

This directory of cat 5 Marriott hotels can be useful: http://www.marriott.com/hotel-search/Category5.hotels/
 

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Thanks, this is very useful. So the best value is with the 5-night, cat 5, 120k (132k for United) mile package.

It is getting hard to find some good cat 5 Marriott hotels to stay at, but these can be found, especially internationally.

This directory of cat 5 Marriott hotels can be useful: http://www.marriott.com/hotel-search/Category5.hotels/

Thanks for the link on how to search by category!

What I understand is if you book a travel package with the lowest categories, if you end up using points for a higher category you just need to use additional points at that time. On the other hand, if you book a category 9 package but end up staying at category 8, you will not get the points back.

As a result, I was going to book the lowest category travel package to maximize the points to airline conversion and use additional points as needed when I was ready to book the hotel portion.

In full disclosure, I haven't gone through with it in practice but the Marriott agents confirmed this approach would work and I read it as well at other sites based on others' actual experiences.

Also, I think the 132k united package you are referring to is the standard 10% bonus, with the 25% bonus, I think you'll get 150k United miles (120k before bonus x 125% bonus promotion).
 

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Also, I think the 132k united package you are referring to is the standard 10% bonus, with the 25% bonus, I think you'll get 150k United miles (120k before bonus x 125% bonus promotion).

145k as the bonus is capped at 25k.
My gut feel is that the bonus would apply on top of the 132k, thus yielding 157k, but it's hard to say from the T&Cs.
 

Seaport104

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145k as the bonus is capped at 25k.
My gut feel is that the bonus would apply on top of the 132k, thus yielding 157k, but it's hard to say from the T&Cs.

That would be nice, I hope you are right!!
 

dioxide45

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Thanks, this is very useful. So the best value is with the 5-night, cat 5, 120k (132k for United) mile package.

It is getting hard to find some good cat 5 Marriott hotels to stay at, but these can be found, especially internationally.

This directory of cat 5 Marriott hotels can be useful: http://www.marriott.com/hotel-search/Category5.hotels/

While the best value is the 5 night cat s travel package, if you have to upgrade later, the value drops with the five night packages. The category 9 is the worst value when you look at the cost of the hotel certificate only.
 

Seaport104

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While the best value is the 5 night cat s travel package, if you have to upgrade later, the value drops with the five night packages.

Hi Dioxide45, can you please explain why the value drops with the 5 night package if you later upgrade? I thought that if I book a category 5 travel package and later use for category 9 I just need to use the difference in miles between the category 5 and 9?
 
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AlmostRetired

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I booked 5 night travel package when we got the bonus on AA. I am now using it to stay at the Cotton Hotel in Barcelona which is a cat 8. A Cat 8 is 160,000 points for a 5 day stay. The Cat 5 with the travel program had a point value of 95,000 points so to upgrade, it cost another 65, 000 points. I did this yesterday with the rewards desk and it was straight forward and painless.

There are some nuances with this hotel because of the different room categories but getting into this would confuse the answer.
 

Art

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Hi Dioxide45, can you please explain why the value drops with the 5 night package if you later upgrade? I thought that if I book a category 5 travel package and later use for category 9 I just need to use the difference in miles between the category 5 and 9?

No, it turns out to be more than the difference in miles. One would expect the difference to be 4x20,000 (80,000 Points), but the difference is actually 110,000 points for the 120,000 mile package. In essence, this means that one is paying 30,000 points for the 5th night rather than getting it free.

And compared to the 7 night package, one is actually paying the full 45,000 point cost of the 5th category 9 night.

I've been considering doing just this so I am not pleased at all about the situation.

Art
 

AlmostRetired

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No, it turns out to be more than the difference in miles. One would expect the difference to be 4x20,000 (80,000 Points), but the difference is actually 110,000 points for the 120,000 mile package. In essence, this means that one is paying 30,000 points for the 5th night rather than getting it free.

And compared to the 7 night package, one is actually paying the full 45,000 point cost of the 5th category 9 night.

I've been considering doing just this so I am not pleased at all about the situation.

Art


A cat 5 room is 25K per night so for 4 nights it would be 100K. When I upgraded to a cat 8, this is 40K per night so that would be 160,000. The difference is 60k points. As stated above, I went from a 5 day cat 5 certificate to a 5 day cat 8 certificate and it cost me 65K points. In doing this it cost me 5K in points which is better then using a cat 8 to stay in a lesser cat.

As far as 5 to 7, I think the math works out the same within the same category. If it doesn't I would get a 5 day cat 5 and use 2 days of cat 5 (1) day certificates to get to 7.
 
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Art

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As far as 5 to 7, I think the math works out the same within the same category. If it doesn't I would get a 5 day cat 5 and use 2 days of cat 5 (1) day certificates to get to 7.

A Category 5 7 day package costs 35,000 more points than a 5 day package.
A Category 6 7 day package costs 50,000 more points than a 5 day package.
A Category 7 7 day package costs 60,000 more points than a 5 day package.
A Category 8 7 day package costs 60,000 more points than a 5 day package.
A Category 9 7 day package costs 45,000 more points than a 5 day package.

These numbers hold no matter how many air miles are in the package.

So, only for Category 7, is the cost of 5 +2 the same as the cost of a 7 night package.

However, if one is considering a Category 9 package, he gets a free night by booking the 7 night rather than the 5 night package. (Assuming he has 390000 points available.)

Art
 

AlmostRetired

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A Category 5 7 day package costs 35,000 more points than a 5 day package.
A Category 6 7 day package costs 50,000 more points than a 5 day package.
A Category 7 7 day package costs 60,000 more points than a 5 day package.
A Category 8 7 day package costs 60,000 more points than a 5 day package.
A Category 9 7 day package costs 45,000 more points than a 5 day package.

These numbers hold no matter how many air miles are in the package.

So, only for Category 7, is the cost of 5 +2 the same as the cost of a 7 night package.

However, if one is considering a Category 9 package, he gets a free night by booking the 7 night rather than the 5 night package. (Assuming he has 390000 points available.)

Art

Art, I didn't have the 5 day packages in front of me so I didn't realize this. I never did the compare. In my post, I was going through what I just did two days ago to make the 5 night Category 5 a 5 night Category 8. When I got the travel package of 120K AA and the 5 night Category 5 stay 6 months ago, I didn't know we would be in Barcelona 7 nights. The last 2 nights I made a reservation for cash.

I really have to thank you. I just got off the phone with the rewards desk and the person I spoke with got approval for an exception for taking my 5 night Cat 5 certificate and making it a 7 night Cat 8 certificate. It is costing me no more reward points then if I did the 7 night Cat 8 from the beginning. The extra points are worth the money I am saving. The Cotton House Hotel does not offer any of the discounts I am use to using for the room type we are getting.

Thank you.
 

dioxide45

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Hi Dioxide45, can you please explain why the value drops with the 5 night package if you later upgrade? I thought that if I book a category 5 travel package and later use for category 9 I just need to use the difference in miles between the category 5 and 9?

It isn't necessarily upgrading after the fact where you lose out. It is buying the 5 night package in the first place. Take a look at post #11 of this thread for a breakdown.

That said, a five night package can still be useful. We are actually using one in Europe this fall. We didn't have the extra 45,000 points to spare to spring for the cat 9 seven night and five nights worked out better for us.
 

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I am just curious why members convert to miles instead of earn 2x the miles. Am I missing something. Conversion rate is terrible.
 

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I am just curious why members convert to miles instead of earn 2x the miles. Am I missing something. Conversion rate is terrible.

People don't flat out convert MR points to miles at 3:1. They use travel packages to get a week at a hotel which then effectively allows them to convert additional points to miles at a 1:1 ratio. That makes the conversion rate much better.
 

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Enlighten me because I am points challenged. This works for the higher tier brands right. I only stay at the 7500 point ones, reduced points stay.

I will start working on those points! They are scattered with different loyalty programs.
 

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145k as the bonus is capped at 25k.
My gut feel is that the bonus would apply on top of the 132k, thus yielding 157k, but it's hard to say from the T&Cs.

Has anyone confirmed if the 25% bonus (with 25k cap) is on top of the 10% extra United miles (157k) or in lieu of the 10% extra United miles?
 

dioxide45

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Enlighten me because I am points challenged. This works for the higher tier brands right. I only stay at the 7500 point ones, reduced points stay.

I will start working on those points! They are scattered with different loyalty programs.

How much do those same hotels cost in cash. I would suspect that they are less than $100 a night? Many category 1 hotels would be in most but except special events. If that is the case, you might only be getting $0.0125 per point in a redemption value. The thing with the travel packages is you can often get 1.5 to 2 cents per point. Given that category 1 hotels are much less prominent these days, I would suspect it would be hard to use them, especially when traveling to Europe or just about any resort destination.
 

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Has anyone confirmed if the 25% bonus (with 25k cap) is on top of the 10% extra United miles (157k) or in lieu of the 10% extra United miles?


I called MR this morning and the rep didn't know. She suggested I call United and then call back and let them know:rolleyes:

Has anyone completed the transaction and know the answer?
 

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I called MR this morning and the rep didn't know. She suggested I call United and then call back and let them know:rolleyes:

Has anyone completed the transaction and know the answer?

Here's what I found out from United, yes, the 25K would be on top of the 132K for a total of 157K. But the rep said "I have a phone number for the department that has all the information about this promotion".

After a quick mental debate if I wanted to spend more time on this, I called the number. To my surprise the call was answered by the MR robot (the one that can understand complete sentences. . .). So I was back where I began.

I pursued the matter back to the MR rep I spoke with this morning and told her it was her department that had the answer. She verified that after talking to me she had a communication from a Supervisor with all the information. She confirmed the 25K would be on top of the 132K we would normally get.
 

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How much do those same hotels cost in cash. I would suspect that they are less than $100 a night? Many category 1 hotels would be in most but except special events. If that is the case, you might only be getting $0.0125 per point in a redemption value. The thing with the travel packages is you can often get 1.5 to 2 cents per point. Given that category 1 hotels are much less prominent these days, I would suspect it would be hard to use them, especially when traveling to Europe or just about any resort destination.

I stay on the fringe of the city when traveling and need to stop over on my way to Florida. Airport hotels are cheaper, though just as nice inside. Before they increased the required points, I even snagged a room at the hotel near Notre Dame during a homecoming weekend, valued at $650/night or more. The next year, Marriott changed its category. Those days are over of course...probably a mistake in the system. This is why I never thought of converting to the package, maybe I should review that strategy but don't have enough in my account. My SPG card produced the best conversion rate with the 25% extra they gave me for certain airlines. It got me to Whistler multiple times, airlines and hotel.
 

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Thanks for clearing this up

Here's what I found out from United, yes, the 25K would be on top of the 132K for a total of 157K. But the rep said "I have a phone number for the department that has all the information about this promotion".

After a quick mental debate if I wanted to spend more time on this, I called the number. To my surprise the call was answered by the MR robot (the one that can understand complete sentences. . .). So I was back where I began.

I pursued the matter back to the MR rep I spoke with this morning and told her it was her department that had the answer. She verified that after talking to me she had a communication from a Supervisor with all the information. She confirmed the 25K would be on top of the 132K we would normally get.

You guys are all awesome! I just got the promotion about the 25% bonus on United using the Marriott reward points and had many of the questions this thread addressed. Instead of wasting my time trying to figure all this out on my own, I came here thinking "of course there must be a thread on this already". Sure enough. Great info and link to the article, Seaport on the analysis of the MR Travel Packages. Kudos to Quilter for taking the time to make the calls and get the correct information on the Points bonus. We need a lot of United miles for an upcoming trip with the family and I can probably use two of the travel packages to get the miles that I need with the bonus. Thanks for all the great info!
 
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