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MR Pointsavers

justnosy

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Not timeshare related but TUGgers know everything!

I need some help in deciding if I should book at the JW Marriott Hotel on Pennsylvannia Ave (Washington,DC cat 6) or not.

I'm looking to go April 2009. Right now the JW is showing up as pointsavers (115K for 7 nts) for the dates I'm interested.

Last year I stayed at the Marriott Metro for about $150/nt (I think...) for around the same time. I've been reading reviews on tripadvisor and of course there's good and bad. Some have posted as being able to book at around the $150 rate (priceline or otherwise but I don't do priceline.)

Questions:
1. Are the rooms as big as the Marriott Metro? I need a roll away and will have 5 in the room - 3 kids who will be 8,8 and 10.
2. I'm guessing with pointsavers it doesn't make sense for me to get a travel package? I do have enough points for cat 6 with 100K air miles.
3. Should I book now using pointsavers?
4. For approximately the same number of points there are cat 5 hotels with lower parking fees. Should I book one of these instead by getting a travel package?
5. If I book now with pointsavers, is it correct to say that if I change my mind I can get my points back with no penalty (as long as I do it before the deadline listed?)
6. Is a cat 6 that much better than a cat 5? (Don't think I've stayed at any cat 6s...) Just thinking that if I could get a cat6 for the same number of points as cat 5 then it should be a good deal??

TIA for any advice offered!!
 

emmaddy

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JW-D.C.

We stayed there on points several yrs. ago and loved it. They upgraded us to a mini suite type room with sitting area, wet bar and small fridge. The location cannot be beat. You can walk to everything and it is great to be in the heart of the city. As for parking fee, I'd say bite the bullet and enjoy being part of our nation's capital for a week. Don't be afraid to ask for an upgrade when you arrive. They told us the room they gave us was empty and they would rather have a loyal Marriott customer enjoy it. We have been upgraded several times while using points, just for the asking. My son also stayed there on points and was given a corner room with a view of the Washington Monument. As far a canceling, check the reservation-it will give you the deadline and you will get your points back with no penalty if you follow it. Also, this is probably Cherry Blossom time, so the city will be more beautiful than usual.
 

Big Matt

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Go look at the Residence Inn Capital Hill. It is almost new and is very close to the Smithsonian and the metro line. You will get free hot breakfast daily and free snacks on week day evenings. Also, you'll get much more space and a mini fridge, etc. You could also get a larger unit. It is category 5.
 

pwrshift

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I haven't stayed there but it sure looks nice. And it's a JW ... top of the line. Pricing is about $480 a night to stay there ... $3360 in cost value if you pay. Value of 115,000 MR points = $1438 if you could buy that many. If you are using 'bonus' points it feels like it's 'free'. Nice.

Other than getting a package of air+hotel this is a good deal too ... based on the difference between spending $3360 (plus tax) and using points with a value of $1438. The packages are really not that great for 'family' travel IMO ... I like to use them for special trips for two people in business class and in Cat6&7 hotels for 7 nights. You could get a pkg and bank the FF miles for a future trip (2nd honeymoon?) but the certificate would buy you a hotel that didn't have pointsaver offers.

Whether it's enough room for your tribe you'd know best. I like using JW's for 'adult' getaways. You might get lucky and get a free upgrade, but don't count on it using points. Also check the max allowed number of people they allow for one room. If it doesn't work out, you may be best going to a Residence Inn and getting a 2 bdrm suite.

The really nice thing about MR points travel is that you can get fabulous locations that you'll seldom get with timeshares...and for 115,000 pts it's about an even trade for your TS value deposit for points.

If that is the hotel you want grab it before it's gone. You can get the points back if you decide not to go there ... but I don't think they take the points until you get there -- but you do need the reservation.

Generally, Cat 6 is better than Cat 5 -- but probably because they net out at more business, not necessarily a better hotel than others. An example of that would be the Grand Flora Marriott in Rome .. Cat 7 ... but I've been in much bigger and more special hotels in the Cat6 level. Some Cat 5's are very very nice too ... I think the level is Marriott 'business' based more than how 'nice' it is ... but you probably can't have one without the other.

Brian

also: not having to pay tax on a points stay might cover the extra cost of parking at a classier hotel.
 

justnosy

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thanks!

ok - thanks so much for the feedback. I booked the pointsaver for now.

The Residence Inn Capitol is not available on points at all. The rates are currently out of my price range but I'll keep checking to see if it comes down.

Pwrshift - you are the points guru (jmho...) - can you explain how the 115K amounts to $1438?? I can never figure out what my points are worth and whether or not I'm getting a good deal when I redeem them.

Thanks again everyone!
 

KathyPet

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Your reward points are now being debited from your account and a Electronic confirmation of the reservation is being sent to the hotel automatically when you reserve. No more paper certificates that you don't have to order until you are ready to go. If you cancel the reservation they will have to put the points back in your account.
 

LAX Mom

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ok - thanks so much for the feedback. I booked the pointsaver for now.

The Residence Inn Capitol is not available on points at all. The rates are currently out of my price range but I'll keep checking to see if it comes down.

Pwrshift - you are the points guru (jmho...) - can you explain how the 115K amounts to $1438?? I can never figure out what my points are worth and whether or not I'm getting a good deal when I redeem them.

Thanks again everyone!
Brian knows way more about points than I do, but I think I can answer your question. If you purchase points from Marriott, the cost is 1.25 cents per point. So 115K points would cost you $1438.

That's how I compute whether I should pay cash or use points. If the points at $.0125 per point cost more than the cash rate, I'll pay for the room with cash.

This summer I stayed 2 nights at the Copenhagen Marriott prior to a cruise. The cash rate and points were almost the same, but I decided to pay with cash. That way I earned more points and also got some extra (2,500) for the Mega promo they were running. It's hard for me to spend 55,000 for a 2 night stay.
 

justnosy

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I got it now!

LAX Mom - Thanks so much!!! That's exactly what I needed to know.

Given what I know now - I would do exactly the same thing you did! I'm all for earning more points. I'm sure I'm like everyone else who tries to get the most for their points.

So far my kids are still small so fitting the 5 of us in one hotel room isn't a big deal as long as we can get 2 beds and a rollaway. All the kids want to sleep with mom so even a king and rollaway will work...
 

pwrshift

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Here is where you can 'buy' up to 50,000 MR points a year -- or double that if both spouses have separate accounts.

https://buy.points.com/marriott/init.do;jsessionid=71ECFAC23124A02CC21FC370BE3702D3?method=buy

My feeling is that Marriott sets the purchase price so if you calculate the number of points you'd need and value them at $0.0125 each it will give you an amount you can compare to what they want in 'cash' to stay at the hotel. If it's close to equal, pay cash for the room and earn points.

In some cases you'll get some dramatic differences like I illustrated in the above post ... and the difference really shows up vs cash when you have enough points to max out the value with business class air and Cat7 hotels for a week on the air+hotel packages. Packages are usually the best use of points, by far. Ritz Carlton sometimes has pointsavers too - while you can't earn points at a RC the room cost is usually very high and also maximizes out the 'value' of the points way above the $0.0125 per point.

Have fun.

Brian
 

englishowner

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Hi Justnosy

it looks like you've already made your decision but just to let you know we stayed at the JW this summer and in terms of location it really cannot be beaten, you literally are on the doorstep of the White House and all National monuments. Also the hotel, although busy, is really quiet, no noise from other rooms etc, it is top quality. However the rooms are not huge, you may find yourselves a little cramped but since you'll be out and about most of the time this should not be a problem, and also you'll walk so far in the day you'll all just crash out in the evening, I know we did.

Breakfast in the hotel wasn't great but there's a little breakfast place right next to hotel, very handy.

Hope you have a great time

Lynne
 
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