How to Use Marriott Cash + Points to Get a Free Stay Every Five Nights
If you’re planning your next vacation and looking to save some of your hotel points — or if you don’t have very many in your account to begin with — using a points-plus-cash program is a great option.
Marriott Cash + Points is a little different than some of the other major hotel chains. When you book a reward stay with Marriott using Cash + Points, each night can be paid for with either points or cash — but not both. For example, if you were to book a one-night stay at a category four Marriott, you would pay either 20,000 points or the cash value of the hotel room. However, if you were to book a two-night stay, you could book one night using 20,000 points and the second night with cash. This is different then brands like Hyatt or Starwood, which allow you to use a discounted amount of points and also cash for each night stay.
So which program is better? It really depends on how you look at it. For those who are loyal to the different hotels in the Marriott brand — but don’t necessarily have a lot of points — this is ideal.
Let’s take a look at how you can book your Marriott Cash + Points stay for your next vacation.
How to Book a Stay With Marriott Cash + Points
First, start by going to Marriott.com and search for the date and city that you want to book your hotel. You will also need to click “Use rewards points.”
Once you pick the room that you want, you can select “View rates.” On the next page, click “Use Cash + Points”
This will give you a calendar that shows you the days that you’re planning to stay. You will have the option to pay for the full stay in points or with cash; in this example, we could choose to pay for the first night of our stay with cash and the last two with 80,000 Marriott points.
Once you change your option you will need to select “Recalculate your rate combination.”
You will then see the total amount of Cash + Points that your hotel stay will cost. From there you can go through the checkout process.
If you’re going to be using both points and cash, you should play around with the calendar to find out the best nights to use cash. As with any hotel, some nights will be cheaper than others. It’s best to pay cash for the cheap nights and use your points on the more expensive parts of your stay.
Maximizing Marriott’s Fifth Night Free
One nice feature about redeeming Marriott points is that the chain offers your fifth night free when you redeem four nights with points. You are only allowed to use this on standard rooms, but you can take advantage of it multiple times within a single trip. For example, you could book a 10-night trip with two free nights or a 15-night trip with three nights free.
Let’s assume you’re booking a seven-night vacation for your family and you want to use Marriott Cash + Points, and receive the fifth night free. You can book the first four nights with points (or some combination of points and cash), and the fifth night will automatically show up as free. You can then select to either pay cash for the final two nights of your stay or pay for them with points.
Marriott Cash + Points is a little different than what you will find with Hyatt or Starwood, but it’s a great way to book your stays and take advantage of Marriott’s fifth-night-free promotion.
Photo credit: Elliott Brown