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Old July 3, 2012, 11:44 AM   #1
jstoeber
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MR Rewards Travel Package ?'s

We are looking to use a travel package around our Med cruise next Summer. I was hoping to use the package for airfare and 5 nights stay in a hotel, but just learned that the 5 nights must be consecutive. Our cruise departs from Rome and ends in Venice; we would like to stay 3 nights in Rome before the cruise and 2 nights in Venice after. Does anyone have any ideas on how to most efficiently/economically make use of reward points to make this happen?
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Old July 3, 2012, 04:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstoeber View Post
We are looking to use a travel package around our Med cruise next Summer. I was hoping to use the package for airfare and 5 nights stay in a hotel, but just learned that the 5 nights must be consecutive. Our cruise departs from Rome and ends in Venice; we would like to stay 3 nights in Rome before the cruise and 2 nights in Venice after. Does anyone have any ideas on how to most efficiently/economically make use of reward points to make this happen?
How valuable are the 120,000 airline miles to you? If very valuable, you might want to still get a travel package and use only 3 nights of it in Rome (remember that the 5th night is "free" so you are only paying for one unused night). Then use points for the last 2 nights in Venice.

If the airline miles are not important, you will need to use MR points for the first 3 nights and more points for the last 2 nights. Or maybe you have Hilton, Starwood or Priority Club points for either your stay in Rome or in Venice.
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Old July 3, 2012, 08:06 PM   #3
pwrshift
 
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For what it's worth, earn your points and don't spend them until you have enough to buy a air+hotel package of 120k FF miles and Cat6+ hotels and take a 2nd honeymoon in Paris, Rome, etc. Two 5 night stays on one trip and get there via business class air...and you'll feel like a king.

Getting a 2 or 3 night stay on points is wasting points IMO and I wouldn't recommend them when the packages are so much better value.

Brian

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Originally Posted by jstoeber View Post
We are looking to use a travel package around our Med cruise next Summer. I was hoping to use the package for airfare and 5 nights stay in a hotel, but just learned that the 5 nights must be consecutive. Our cruise departs from Rome and ends in Venice; we would like to stay 3 nights in Rome before the cruise and 2 nights in Venice after. Does anyone have any ideas on how to most efficiently/economically make use of reward points to make this happen?
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Old July 4, 2012, 07:55 AM   #4
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Agreed. Do the TP and use the 5 nights later for another awesome trip. Book the two/three nights you need paid for this trip. Rome has some nice properties at a great value. AND some VERY pricey.

This maximizes your FF miles etc. We have used them often. First class and Bus class tix to Thailand 3X. Bus class to Rome 1X. April 2013 Bus Class to Paris with a stay at Marriott CE. They are an exceptional value. We rarely use points for anything but TP's.

Keep in mind, Marriott is very helpful with the certs. You can get your TP with the lowest cat (1-5). Later you can increase it just for the point difference after you know where you want to stay. Also, they have extended them before for many of us if they couldn't be used in the first year.

(I am a plat. But I do not believe these to be done because I am a plat. They are not published benefits, so I would verify these benefits. Sorry for the disclaimer--I am telling you what has happened for me and many others. But you know how these things go.)
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Old July 4, 2012, 08:04 AM   #5
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Keep in mind, Marriott is very helpful with the certs. You can get your TP with the lowest cat (1-5). Later you can increase it just for the point difference after you know where you want to stay. Also, they have extended them before for many of us if they couldn't be used in the first year.

(I am a plat. But I do not believe these to be done because I am a plat. They are not published benefits, so I would verify these benefits. Sorry for the disclaimer--I am telling you what has happened for me and many others. But you know how these things go.)
I am gold and was also able to get Marriott to increase the category of a previously purchased certificate by just paying the difference in points. Haven't had an issue with them being extended either upon request.
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Old July 4, 2012, 11:16 AM   #6
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I am gold and was also able to get Marriott to increase the category of a previously purchased certificate by just paying the difference in points. Haven't had an issue with them being extended either upon request.
That's good. I didn't think it was plat but did not want to steer someone the wrong way. I have always liked Marriotts flexibility with the program. They have almost never said no to me.

Btw writing the post poolside at Ocean Club Aruba! 10 days in paradise. Who knew I had to come to Aruba to cool off from the east coast heat wave?
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Old July 4, 2012, 12:30 PM   #7
jstoeber
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Thanks for the suggestions. So let me be sure I have this right... if I reserve a 5 consecutive night stay in conjunction with my travel package, I can cancel the hotel reservation and still keep the travel miles that were converted 1 point:1 mile, then use the points for the hotel package at a later date? I assume that these have to be used for a 5 night stay in the future, not split up? Can these points go back in my "pot", or must they then be used only for a 5 night stay?
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Old July 4, 2012, 12:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jstoeber View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. So let me be sure I have this right... if I reserve a 5 consecutive night stay in conjunction with my travel package, I can cancel the hotel reservation and still keep the travel miles that were converted 1 point:1 mile, then use the points for the hotel package at a later date? I assume that these have to be used for a 5 night stay in the future, not split up? Can these points go back in my "pot", or must they then be used only for a 5 night stay?
You can cancel the hotel portion, but you will still have a 5 night certificate in your account to use later. You won't want to convert that back to points. If you do, you take a big hit on points because Marriott will recalc those miles based on the regular conversion of points to miles, not the 1 to 1 ratio used in the travel packages.
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Old July 4, 2012, 12:39 PM   #9
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To add to the last post. If you cancel the reservation attached to the travel package 5 night certificate, that certificate will show in the "unused certificates" portion of your MR account. It ill have an expiration date. You can extend by calling for one year FROM THE POINT YOU CALL. Not one year tacked on.

Agreed! Do not convert back to points. You will take a huge hit.

Enjoy!
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Old July 5, 2012, 05:06 AM   #10
BocaBoy
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If you want the travel package now for the miles but do not want to use the hotel part until later, just buy the travel package now, unrelated to a specific reservation. It will just be put into your account for use later. I do this all the time. I can recall only one time when I bought the TP in connection with a specific reservation. Why book a hotel and then cancel the hotel reservation? That is not necessary.
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Old July 5, 2012, 05:13 AM   #11
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If you want the travel package now for the miles but do not want to use the hotel part until later, just buy the travel package now, unrelated to a specific reservation. It will just be put into your account for use later. I do this all the time. I can recall only one time when I bought the TP in connection with a specific reservation. Why book a hotel and then cancel the hotel reservation? That is not necessary.
Last time I ordered a 5 day travel package, the agent insisted that I must make a hotel reservation fo a 5 day stay.
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Old July 5, 2012, 07:31 PM   #12
BocaBoy
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Last time I ordered a 5 day travel package, the agent insisted that I must make a hotel reservation fo a 5 day stay.
The agent was wrong. People have reported that from time to time. You should ask for a supervisor if that happens. I just booked another 5 night package yesterday without attaching it to a specific hotel reservation. I have probably done that 8 or 10 times over the past 15 years.

Last edited by BocaBoy; July 5, 2012 at 07:34 PM.
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Old July 6, 2012, 11:21 AM   #13
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I recall I was once asked to make the 5 night hotel reservation at the same time as having my rewards points transferred to miles. A polite request for the agent to double check this soon resolved the problem though.
I almost always order the travel package for immediate access to the miles, but keep the accommodation for a later, unconnected trip.
I was once interested in the possibility of splitting the 5 nights, but believe that is not permitted, even for the same hotel.
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Old July 7, 2012, 07:43 AM   #14
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I am confused, a normal state of being, to be sure

I am accumlating Marriott Reward points so that I can claim 2 packages as we wish to fly Biz class to SE Asia 2014. I will definitely claim as part of travel packages, we've done once before, but are they 5 or 7 day hotel certs?
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Old July 7, 2012, 07:58 AM   #15
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7 night hotel certs are available to all.
5 night certs are only available to Vacation Club owners.
I hope this clarifies it for you.
Have a great trip.
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Old July 7, 2012, 09:32 AM   #16
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I am confused, a normal state of being, to be sure

I am accumlating Marriott Reward points so that I can claim 2 packages as we wish to fly Biz class to SE Asia 2014. I will definitely claim as part of travel packages, we've done once before, but are they 5 or 7 day hotel certs?
Watch for specials. Recently US Airways ran an annual (approx annual) special where hotel transfers received a 50% bonus. So a 120k TP yielded 180k miles. (Only the first transfer counted though) It was a great deal.

I do miss AA being part of the program, but *Alliance has gotten us to SE Asia in Biz class, Europe Biz Class, Caribbean Biz Class all with TP.
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Old July 7, 2012, 10:21 AM   #17
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Watch for specials. Recently US Airways ran an annual (approx annual) special where hotel transfers received a 50% bonus. So a 120k TP yielded 180k miles. (Only the first transfer counted though) It was a great deal.

I do miss AA being part of the program, but *Alliance has gotten us to SE Asia in Biz class, Europe Biz Class, Caribbean Biz Class all with TP.
I have US AIRWAYS points, not sure what you mean. Are you saying if I transferred 50k points, I would have been awarded additinal 25k miles? Also, can this be done in conjunction with travel page?
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Old July 7, 2012, 03:29 PM   #18
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I have US AIRWAYS points, not sure what you mean. Are you saying if I transferred 50k points, I would have been awarded additinal 25k miles? Also, can this be done in conjunction with travel page?
Correct--the TP gets you 5 or 7 hotel nights plus X amount of miles. Back in the Spring, US Airways was giving a 50% bonus for hotel transfers. So, the Marriott TP got me 120k miles, but US gave me and extra 60k miles for 180k total.
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