Loyalty Traveler – December, 12 2012

Loyalty Traveler – December, 12 2012

Marriott Rewards Seasonal Awards

Marriott Rewards recently introduced Marriott Seasonal Awards, a new award option for stays at a 25 percent discount off standard and fifth night free rates. A Category 8 hotel standard award at 40,000 points per night is reduced to 30,000 points per night with Seasonal Awards.

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The initial batch of Seasonal Awards includes 82 participating hotels for 2013 stays in limited locations. There are 48 hotels in the United States. Europe has 16 hotels and Mexico, Costa Rica and the Caribbean offer 18 resorts.

The earliest dates for winter travel Seasonal Awards are 16 hotels in New York, Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2013, and Europe at 16 Marriott and Renaissance Hotels from Jan. 1- March 1, 2013. These are upper upscale hotels in Europe’s major cities like Vienna, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Zurich, Hamburg and JW Marriott Cannes.

Three U.S. southwest regions offer summer 2013 dates June 17-Aug. 30 at six resorts in Palm Springs, Calif. and seven resorts in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. Las Vegas, N.V. heats up the discount at 19 hotels, July 15-Sept. 30, 2013.

Several major resorts in Marriott International’s portfolio offer Seasonal Awards. Nearly two of three hotels in this initial list are Marriott Rewards high-end award category hotels with five Category 8 hotels, 20 Category 7 and 28 Category 6 hotels. There are 13 Category 5 hotels and the 16 hotels at Category 2, 3 and 4 include 14 Las Vegas area properties.

Fifth Night Free

The Seasonal Award 25 percent discount applies on top of Marriott Rewards fifth night free award discount saving 40 percent points with a five night Seasonal Award. A Category 8 Marriott Rewards fifth night free award stay is discounted 20 percent from 200,000 points to 160,000 points. The Seasonal Award 25 percent discount applies to the fifth night free award rate reducing the five-night award stay to just 120,000 points or 24,000 points per night. This is two free nights based on the standard award rate at 40,000 points per night.

A Category 8 Seasonal Award for The Carlton, New York, Marriott Autograph Collection is only 30,000 points Feb. 14-Valentine’s Day, or pay the published rate of $376 after tax for a Deluxe Room. The $12.50 per 1,000 points redemption is better than most credit card analysts rate the value of Marriott Rewards points.

Three Las Vegas area Category 2 hotels are only 30,000 points for five nights with Marriott Seasonal Awards in August 2013. At 6,000 points per free night, this is a bargain basement award rate competitive with any other hotel loyalty program award. Courtyard Las Vegas Henderson/Green Valley Sept. 19-24, 2013 showed redemption value at $16.83 per 1,000 points using 30,000 points to save $505. Marriott Rewards sells points for $12.50 per 1,000 points.

Marriott’s Caribbean and Latin America resorts provide another 18 hotel players in the Seasonal Award game. Sept. 23 to Nov. 23 gives two months where five-night Seasonal Award stays are 40 percent off the standard award rate. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands offer four resorts where U.S. citizens can fly without a passport. Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands and Curacao offer other Caribbean vacation destinations for Marriott Resort Seasonal Awards. Cancun and Costa Rica have four participating resorts.

A Seasonal Award discount for a one-week hotel stay on points offers potentially high redemption value for your points. Average daily rates of resort hotels in the Caribbean rival most any place on the globe.

Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection, British Virgin Islands is a Caribbean boutique resort of 27 rooms and 32 suites. This Marriott Rewards Category 8 hotel property is 40,000 points per night for a standard award. Seasonal Awards offer a 25 percent points discount on the standard award rate reducing the cost to 30,000 points per night.

A seven-night stay at Scrub Island is 180,000 Marriott Rewards points with a Seasonal Award (120,000 points for fifth night free rate + 60,000 points for two additional nights). The published rate at $375 per night or $2,983 after tax gives a Marriott Rewards points redemption value over $16 per 1,000 points redeemed. Marriott Rewards Seasonal Award stays at Scrub Island require additional $25 daily resort fee payment. And you do not earn Marriott Rewards points for resort fee spend.

Another valuable feature of Marriott Seasonal Awards is seen in the cancellation policy at Scrub Island. Pay the published rate of $375 per night for a one-week stay and the cancellation penalty within 60 days of your stay date is three nights charge at $1,278.75. The Seasonal Award has only a one-night cancellation penalty within 60 days of stay at $292.50. Seasonal Awards offer far better trip cancellation insurance.

Better hotel award values like Marriott’s new Seasonal Awards are a true program benefit for loyalty members.

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