Please note that not all Marriott Bonvoy hotels offer the Cash + Points option. If after clicking on “View Rates” you do not see the “Customize Payment” option, it is likely that this hotel does not offer the Cash + Points option. There may also be exclusion dates at participating hotels.
The Cash + Points payment option can be beneficial if:
- You only want to use part of your points for this reservation.
- You want to achieve Marriott Bonvoy Elite status by staying more nights at the hotel.
- You don’t have enough points for the desired stay and you want to pay the difference in cash
- You’ve exhausted all the credit card offers that earn Marriott Bonvoy points
Book with the Cash + Points function
First of all, you have to search for the place where you want to stay and the number of nights by selecting the option “Use points/certificates”. Find the hotel where you want to stay, then click on “View Rates”.
You will then see the rates in points, and if the Cash + Points option is offered at this hotel, you can click on “Customize Payments” just below left. You can then choose the number of nights paid in points or in cash. Since the rate can vary, it is important to select the least expensive nights to pay in cash (in this case, the number of points remains the same regardless of the night).
To see which option is best for you, you can compare the cash rate for each night to the points rate to see if you are satisfied with the points value. In the Moxy Paris Bastille example here, the cash total would be 512 euros or $702 CAD (as of November 2022) for 80,000 points. We arrive at the retained value of 0. 9¢ per point based on our evaluation of the Marriott Bonvoy program.
Other booking methods to consider
Fifth night free
When you pay in points, the fifth night is free. However, if you select a stay of five or more nights with the “Customize Payments” option and choose to pay for only one in cash, you will lose the5th night free option.
Depending on the length of your stay, it’s worth doing some calculations to see if the Cash + Points option is more beneficial than the fifth night free option for stays paid in points.
You also have the option of making a reservation for five nights in points, then making a second reservation for the remaining nights you wish to pay in cash. You can then contact the hotel to combine your two reservations to ensure you stay in the same room.
Before booking, it is important to look at the options available to you. As a Marriott Bonvoy member, you may be able to take advantage of preferred rates; some hotels discount their rates with advance payment. Your reservation will be less flexible but you may get a better price.
Depending on your Marriott Bonvoy status, breakfast may not be included in the Cash + Points reservation, and you may find preferred rates that include breakfast in this section if that is something you are interested in.
In the case of the Moxy Paris Bastille, you are offered an average price of 223 euros/night with breakfast, a savings on the average price of 239 euros at the standard rate. However, you must read the conditions carefully.
Purchase or transfer of points
Marriott Bonvoy regularly offers point purchase promotions, with discounts or bonus points ranging from 25% to 50%. Once again, you need to do some calculations to see if it would not be more cost effective to buy a few points and pay for your reservation entirely with points.
Another option available to you to make up for your missing points is to transfer your Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy points for a 5:6 ratio including the American Express Cobalt® Card. If you’re lucky, you may come across a points transfer promotion, but it can take up to 8 weeks to receive the bonus points in your account.
While not offered by all Marriott Bonvoy hotels, the Cash + Points payment option is an easy-to-use feature that can expand the choice of hotels and length of stay in a desired destination.
However, it should be used strategically, taking into account the fifth night free in points for example, and check if other rates would not be preferable for the targeted stay.