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I started to look more closely at Marriott’s redemption opportunities after achieving Marriott Platinum status in only 9 stays and I’m liking what I’m seeing. First, I reported that you can redeem for Ritz Carlton award redemptions with a 10,000 point discount. In this post, we’ll share how you can redeem 25% fewer points for Marriott hotel award redemptions.
Marriott offers a 25% discount through what is called a seasonal award. The seasonal award offers a discount on free night redemptions during certain times of the year. The seasonal awards timing varies by hotel that participates in the program. This is because it is driven by, wait for it, seasonality.
Seasonal Award Categories
Marriott offers seasonal award discounts for each hotel category 1-8 by requiring 25% fewer points for award nights. So by booking a hotel during the seasonal period, you can save 25% points on an award booking.
- Category 1 Points Required – 5,625
- Category 2 Points Required – 7,500
- Category 3 Points Required – 11,250
- Category 4 Points Required – 15,000
- Category 5 Points Required – 18,750
- Category 6 Points Required – 22,500
- Category 7 Points Required – 26,250
- Category 8 Points Required – 30,000
How To Reserve A Seasonal Award
To find a season award, first consult the official Marriott seasonal award site to find out if your desired hotel participates and what time they participate.
When you search for your hotel, make sure you select the “My dates are flexible” and “Use Rewards points” options as illustrated in the picture below.
Next, you’ll be taken to a listing of hotels in your desired areas. Select the “View Rates” to see if the seasonal award is available and how many points are required. In our example, we’ll use Aruba as the destination. You’ll noticed there is more than one hotel in Aruba. So we’ll select the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino and select “View Rates” to look forward seasonal award availability during the month of September.
From our Aruba search example, we can see that making a reservation during the seasonal award time within September will save us 8,750 per night for a 25% savings.
Participating Hotels & Timing
You’ll want to make sure the hotel you are interested in visiting participates in the seasonal award program.
To find out if your hotel participates, check the listing of hotels that participate in the program. For simplicity, you can view the entire up to date list of participating hotels and their timing through the official Marriott seasonal award site here.
For example, the Renaissance Zurich hotel’s seasonal award participation is from January 1, 2013 – March 1, 2013 while the Marriott Aruba is from September 23 – November 23, 2013. So the participation is definitely driven by “low season” according to the hotel.
The Marriott seasonal award program offers a nice discount of 25% off award redemption prices.
The strategy behind this program is likely to incentivize award redemption during low season. However, there are some good hotels to visit during their seasonal awards. For example, Aruba during the “seasonal period” is not the bad since it is below the hurricane belt. We visited the happy island of Aruba this fall and had a great time with no fear of a Hurricane.
Using this award can save some serious points on hotel awards with Marriott.
Speaking of savings with Marriott, the Frequent Miler illustrates a good 20% discount (via deals seeker) on Marriott gift cards in his post today. So you can get 25% off an award with Marriott and get gift cards for incidental spend at a 20% discount. Talk about savings!