Till October 18, 2019, Marriott is offering 30% discount on purchase of points. You need to buy a minimum of 2,000 points and you can buy up to 100,000 points. This is twice the usual limit of 50,000 points. It means you can buy points at an effective rate of 0.88 cents (AED 0.03).
This opens up some exciting opportunities particularly in UAE. In this post, I am highlighting a few of them.
Book Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa
This is a Category 8 property and the crown jewel in Bonvoy’s portfolio in the Middle East. Also, one of the most coveted properties anywhere in the world. Al Maha is far from the glitz and glamour of Dubai and is located in the middle of wildlife reserve.
It is an all-inclusive resort and will cover all meals (except alcohol) and two activities. No corners are cut in the hotel, the service is truly incredible, and if you are lucky, highly personalized.
As a category 8 property, Al Maha has 3 redemption rates – 70,000 points in off-season, 85,000 points as standard and 100,000 points in peak season. While the rates may seem steep, redemption might still be worth it.
These are the nightly rates in December 2019 (superimposed redemption and usual rates).
If you purchase 100,000 points for $875 (AED 3,213) you could still redeem it for a better value at this property. For example, if you were to redeem this on December 21, the rates are AED 5,537. This is a whooping 42% discount.
Book The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach
Another category 8 property in the Marriott portfolio. Also, another fantastic property! I might dare say it is a notch better than Al Maha (personal opinion).
December is pretty much sold out here but January has some good deals as you can see below.
Let us take an example of January 6. You can redeem one night for 85,000 points which would cost AED 4,868 otherwise. If you were to buy these 85,000 points, you would pay $746 (AED 2,740). This is a discount of 44%.
Convert Marriott Points to Emirates Skywards Miles
Marriott allows you to convert Bonvoy points to Skywards miles in the ratio of 3:1. Moreover, you every 60,000 points that you transfer, you get a bonus of 5,000 miles. In other words, on transferring 60,000 points, you receive 25,000 Skywards miles.
The cost of purchasing 60,000 Marriott points is $526.
On the other hand, the cost of purchasing 25,000 Skywards miles is $750 (3 cents per point with no bonuses).
This is a straight discount of 30%. Note that transferring points from one program to the other will take a few days.
As always, I recommend purchasing points only if you have an immediate use for it. Buying points and hoarding is a tricky business.