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Marriott Rewards - How do you spend your points?
Old 03-13-2009, 02:45 PM   #1
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Marriott Rewards - How do you spend your points?

So I've been working with Marriott on a travel tips community called Marriott Rewards Insiders, and it has been an Elite members-only site for some time now - but has just recently opened up to all rewards members.

Since some of us here are at least somewhat frequent travelers - and I'm sure some are earning or have a bunch of points from past travel - I was wondering if any of you have been to the site?

Also for those with points stashed up, what is your favorite place to travel with them?
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Old 03-13-2009, 04:27 PM   #2
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I'm a Marriott Rewards points junkie. There are useful discussions about optimizing your points at http://www.flyertalk.com/ and Timeshare Users Group - The first and largest online community of timeshare owners providing timeshare resort reviews, timeshare ratings, FREE timeshare advice and FREE Timeshare Classified ads! (for those who also have Marriott timeshares). Not sure the company's sponsored site is very helpful. If you also have a Marriott timeshare, you can get ideas from a Marriott Vacation Counselor to help your points usage.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:01 PM   #3
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Chris, that is great to hear. I've seen the conversations in Flyertalk and Timeshare Users Group, and they are very helpful!

Since you are a points junkie (a title with many benefits), I'm especially interested in what you think about the Insiders community. While the site is sponsored by Marriott, it is set up to allow rewards members to share property-specific tips, general travel suggestions, and within reason, whatever they want. After all, no one knows the ins and outs of travel better than the frequent travelers who belong to Marriott Rewards.

There is actually a lot of discussion specifically about rewards points in there, that you may find useful: it's in the Rewards points sub-forum.

Could I get your perspective on what would make this kind of site useful to you? If you have any ideas, I'd be happy to pass them along to the people who manage the community.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:42 AM   #4
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Jeff, I thought Marriott has been through several reiterations of this type of site before. If I need specific advice regarding use of my points, I'll probably seek out the advice of the Marriott Vacation Counselor or people on the Tug bulletin board. In my earlier years of accumulating points, I probably did not efficiently use them and could have used this site; for example, I didn't use the hotel and airline package reward deals to my benefit.

Now that I've learned the system better, I find the recent devaluation of points to be upsetting. My wife and I are planning to use a lot of our points on a major trip right after we retire; we'll probably have around a million points to use; we're thinking about a 30 day trip using timeshares and points (with perhaps a cruise somewhere in there) and I notice that there's nothing on this site that is directed to people with such plans or senior citizens who travel frequently.

Good luck on the site; I'll peek in occasionally to see what it has to offer.
BTW, I'm in NOVA like you and we're probably within a mile or two of each other if you're within walking distance of Georgetown off the Key Bridge.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:27 AM   #5
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I've got about 450K points under MR. It is the only loyalty-point-mile program that has produced a meaningful benefit for us. So far, I've been "cheap" with the points, using them to stay at a Fairfield Inn or Residence Inn when we are on the road visiting family, etc. We'll probably continue to use them this way (even if we travel abroad). A room is just a room, and if I'm in a town to visit I probably am there to see the sights in town, not in the hotel, so I doubt we'll be spending a night at a J.W. Marriott when we could get 5 days at a Fairfield Inn for the same number of points--and a free light breakfast!
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