All About Marriott’s Lucrative Miles+Nights Travel Packages; The Best Way To Spend Your Starpoints?

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Earn Starpoints on the Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other hotel cards!


Most DansDeals readers probably know that 20K Starwood points can transfer into 25K airline miles with dozens of airlines. That 25% transfer bonus is one of the reasons that Starpoints are valued so highly.

But with the Marriott merger came a more lucrative method to transfer points into miles.

You can transfer 1 Starpoint into 3 Marriott points or 3 Marriott points into 1 Starpoint.

Here are Marriott’s Marriott’s miles+nights travel packages for 7 nights in a hotel and United miles:

 

Here are Marriott’s Marriott’s miles+nights packages for 7 nights in a hotel and Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Southwest, or Virgin Atlantic miles:

 

90K Starpoints transfers into 270K Marriott Rewards points. That can be redeemed for a week in a Marriott hotel plus 132K United miles or 120K miles from other airlines.

Additionally there are often promotions to earn even more than that. Currently, British Airways is offering a 35% transfer bonus, so 90K Starpoints will transfer into a week in a Marriott hotel plus 162K Avios!

American and United have also offered several promotions for transfer bonuses as well.


It’s hard to impute a value of this transfer as it includes miles and nightsbut let’s attack it from 4 different angles that will show the highest possible valuation, a reasonable stay valuation, a dirt cheap stay valuation, and the lowest possible valuation.

Here are the values for transfers to United, one of the more valuable mileage currencies out there:

1. 7 nights at a category 5 hotel would normally cost 150,000 Marriott points or 50K Starpoints. If you were spending 150K Marriott points to stay for 7 nights in those hotels anyway it’s like using the extra 40K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 230% transfer bonus.
2.
 If you wouldn’t normally stay 7 nights at a hotel, but assign a reasonable value of 5K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 35K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 55K Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 140% transfer bonus.
3.
 If you wouldn’t normally stay 7 nights at a hotel, but assign a dirt cheap value of 3K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 21K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 69K Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 91.3% transfer bonus.
4.
 Don’t need 7 nights in a hotel? Some Marriott reps will allow you to return the 7 night hotel certificate for a refund of 45K Marriott points which you can transfer back to 15K Starpoints. You may need to book a hotel and cancel it in order to receive a 45K point refund. That’s not a good value for the 7 night hotel certificate, but if you won’t use the hotel stay then it’s better than nothing. If you return the certificate it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 76% transfer bonus.
5. Don’t want to mess with miles+nights? You can transfer 18,667 Starpoints into 56K Marriott points which transfers into 25K United miles, an effective 33.9% transfer bonus.


Here are the values for transfers to British Airways with the 35% transfer bonus:

1. 7 nights at a category 5 hotel would normally cost 150,000 Marriott points or 50K Starpoints. If you were spending 150K Marriott points to stay for 7 nights in those hotels anyway it’s like using the extra 40K Starpoints for 162K BA Avios, an effective 305% transfer bonus.
2.
 If you wouldn’t normally stay 7 nights at a hotel, but assign a reasonable value of 5K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 35K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 55K Starpoints use for 162K BA Avios, an effective 194.5% transfer bonus.
3.
 If you wouldn’t normally stay 7 nights at a hotel, but assign a dirt cheap value of 3K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 21K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 69K Starpoints use for 162K BA Avios, an effective 134.8% transfer bonus.
4.
 Don’t need 7 nights in a hotel? Some Marriott reps will allow you to return the 7 night hotel certificate for a refund of 45K Marriott points which you can transfer back to 15K Starpoints. You may need to book a hotel and cancel it in order to receive a 45K point refund. That’s not a good value for the 7 night hotel certificate, but if you won’t use the hotel stay then it’s better than nothing. If you return the certificate it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 162K BA Avios, an effective 116% transfer bonus.
5. Don’t want to mess with miles+nights? You can transfer 23,333 Starpoints into 70K Marriott points which transfers into 33,750 Avios, an effective 44.6% transfer bonus.


Here are the values for transfers to airlines like Alaska, America, or Delta, when they don’t offer a transfer bonus:

1. 7 nights at a category 5 hotel would normally cost 150,000 Marriott points or 50K Starpoints. If you were spending 150K Marriott points to stay for 7 nights in those hotels anyway it’s like using the extra 40K Starpoints for 120K miles, an effective 200% transfer bonus.
2.
 If you wouldn’t normally stay 7 nights at a hotel, but assign a reasonable value of 5K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 35K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 55K Starpoints use for 120K miles, an effective 118.2% transfer bonus.
3.
 If you wouldn’t normally stay 7 nights at a hotel, but assign a dirt cheap value of 3K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 21K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 69K Starpoints use for 120K miles, an effective 73.9% transfer bonus.
4.
 Don’t need 7 nights in a hotel? Some Marriott reps will allow you to return the 7 night hotel certificate for a refund of 45K Marriott points which you can transfer back to 15K Starpoints. You may need to book a hotel and cancel it in order to receive a 45K point refund. That’s not a good value for the 7 night hotel certificate, but if you won’t use the hotel stay then it’s better than nothing. If you return the certificate it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 120K miles, an effective 60% transfer bonus.
5. Don’t want to mess with miles+nights? You can transfer 20K Starpoints into 25K miles, an effective 25% transfer bonus.


It’s worth noting that there is also a 5 night hotel plus points package, but it’s officially intended for timeshare owners. Most Marriott reps won’t sell it to regular members, but some might if you play enough HUCA by calling them at 800-321-7396.

With the 5 night package, 78,333 Starpoints would transfer into 235K Marriott points which transfers into 5 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel and 132,000 United miles (Or 162K BA Avios with the current promotion or 120K miles with other airlines). If you can get a rep to sell the 5 night package to you, then it’s nice to have a 5 night hotel option. But if you plan on returning the hotel night certificate to Marriott then the value will be exactly the same as the 7 night packages.


Things to know about miles+nights travel packages:

  • You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package. They can’t be booked online.
  • The miles will post within a few days of the transfer, regardless of when or if you use the 7 night certificate.
  • The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
  • You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
  • The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
  • You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
  • You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on. For example if you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and you would get 157K miles. If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and you would get 157K miles.

Don’t forget that if you have Starwood Platinum Status you can match it to Marriott Platinum which will also get you United Silver status! My United Global Services status gives me Marriott Platinum status which in turn gives me Starwood Platinum status which in turn gives me free upgrades and bags on Delta 😀


These travel packages are just one of the many ways to redeem Starwood Starpoints. You can also use them for everything from hotel stays to throwing out the first pitch before game 7 of the World Series.

 

But this is a pretty lucrative method.

It also means that the Starwood card is one of the best ways of accumulating United miles at a minimum of 1.76 miles per dollar spent.

-For example if you spend on United’s $450/year Club card you earn 1.5 United miles per dollar spent.

However with this method you can earn 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on the Starwood AMEX which you can turn into 1.76 United miles by transferring 90K Starpoints into 132K United miles plus 7 nights in a Marriott hotel and then refunding the 7 nights for 15K Starpoints (132/75=1.76). Of course if you’ll use the 7 night hotel stay then the value from that award is even higher.

This will be even more lucrative when United runs their next mileage transfer promo.

132K United miles is just 8K miles short of a round-trip business class saver award ticket to Israel or Tahiti. Or it’s enough for over 16 short-haul award flights within a travel region like Europe with no fuel surcharges.

2.16 Avios per dollar spent:

-If you wanted to accumulate BA Avios you can turn the 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on the Starwood AMEX which you can turn into 2.16 BA Avios by transferring 90K Starpoints into 162K BA Avios plus 7 nights in a Marriott hotel and then refunding the 7 nights for 15K Starpoints (162/75=2.16). Of course if you’ll use the 7 night hotel stay then the value from that award is even higher.

162K BA Avios could be used for over 21 award flights from NYC to Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, Montreal, Pittsburgh, or Toronto with no fuel surcharges.

1.6 miles per dollar spent:

-If you wanted to accumulate Virgin Atlantic, Alaska, or American miles you can turn the 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on the Starwood AMEX which you can turn into 1.6 Virgin Atlantic miles by transferring 90K Starpoints into 120K Virgin Atlantic miles plus 7 nights in a Marriott hotel and then refunding the 7 nights for 15K Starpoints (120/75=1.6). Of course if you’ll use the 7 night hotel stay then the value from that award is even higher.

-120K Virgin Atlantic miles could be used for a round-trip first class award flight to Japan on ANA with no fuel surcharges. At a normal cost of $22,000, that’s a value of 29.3 cents per Starpoint ($22,000/75,000 Starpoints)!

ANA is an incredible Japanese airline with great first class suites that have very comfortable beds and amazing service. I reviewed them here towards the end of the 4th part of my Island Hopper adventure.

 

-With 120K Alaska miles you can fly one-way in business and one-way in first class between the US and Asia. For example you can fly from the US to Taipei and get 7 nights at a category 1-5 property there. Or fly and stay at a category 5 JW Marriott in Shanghai or a category 5 JW Marriott resort in Vietnam. You can even stopover in Hong Kong once or twice for as long as you want with Alaska miles. That’s perfect if you want to have custom clothing made there as you can go back to have them fitted perfectly.

35K Alaska miles gets a one-way Cathay Pacific flight from JFK and Vancouver, 50K for a business class ticket from JFK to Hong Kong, or 70K for first class from JFK to Hong Kong or even from JFK to Tel Aviv via Hong Kong with no fuel surcharges. They even allow free stopovers on one-way awards.

Cathay Pacific offers what I think is the most comfortable seat, bed, bedding, and Pajamas in the sky:

 

#TonightsRide #GoFirstOrGoHome

A post shared by DansDeals (@dansdeals) on

 

-120K AA miles is more than enough for a flight from the US to Abu Dhabi or the Maldives in Etihad shower class (115K American miles each way with no fuel surcharges.)

The Etihad first class apartment is an awesome suite with an insane amount of space and there’s a shower to boot.

Because of the now defunct electronics ban, I was stuck having to take pictures with my GoPro:

 

And my phone:


Short on Starpoints to reach the 90K needed for the miles+night award?

For a limited time the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is offering 35K points for spending $7K within 3 months. After completing the $7K in spend you’ll have at least 42K Starpoints. That’s equal to 126K Marriott points!

-Starwood is offering 35% off purchases and gifts of 5K-30K Starpoints through 3/16.

For example 20K Starpoints are on sale for $455 instead of $700 or 30K Starpoints are on sale for $682.50 instead of $1,050. That’s a cost of 2.275 cents per Starpoints instead of the regular 3.5 cents per Starpoint.

Of course you also earn miles for the purchase, which makes the real cost even less.

If you have a Starwood AMEX and buy 30K Starpoints for $682.50 you will earn 1,366 Starpoints for the purchase, so effectively you’ll pay $682.50 for 31,366 Starpoints, or 2.175 cents per Starpoint.

Considering that you can get 2.16 BA Avios or 1.76 United miles per Starpoint, those purchase rates are a bargain. You can only buy 30K Starpoints per year, but other members can also buy 30K Starpoints and they can transfer Starpoints to anyone living at the same address, free of charge!


What’s your favorite use of Starpoints?

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67 Comments On "All About Marriott’s Lucrative Miles+Nights Travel Packages; The Best Way To Spend Your Starpoints?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Dr Moose

How does Spg Plat get you free bags on DL?

Marriott gold elite

Dan, the vacation packages are a solid option. I however really like the 4 award nights 5th night free option simply due to the increased flexibility. If you want to go to Hawaii for a vacation you can easily do 5 days on two islands (10 total nights) using 8 nights if award points. True you don’t get the airline miles but for those who don’t want a week at one property or who have plenty of air miles the 5th night free option is great.

Shwartzy

Ok, here’s a question… I want to sell my spg points.

If spg points are worth about 2 cents per point.. Then 90k spg points is worth $1800.

If I transfer those 90k spg points to marriott, I can get a 7 night certificate, plus 162k avios points.

If avios points are worth 1.5 cents each.. Then my 162k avios points are worth $2430. Already it’s $600 more than I would have gotten selling my spg points, plus I get a 7 night certificate?

yitrap

Avios won’t be bought for more then 1.0

wtvr

dreams! ull never find anybody willing to pay 1.5 for avios

Ben

What is the best category five Marriott hotel to use the seven night certificate?

Denverite

Not sure if it’s the absolute “Best” Hotel accepting the 7 night cert but the Sortis Hotel in Panama City is part of their Autograph Collection, has an awesome kosher restaurant inside a handful more within a block.

CUBS FAN

The transferable bonuses you claim above are very misleading as they are not apples to apples comparisons. For example, thats great that you get all these United miles or Avios miles both of which are a migraine to use and require fees for fuel and tax surcharges. Conversely, hotel points can be used anywhere and anytime so though they have lower redemption value (though with saver and 5th night free) they are worth more than you estimate they also have no restrictions.

Sky121

Thanks for this super informative post! Lots of info all in one spot makes my life a lot easier.

mendy

CAN I USE THE 7 NIGHT CERTIFICATE AND ONLY STAY FOR 5 DAYS OF IT?

Van

Thanks for the detailed conversions Dan, was about to do this math before I transfered 180k Starpoints within 2 accounts for 14 nights and 264k United. Should I wait for another transfer bonus instead?

JR

Sometimes I wish I understood all this points talk and ways to use/maximize points usage. Thanks for all the great info, still trying to digest it.

sd

arent ana flights great with virgin atlantic miles ?

ramzies

Has there been a recent data point success of receiving a 5 night certificate?

Menachem

Can transfer British Avios points to spg?

leah

“120K AA miles is more than enough for a flight from the US to Abu Dhabi or the Maldives in Etihad shower class (115K American miles each way with no fuel surcharges.” is it possible to have a 2-3 day stopover in abu dahbi or dubai before heading out to the maldives with just 120k aa or you would need to break it up into seperate legs before you fly?

leah

and why is it only115k american miles adn 120k aa miles? what is the diffrence/

Jon

Why is all of the analysis of these packages at the category 5 level? I can never use my cat 5 stays…but I often get great value at higher level hotels (8 etc). Wouldn’t it be better if you also got a ton of value from the hotel side as well?

Chaim

If anyone has 7 night certificates I’m looking to buy a whole bunch please messsage me thank u

shmuel dovid

does virgin atalntic have bonuse transfers from hotels like united and aa? and what was the most historically?

dan1

great post, unfortunately I have nowhere near the amount of Starpoints discussed – I have ~32,000 points, what would be the best bang for my buck at this point? Direct transfer to an airline I assume?

Eliezer

Can i transfer Marriott rewards to another account in the same household? if so can I do it within 30 days of creating the accounts unlike SPG’s rule?

Mover

Maybe wrong place to post…but my husband and I were avid followers of Dansdeals. He died young and suddenly this year. All airlines were kind to transfer our mileage to my mileage account except for British Avios. They won’t transfer even with the death certificate. Any ideas? Also, I want to give my kids an amazing trip this year with the Marriott flight and week hotel. They are very young. Please don’t say Disney- but any ideas of a property that will keep them busy all week? Any safe place in the world is fine- thanks to Dan we are used to flying!

CZ60

Bahamas

Mendy

Did this and got the United award last year. Still have the 7 day hotel certificate.
Want to transfer it back as you advised. Called Marriott, HUCA’d a few times. They wouldn’t do it.
They claimed if I used the certificate to book an award, it would be non-refundable. Has anyone had any difficulty with refunding the hotel booking back into 45k married?

Chaim

I can buy off u please

Yury Epstein

Marriott’s Category 5 restriction is terrific in some cases. The newly opened Paragraph Resort & Spa Shekvetili, Autograph Collection is amazing (category 5, sea view rooms are offered if you ask, free breakfast for gold elite members as usual). It’s in the Republic of Georgia on the Black Sea, about one hour’s drive from the resort town of Batumi that’s close to the Turkish border. Award availability is wide open (we booked 2 rooms for June without any issues and the agent said more are available). Direct flights are available to Israel (just over 2 hours) from the capital city, Tbilisi, but it’s like a 5-hour train ride to get to the capital from the resort. The closest to this resort is the international airport in Kutaisi, which WizzAir flies to from about a dozen European gateways. Haven’t stayed there yet, but supposedly it’s the best hotel in Georgia.

Nati

Thank you very much! Can you get gifted starpoints even if you bought 30,000 already or you can only get transferred to?

USB

Does Alaska ever offer any transfer bonuses?

Peter

@Dan – do you know if/how existing night certificates will be impacted come August with the combined chart? For example, having a Cat 1-5 cert that’s eligible for up to 7 nights – will I be able to book SPG properties in the same Cat 1-5? Thanks for your insight.

Jack out of the box

If I understood Marriot’s website correctly it looks like Switzerland has only category 6 and up. Is that correct?

New York jets

Dan I need a little help. I want to make sure I understand this.
We are planning a trip to Tokyo and Kyoto in June. I’m looking at booking the ritz carlton in Kyoto for three nights. It’s a category 5 hotel and it says I need 210,000 points for the three night stay.
If I do the miles and nights package can I transfer 90,000 Starpoints to 270,000 Marriott points and redeem that for 132,000 United miles plus 7 nights in the hotel.
Can I book 7 nights using the certificate but leave after 3 nights?
I’m thinking that the extra 20,000 Starpoints is getting me 132000 united miles.
Am I understanding it correctly??
I want to make sure I’m doing it right and getting a good value.
Thanks for your help.

jeff

Need opinions. Which offers better options and ease of use if i want to use the miles for trip to israel. doing the miles and hotel cert deal with united or with alaska air ?

Ali

Just a heads up, calling 800-321-7396 for the Miles + Nights package is a big hassle. The infobot computer kept sending to Reservations. Nobody at Reservations knows what is going on. They wanted me to commit to a hotel right away. I explained that I want the 7-night certificate for category 1-5 and I would decide later. It was a game of being put on hold while the rep called someone else. I am waiting for a manager to call me back. Any suggestions on a better phone number to call?

Ali

I waited 25 minutes for a manager and nothing. Called again and finally got through to the right area. A better phone number to try might be 800-228-2100 in the future!

Karin

I have maxed out on buying SPG points, will have just 220K Marriott points and want to buy a Travel package/United miles. We could use Chase Ultimate Rewards to top off to 270K Marriott points which seems prohibitive. There are other things to be obtained with Chase points. Any suggestions how to top off?

Sasha

Hey Dan, Will buying SPG points counts towards my amex spending requirement or is it a no no? Thanks!

Bear

Just had a 5-minute phone call and bagged a 5-night Nights & Flights package ont he first call! Thanks, Dan!

Ninja

What number did you call?

Ricecakes

Planning a trip from US to NZ/AU in next year, what is the best hotel/airline package to use to fly biz class? Have 120k CSP miles, 130k AA miles, 22k United miles. 100k spg miles

BrooklynDan

I valuate SPG points at $03.3/point based on my previous usages (and it’ll be worth more than that for August through Feb. redemptions), and spg points are now going to be harder to come by.
I don’t understand how this is such a great deal. It seems to me to be fairly valued – not some type of “bang the phone lines” kind of deal.
At the probable, pretty fair scenario (45K valuation on the 7 night cert), you’re spending the other 45,000 spg ($1485 value – 45k x $0.033) for 132,000 united (which I value at $0.012/point, or $1584, based on my usage – economy vs. business).
So you’re rolling the dice to hopefully only spend $1485 worth of hard to come by spg points for $1584 worth of united.
I rather hold on to all my spg (200k) for a couple of sweet redemptions, than blow some of it on mile transfers.

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