Am I Crazy To Pay 60,000 Marriott Points For A New York Hotel?

by joeheg

One lesson to learn when using points is to pick your spots. If you take the time to learn the sweet spots of each program, you can take advantage of them when it makes sense and maximize the value you get for your points. I try my best to follow this guide and we’ve been able to travel to some amazing places, but we’ve also saved a bunch of money on everyday redemptions at ordinary hotels. That’s why I’m wondering if I’m crazy to be considering this redemption using our Marriott points.

One of the current “values” is booking Marriott/SPG hotels that are currently category 7 but will go up to category 8. These hotels currently cost 60,000 points for a night but when the program is relaunched, reportedly under the name Bonvoy, there will be a new category 8. Marriott also will be introducing off-peak, standard and peak pricing at the same time. When that happens, these hotels will cost between 70,000 and 100,000 points PER NIGHT! While there’s not a set date for the increase to happen, the Marriott website is now saying March 2019. The great thing is that you can book a room for any available date before the change so it makes sense to lock in that dream vacation now while you can. I’d imagine that these updates will happen whenever in March that Marriott decides they’re ready to dump more changes on their IT department because the last ones worked out so well {insert sarcasm here}

I hadn’t considered booking a stay at any “fancy” hotel since our plans for the year are mostly set and I couldn’t see anywhere we’d be able to make this work. I wish we had a trip planned going back to Salzburg, Austria and could stay at Schloss Fuschl, as it looks amazing.

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However, as usually happens, we saw an opportunity to make a short trip to New York so I put in for a vacation day from work and now we’re off for a long weekend of Broadway shows and a steak dinner. But where should we stay?

The plans materialized around the same time Marriott extended the date for booking category 7 hotels at current prices. With a quick search and I found three hotels are going up in price. The Ritz Carlton, The St. Regis, and The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection hotel. If we’d ever want to stay in one of these hotels, now’s the time. All of them are within the area we’d want to be staying in New York.

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The Ritz Carlton is right next to Central Park. Here are the room prices for the weekend we’re traveling:

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$2357 for two nights. That makes the 120,000 points worth 1.96 cents per point, which isn’t bad for Marriott points. However, we’re not Ritz Carlton folks and even Marriott Platinum members can’t apply for suite upgrades at this hotel.

What about the St. Regis? I’ve read raves about this hotel and if you have a suite you even get butler service.

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Well, that’s a little less expensive but $2134 for two nights is still more than we’d normally pay for a hotel, and that’s the understatement of 2019.

Not saying we’re beyond stopping by the St. Regis for a nightcap at the King Cole Bar


While these hotels both have famous names, neither hold the history of The Chatwal.


Designed by famous architect Stanford White and opened in 1905 as the home of the famous theatrical group, the Lambs, it’s the type of place we love to stay in. Two nights here go for only $1790, which a steal compared to the other two hotels.

When presented with the choice that in the future I’d never pay for a night at any of these hotels (either for cash or with points), should I pay the 120,000 for a two-night stay? Of course, I’d want to try to use some of the suite night upgrades we get from Sharon’s Platinum status (so that leaves out the Ritz Carlton as an option).

What drives me crazy is there are plenty of other hotels I could book for 35,000 points a night. The Sheraton New York Times Square, The Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Manhattan Central Park and the Residence Inn New York Times Square are all available. We’ve stayed at all three hotels and they’d be perfectly fine for our needs.

It’s just that the chance to stay at any of these hotels is going to get massively more expensive and why am I spending all this time collecting points if I’m not willing to go a little crazy now and then and stay somewhere we’d never be willing to pay the money required to stay?

I was thinking that writing this post would talk me out of spending this many points for a single stay but the more I look at it, I guess sometimes you have to be like Tom Cruise’s character in Risky Business and just say………


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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


mickeymouse January 10, 2019 - 8:11 am

go for it! a couple of years ago i was in your position and then just bit the bullet (the bristol, vienna; and london marriott park lane) … so glad i did because they were memorable stays and there’s no way we’ll be able to stay there again.

joeheg January 11, 2019 - 12:05 pm

I already booked the hotel but I was really having second thoughts. I know we’ll have a great time. Thanks for reinforcining my flamboyant usage of Marriott points 🙂


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