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Marriott AMEX - points strategy when booking Marriott Air and Hotel vacation deals

spiritcraft1
Valued Contributor

Marriott AMEX - points strategy when booking Marriott Air and Hotel vacation deals

I recently booked a couple 5 day air / hotel getaways through Marriot Vacations (much needed!).  I used my Marriott AMEX to pay for the trip and realized later that while I will get the standard Marriott Bonvoy points for the hotel stay, I will only be getting 2x points from AMEX on the hotel portion since it will be coded as "travel other" through Expedia instead of a straight Marriott hotel charge (6x). 

 

I found excellent deals that popped up that saved $600 - $1k on each trip but I could have maximized the "travel points" by using another card to pay.  I guess my Platinum would have given me 4x MR points on the total amount on top of the Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar (12.5 per $1 having Gold Elite status plus welcome gift of points).  This seems to be the case anyway.

 

The way this Marriott vacations work is that the flight and hotel portion are actually billed and coded differently.  The Hotel portion goes through Expedia while the Air portion is an actual airfare charge.  (American Airlines in this case, we will get miles of course).

 

Since this Marriott Vacations, air and hotel program seems to randomly offer deals, if you are flexible anyway, we may use this program on an ongoing basis.   Having a strategy to max the points return would be nice.  What else would work aside from the AMEX Platinum?  An Expedia card?  Some other high point reward travel card? 


|Biz | AU

Rebuilding from a sudden, swift and complete credit disaster in early 2014 | Starting Scores 2017 = High 300's - Low 400's
8-1-18 -
Current F08 -
Current 2,4,5 -
Current F09 -

No PG Biz Credit in Order of Approval - Uline, Quill, Grainger, SupplyWorks, MSC, Amsterdam, Citi Tractor Supply Rev .8k, Amazon Net 55 $5.5k, NewEgg Net 30 10k, Richelieu 2k, Wurth Supply 2k, Global Ind 2k, Sam's Club Store 11.k, Shell Fleet 19.5k, Citi Exxon 2.5k, Dell Biz Revolving $15k
Message 1 of 7
6 REPLIES 6
NRB525
Super Contributor

Re: Marriott AMEX - points strategy when booking Marriot Air and Hotel vacation deals

Congrats on your rebuilding progress, and congrats on your upcoming vacations. Enjoy!

 

Regarding the points, however, the 2 points in the Marriott program I only count as equal to 1 MR point.  So I agree careful selection of the card is important. The Platinum would be the choice for the airline, 5 MR if paying the airline. If through Expedia, then you usually need another card, like the AMEX Green or CSP/CSR and each of those options require an annual fee.  They do have "general travel" points earning, so I use them for that. 

High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
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March 2021 $33k on $312k EQ 796 TU 798 EX 801
May 2021 Paid all Installments and Mortgages, one new Mortgage EQ 761 TY 774 EX 777
Message 2 of 7
spiritcraft1
Valued Contributor

Re: Marriott AMEX - points strategy when booking Marriott Air and Hotel vacation deals


@NRB525 wrote:

Congrats on your rebuilding progress, and congrats on your upcoming vacations. Enjoy!

 

Regarding the points, however, the 2 points in the Marriott program I only count as equal to 1 MR point.  So I agree careful selection of the card is important. The Platinum would be the choice for the airline, 5 MR if paying the airline. If through Expedia, then you usually need another card, like the AMEX Green or CSP/CSR and each of those options require an annual fee.  They do have "general travel" points earning, so I use them for that. 


Thank you.  To use the Marriott Vacations when booking air and travel the total is paid up front.  It doe slpit the airfare from the hotel when it appears on the statement.  The hotel charge (the largest part of the bill) is an Expedia charge when using this service.  That is who Marriott uses for these "packages" apparently.  It can be a great deal though as we saved 50% on each hotel portion over anywhere I looked for comparison purposes.  These "deals" pop up almost randomly for some Marriott hotels for certain dates.

 

What cards code Expedia as "travel" or award more than the equivalent of 1 MR point for that code?

 

Thanks for the congrats.  I spent 6+ years working 360+ days a year in rebuilding our business, income and also our credit.  We are in a good spot all the way around now, insulated and we will not be ruined again!

 

PS:  Looked at your sig, nice job as well!  Must be a good feeling.


|Biz | AU

Rebuilding from a sudden, swift and complete credit disaster in early 2014 | Starting Scores 2017 = High 300's - Low 400's
8-1-18 -
Current F08 -
Current 2,4,5 -
Current F09 -

No PG Biz Credit in Order of Approval - Uline, Quill, Grainger, SupplyWorks, MSC, Amsterdam, Citi Tractor Supply Rev .8k, Amazon Net 55 $5.5k, NewEgg Net 30 10k, Richelieu 2k, Wurth Supply 2k, Global Ind 2k, Sam's Club Store 11.k, Shell Fleet 19.5k, Citi Exxon 2.5k, Dell Biz Revolving $15k
Message 3 of 7
notmyrealname23
Established Contributor

Re: Marriott AMEX - points strategy when booking Marriot Air and Hotel vacation deals


@spiritcraft1 wrote:

 

What cards code Expedia as "travel" or award more than the equivalent of 1 MR point for that code?

AMEX Green or anything with general travel as a category.

First Tech FCU Choice Rewards World MC 35k
Fidelity VISA Signature 11.5k
Capital One Quicksilver 11k
AMEX Hilton Aspire 9.8k
Charles Schwab AMEX Platinum NPSL
Amex Platinum (I know) NPSL
Amex Green NPSL
SoFi MC World Elite 8k
AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 7.5k
Rakuten Synchrony Visa 7k
PayPal Synchrony MC 6.4k
Citi AA Mileup 6.9k
Petal2 VISA 6k
DiscoverIt Cashback 5k
Amazon/Synchrony 5k
Hotels.com 5k
Apple Card 3k
AMEX Delta Gold 3k
Cathay Pacific/Synchrony 2.5k
Target 800
Ch 13 filed 12/13 discharged as paid 1/19
Message 4 of 7
spiritcraft1
Valued Contributor

Re: Marriott AMEX - points strategy when booking Marriott Air and Hotel vacation deals

I suppose my NFCU Flagship would likely provide 3% CB as a decent option.


|Biz | AU

Rebuilding from a sudden, swift and complete credit disaster in early 2014 | Starting Scores 2017 = High 300's - Low 400's
8-1-18 -
Current F08 -
Current 2,4,5 -
Current F09 -

No PG Biz Credit in Order of Approval - Uline, Quill, Grainger, SupplyWorks, MSC, Amsterdam, Citi Tractor Supply Rev .8k, Amazon Net 55 $5.5k, NewEgg Net 30 10k, Richelieu 2k, Wurth Supply 2k, Global Ind 2k, Sam's Club Store 11.k, Shell Fleet 19.5k, Citi Exxon 2.5k, Dell Biz Revolving $15k
Message 5 of 7
cashorcharge
Senior Contributor

Re: Marriott AMEX - points strategy when booking Marriott Air and Hotel vacation deals

I have never booked a "vacation" through them (air, hotel, transort etc) and instead book the hotels directly to get the most points.  I see your point though of getting the deal on the rate by using their "agreement" with Expedia for booking the package.  Thanks for the education on that piece of it as I would have assumed it was considered "marriott" since their booking you at their property.  

 

That being said, not sure if you have any status with Marriott/Bonvoy...if so, you may want to call their reservations line to see what "offers and deals" they may have available for the property you're planning on staying at.  Typically my travel is work related, corp rates and no deals outside of that.  BUT, when I've traveled for vacation to non-work related places (think Maui versus Dallas/Chicago etc) you can call to see what member offers are available over the phone that may not display on line.  Admittedly, it's been a while since I got one of these deals...but I think it wouldn't hurt to call and ask.  The number I use is 800-399-4229

Message 6 of 7
spiritcraft1
Valued Contributor

Re: Marriott AMEX - points strategy when booking Marriott Air and Hotel vacation deals


@cashorcharge wrote:

I have never booked a "vacation" through them (air, hotel, transort etc) and instead book the hotels directly to get the most points.  I see your point though of getting the deal on the rate by using their "agreement" with Expedia for booking the package.  Thanks for the education on that piece of it as I would have assumed it was considered "Marriott" since their booking you at their property.  

 

That being said, not sure if you have any status with Marriott/Bonvoy...if so, you may want to call their reservations line to see what "offers and deals" they may have available for the property you're planning on staying at.  Typically my travel is work related, corp rates and no deals outside of that.  BUT, when I've traveled for vacation to non-work related places (think Maui versus Dallas/Chicago etc) you can call to see what member offers are available over the phone that may not display on line.  Admittedly, it's been a while since I got one of these deals...but I think it wouldn't hurt to call and ask.  The number I use is 800-399-4229


Thanks for the suggestion.  I am Gold Elite at the moment.  At some point next year, I may hit Platinum. 

 

As for the points, I am getting all of the Marriott points via the room itself, 10 per $1 plus the 25% bonus for Gold Elite but am missing out on the extra 4 points per that come with using the Marriott card.

 

For the discount, since these were mostly personal trips, I was date flexible and was changing arrival and departure days very slightly and noticed the discounted totals popping up.  They were significant for a 5 day and then the 2nd 4 day stay.  (Both in Miami Beach for Nov and Feb).  Both included weekends and did pop up as "sale price" deals.  I am sure it was on the rooms since flights from O'Hare to Miami are pretty cheap these days.


|Biz | AU

Rebuilding from a sudden, swift and complete credit disaster in early 2014 | Starting Scores 2017 = High 300's - Low 400's
8-1-18 -
Current F08 -
Current 2,4,5 -
Current F09 -

No PG Biz Credit in Order of Approval - Uline, Quill, Grainger, SupplyWorks, MSC, Amsterdam, Citi Tractor Supply Rev .8k, Amazon Net 55 $5.5k, NewEgg Net 30 10k, Richelieu 2k, Wurth Supply 2k, Global Ind 2k, Sam's Club Store 11.k, Shell Fleet 19.5k, Citi Exxon 2.5k, Dell Biz Revolving $15k
Message 7 of 7
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