Why Buying Marriott Points At 25% Off Is A Fool’s Game

Marriott is offering a 25% discount on purchased points through December 20, 2022 when purchasing 2000 points or more.

With this promotion you’re buying points for $0.009375 apiece. I believe they’re worth $0.006. Even with the discount you’re paying more than a 50% premium for the points. They need to offer a 50% discount – rather than 25% – before this comes close to something to even consider for most folks, in my view.

There’s an edge case where it can make sense to buy Marriott points: when you want to top off towards a specific redemption, and just need a few points, it makes sense to overpay for those points (since you’ll be making the rest of the points you already have more valuable).

However Marriott has made it tough to do this as anything but an immediate play – when you need those extra points for a booking you will make now. That’s because,

  • Marriott eliminated their award chart, so you don’t know what a room redemption will cost in the future

  • Starting in 2023 all gloves are off for dynamic award pricing.
  • Hotels that cost 60,000 points per night in 2018 now cost 130,000 points in some cases. And that’s under strict rules for 2022 that create an upper bound in the number of points Marriott charges, rules that go away for 2023. Moreover, Marriott said they increased the frequency with which they adjust prices, so the price a hotel is charging for awards today may not be the same as the price they’ll charge when you’re ready to redeem.

    Marriott told us that next year’s award pricing will be worse than what it is today. We should believe them. Still, people will take Marriott up on this offer. Marriott elites, whom you’d expect to be well-informed, will take them up on this offer. After all, Marriott elites like Marriott points more than the median consumer. Hopefully they’re savvy enough to find the outsized redemptions that still remain.

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