Since being in the points and miles world, it has changed how I see everything. You try to see the value in everything and try to maximize all offers. Some offers aren’t worth chasing but you never know if it’s worth your while.
That’s how I felt when I got a 90-day free trial of Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Status. Now the trick was, I’d get it and then I’d qualify for the next year by just 10 nights at hotels. Unfortunately, I did not repeat qualifying due to the lack of need for 10 nights and I don’t go out of my way to spend when I don’t have to but here is what I did once I had it.
Save money on Breakfast: Figuring out Marriott's breakfast policy requires a Ph.D. and patience, both of things I do not have. When I first had Marriott gold rewards it came with free breakfast worldwide. Now it’s free in Europe and South America but I have to pay in the US and all types of other rules. Platinum took out the guesswork as breakfast is included worldwide.
Dedicated Lounge: When you check in you get two room keys depending on the hotel. At the Ritz Carlton, your room key gives you access to the lounge and at Marriott, you get a separate key depending on the location. The lounge is sold separately based on room type but can net as much as $150 a night.
Here is where I think it comes in handy if you can stay enough nights to make it count, you save on food. You can go to some lounges any time of day and eat. So what I do is get the free breakfast, then head to the lounge for takeaway snacks and lunch, and then arrange my day where I can eat at the lounge in intervals. This might not be possible based on the location but when you’re cheap like me, you make it work. There are times I’ve stayed at hotels and done reward redemptions and spent nothing more than the city tax. (Usually under $10)
Look into aiming for Marriott Platinum status for future stays and if you don’t spend enough to qualify here’s a hack. Apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card. The card pay for itself and Platinum status is one of its best perks.
All in all, Marriotts are my go-to properties based on two factors. They are almost in every country you visit and then they have different hotels based on your price point. There are also amazing redemptions in areas like Asia and South America. Hopefully one day I’ll see you in a Marriott hotel soon.
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any parties mentioned. None of the entities mentioned has reviewed, approved, or endorsed the content listed in this post.