Marriott and Chase booking logistics

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CarefulBuilder14
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Marriott and Chase booking logistics

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:28 am

I’m booking a hotel room with a major chain for the first time as a travel points geek-in-training. I’ll probably be staying at a Marriott because it’s in a convenient location. I haven’t spent the $4k yet for my CSP signup bonus (or even had my first statement close), but converting UR points into Marriott points looks pretty unfavorable (compared to Hyatt or United, anyway).

I was planning on booking through Chase for the 2+1=3x points on travel, but the price on Chase looks a lot higher than what’s posted elsewhere. Travelocity, Kayak, Marriott.com, and Amex travel all quote one low price. Chase’s UR travel tax-inclusive cash price is about 20% higher, even after you add hotel taxes to the low price elsewhere. I admit I might be missing some small additional fee, but 20% is a big difference. I can understand Marriott saving their absolute best rate for people who search Marriott.com - but why give a better rate to Amex and Travelocity than Chase UR?

Is it normal for Marriott to quote a higher cash price to Chase UR than to other travel search engines? Is Chase just trying to collect a huge spread and rip me off? As far as I can tell, the rooms in question are identical: no free meals, same beds, room size, internet for an extra fee, etc. The low prices are definitely the nonrefundable rate, and I think (but am not certain) that Chase’s price is also nonrefundable. Am I right in reading on Marriott.com that if I make a free Marriott loyalty account, I get a modest price reduction and greater flexibility about a refund if I cancel a few days before?

When I’ve looked at booking flights through Chase, the prices clearly matched the prices from Travelocity-type websites. Here, it’s just Chase with a much higher price. Why? And how is this an incentive to book through Chase?

I’m paying for my travel here, so I’m focused on keeping the cost low / getting a good value if I do spend a little more. There’s no one reimbursing me who won’t mind my overspending.

And yes, I know I would have been better off getting the Marriott card earlier this month instead of the CSP, but I wasn’t anticipating this particular trip. If I was certain that I’d get an approval, overnight shipping, and no AA from any lender, I’d get the Marriott card right now. But that’s not realistic. I also don’t want to lose my CSP signup bonus through a PC.

I’ll either be driving or taking a train, so any airfare + hotel bundles don’t enter the picture. I already checked the Amex Fine Hotels list and it’s not there, so I can’t get a $75 credit for hotel extras with my PRG.

I’ll be staying either 2 or 3 nights. Is anyone aware of a way to get a 3rd night free at Marriott under a current promotion?

Any other suggestions on how to get good value with Marriott (if you don’t have the Marriott card)? Maybe open a loyalty account with Marriott and just book through that in case I stay there more in the future and have a shot at a loyalty status?
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
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popamode72
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Postby popamode72 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:16 am

I don't think you'd have anything to lose by making a Marriott account, especially so there's already something that Chase can link to when they create your account number and everything.

And was the CSP the only Chase card you apped for in the last 30 days? You should be good for the Mariott too if you went for it now and depending on how long you applied for the CSP, there's even the possibility of being able to get it on the same HP. Ritz Carlton also still has that two free night offer, 3k spend offer going on right now which I have the link for if you're interested and approvals for that card have also been pretty lax if you're trying to decide between one card or the other.

They are both very similar in terms of what benefits you'd be getting despite the higher AF on the Ritz, which is balanced out by the airline reimbursements you get from having the card. People have said that it's essentially a $95 AF taking all of that into consideration. You can also request free expedited shipping if you get approved for the cards I believe. That's how it was with my Ritz.

I wouldn't worry that much about AA from Chase as long as you're not churning cards and reapplying for the same product if you decide to close something like the Southwest card and you already had it before. You also have a lot less cards than I do admittedly and have been with Chase much longer as a cardholder.
Macy's TLs (21k), Lowes (17k), CSP (10k), Sam's Club (10k), Nordstrom (5k), AARP (4.2k), Freedom (3k), Discover (1.5k), Quicksilver (2k), BoA (3k), Barclaycard Arrival (2.5k), Amazon Store (6k), Paypal (4.9k), Sam's Club MC (3.6k), Walmart MC (1.2k)

flan
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Postby flan » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:32 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I was planning on booking through Chase for the 2+1=3x points on travel, but the price on Chase looks a lot higher than what’s posted elsewhere.


The chase rates are awful. I don't even bother looking anymore, since they're never any good.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:25 pm

I ended up making a loyalty account with Marriott and booking a simple room directly on the Marriott website with my CSP. I got a reasonable rate and the option to cancel for a full refund up to about 36 hours before check-in. I've had headaches before from trying to alter a prepaid reservation, so I'm glad to avoid that. I still don't totally understand the multi-night discount policy they have, but the free cancellation made joining the program worth it.

There's much less 'Deflate-Gate' talk from NBC announcers than I would have expected...
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May

popamode72
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Postby popamode72 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:34 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I ended up making a loyalty account with Marriott and booking a simple room directly on the Marriott website with my CSP. I got a reasonable rate and the option to cancel for a full refund up to about 36 hours before check-in. I've had headaches before from trying to alter a prepaid reservation, so I'm glad to avoid that. I still don't totally understand the multi-night discount policy they have, but the free cancellation made joining the program worth it.

There's much less 'Deflate-Gate' talk from NBC announcers than I would have expected...


Nice. That's good to know for future reference. Glad you got what you needed from that.
Macy's TLs (21k), Lowes (17k), CSP (10k), Sam's Club (10k), Nordstrom (5k), AARP (4.2k), Freedom (3k), Discover (1.5k), Quicksilver (2k), BoA (3k), Barclaycard Arrival (2.5k), Amazon Store (6k), Paypal (4.9k), Sam's Club MC (3.6k), Walmart MC (1.2k)

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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:40 pm

Well, I'm glad I got the CSP and not the Marriott card. While a free night sounded really appealing and would have easily covered my annual fee each year, I didn't take the necessary step until now of seeing exactly which Marriott hotels were in each category, and therefore were eligible for the free night. That 'free night' applies only to hotels in categories 1-4. The place I was booking was category 9. So no free night for me.

The actual cash price difference between a Cat 4 hotel and my Cat 9 hotel isn't actually that much. That was what initially surprised me. But now it makes more sense - they want to be competitive as far as cash prices in major cities and near major attractions, but they don't want to give any of those rooms away since they could sell them all at a low enough cash price. They only want to give away free nights in low-traffic areas that would otherwise have a lot of vacancies even with low rates. So it seems that they put hotels into categories not based on the degree of luxury or the rooms' market price - but instead on how likely it is that rooms will be empty.

I'm sure this would have been obvious to more experienced points people, but it was news to me.

Edit: In addition to the option to cancel, I think I may get free breakfast and Wi-Fi as extras for being in the free member rewards program and booking directly. I may also have just gotten an unusually cheap seasonal cash rate for a Cat 9 place.
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May



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