- Centurion Member
- Posts: 3963
- Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
- Location: United States
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
Letting new accounts cool off since May