As part of the Marriott takeover of Starwood Hotels, the Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards programs have merged.
This now makes Marriott an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner – this guide takes a look at what this opens up for us in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands by way of hotel redemptions.
American Express Membership Rewards
You can collect Marriott Points with American Express Membership Rewards, with a view to redeeming for stays with Marriott.
Membership Rewards Points transfer to Marriott at a rate of 1 MRP = 1 Marriott Point.
Basics of Marriott Rewards Redemptions
Marriott has one chart for redemptions.
If you redeem for a 5 night stay, the 5th night is free, so you’ll only pay for 4 nights.
It’s also possible to reduce your out of pocket costs using Cash + Points, but this can’t be used toward 5th night free.
PointSaver options are available for select hotels around the world, with up to 33% off standard point rates, so keep an eye on these also if you have any travel planned.
We’ve touched on the Marriott Rewards Hotel + Frequent Flyer packages redemption, where you can redeem large amounts of points for both multi-night hotel stays and a ton of frequent flyer miles or points, which is worth mentioning again.
Locations and redemption rates
In New Zealand and Australia
Marriott and SPG hotels are all under the same umbrella now, and so for clarity, we include all brands when we refer to ‘Marriott Hotels’.
There is 1 Marriott property in New Zealand, which is located in Auckland.
There are 21 Marriott properties in Australia – seven in Sydney, four in Melbourne, three each in Perth, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast, and one in Port Douglas.
Here’s the list, alongside their cost in Marriott Rewards points, and effective cost in Membership Rewards points.
|Hotel||City||Redemption Category||Minimum Marriott Rewards Required||Minimum Membership Rewards Points Required||From Rate ($NZD)||Minimum cents per Membership Rewards Point|
|Four Points by Sheraton Auckland||Auckland||4||20,000||20,000||$175||0.88|
|Four Points by Sheraton Brisbane||Brisbane||3||15,000||15,000||$131||0.87|
|Brisbane Marriott Hotel||Brisbane||4||20,000||20,000||$184||0.92|
|Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast||Gold Coast||5||30,000||30,000||$276||0.92|
|Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa||Gold Coast||5||30,000||30,000||$243||0.81|
|Marriott Vacation Club Surfers Paradise||Gold Coast||5||30,000||30,000||$223||0.74|
|Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands||Melbourne||3||15,000||15,000||$128||0.85|
|Melbourne Marriott Hotel||Melbourne||5||30,000||30,000||$234||0.78|
|Sheraton Melbourne Hotel||Melbourne||5||30,000||30,000||$256||0.85|
|The Westin Melbourne||Melbourne||5||30,000||30,000||$272||0.90|
|Four Points by Sheraton Perth||Perth||3||15,000||15,000||$135||0.9|
|The Westin Perth||Perth||5||30,000||30,000||$223||0.74|
|Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas||Port Douglas||5||30,000||30,000||$214||0.71|
|Courtyard Sydney - North Ryde||Sydney||4||20,000||20,000||$157||0.78|
|Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Central Park||Sydney||4||20,000||20,000||$205||1.0|
|Pier One Sydney Harbour, Autograph Collection||Sydney||5||30,000||30,000||$184||0.61|
|Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay||Sydney||5||30,000||30,000||$249||0.83|
|The Old Clare Hotel, Chippendale, a Member of Design Hotels||Sydney||5||30,000||30,000||$283||0.94|
|Sheraton on the Park||Sydney||5||30,000||30,000||$234||0.78|
|The Westin Sydney||Sydney||5||30,000||30,000||$237||0.79|
I have included the off-peak points pricing above, as these would be the redemptions to target for stays wherever possible.
For comparison, below is a full table of current points pricing for each hotel category:
The ‘from’ rate for each property has been taken from a quick Google search – when searching for a specific hotel on a mobile, Google shows across an annual calendar the cheapest rate available.
Generally, a sub 2c redemption value for Membership Rewards points should be avoided.
Though it’s important to remember that you’re not comparing like for like – the lowest ‘from’ rates are likely prepaid, non-refundable, and not always available – while room redemptions are fixed cost and flexible.
As such, you should be able to get more value from your Membership Rewards points than indicated in the table.
New Zealand Properties
The only property in New Zealand that you can redeem Marriott points at is the Four Points by Sheraton in Auckland.
In terms of redemption value, the most appealing of the list looks to be the W Brisbane.
The Aloft Perth comes next best in this simple value calculation.
In the Pacific
There are currently 12 properties in the Pacific Islands, across Fiji, Samoa, New Caledonia and French Polynesia (Tahiti).
These properties tend to cost more than the Marriott properties in New Zealand and Australia as they are in more exclusive settings.
Here is a full list of Marriott properties in the Pacific Islands:
|Hotel||Country||Redemption Category||Minimum Marriott Points Required||Minimum Membership Rewards Points Required||From Rate ($NZD)||Minimum cents per Membership Rewards Point|
|Sheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island||Fiji||5||30,000||30,000||$323||1.07|
|Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay||Fiji||5||30,000||30,000||$359||1.19|
|Sheraton Fiji Resort||Fiji||5||30,000||30,000||$287||0.96|
|The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa||Fiji||5||30,000||30,000||$287||0.96|
|Sheraton Denarau Villas||Fiji||7||50,000||50,000||$495||0.99|
|Le Méridien Tahiti||French Polynesia||5||30,000||30,000||$405||1.35|
|Le Méridien Bora Bora||French Polynesia||7||50,000||50,000||$940||1.88|
|The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort||French Polynesia||7||50,000||50,000||$1,365||2.73|
|Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa||New Caledonia||5||30,000||30,000||$302||1.01|
|Le Méridien Noumea Resort & Spa||New Caledonia||5||30,000||30,000||$327||1.09|
|Le Méridien Ile des Pins||New Caledonia||7||50,000||50,000||$605||1.21|
|Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey's Hotel & Bungalows||Samoa||3||15,000||15,000||$297||1.98|
|Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort||Samoa||3||15,000||15,000||$315||2.10|
The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort is the best value redemption option by far.
The Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort is not too far behind, as it sits in a relatively low hotel category compared to its minimum ‘from’ rate.
You can search for other Marriott properties around the world here.
Marriott is heavily investing in its properties in our part of the world over the next 2-3 years, increasing the number and value of redemption opportunities. The recent merger with SPG has boosted the stay opportunities even further.
Some of the best value and more aspirational hotels for redemptions are found on the Pacific islands and elsewhere around the world, as opposed to New Zealand or Australia.
The transfer rate from American Express Membership Rewards in New Zealand is slightly better value than it was with SPG before, which is a boon for cardholders on this side of the Tasman.
Images courtesy of Marriott.