Redeem early for Marriott and Hilton Hotels stays uses fewer points; Redeem total saves $329 on Marriott, $139 on Hilton per stay

Finance >> Affordable Luxury Travel
After redeemed four round-trip Southwest airline tickets to Los Angeles and Las Vegas for a total cash payment of $20, I looked for participating good TripAdvisor-ratings Marriott and Hilton hotels in the rewards redeem program.  This is an opportunity to shatter my close family members' disbelief that we will be able to stay in hotels, not motels, in convenient locations for free, after spending less than $100 for two Marriott Reward Premier credit cards to receive 100,000 Marriott reward points last year.

I started learning and earning miles/points in mid-2012.  My family members would not believe that there is such good promotions available.  Successful free hotel stay redeem is another proof after successful free Southwest flight redeem.  The redeem fun has finally begun.

For our Los Angeles/Santa Monica hotel two nights stays for four people,  I saved $329*2 + $139*2 = total $936. 

I redeemed two hotel nights at JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot using 80,000 Marriott reward points, and two hotel nights at Hilton Los Angeles San Gabriel using 30,000 Hilton Honor points and 13,500 AAdvantage miles. The redeem was made possible by combined sign-up bonuses from two 50K Marriott Premier Visa, one 40K Citi Hilton Visa, and one 50K Citi AAdvantage Visa.   There are more elegant and luxurious hotels, such as Casa Del Mar, near Santa Monica beach, located opposite of JW Marriott Le Merigot.  One night at Casa Del Mar requires at least +70,000 United miles or $650.  We would not be able to use our Marriott reward points, which is not as easy as United, Southwest, or AAdvantage miles from expiring.  One night stay at JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot costs starting at $329, and available for Marriott reward points redeem only, not available for redeemed by United or AAdvantage miles.

Hilton Los Angles San Gabriel, in my opinion, is not a high-class hotel, yet its walking proximity to nearby abundant high-quality Asian restaurants makes its stay attractive.  (We will be eating Asian foods in Los Angeles, and non-Asian foods in Las Vegas.)  Regarding hotel redeem, I notice the following.
  • Hotel points required does not change if redeeming with hotel points. For example, Hilton points for Hilton hotels. Marriott reward points for Marriott hotels
  • If using non-hotel points, such as United miles, American AAdvantage miles, the early to redeem, the lower the points required.  For example, on Jan 26, I used 13500 AAdvantage miles to book one night for Hilton San Gabriel. On Jan 29, it would require 22500 AAdvantage miles.
  • Hilton points to value is close to 2:1.  30000 Hilton points are required to redeem one night at Hilton San Gabriel (or $139).
  • Special rates such as for AAA, AARP members can even be more expensive than standard rates.
  • It seems to require more AAdvantage miles than United miles to redeem the same hotel stay

  • United miles and AAdvantage miles have higher redeem value for flights and car rentals. Hotel points are great for redeeming hotel stays.

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