It’s no secret that demand for travel is still down. But with approximately 2 million Americans getting vaccinated every day, the odds are good more people will soon be ready to return to the road.
Whether you’re cautiously traveling now, or are eying a trip that’s a bit farther down the road, you may want to book a Marriott award stay at a discount points rate by Feb. 21.
There are discounted award rates available at properties ranging from the mountainside W Aspen and the Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas to the SpringHill Suites Zion and beyond. In other words, these discounts aren’t available just at the Residence Inn Middle of Nowhereville, but also at marquee sun, ski and outdoor retreats where travelers actually want to go in 2021. So, if you are ready to make some future 2021 plans, schedule some time this weekend to research and potentially lock in some award bookings.
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Springhill Suites Zion (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
You could call this off-off-peak pricing, and it’s available at a wide range of Marriott properties for reservations made by Feb. 21 for travel through the early fall. These reduced award prices knock 10% off the traditional off-peak rate, which breaks down in the following ways:
Category 1: 4,500 points (normally 5,000)
Category 2: 9,000 points (normally 10,000)
Category 3: 13,500 points (normally 15,000)
Category 4: 18,000 points (normally 20,000)
Category 5: 27,000 points (normally 30,000)
Category 6: 36,0000 points (normally 40,000)
Category 7: 45,000 points (normally 50,000)
Category 8: 63,000 points (normally 70,000)
Related: These are the best Marriott credit cards
The best Marriott property to book within the next week or so for fewer points is the one you want to visit — assuming they have availability. Sometimes, however, it helps to have a few ideas of what’s out there. That’s why we’re featuring more than a dozen Marriott properties you can currently book for fewer points than normal.
This new hotel is within walking distance of Disney’s Epcot and Hollywood Studios and is currently scheduled to open this summer. The normal award price range for this property is 40,000 to 60,000 points and it currently has availability at the reduced 36,000-point level in September of 2021.
Disney Swan and Dolphin (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
If you don’t want to wait until the Swan Reserve opens, or you’d just rather avoid newly opened hotels, the adjacent Walt Disney World Swan (similar name, different property) is up and running and has discounted 36,000-point availability from Sunday through Thursday most weeks through the summer and into September.
If you want to get about as far south in the U.S. as possible, you can book one of the 36 rooms at this Autograph Collection property in Old Key West. Normally, that would set you back 50,000 to 70,000 points per night, but much of the summer the hotel is available for just 45,000 Marriott points per night with this sale.
W Aspen (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
The W Aspen is one of the few Marriott properties that’s going up in award price starting March 3. This means that being able to book a 2021 stay at not only the current award category but also at a discount, is a great deal. You can find nights for just 45,000 points between early April and early June, and then again in mid-November. Soon, award nights will cost as much as 100,000 points per night at this property, so enjoying a stay here at 45,000 points per night is a steal.
If the W is a little too funky for your tastes, the nearby St. Regis Aspen is also a great choice. Award nights here usually cost between 70,000 and 100,000 points per night, but with the sale can be booked for just 63,000 points. That discounted rate is currently available from early April through early June and then again in mid-November. Early April may work for late-season skiing, but summer can also be a great time to visit Colorado.
Related: How to enjoy Aspen on a budget
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
Arguably the best Springhill Suites property in the world — at least when it comes to location — is this hotel at the doorstep to Zion National Park. Award rates here are normally 40,000 to 60,000 points per night (and paid rates can get crazy at peak times), but there are nights available at 36,000 points per night until mid-March with this sale. Shoulder season in Zion can actually be an excellent time to visit, so don’t discount the ability to see the park without the heat and crowds that come with a summertime visit.
Enhanced Movement Quarantine signs at Marriott Kauai (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Kauai has a limited number of “resort bubble” properties where you can spend 72-hours with a monitoring bracelet and then test out of the otherwise mandatory 10-day quarantine. The Kauai Marriott Resort is one of those properties. While it’s not the flashiest hotel on the island, TPG’s senior news editor, Clint Henderson, gave the pool high marks during a recent stay. With this sale, you can book stays for 36,000 points per night until mid-March, spend 72 hours and then (hopefully) test out of your quarantine and be free to explore the island.
Sheraton Kona Resort (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
If the Big Island is more up your alley right now, the Sheraton Kona is an interesting choice. The hotel itself is more the Sheraton style of yesterday than tomorrow, but the location is still beautiful and the pool area is lovely. Not only that but at just 27,000 points per night using this discount, it’s a bargain. Since the fifth night is free on Marriott award stays, you could book a five-night Hawaiian getaway for just 108,000 Marriott points, which is pretty exceptional.
Related: Why you shouldn’t overlook the Big Island
There are plenty of interesting hotels to choose from in the Aloha State, but I’ll limit myself to just one more example. The Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa is a Category 6 property that normally costs 40,000 to 60,000 points per night, but is pricing at just 35,000 points right now. That means you could use a Marriott up to 35,000-point certificate to secure a room when normally this Category 6 property would be out of range for those certificates that come each year with a card such as the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card.
(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
St. John is always a popular island destination because travelers from the U.S. don’t need a passport to get there. But right now, that also means you don’t need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result to return home. It typically costs 50,000 to 70,000 Marriott points per night to stay here, but there is scattered availability starting at 44,000 points per night, with most of the discounted days in the late summer.
(Photo by Jane Frye/The Points Guy)
Another destination you can visit without a passport or mandatory COVID-19 reentry test is St. Thomas, just a few miles from St. John. The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas normally costs 70,000 to 100,000 points per night, but you can secure reservations through October for just 63,000 points per night with this sale.
Not everyone is looking to board a plane and head to the beach right now. If you live in the New York-area and are craving a luxurious staycation, the St. Regis New York might be a great choice for you. It also goes for as many as 100,000 points per night during normal times, but currently has nights available through the summer for just 63,000 points.
If you want a ski-in, ski-out vacation in Colorado this winter, the Steamboat Springs Villas has availability for February and March at just 27,000 Marriott points per night, which is probably the best deal in Marriott’s portfolio for a ski property. I’d also argue that booking a true ski-in, ski-out resort is more important than ever because of all the on-mountain restrictions. That way, you have easy access to your room for lunch, mid-day breaks and more.
Related: What it’s like to ski in a pandemic
Springhill Suites Jackson Hole (Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
The great outdoors is likely to be at least as popular of a destination in 2021 as it was in 2020, and the Springhill Suites Jackson Hole is at the epicenter of it all. Not only is Jackson a lovely town on its own, but it’s also minutes from the Grand Tetons and relatively close to Yellowstone National Park. This hotel is normally 40,000 to 60,000 points per night but is bookable for just 36,000 points from late March until early May. If you make the trip in March, you may still be able to catch the end of ski season.
(Nick Ellis / The Points Guy)
One of the best points-friendly hotels in the Miami area is the beachfront St. Regis Bal Harbour, which normally costs between 70,000 and 100,000 Marriott points per night. For about half the summer, however, the hotel is currently available from just 63,000 Marriott points, in case you’re craving some Florida sun and sand.
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe also usually comma ds top-tier award prices of 70,000 to 100,000 points per night, but is bookable during select ski season dates in February and March for just 63,000 points per night. There’s additional, albeit spotty, availability all the way until December 2021, which is great since Lake Tahoe really is a great year-round destination.
St. Regis Deer Valley (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
Last but not least, the St. Regis Deer Valley drops from its normal 70,000-point per night minimum to just 63,000 points for dates from mid-April until early June. There are also some scattered fall dates offering the reduced award price.
Getting off-peak award rates is great, but getting a discount on off-peak prices is even better. Double-check that the property you’re eying has a flexible, generous cancellation policy (though many hotels do now allow a penalty-free cancellation until just a few days prior to arrival) and consider making a speculative booking or two. Just remember this sale ends on Feb. 21, 2021.
Featured image by sorincolac/iStock/Getty Images