For those hopeful about traveling in July, Marriott has a promo that could be interesting depending on where you go: all hotels are exceptionally at the lowest possible price when paid with points, which is the Off-Peak price.
If you are a Marriott member, you may have seen the email they sent you, but since we hadn’t talked about it yet, here is a brief overview of the promo that ends on June 30th.
And our analysis and actual examples of hotels in Canada.
Marriott’s July promo
For all July stays, the price of hotels paid with points will be at the “Off-Peak” level. In other words, when paying with points, all hotels are at the minimum price of their hotel category.
If you remember, every Marriott hotel has a fixed price when you use points, but it’s actually 3 possible fixed prices: standard, peak and off-peak. The dates are dynamic and therefore vary according to demand (but standard dates are the most common, and there are as many off-peak dates as peak dates).
Since there are only these 3 possible prices for each hotel, Marriott points are variable-value points: how you use them determines how much value you get (how much money you save).
As a reminder, here is the Marriott redemption chart:
We hadn’t told you about the promotion yet, because frankly, it’s not the deal of the century. It’s because using hotel points is often not a good deal in expensive countries like here in Canada, except in cases where hotels are very expensive in paid cash (which is obviously not really the case at the moment).
As explained in our introduction guide to the Marriott program, our Flytrippers valuation of Marriott points is 0.8¢ per point. If using your points does not save you at least 0.8¢ per point, keep them for another (better) use, quite simply. This is very often the case too.
In short, as it is not clear when we will be able to travel in July (if we can), it is a bit more difficult to book before June 30th to take advantage of the promotion. We are pretty confident that we will be able to recommend traveling in July if things continue like this, but we just don’t know when, because we have to be responsible and wait to see how things go… even if we ourselves are very impatient to get back out there.
That said, reservations with Marriott points are always cancellable/refundable free of charge up to a few days before check-in, so if you have approximate travel plans for July, you could always book in case it works and cancel if it doesn’t. There’s no risk.
This is what we are going to do for our potential trip to the Rockies in July, as there are Category 1 hotels in Edmonton that could be useful on the day of our arrival. We have a lot of points so we will book several potential dates and cancel those that do not work (or cancel them all if we don’t go).
Here are some examples of hotels around Canada for those planning a roadtrip in July (for all other countries, explore the relatively up-to-date map of Marriott hotels by country).
These could be good deals provided you would have paid the cash amount in parenthesis or more for a hotel in that area (because that’s the cash equivalent based on our Flytrippers valuation of Marriott points) or if the price in cash is very expensive for your dates in July.
Usually, Category 1 and 2 hotels are often a great use of points, while 3 and 4 could be based on the cash price.
To make your life easier, here is the cash equivalent of the off-peak price for hotel categories 1-4:
- Category 1: 5,000 points (≈ $40)
- Category 2: 10,000 points (≈ $80)
- Category 3: 15,000 points (≈ $120)
- Category 4: 20,000 points (≈ $160)
And here are hotel examples by region, from West to East. By the way, don’t miss our guide to which provinces are open for travel on Canada Day!
Four Points by Sheraton Edmonton South or Sherwood Park, category 1: 5,000 points (≈ $40)
These 2 Category 1 options are extremely cheap. There are also two more near Edmonton Airport if that is more convenient.
The 7 hotels in Calgary, category 2: 10,000 points (≈ $80)
If you prefer Alberta’s other major city, you must settle for Category 2 hotels.
Fairfield Winnipeg, category 1: 5,000 points (≈ $40)
This hotel near downtown Winnipeg is a great cheap option to explore the city.
The 3 hotels in Regina, category 2: 10,000 points (≈ $80)
If you are visiting Saskatchewan’s capital, you can get an affordable hotel.
Sheraton Vancouver Guildford, category 3: 15,000 points (≈ $120)
In the Vancouver suburbs, this is a nice full-service all-suite hotel at a reasonable cost.
Fairfield Vernon, category 3: 15,000 points (≈ $120)
If you want to explore BC, this option is relatively affordable.
Fairfield or Four Points Kamloops, category 3: 15,000 points (≈ $120)
The city of Kamloops has two options to choose from at a lower price.
Ontario & Quebec
TownePlace Suites Petawawa, category 1: 5,000 points (≈ $40)
This brand new hotel which just opened in June is the only category 1 in Eastern Canada, it’s a really good deal. Algonquin Park is relatively close.
Delta Sherbrooke, category 2: 10,000 points (≈ $80)
The only category 2 hotel in Quebec, this could be a good base to explore the Eastern Townships region, especially at this very low price.
The 2 hotels in Ottawa, category 2: 10,000 points (≈ $80)
For a visit to the national capital, you have two low-price options. Ottawa is a beautiful city to spend a few days.
Delta Saguenay, category 3: 15,000 points (≈ $120)
I really liked this hotel during my road trip to Saguenay last summer, and the Saguenay fjord is breathtaking.
Delta Trois-Rivières, category 3: 15,000 points (≈ $120)
Right in the small but very lively downtown of Trois-Rivières, this hotel is a good base to explore the region where we grew up, the beautiful Mauricie.
Four Points by Sheraton Lévis, category 3: 15,000 points (≈ $120)
It’s not the ideal location to visit Quebec City, but it might be of interest to some.
Sheraton Saint-Hyacinthe, category 3: 15,000 points (≈ $120)
It may not be a region on your bucket-list, but for a “staycation” to relax, it’s a very recent “full-service” hotel that looks really pretty.
Courtyard Baie d’Urfé / West Island, category 3: 15,000 points (≈ $120)
Another one that might be useful if you just want a base to explore the Montreal metropolitan area.
The 8 hotels in Montreal, category 4: 20,000 points (≈ $160)
With taxes, many downtown hotels can cost $160, so if you were to pay that anyway, it could make sense… but let’s say it’s not optimal to use this many points when they could give you almost 3 nights in affordable countries instead of just one.
The 2 hotels in Quebec City, category 4: 20,000 points (≈ $160)
Same thing for Quebec City. I stayed at the Hotel PUR, Tribute Portfolio and it’s great… but it’s still expensive in points.
Fairfield St. John’s, category 2: 10,000 points (≈ $80)
If you are visiting the island of Newfoundland, there is an option in St. John’s that costs very few points.
Four Points by Sheraton Moncton, category 2: 10,000 points (≈ $80)
The only category 2 hotel in New Brunswick, it could be a great base to visit the city of Moncton and surrounding area.
Delta Saint John, category 3: 15,000 points (≈ $120)
This full-service hotel is well-located in the beautiful city center, and the area has attractions like the Bay of Fundy.
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The Marriott promo means all hotels are at the off-peak price for all of July. Since Marriott points are variable-value points, it once again depends on your own situation: it could be a great deal just as it could be a very bad one.
What do you think of the off-peak promo? Tell us in the comments below.
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Featured image: Algonquin Park, Ontario (photo credit: Kayvan Mazhar)
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