It’s Worth Paying An Extra $20 On A Hotel Room To Keep My Marriage Healthy

One of the inner struggles I have when booking any type of travel is the desire to pay as little as possible and understanding that paying a little extra would be incredibly more convenient. It became such a problem for me that I made a rule for myself about decisions less than $15. I’ll always pay the money if it will make our lives easier.

I was presented with an interesting dilemma when booking a Courtyard by Marriott. The hotel is a category 3, which is a perfect place to use up some of our free night certificates.

That was, until I checked the room rate.

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How Did I End Up With Three Different Point Value Marriott Free Night Certificates?

One of the great perks of the Marriott co-brand credit cards from Chase has always been the free night certificate you get every year at your account anniversary. When Marriott Bonvoy finally consolidated the credit card portfolios of American Express and Chase to only offer one type of card in each category (entry level, premium, luxury and business), it left in its wake a number of no longer available cards with varying benefits.

I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have to all the changes. I knew that I’d have a bunch of free night certificates. Probably more than I’d like to have and that’s something I’ll need to take care of in the future. But for now, I just need to figure out how to use all of these free night certificates.

Herein lies the problem. All of the certificates are for different point levels.  Continue reading “How Did I End Up With Three Different Point Value Marriott Free Night Certificates?”

Where Can You Stay At Walt Disney World With Marriott Free Nights?

Staying at Walt Disney World isn’t cheap and one way to lower your costs is to use the Marriott Free Nights Certificate that comes with the Marriott Bonvoy co-brand credit cards issued by Chase and American Express. The cool thing is this free night benefit is often is worth more than the cost of keeping the credit card, doesn’t require you to spend a certain amount of money on the card, and doesn’t require you to have any points in your account. It’s simply a totally free night, including tax.

It makes sense to try to get the most value out of the free night. If you can stretch your vacation one more day, that could be very valuable to you and your family.

Here are the Marriott hotels in the WDW area where you can use your free night:

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How We Saved $80 On A Two-Night Stay In New York

We needed a hotel room in New York City, preferably Manhattan, for two nights. Instead of looking for rooms in our normal Mid-town/Times Square/Theater District area, I had a much larger range to look at. This was the trip where we were visiting Peter Luger Steakhouse, so one of my requirements was to be able to get to Brooklyn easily. I looked for locations near subway lines but for future trips, I’ll also look at places near the NYC Ferry.

I was originally considering a room at The Chatwal. I booked it before the Marriott Bonvoy devaluation for 60,000 points (now it costs 80,000). Between the feeling that I didn’t want to drop 120,000 points on two nights, I would have needed to call Marriott to complete the booking since it was only on hold waiting for me to earn enough points for the stay. Between buyers remorse (before even paying for the room) and the fear of getting #Bonvoyed on the phone call to finalize the reservation, I kept looking for other options.

Then I received this offer on my American Express cards:

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