To Use Marriott Rewards for Miles vs Paid Package With JBlue?


Level 2 Member
JetBlue has a package for $2,893. Four tickets from JFK to CUR with a room. I'm tyring to figure out:

If I pay for 4 tickets :$1,450
If I pay for the Marriott room : $1,748 (cheapest room for 7 nights is $203 + taxes etc)
Use Marriott points for the room if I pay cash for the tickets: 210,000 pts

or I can use the rewards package which would be:
7 Nights + 55,000 Miles for 230,000 pts
7 Nights + 77,000 Miles for 250,000 pts
7 Nights + 110,0 Miles for 280,000 pts
7 Nights + 132,000 Miles for 300,000 pts

I only have 312,000 pts, so a few of these options would nearly wipe me out. I'm trying to figure out what the best use of pts is...or should I pay for the package and earn more pts for my stay?

I have over 500k in my AA account, but am looking to use those for Europe next fall for four tickets. So, the extra miles would help. Although, we don't need to fly first class. Coach isn't an issue for us.

Totally stuck and any input would be greatly appreciated!


Staff member
By taking $2893 out of your bank account and investing it in a vacation while keeping points sitting there you are both losing interest, and exposed to devaluation.

The snag though... can you actually get 4 tickets to CUR using your miles? On AA that would be 140K miles, and there aren't any direct flights that I see. The next question... do you really WANT to go to CUR or are you just jumping on it because it seems like a bargain? Should you instead compare CUR with another location- they have properties in Aruba, Barbados, St Thomas et al.

In terms of the packages. 210K to 230K for an extra 55K miles is a no brainer. Personally I'd swap them all the way to 300K since every tier offers a great than 1:1 exchange, and I don't stay at Marriott's in general, though I should probably change that.

The way I would come at this personally, would be: I have two vacations, one to the Caribbean (pretty flexible as to where) and one to EU. Do I have enough points to pay for both? If not, can I pay for one now, and use some or all of the $2893 to create more points for the later one in EU? If you have a year, you could blow through your Marriott points today, book the Caribbean, book EU flights when they open up, and spend the interim focusing your earning/sign up strategy on what is missing for EU (likely hotels) I absolutely would not spend good money today when I can achieve a vacation with points/miles.


Level 2 Member
Yes, you are right about leveling up to the 300k tier option. We really do want to go to CUR. AA almost never has award tickets available at the 35k level. Which is how we ended up in St. Kitts for three Thanksgivings...and we love it there. Unfortunately, the island has changed since the demise of sugar cane farming and the new cruise port. The AI plan at the Marriott there with children under 12 is a fantastic option. We usually paid $352-375 AI per night. Slip the front desk a $50 and we were steps from the pool in a suite for ten days each time. (AA is direct to SKB too) Our kids are over 12 and this is trip is during spring break where things are more expensive compared to TDay. You are also right that AA isn't direct to CUR and I've found that even if I could get 35k seats, there was an overnight in Miami. Sometimes both ways. It used to be that you could get the 35k seats as soon as the calendar opened.

I totally forgot about using 11,000 TY pts I need to off load in order to close the card ($125 fee just posted). I also have 55k UR pts that have been sitting there doing nothing for a year. Using those two programs toward tickets would put us 630$ out of pocket for four tickets and then I can cash out 300k Marriott pts for the room and 110k AA miles. Maybe it's not the best use of pts, but it certainly does leave money in the bank and extra mile padding for Europe next fall.

I sometimes get hung up on the getting a penny + a point instead of looking at the bigger picture of future travel, money in the bank and devaluation. Thank you for giving me a clearer perspective.