Despite Marriott’s switch to dynamic pricing for calculating the cost of point redemptions at its properties last year, there are still numerous options that provide an excellent value for using points over cash for your trips.
One of my favorite hidden sweet spots in Marriott’s portfolio of 31 brands is redeeming my points for stays at AC Hotels in the U.S. Offering a modern style that is reminiscent of some of Marriott’s higher-end properties, AC Hotels can provide excellent value for Marriott award stays, especially in cities where rates can be very expensive. Many fall within the range of the program’s free-night certificates, which are available on a handful of Marriott credit cards.
TPG pegs Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.84 cents apiece in our most recent valuations, but by booking some of these properties, you may be able to get double that value — or even more.
Here are a handful of AC Hotels that provide incredible point redemptions.
Read more: The award traveler’s guide to Marriott Bonvoy
AC Hotel New York Downtown
In a city dominated by expensive hotel rooms, Marriott’s properties in lower Manhattan often provide cheap point redemptions for properties with high cash rates.
One such example is the AC Hotel New York Downtown. The hotel features a picturesque lobby along with an on-site restaurant and bar. Rooms offer views of Manhattan and include modern bathrooms.
Point redemptions are typically between 20,000 and 30,000 points, with cash rates varying from $200 during off-peak periods to $450 during Christmas and summer to as high as $600 on some fall dates. On these nights, the property becomes one of the best point redemptions in Manhattan, with each point being worth up to 2 cents apiece, more than double TPG’s valuation of Marriott points.
Related: The best hotels in New York City, from luxury stays to points properties
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AC Hotel Washington DC Convention Center
Another Marriott property that provides a great points value on the East Coast is the AC Hotel Washington DC Convention Center.
Featuring Spanish dining elements inspired by the original AC Hotels in Spain, plus a rooftop bar and club, the property has an excellent location in Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown neighborhood. You’re not only near the convention center; you also have access to multiple Metro lines, providing easy access to the rest of the nation’s capital.
Like the location in lower Manhattan, the AC Hotel Washington DC Convention Center also offers point redemptions between 20,000 and 30,000 points on most days. However, cash prices fluctuate more significantly, falling between $150 and $550 per night, depending on when you stay.
When cash prices are at a premium, you can redeem your Marriott points for a value of 1.8 cents per point, which is again more than double TPG’s valuation.
Related: Racing to the capital: What’s the fastest way to get from New York to Washington, DC?
AC Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
Set to open its doors in April 2023, the AC Hotel Downtown Los Angeles is one of Marriott’s newest additions in Southern California (it shares an address with the Moxy Downtown Los Angeles, which also opens next month).
The hotel features a 34th-floor restaurant, a rooftop bar and a lobby cafe along with easy access to additional dining options at the Moxy. The property also has corner king rooms that are larger than its standard rooms, as well as suites bookable with Marriott’s Suite Night Awards given as part of the program’s Choice Benefit selections.
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the property, though, is its location. You’ll find it across the street from the convention center and just a short walk away from Crypto.com Arena and the L.A. Live event venue.
Reservations can be made starting May 7, 2023, and award nights range from 30,000 to 42,000 points. Cash rates are typically between $300 and $400, though they’re priced at more than $700 on certain dates. As a result, you’re generally looking at a minimum of 1 cent per point — but that value can jump to more than 2 cents, making the AC Hotel Downtown Los Angeles a great value for your points virtually any time of the year.
Related: The 10 best hotels near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
AC Hotel Bozeman Downtown
If you’re planning a trip to Montana and Yellowstone National Park, the AC Hotel Bozeman Downtown offers incredible value and a relaxing reprieve from your outdoor adventures.
The hotel is more barebones compared to the city properties above, but it still offers a restaurant, a bar and a modern fitness center.
Point redemptions vary between 40,000 and 63,000 points, but peak summer season sees award rates hover around 60,000 points for most dates. Cash prices can fall as low as $278 in winter but climb to $700 on select dates, meaning you can get a value of more than 1.1 cents per point.
Related: A great American road trip through Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming
AC Hotel by Marriott Maui Wailea
Excellent point redemptions can also be found at AC Hotels located outside the contiguous U.S.
The AC Hotel by Marriott Maui Wailea offers the most amenities out of the hotels mentioned in this article, with tennis courts, ocean views and a poolside bar featuring a lava fire pit. Each room and suite has a balcony to enjoy the luscious Hawaiian climate and vivid scenery.
If you’re redeeming Marriott points, award rates are relatively consistent across the year, falling as low as 52,000 points per night but only climbing to 63,000 points on more popular dates. On the other hand, base cash rates are more variable, ranging from $600 to more than $1,500 per night. For weekend stays in February 2023, you have the chance to use 63,000 points for a night that would otherwise set you back nearly $1,800 (including taxes and fees). That gives you a phenomenal redemption value of more than 2.8 cents per point, triple TPG’s valuations.
Related: 29 hotels in Maui, Hawaii, you can book with points
AC Hotels offer a modern, Spanish flair in Marriott’s portfolio. With many new hotels opening in the U.S., each spot offers a decent array of amenities that one should expect from a newer hotel in a mid-tier price range. More importantly, AC Hotels can have point redemption values that are notably higher than the typical value you get from Marriott Bonvoy points.
Whether in the U.S.’ largest cities or on vacations in the American wilderness, AC Hotels can offer excellent value all across the country.