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Miles and points have lots of different uses, but one of the best uses of them is for situations where the cash price for something is unexpectedly or seasonally high. We have written before about using hotel points for the Super Bowl, or using hotel points for the World Series, or college football (SEC) games. Even though many (most?) hotel chains have dynamic award pricing now, they don’t always correctly correlate the difference between the cash price and the points price.

Traveling For The 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

As I’ve mentioned before, we traveled up to visit my parents near Cleveland for the 2024 total solar eclipse. Although my hometown of Cincinnati had a 90%+ line of totality, I was “burned” back in the 2017 eclipse and wanted to make sure that I was going to somewhere that would experience totality.

(SEE ALSO: How The NFL’s Joe Burrow Is Like A Total Solar Eclipse)

Booking 2024 Solar Eclipse Hotels

Although I had made my plans to go to Cleveland for this week all the way back in 2017, it wasn’t until a few months ago that I started looking seriously at different hotels. I checked Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Wyndham and even non-chain hotels.

Many of the hotels were already sold out or had very high points redemptions as well. But I found a room for 2 nights (Saturday April 6 through Monday April 8) at the Marriott Cleveland Courtyard South for 19,500 points per night.a close up of a text

Then a few weeks later, as I was reviewing my reservations, I also found availability at the same 19,500 points per night rate at the Marriott Cleveland Courtyard North, which was closer to my parents’ house (and had better reviews). Since I was worried about my eclipse hotels getting canceled, I decided to keep both reservations. I cancelled the hotel at the Courtyard South a few days before our stay (in conjunction with the cancellation policy)

Getting 3 Cents Per Marriott Bonvoy Point

As the eclipse got closer, room rates at the Marriott Cleveland Courtyard North started getting crazy. For a random Courtyard by Marriott hotel, you don’t normally see these kinds of rates!

a screenshot of a website

With taxes and fees, a 2 night stay was $1139. Compared to the 39,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that I used, that gives a value of 2.92 cents per point. That’s about 3 to 4 times how much Marriott points are worth, and just shows the value of using miles and points for situations like this.

The Bottom Line

A random Courtyard by Marriott in the Cleveland suburbs was going for over $500 / night due to being in the path of totality of the 2024 solar eclipse. But thanks to miles and points, I was able to get it for a fraction of the cost. In the process of booking the hotel, I was able to get 3 to 4 times the normal value for my Marriott Bonvoy points. And even better, my eclipse didn’t get canceled!

Did you use miles and points to book an eclipse hotel? Share your good deals in the comments below

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