Marriott Bonvoy points are not one of the most valuable types of miles and points out there. In fact, by most accounts, a single Marriott Bonvoy point is only worth around 0.7 to 0.7 cents. Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t occasionally get some outsized value from Marriott Bonvoy points. One way where miles and points really shine is when there are special occurrences. We’ve written before about how to score Super Bowl hotel deals and how to score World Series hotel deals by using miles and points.
Solar Eclipse 2024
It’s a little harder to pull off some of those amazing miles and points deals now that many hotel chains have gone away from fixed award charts. Now, it’s quite common for chains to raise the points prices along with the cash prices when there’s a major event. Or even just remove the ability to stay with points.
Still, I was able to use miles and points to get a pretty sweet deal for next spring. As you may already be aware, there is a total solar eclipse that will go through the United States in April 2024. I was in the 90% zone of totality for the 2017 solar eclipse, and it was frankly, a bit underwhelming. I wished that I had taken the time to go into the zone of 100% totality.
(SEE ALSO: Eclipse canceled. Go home.)
I vowed then that I would not miss the next one. Especially when I saw that the 2024 eclipse was a) also quite near my house and b) right around my birthday!
Planning a 2024 Solar Eclipse Trip
Cincinnati, where I live, is again not in the range of totality, but my parents’ house on the west side of Cleveland is. So I made plans to visit my parents for the eclipse. While we could stay with them, I thought it might be more comfortable if we got a hotel room instead / as well. Unfortunately (for me), I put off actually booking the hotels until a few weeks ago.
Outrageous 2024 Solar Eclipse Hotel Prices
To be clear, I don’t think that they are “outrageous” in terms of their actual prices – supply and demand dictates that the prices for this weekend somewhere popular on the eclipse path should be high. But they are outrageous in terms of way more than I want to pay!
Here is what things look like for random IHG hotels for the weekend of April 6-8.
54,500 points per night for a random Holiday Inn Express? I don’t think so. Plus, you gotta love the Holiday Inn Express Cleveland Airport sticking in that $1 daily amenity fee! Most Hyatts are completely sold out, so I turned to Marriott.
Most of the Marriott hotels are again either sold out or at outrageous prices, but I did find one Marriott hotel that was at a fairly reasonable award price
The Courtyard Cleveland Airport South is charging a wild $364 / night but it’s also available for 39,000 points / stay. And that’s a 2 night stay, so actually only 19,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night!
2.8 Cents Per Marriott Bonvoy Point
And of course, that’s not actually $364 / night. First of all, if you want a 2 Queen bed room (which we do since I’m bringing a few kids), it jumps to $384 / night. Then they gotta hit you with all the taxes and fees. So, the actual cost for a comparable 2 night stay is $892.81!
$892.81 divided by 39,000 Marriott Bonvoy points is 2.29 cents per point. At that rate, it might even make sense to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott to book this, something I generally do not recommend.
The Bottom Line – 2024 Solar Eclipse Hotel Deals
It is still possible to get some great value using Marriott Bonvoy points, though unfortunately deals like this are becoming increasingly more rare. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there – and it’s deals like this that make miles and points so rewarding.
Are you traveling to the 2024 Solar Eclipse? Where are you staying – leave your plans in the comments below
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