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The best value Marriott Starwood hotels in California for your points

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This article was last updated Dec 21, 2016, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

Considering the Marriott/Starwood merger and the ability to now transfer points between the programs, it makes sense to explore the possibility of transferring SPG® points to book Marriott properties and vice versa.

It is currently possible to transfer points from Marriott to SPG at a 3:1 ratio. When we look at hotels, we will compare the costs of comparable SPG and Marriott hotels and determine when it makes sense to book one over the other.

In this post, we will take a look at SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels in California. Specifically in the cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Napa.

After determining the best hotels to book from a points perspective, we have also searched  cash rates over a variety of days to determine if the hotel also gives you good value for your points overall. Since the value range we will be sharing is only for a handful of dates, you should always check the value of your points on the specific days you are traveling before you book!

San Francisco

Ritz Carlton San Francisco – 50,000 – 60,000 Marriott Points (17,000 – 20,000 SPG Points)

ritz-carlton-sf

The Ritz Carlton San Francisco is going to give you the most bang for your buck, points-wise, in all of San Francisco if you want to stay at a luxury hotel. The hotel is located along the California Street cable car line and an eight minute walk from Union Square.

This hotel costs between 50,000 and 60,000 Marriott points (which is equivalent to 17,000 to 20,000 SPG points) per night. The comparable SPG hotel, the St. Regis Museum Tower, costs a whopping 30,000 to 35,000 SPG points per night, which is comparable to 90,000 to 105,000 Marriott points. You could stay two nights at the Ritz Carlton for the same price as one night at the St. Regis!

Point values at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco range between 0.70 and 1.37 cents per Marriott point. At the upper end, this is great value for a Marriott redemption and even at the lower end of the range it would still be a redemption worth considering.

JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square – 40,000 – 45,000 Marriott Points (14,000 – 15,000 SPG Points)

jw-marriott-sf

If you’re looking for a hotel that is a little bit more reasonable, overall San Francisco probably isn’t the place to come. Nevertheless, you can save a few points per night by staying at the JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square or the San Francisco Marriott Fisherman’s Wharf. Both hotels cost 40,000 to 45,000 Marriott points per night, but we have chosen to profile the JW Marriott here because it is overall a nicer hotel and showed better value for your points on the days we checked (more on that later).

The most comparable SPG hotel, the Le Meridien San Francisco, costs 20,000 to 25,000 SPG points per night which is equivalent to 60,000 to 75,000 Marriott points. You can save a significant number of points by transferring SPG to Marriott points here.

On the dates we checked, point values ranged from 0.55 to 1.02 cents per Marriott point redeemed. Again, the higher end of this range provides great value while at the lower end it may make more sense to find a hotel that you are okay with paying a cash rate at.

San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront – 30,000 – 35,000 Marriott Points (10,000 – 12,000 SPG Points)

sf-airport-marriott

If you want to sleep closer to the airport so it’s easier to catch your early morning flight, booking the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront instead of the SPG equivalent, The Westin San Francisco Airport, again makes sense. The Marriott hotel costs 30,000 to 35,000 Marriott points per night, while The Westin costs 12,000 to 16,000 SPG points, equivalent to 36,000 to 48,000 Marriott points per night. At a minimum, you’ll be saving 1,000 points per night by booking the Marriott instead, but this savings could be as high as 18,000 Marriott points!

Point values showed us that using points at the SFO Marriott definitely can make sense with a range of 0.49 to 1.01 cents per Marriott point.

Los Angeles

Renaissance Long Beach Hotel – 25,000 to 30,000 Marriott Points (9,000 – 10,000 SPG points)

renaissance-long-beach

If you’re looking for a mid-range beach escape still located near most everything else there is to do in LA, the Renaissance Long Beach hotel might be the perfect option for you. This hotel costs between 25,000 and 30,000 Marriott points per night (equivalent to 8,333 to 10,000 SPG points).

The comparable SPG hotel, The Westin Long Beach, might sometimes ring in at the same price as the Renaissance, as it always costs 10,000 SPG points (30,000 Marriott points) per night. If you’re looking at nights that the Renaissance costs 30,000 Marriott points instead of 25,000, you should choose the best hotel based on your other needs.

If you do choose to stay at the Renaissance, you can rest assured that you will be getting good value for your points. The Renaissance Long Beach did not ring in at less than 0.88 cents per Marriott point on any of the dates we checked. The maximum value we saw was 1.33 cents per Marriott point.

JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE – 35,000 – 40,000 Marriott Points (12,000 – 14,000 SPG Points)

jw-marriott-la-live

If you would like to stay right downtown during your visit to L.A., you should definitely consider staying at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE. This hotel costs 35,000 to 40,000 Marriott points per night (equivalent to 11,667 – 13,333 SPG points).

The comparable SPG hotel, The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Los Angeles, costs between 20,000 and 25,000 SPG points per night, which is equivalent to 60,000 to 75,000 Marriott points – a huge premium over the JW Marriott!

Points values at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE were found to range between 0.84 and 0.98 cents per Marriott point. This is all within solid range for your Marriott points and also had relatively little variation so you should be able to find somewhat consistent pricing for this hotel.

San Diego

Four Points by Sheraton San Diego Downtown – 7,000 SPG Points (21,000 Marriott Points)

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San Diego presents a nice budget option for a hotel in California and also an example of an SPG hotel saving points over booking the equivalent Marriott hotel! The Four Points by Sheraton San Diego Downtown can be booked for only 7,000 SPG points per night, which is equivalent to 21,000 Marriott points.

The comparable Marriott hotel, in this case, actually costs more points per night. The Courtyard San Diego Downtown costs 30,000 to 35,000 Marriott points per night which is equivalent to 10,000 to 11,333 SPG points.

Since we have shown the value for every other hotel on this list in terms of Marriott points, we will be showing the value of this hotel in terms of Marriott points as well. Know that you will actually be booking this hotel with 7,000 SPG points. The value for points at the Four Points by Sheraton San Diego Downtown was between 0.51 and 1.06 cents per Marriott point. Again, remember that you are booking this hotel with SPG points (that can be transferred from Marriott) and that the value was shown in terms of Marriott points for sake of comparison with other hotels on this list.

Renaissance San Diego Downtown Hotel – 30,000 – 35,000 Marriott Points (10,000 – 12,000 SPG Points)

renaissance-san-diego

We are now back to Marriott hotels generally offering better pricing than SPG hotels. The Renaissance San Diego Downtown Hotel costs between 30,000 and 35,000 Marriott points per night, which is equivalent to 10,000 to 11,333 SPG points. The similar SPG hotel, The Westin San Diego, costs between 12,000 and 16,000 SPG points per night, which is equivalent to 36,000 to 48,000 Marriott points per night. You’ll always save points by booking the Renaissance instead of the Westin on a points rate.

Value at the Renaissance San Diego Downtown hotel was found to be between 0.52 and 0.92 cents per Marriott point. Worth the redemption in the upper end of the range, but possible not in the lower end of the range.

Napa

Marriott Napa Valley Hotel & Spa – 35,000 – 40,000 Marriott Points (12,000 – 14,000 SPG Points)

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-8-05-42-pm

If instead of an escape to the city, you’re looking for an escape out of the city – perhaps to taste some delicious Napa wine – you’re in for another treat in the form of saving some extra points. The Marriott Napa Valley Hotel & Spa costs 35,000 to 40,000 Marriott points per night. This is equivalent to transferring 12,000 to 14,000 SPG points at the current 1:3 transfer ratio.

The equivalent SPG hotel, The Westin Verasa Napa, costs 20,000 to 25,000 SPG points per night, which is the same as 60,000 to 75,000 Marriott points per night at the current transfer ratio. Save those points for your next trip to Napa (or somewhere else!) instead.

We found point values to range from 0.51 to 0.66 cents per Marriott point at the Marriott Napa Valley Hotel & Spa. This is lower than many other hotels on this list, but could still present a good redemption option. Make sure to check your specific dates before you book.


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