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When points and miles enthusiasts talk about aspirational properties and redemptions, you always hear about the showers on the plane and the lavish suites. But when miles and points enthusiasts talk about aspirational properties and redemptions in Israel, they don’t talk about the flights (because El Al’s business class is eh); they talk about the Ritz Carlton Herzilya and the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem (covered here).
As many of you know, I am currently in Israel on assignment for my day job through the end of July. Currently, I’m based in Jerusalem, but will be heading to Tel Aviv shortly for the remainder of the summer. Tel Aviv has tons to offer and I’m excited to explore the culture hot spot of the Mediterranean. Being in Tel Aviv also gives me access to the western and Mediterranean coast of Israel, which has a convenient quick train stop to the city of Herzliya.
The Ritz-Carlton Herzliya
The Ritz-Carlton Herzliya is a Tier 3 (of 5) Ritz property. The property will cost you 50,000 Marriott points; rooms go for about $500.00 a night, giving you about 1 cent to the point. Not bad, especially for Marriott points which are somewhere between .5 – 1 cent per point.
So 50,000 isn’t too bad, considering the Marriott Personal card from Chase is offering 80,000 points after spending $3000.00 in three months. (Both my wife and I took advantage of this offer to stay 5 nights at a wonderful Category 8 Marriott in Tokyo.)
The Ritz looks like a beautiful property. All rooms have an sea view and can see the marina.
I ask this question a lot, and I’ll ask it again – but can we do better?!
Cash & Points
Earlier this year, Marriott introduced a cash & points option. This is subject to availability on all their properties.
Here’s what the rate is at the Ritz-Carlton Herzilya
You are buying about 24,000 points from Marriott for the cost of $170. How much would that cost outright?
24,000 points, without any promotions would cost you $300.00, almost double the cost of paying the cash portion.
What about for 3 nights?
If you didn’t want to do cash and points, you’d need to buy 72,000 Marriott points. Marriott only allows you to purchase 50,000 a year for a total of $625.00. Now, if you could, at $12.50 per/1,000 point, you’d pay $900.00. Again, cash and points wins.
Though this won’t always be the case, Cash & Points at the Ritz-Carlton Herzilya will get you farther with a sign up bonus like 80,000 points. You’d pay $510 and 78,000 points for three nights. If your significant other signs up, you can share your points (for free) and either book 3 nights for 150,000 and no cash, or 6 nights and $1020.00. Oh, you’d actually get seven, because of the 5th night free benefit Marriott and Ritz offer.
Other Ways to Earn
Chase has a business version of the Marriott card which get’s you 100,000 Marriott points.
They also have a Ritz-Carlton premium card which after spending $4000.00 in three months you can get two Tier 1 – 4 certificates. The downside is that there is a $395.00 annual fee. Though the card comes with $300.00 in airline incidentals, unlike AMEX and Citi, this is not an automatic benefit. You need to call in those purchases to be reimbursed. The Ritz card also falls outside of Chase’s 5/24 policy–for now.
Finally, a gray market exists for selling these certificates. They go for roughly $300.00 each. If you were to buy two or three, or even one, you’d be better off using Marriott points (if you have them) with cash & points.
So, is it worth it?
I do not have any Ritz certificates (and I wouldn’t pay for them on the gray market), but I have enough Marriott points for 1 night outright, or by paying Cash & Points. I”m inclined to pay with Cash & Points, considering Chase’s new rules and my desire to spread out my points as much as possible.
Is it worth it?
Click here to sign up for the Marriott Personal Card from Chase and be on your way to earn 80,000 Marriott points.
-The Miner[Disclosure: I may earn compensation if you click on any external links].