My husband knows all about squeezing 5 people in one hotel room. That’s how he used to travel with his parents and two siblings while growing up. Usually, his little brother got the rollaway, which he really hated. His family of five once shared one tiny cabin on a cruise, where you had to step over another person to go to the bathroom. Ahh, the good times!
Some of my readers face the same challenge of trying to collect hotel points and make redemptions that would let them accommodate 5 people, yet allow everyone to semi-enjoy themselves without killing each other. Well, the good news is families of five (or more) can get a decent value out of hotel points’ bonuses.
I did some research and found some places that could fit the bill. I mostly focused on popular destinations like Disney. I also called some of these properties for more details, so I’m going by the information provided by the front desk. If you are looking for a specific destination, you can always do a search through that particular program, put in 2 adults and 3 kids, and see what comes up.
The rate around New Year’s was $200 per night. It costs 20,000 points. The room has two double beds and a sofa sleeper. Marriott has a record of providing good quality.
Some ways to get Marriott points:
You can apply for Chase Marriott Rewards Visa that comes with 70,000 points after spending $1,000 in 3 months. Annual fee is waived. It also gives you a free hotel night certificate for a category 1-4 redemption. Be aware, it expires 6 months after the issue date.
The hotel I mentioned is a category 4, so you could get 4 hotel nights near Disney from just one bonus for your family of five. You would have 10,000 points left over and can later combine them with your spouse’s points for free. Marriott program lets you do it at no cost when you redeem the points. The offer does not pay me and you can access it via this link.
There are quite a few places near Disney, but most of them don’t fit 5 people or cost a huge amount in points for just a standard room. There is one exception that could possibly work during Spring Break or high season. Be aware, this resort seems to have some blackout dates during peak times. Alternatively, you can look for PointBreaks hotels (5,000 points per night) and redeem your points for 2 rooms.
The cost is 35,000 points per night (gasp!), but you can redeem that amount for a huge 2-bedroom villa that can sleep 8 people. There is a ton of space for everyone and all the amenities of home. There are pools that can entertain kids for hours. I only recommend you redeem the points during peak times because in the summer, you can get the villa for $169 per night plus tax, so it wouldn’t be a spectacular redemption.
Some ways to get IHG points:
You can wait for promotions like IHG Big Win or sign up for their co-branded Chase IHG card. It comes with 80,000 points through MasterCard version still available according to this thread, though it could disappear at any moment. What would it take to convince you guys to get it? It does not pay me a dime, yet I keep raving about it!
BTW, you can use the renewal annual free night certificate for this place. I just did. A 2-bedroom villa near Disney for $49 is a good deal, even during slow season.
If you are not picky about your accommodations, Choice is well, a good choice for your large family. That’s because the points can be redeemed for suites at no additional cost. I’ve written about my redemption at Niagara Falls, where a suite cost me only 8,000 points per night and could fit 6. No, it wasn’t fancy, but still a good deal.
There are several places near Disney. One of the best bargains is Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista It doesn’t have suites, but can fit 5 with a rollaway (free of charge). It costs only 6,000 points per night July-November. There are many other properties because Choice is literally everywhere, so do a search on their website and see for yourself.
Some ways to get Choice points:
Wait till Daily Getaways returns next summer and buy them for 0.37 cents per point. Choice co-branded credit card isn’t compelling enough for me to consider it. There is a roundabout way to transfer to Choice from Chase Ultimate Rewards, but it’s a bit complicated and requires you to have a Chase Amtrak MasterCard, plus spend $200 on Amtrak travel per year. If you follow those steps, you could transfer up to 25,000 Amtrak points (transferred from Ultimate Rewards 1:1) to 75,000 Choice points per year. Email me or comment for more details.
So, these are just a few examples of hotels that could work for a family of five and represent a reasonable redemption value. Come back tomorrow for my second part.
Readers, does anything look appealing to you?
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.