Marriott has launched its major promotion for the Autumn, which will be another outing for MegaBonus. This promotion is active across all Marriott brands, including Renaissance, Courtyard, Autograph, Edition, JW Marriott, Gaylord and the various US ‘extended stay’ chains.
There is a positive twist this time. The free night voucher is now valid at Category 1-5 properties instead of Category 1-4, which cancels out the major devaluation that Marriott Rewards put through earlier this year.
However, I’m getting ahead of myself ….
Marriott targets different offers to different members, based on stay pattern. To see what you have been given, you need to log in to your account.
I very rarely stay at a Marriott group property, and if I log into my Marriott Rewards account and click on ‘Promotion Central’, I am offered what seems to be the most generous version:
- One free night for every 2 paid stays during the promotional period
- Maximum of 2 free nights to be earned
- Free nights to be redeemed at Category 1-5 properties only
- Free nights to be redeemed within 1 year
- Promotion runs from September 15th to January 15th
- Last date for registration is November 15th
As I mentioned earlier, Marriott Rewards moved 370 hotels from Category 4 to Category 5 in February 2013. This devalued these certificates quite substantially. By extending their validity to Category 5, you now have a better choice of properties.
However, don’t get carried away. Marriott Rewards now has 9 categories of hotels. A typical Category 5 hotel would be the Bristol or Northampton Marriott’s in the UK. You will struggle to find anything decent in a major European capital city in Category 1-5.
A further downside is that you could previously earn up to 3 free nights. This latest version of MegaBonus is limited to 2 free nights.
Note that stays at Ritz-Carlton hotels will also count towards this bonus.
Other options for more regular Marriott guests
If you are Marriott elite member, you may receive a different version of this promotion.
- Stay 12 nights and get 25,000 bonus points plus an extra 15,000 points if you reach 18 nights
- Stay 15 nights and get 25,000 bonus points plus an extra 15,000 points if you reach 20 nights
- Stay 20 nights and get 35,000 bonus points plus an extra 15,000 points if you reach 25 nights
Anyone whose Marriott account is set up to give airline miles instead of points will receive a different miles promotion instead.
Note that you need to register by 15th November, so it is worth registering even if you are not planning any Marriott stays at present – it would be a shame to be faced with a couple of Marriott nights in January only to find that you can no longer sign up for the MegaBonus.
Whether this promotion works for you will depend on your stay pattern. In hard £ terms, a free night certificate for just 2 stays is far more generous than competing promotions from the other big chains. (I will be writing about the new Hyatt promo in a day or so.) It just depends on whether you can find a decent hotel in category 1-5 to redeem it.