Marriott Rewards (and Starwood Preferred Guest, since they are technically the same programme now) have launched their first ‘bonus points’ promotion since their 18th August merger.
Here are the key points:
The promotion is called ““MegaBonus in More Places”
It runs from 26th September to 31st January 2019 (registration closes 7th January)
You will receive 2,000 bonus points on all paid stays of 2+ nights
You will receive an additional 1,000 bonus points for each different Marriott / Starwood brand you stay at, starting with your second brand
All 6,700 hotels across all 29 hotel brands are taking part
The 29 brands you can stay at to earn bonus points include: AC Hotels, Aloft, Autograph, Courtyard, Delta Hotels, Design Hotels, Edition, Element, Fairfield Inn, Four Points, Gaylord, Le Meridien, Marriott, Protea, Renaissance, Residence Inn, St Regis, Sheraton, The Luxury Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, Springhill Suites, Towneplace Suites, W and Westin.
In addition, between 4th October and 1st November, there will be an online game – 29 Ways To Stay – with some generous prizes. I will cover this nearer the launch date. It seems interesting, with a daily chance to win instant prizes, including bonus points and nights.
The grand prize is a 2-night stay at each of the 29 brands participating in Marriott’s loyalty programs – that’s 58 free hotel nights! There are also 2,400,000 ‘instant win’ bonus points prizes to be won over the four week period.
What is the bonus worth?
I value a Marriott Rewards point at 0.5p. Arguably, if you use them for Category 8 hotels which are capped at 60,000 points per night until the end of the year, you can do a lot better, but 0.5p is a fair long term average.
(My room at St Regis New York where I’m typing this is selling for $1100 + tax per night which is over 1.5p per point, but that is an outlier. The suite I was upgraded to was selling for $2700 + tax per night!)
2,000 bonus points means that you are receiving £10 of value for every two night stay. This is on top of your standard points.
This increases to £15 of bonus points when you are triggering a bonus for your 2nd and subsequent brands.
This promotion obviously works best for cheaper, shorter stays. £10 of bonus points on a £150 two-night stay at a mid-range property is not a bad return, but it is unlikely to sway anyone planning a major splurge.
What are the other options?
Looking at the other two major chains ….
The new Marriott / Starwood offer compares OK with these for shorter stays at cheaper chains, as long as you are staying 2+ nights. For one night stays you won’t receive any extra bonus with this new Marriott offer.
Accor is also running a generous promotion for stays of 2+ nights, but this has a very tight booking period which ends on 7th October. I wrote about the Accor offer here.
It makes sense to register for this new Marriott Rewards offer now. It runs until the end of January and you never know when a 2+ night Marriott / Starwood stay will turn up.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)