UPDATE – JUNE 2021: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry. We produce a monthly summary of the top hotel bonus point offers – please click HERE or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ menu above.
You can currently buy Marriott Bonvoy points with a 30% discount. See this page of marriott.com for details. The offer runs to 20th June.
Marriott Rewards (and Starwood Preferred Guest, since they are technically the same programme now) are currently running their first ‘bonus points’ promotion since their 18th August merger.
The company has recently added a new twist to the promotion and finally launched its ‘daily win’ game, so I thought it was worth doing a quick reminder of what is going on.
How does the current MegaBonus promotion work?
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.
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 which I reviewed recently was 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! The Ritz-Carlton Al Hamra Beach, which I reviewed yesterday, is £800 per night for their private villas but just 60,000 points.
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.
What has changed?
Marriott Rewards has now added a new twist to MegaBonus:
If you stay at 10 different brands over the promotional period, you will earn 10,000 additional bonus points
If you stay at all 29 brands over the promotional period, you will earn 29,000 additional bonus points
Let’s forget the ’29 brands’ bonus. I doubt that anyone, anywhere in the world, is going to complete this. For a start, it requires a stay at a Protea Hotel which means you need to visit Africa. It also needs a stay at a Delta Hotel which predominantly means you need to visit Canada. You then need to visit a Gaylord resort, which will be tricky as there are only four of them, all in the US. I could go on ….
There is a good idea here waiting to get out. Why didn’t Marriott Rewards do something more ambitious? Perhaps offer 500,000 Marriott Rewards points if you visit all 29 brands over a two year period? I still doubt more than a handful of people would manage it – and 500,000 points (£2,500-worth) is still not a ludicrously generous return on 29 stays – but there is a lot of PR potential from the few who do try.
10,000 bonus points for staying at 10 different brands is more achievable between now and the end of January. Anyone travelling a lot around Europe with free reign to pick where they stay could probably manage it.
10,000 points is not hugely generous though, and again it would have been good to see Marriott doing something punchier. Why not 50,000 points for visiting 10 brands over three months? Most people would need to change their usual travel patterns in order to visit 10 Marriott-owned brands and the bonus should reflect that.
Don’t forget to play Marriott’s daily online game, with daily prizes to win
There is still two weeks left to play Marriott’s new ‘daily play’ online game called 29 Ways To Stay.
The link to play is here.
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!
More interesting are the 2,400,000 ‘instant win’ bonus points prizes to be won. You are pretty much guaranteed to win a prize each time you play. Most of those prizes are worth just 50 Marriott Rewards points, but many Head for Points readers are winning bigger ones – we’ve had 1 x 20,000 points winner so far that I know of (a reader called Brian who posted on Sunday). The best to date in our household is just 1,000 points though …..
The daily prizes are:
- 87 prizes of 4-night hotel stays (3 winners per brand, you don’t get to choose the brand you get)
- 75,000 DAILY prizes of 50 Marriott Rewards points
- 5,000 DAILY prizes of 500 Marriott Rewards points
- 2,500 DAILY prizes of 1,000 Marriott Rewards points
- 500 DAILY prizes of 2,000 Marriott Rewards points
- 250 DAILY prizes of 3,000 Marriott Rewards points
- 100 DAILY prizes of 4,000 Marriott Rewards points
- 75 DAILY prizes of 5,000 Marriott Rewards points
- 50 DAILY prizes of 10,000 Marriott Rewards points
- 16 DAILY prizes of 20,000 Marriott Rewards points
Marriott states that it expects you to have a 50/50 chance each day of winning a prize.
Tip: If you have yet to merge your Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest accounts, you play on each account each day and double your chances of winning.
It makes sense to register for the MegaBonus offer now. It runs until the end of January and you never know when a 2+ night Marriott / Starwood stay will turn up.
You may also want to try the ‘daily play’ 29 Ways To Stay game. 50 points per day won’t change your life but there is a chance of getting a big prize and it only takes a few seconds. The link to play is here.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (June 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)