[UPDATE: promo has been extended to November 10, 2020] Marriott Bonvoy recently announced its latest global promotion. Registered members receive 2500 bonus points per qualifying stay and an additional one-time bonus of 5000 points after the 3rd stay. This is not a huge sum, but if your chosen hotel offers a good bonus points package rate and/or you’ve received a great targeted promo, you can accumulate even more Marriott points.
If you tend to do one night stays, this promo will likely appeal to you. As mentioned, register and after every qualifying stay you’ll receive 2500 bonus points, and after the third stay, a one-time additional 5000. There is no limit on the number of 2500 point bonuses you can get other than the fact that the promotion ends October 18, 2020.
Remember that two separate back-to-back reservations at one hotel will still only count as one stay. Qualifying stays in hotel promos such as this are generally any direct bookings that earn points, such as member advance purchase, member flexible, CAA, senior etc.
Terms and Conditions
From the Marriott website:
*A “stay” is defined as consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, regardless of check-in/checkout activity on any points-eligible rate (“Qualifying Rate”).
Registration of your Marriott Bonvoy™ account is required. Marriott Bonvoy members who register for this promotion will earn 2,500 bonus points per eligible paid stay, plus a one-time bonus of 5,000 additional points after 3 eligible paid stays, during the promotion earning period. The promotion registration and earning period is between August 13, 2020, and October 18, 2020, at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties. Only stays made after registration will qualify towards the promotion. A “stay” is defined as consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, regardless of check-in/checkout activity on any Points-eligible rate (“Qualifying Rate”). Rates available through most third-party online retailers and select travel agency rates do not qualify for this promotion. Homes & Villas by Marriott International, ExecuStay®, Marriott Executive Apartments® and Marriott Vacation Club® owner-occupied weeks are not eligible for bonus points, and nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for bonus points. Only one room per hotel is counted toward a member’s nights or stay. Bonus points will be awarded to the member’s account up to 6 weeks after the promotion ends. A member who elects to earn miles is not eligible for this promotion. For a list of current participating hotels, visit www.marriott.com/loyalty/earn/hotels.mi. All Marriott Bonvoy terms and conditions apply. See www.marriott.com/loyalty/terms/default.mi for more information. Visit marriottbonvoy.com/viewswithabonus or call 888-MARRIOTT (888-627-7468) for complete details.
There have been many reports of errors when trying to register for this promotion. If you’re having trouble, call Marriott and they will add the promo to your account. Note that it may take some time before it shows up.
Hotel Hopping or Alternating Accounts
If you don’t mind the hassle, you can move to a different hotel to get 2500 points you’d otherwise lose out on if you need two nights in one city. For example, there are four Marriott properties in Moncton and eight in the Halifax/Dartmouth area. Moving from one hotel to another might not be that onerous if the incentive is strong enough.
If you’re not travelling solo, another angle is to book the second night with your travelling companion’s Marriott account so you don’t have to move. It’s possible they would let you keep the same room. The downside is that because the third stay means an additional 5000 points, depending on how many stays you have lined up, you could miss out on it if two of you are spreading your stays over two accounts. You wouldn’t get the extra 5000 points till the fifth and sixth stays.
Bonus Point Package Rates
If you want more points, check to see if any of the hotels you’re eyeing offer packages with bonus points at reasonable rates. As always when buying points, which is what you’re effectively doing, the value of the points should exceed the cost to acquire them.
I’ve seen rate packages with as high as 10,000 points although some have a minimum stay requirement. Those listed below are available on one night stays. There is also the Courtyard 2k Every Day promotional rate available at participating Courtyards but the few I’ve looked at are all too high in relation to the member flexible rate, in my opinion.
I chose a random date of Saturday, September 5, 2020 to compare the point package rate to the non-refundable and flexible member rates, pre-tax:
Four Points by Sheraton Moncton
1 king or 2 Queens
Member Non-Refundable – $134
Member Flexible Rate – $142
Member Exclusive Offer 1000 points – $142
Courtyard Halifax Dartmouth
Member Non-Refundable – $113
Member Flexible Rate – $113
2500 Marriott bonus points per night – $129
Residence Inn Halifax Dartmouth
Studio 1 king, sofa bed
Member Non-Refundable – $123
Member Flexible – $123
2500 Marriott bonus points per night – $139
Leaving the Atlantic bubble for one example, here’s a hotel in Ontario with a good bonus point package rate:
Courtyard Waterloo St. Jacobs
1 king, sofa bed
Member Non-Refundable – $122
Member Flexible – $132
Member Exclusive Offer 5000 points per stay – $139
Note that two of the Marriott properties above (Moncton and Waterloo) are in category 2 of the Marriott Bonvoy program. The reward rate ranges from 10,000 to 15,000 points per night. The points from the global promotion combined with the package rate represents significant progress toward a free night at one those hotels. Or, if redeemed at a hotel like the new category 2 Courtyard Oxford City Centre in England ($200+ CAD), your points will give you even more value for the modest extra spending.
Hotel loyalty programs occasionally send to members offers available only to the recipient. Presumably these aren’t totally random but designed to motivate certain people to engage with the program. You can verify whether you’ve received one from Marriott Bonvoy by checking the Promotion Central section of your account.
One of my immediate family members recently received a very nice offer: 7500 points after the first stay and 15,000 points after the second.
We’ve occasionally received generous Hilton Honors promotions or a great set of targeted tasks as part of an IHG promo, but this is the first one I recall from Marriott.
New Member Free Night Promo
If you are not yet a Marriott member, don’t join until you have a couple of stays on the horizon so you can take advantage of a great continuing promotion. When you sign up through a special link, you’ll get a free night award after your first two stays completed within the specified timeframe. This period is determined by the date of sign-up. For example, if you join now you’d have until December 29, 2020. The free night certificate is worth up to 25,000 points and is valid for 12 months.
Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards
In addition to points earned from stays and promotions, Canadians have access to Marriott Bonvoy Amex credit cards (personal and business versions). The current sign-up bonus for each is 50,000 points when you spend $1500 in the 90 days after approval. The annual fee is $120 for the personal, $150 for the business, and both come with a yearly 35,000 point free night certificate added to your account after the anniversary date of acquiring the card.
Another method of earning Marriott points is through converting Amex Membership Rewards. A popular card for this purpose is the Amex Cobalt with its bonuses for designated spending categories such as groceries and dining. Unlike those of the Platinum or Gold, these Amex points cannot be transferred into Aeroplan miles, so one nice alternative is using them to boost your Marriott balance.
One of my favourite aspects of the loyalty program hobby is figuring out how to make one trip pay for another. Good promotions can definitely influence your accommodation choice when you consider how one may leverage bonus points into a future free or discounted hotel stay. This Marriott promotion of 2500 points per stay isn’t the most stupendous offer, but it’s not bad. Consider it along with other promotions when planning any stays before October 18th.