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Registration is now open for the first big Marriott promotion of the year and with double points and double elite night credits on offer, it’s always worth making sure that you’re clear on the rules. One promotion rule, in particular, struck me as ambiguous so I got in touch with Marriott and asked for clarification. The reply brought good news.
Marriott’s “Better Together” Promotion
The promotion is reasonably straightforward. All Marriott Bonvoy members (join here for free if you’re not already a member) will earn double points and double elite night credits on each stay of two or more nights during the promotion period.
Registration is required (via this page), there’s no cap on earnings, and the promotion runs from 16 February through 27 April 2021.
As you don’t earn points for Reward Night bookings (because they’re free and points earnings are based on a guest’s spending) it stands to reason that Reward Nights can’t earn double points in this promotion. But will they earn double elite night credits?
All reward stays give Bonvoy members 1 elite night credit per night consumed so it’s not unreasonable to wonder if they’ll also offer double elite night credits in the upcoming promotion.
A quick look at the terms and conditions of the promotion reveals this dispiriting clause:
“Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for bonus points or double elite night credits.”
Based on that clause alone, you could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that reward night stays will not earn double elite night credits…but that’s not actually true.
The FAQs for the promotion contain this very important line:
“Only if a redemption stay includes at least one paid night, it will count toward the promotion offer of double points and double Elite Night Credits.”
Ok, so the main terms and conditions of the promotion seem to clearly state that Reward Night bookings won’t earn double elite night credits but the FAQs appear to leave the door open. So what’s the deal?
I sent Marriott a message quoting both clauses and asking for clarification based on a hypothetical scenario of a guest booking a 2-night stay where the first night is booked with cash and the second night is booked with Bonvoy points.
This was Marriott’s reply:
“For 2 nights; For 1 redemption and 1 paid consecutive nights at same hotel, you will earn Double Points on the 1 Paid Night (A Redemption Stay has no revenue so no points). You will earn a Bonus of 2 Elite Night Credits (1 for the redemption Night and 1 for the Paid Night) and Bonus of 2, so total of 4 Elite nights”.
The word bonus is used once too often in the reply so don’t let that confuse you – the key takeaway here is that a 2-night booking where one night is paid with cash and the other with points will earn a total of 4 elite night credits during the promotion period.
Confirmed: If you include a reward booking with a cash booking for one or more nights, you will earn double elite night credits on all the nights in the stay.
Importantly, nowhere in the terms and conditions (or the FAQs) does it say that you have to have an equal number of Reward Nights and revenue nights in the same stay to ensure that the Reward Nights earn double elite night credits. What this means is that you could, for example, add a single revenue night to a 6-night points booking and earn 14 elite night credits during the promotion. That’s a nice deal.
Two Deals Not To Forget
Now that we know there’s a Marriott promotion launching in under two weeks time and that Reward Nights mixed in with cash bookings will earn double elite night credits, you should keep these two deals in mind:
- Marriott is offering discounted off-peak pricing on award bookings made by 21 February for travel through 30 September 2021 (more details here) and using this promotion would be a good way of saving some points while, potentially, adding to your elite night credits.
- There’s an Amex offer running right now which gives targeted cardholders $50 back when they spend $200 at Marriott properties in North America and the Caribbean by 10 April 2021 (more details here). $50 may not be a huge saving but it’s still free cash if you were planning to book with Marriott anyway, so make sure you’ve loaded this offer to your targeted Amex card before you pay for any Marriott stays.
As always, keep an eye out for any more Marriott offers from Amex or Chase while the promotion is running – there are almost certainly more on the way.
Marriott has confirmed that Reward Night bookings that are mixed in with revenue/cash bookings as part of a single stay will earn double elite night credits in the upcoming promotion. Make sure you make the most of this (and the other promotions) if you can.