LAME: Marriott’s End-Of-Year Promotion Is A Snoozefest


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For a program that has done so much to annoy its members in recent months, it’s not unreasonable to expect Marriott Bonvoy to be making an effort to repair some of that damage by coming up with a few deals and offers to re-engage the disaffected and to bring back a bit of positivity to the program.

Sadly that kind of thinking doesn’t appear to be in the Bonvoy DNA and the latest promotion demonstrates this quite well.

While programs like Hilton Honors, the World of Hyatt and even IHG Rewards have all been running year-end promotions for some time, Marriott Bonvoy has only just announced its offer for the last few weeks of the year (and the first two weeks of next year) and it really wasn’t worth waiting for.

Marriott’s 2019 Year-End Promotion

Marriott’s new promotion is called “Unlock More” and will run from 29 October 2019 through 14 January 2020.

The details of the promotion are simple:

  • Register by 31 December 2019 (here)
  • Stay between 29 October 2019 and 14 January 2020
  • Earn 2,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points after two qualifying stays
  • Award nights do not count as a qualifying stay
  • Earn a mystery offer after completing 2 qualifying stays

Full terms and conditions have been reproduced at the end of this post.

Thoughts

Ok, let me start off on a positive note (because this goes downhill rapidly!)

One good thing about this promotion is that Marriott has moved away (possibly only temporarily) from insisting that the first stay made during the promotion period doesn’t count towards earning the bonus – all stays count this time around.

Right…now for the rest…

2,000 bonus points after two stays is a laughable offer and should make no difference to anyone’s decision on whether to visit Marriott properties or not.

I value Bonvoy Points at 0.6 cents each so Marriott is essentially offering a $6/stay rebate in this promotion – thanks but no thanks.

Not only is Marriott’s initial 2,000 point bonus offer more or less worthless, but its terms and conditions for the mystery offer are also more than a little restrictive.

The mystery offer is only triggered after two qualifying stays are made and the earning period for the mystery offer only runs as long as the main promotion. What this means is that if you happen to complete your second qualifying stay towards the end of the promotion you’ll have very little time in which to earn whatever the mystery offer is offering…and that’s assuming it’s worth earning in the first place!

Essentially Marriott is dangling a carrot that may or may not be rotten and, even if it isn’t rotten, it may not be reachable.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach
JW Marriott South Beach Singapore

Bottom Line

I’ve signed up for this promotion just in case I happen to make two qualifying stays in the promotion period (you should too) but, as it stands, that’s not going to happen.

I have a couple of Airbnb bookings, and a one-night Holiday Inn Express stay in my calendar right now and there’s nothing in this promotion that would even begin to make me wonder if I should change my plans.

This promotion will be a colossal bust for most people and in a period when Hilton is offering double or triple points on all stays and when Hyatt is offering the same, this is more than a little pathetic on Bonvoy’s part…but that seems par for the course right now.


Full Terms & Conditions Per Marriott

Link to the promotion page

Registration of your Marriott Bonvoy™ account is required.

Marriott Bonvoy members who register for this promotion by December 31, 2019, will earn 2,000 bonus points (one-time) after their second stay, during the promotion earning period.

The promotion earning period is for stays between October 29, 2019, and January 14, 2020, at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties.

After a member completes two qualifying stays during the promotional period, an additional offer will be unlocked and become available in the member’s account within 2-3 days after the second qualifying stay is posted to the member’s account.

The member will be auto-registered into the additional offer, and will receive notification via email and through their online member account.

The earning period for the additional offer will be from the day the member is auto-registered through January 14, 2020.

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.

The offer is not transferable.

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. A member who elects to earn miles is not eligible for this promotion.

Bonus points will be awarded to the member’s account within 7-10 days after the qualifying stay.

For a list of current participating brands, 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 the promotion landing page or call 888-MARRIOTT (888-627-7468) for complete details.

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