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Updated 4 February: Marriott has confirmed that Reward Nights mixed in with one or more revenue nights as part of a single booking will earn double elite night credits during the promotion period.
Back in January, Marriott gave us a few hints as to what its first big promotion of the year would look like, and now, as of a few hours ago, we have all the details we need and registration is open for the promotion that launches in a couple of weeks’ time.
Marriott’s first major promotion of 2021
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 with no earning limits.
- Registration of your Marriott Bonvoy account is required (here)
- Members must register by 13 April 2021 to earn double points and double elite night credits on eligible paid stays of two nights or more during the promotion earning period.
- The promotion earning period is for stays between 16 February 2021 and 27 April 2021, at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties.
- The double points earning is only applicable to members’ base points earned per eligible stay.
- Only stays made after registration will qualify for 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. 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 or double elite night credits.
- Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for bonus points or double elite night credits.
- Only one room per hotel is counted toward a member’s elite night credits or stay.
- Bonus elite night credits will be awarded to the member’s account within 3–7 business days after the qualifying nights post.
Good to know: Although the terms and conditions that you’ll find on the promotion page say that “[n]ights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for bonus points or double elite night credits”, the FAQs for the promotion say the following: “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.”
What this means is that 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 (Marriott has confirmed this).
After registering for this promotion, the very next thing you should do (assuming that you have a US-based Amex card) is to check to see if you’ve been targeted for the latest offer that saves guests up to 25% on a Marriott booking. There’s no point in giving Marriott any more cash than you have to 😀
As far as this promotion goes, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I like the sound of double elite nights and double points but I’m not loving the fact that only stays of 2-nights or more will count.
Over the past 24 hours, Marriott has posted a lot of elite night credits into member accounts so a lot of Marriott Bonvoy members will probably already have status locked in for next year or are close to locking in status so I’m not sure why Marriott is insisting that only 2-night stays will count for this promotion.
Bonvoy members aren’t desperate for elite night credits right now (I have 53 elite night in my account already and I haven’t set foot in a Marriott property since August last year), so if Marriott thinks that by insisting on stays of a minimum of 2 nights it will get guests to book more nights than they may otherwise book, I think it may have miscalculated.
On a more positive note, Marriott’s offer of double base points on stays of 2 nights or more effectively means that guests are getting 20 base points per dollar spent at most Marriott properties. As I value Bonvoy Points at 0.6 cents each, this means that we have a rebate of 12 cents/dollar (12%) on offer and, as a starting point, that’s not bad.
All Bonvoy elites get bonus points on top of the base points that they earn so once you include those alongside the points the promotion is offering, this is what earnings look like:
- Silver Elite – 21 points/dollar (effective rebate of 12.6%)
- Gold Elite – 22.5 points/dollar (effective rebate of 13.5%)
- Platinum Elite – 25 points/dollar (effective rebate of 15.0%)
- Titanium Elite – 27.5 points/dollar (effective rebate of 16.5%)
Those may not be amazing rebates, but if you happen to need to make a multi-night stay during the promotion period and you can’t make the most of Hyatt’s amazing promotion (which runs through the end of this month), those are rebates that are worth having.
Overall, I don’t think that this promotion is going to encourage Hilton or IHG loyalists to move their bookings to Marriott (Hilton has its own promotion right now as does IHG), and it’s certainly not going to get any Hyatt loyalists to change their plans, but if you’re happy with what Marriott offers this is, on the whole, a better promotion than Bonvoy has offered for a while.
If you have access to US credit cards and you need elite night credits, the following credit cards all offer 15 elite night credits to cardholders as part of their annual benefits package:
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card from Chase
Given that you’d need to stay a minimum of 7 nights with Marriott to come close to the 15 elite night credits that all three of those credit cards offer, the credit card route may be a more economical route to take if your primary goal is to maximize the number of elite nights you have.
Marriott’s first major promotion for 2021 is now open for registration and is offering all Bonvoy members double points and double elite night credits on stays of 2 nights or more between 16 February and 27 April 2021.