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Some of the major fall hotel promotions have now been announced, namely from Hyatt and Marriott. I’ll say up front that neither is a “knock your socks off” kind of promo, but both are interesting in their own way.
Marriott Fall MegaBonus:
Marriott runs “MegaBonus” promos many times per year, and there are actually just two weeks between the summer and fall MegaBonus promos this year. As is usual, there are several different versions of the MegaBonus that are targeted to different Marriott Rewards customers. You can see which promotion is available to you by logging in your Marriott account and clicking on “Promotion Central”. Some of the available promotions I have read about are:
- 35,000 points after 20 paid nights + 15,000 points after 25 paid nights—up to 50,000 bonus points
- Earn 25,000 points after 15 paid nights + 15,000 points after 20 paid nights—up to 40,000 bonus points
- Stay twice between September 15, 2012, and January 15, 2013. Earn 1 free night after every second paid stay, up to 3 free nights. Enjoy your free nights at any of nearly 3,000 category 1 – 4 hotels. Free night award will expire one (1) year after the date of issuance.
- Stay twice between September 15, 2012, and January 15, 2013. Earn 1 free night after every second paid stay, up to 2 free nights. Enjoy your free nights at a category 1 – 5 hotel. Free night award will expire one (1) year after the date of issuance.
What is interesting is that one of the available promotions includes a certificate that is valid at a category 1 – 5 hotel, as opposed to the usual category 1 – 4 hotel. The certificates are also good for a full year from when they are issued. Those are both huge improvements, especially for those who can get category 5 certificates. Personally, I was targeted for the category 1 – 4 hotel, but that isn’t surprising since I don’t have status with Marriott and only have a few stays there each year. What is interesting in a not so positive way is that there is a new tidbit in the “terms and conditions” portion of this offer that says: “The member receiving this offer has been specifically targeted and the offer is not transferable.”
That is troubling as Marriott has historically been very accommodating with helping their elite customers switch promotions to help ensure that they get the most for their stays. While there are still some reports of successful promotion switching, there are an increased number of reports of problems with changing promotions. The official terms certainly no longer support the change of promotions on any given account.
The MegaBonus promotions that allow for a free night after every other stay are my personal favorite promotions as they are a way to rack up free nights with very little time away from home. I would be annoyed if I was an elite member and wasn’t able to change to one of those promotions that are routinely offered to non-elite customers.
Hyatt Imagine the Possibilities Promo:
Many Hyatt fans are still suffering from “FFNW”, otherwise known as “Faster Free Nights Withdrawal”. What that means is that Hyatt used to offer a promotion called “Faster Free Nights” that awarded a free night to use anywhere after just two paid stays. It doesn’t take a math whiz to see how easy it was to use some short and inexpensive stays to leverage some stays at some very expensive and exceptional Hyatt properties. I bring that up because I think that FFNW clouds many expectations around Hyatt promotions that don’t live up to the FFN promotions of the past few years. If you are expecting something along the lines of FFN, you won’t like this promotion very much. However, it isn’t terrible in my books…..it just isn’t as great as some promotions from a little while back. Here are the details of the “Imagine the Possibilities” promotion:
You can earn 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after your first five eligible nights and 10,000 more for every five nights after that. Earn up to 65,000 bonus points redeemable for free nights with no blackout dates, room upgrades and more. Simply register by October 31 and stay at any Hyatt hotel worldwide from September 1 through November 30.
The more nights you stay, the more bonus points you earn!
Stay Earn Total Bonus Points Earned
5 Nights + 5,000 bonus points = 5,000
10 Nights + 10,000 bonus points = 15,000
15 Nights + 10,000 bonus points = 25,000
20 Nights + 10,000 bonus points = 35,000
25 Nights + 10,000 bonus points = 45,000
30 Nights + 10,000 bonus points = 55,000
35 Nights + 10,000 bonus points = 65,000
Plus, if you’re a Hyatt Credit Card member, you’ll earn 20% more bonus points – an additional 1,000 after your first five nights and 2,000 additional for every five nights after that.
What I like about this promotion is that it runs until November 30th, so it is pretty good timing for those who need to make a run for elite status before the end of the year. Once you get passed the first five nights, you are essentially earning 2,000 bonus points for every night. That is not at all a reason by itself to book a hotel stay, but it is a nice consolation prize if you need to do some stays anyway. I am still sitting at 12 paid Hyatt stays for the year, with 3 more paid stays scheduled until the end of the year. I am sure I will have a few more stays pop up, but currently I am a full 10 stays away from re-qualifying for Diamond status for next year. So, suffice to say I have a long way to go, and any bonus points I can pick up along my journey are very welcomed (though I am hoping for an amazing Star MegaDo Hyatt promo to make the process even easier).
My husband will be thrilled that the promo is based on nights instead of stays so that he doesn’t have to hotel hop on his business trips. I don’t yet have the Hyatt credit card, but if it is going to continue to make promotions like this more lucrative, then it may climb faster to the top of the pile of personal Chase cards that I want to apply for. For those that get the full bonus for staying 35 nights, that is an additional 13,000 points!
I’m a little sad that neither of these promos are as exciting as the Club Carlson promotion over the summer, but they are both far better than nothing. I know I will at least get some bonus points out of the Hyatt promo since I have some Hyatt stays that I need to make anyway. How do these promotions work for you and your family?