Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
In a previous post, I outlined the fall hotel promos that Starwood, Hyatt, and Priority Club are running. I compared those three promos from the perspective of two different travel patterns (one frequent traveler and one low/moderate traveler) in order to attempt to determine which was the “best” promo. Of course, it always depends on way too many variables to often declare a truly best promo, but the comparison did help me determine where to focus my stays this fall. Which, for the record, was Hyatt in multiples of three until November 15th, and then Starwood (especially if it is a triple points night).
In the comments section on that previous post, reader greek2me reminded me that the best promo for many families this fall might actually be the Marriott MegaBonus 2011 promotion. This promo awards one free night after every two eligible stays in the Marriott family of hotels. For frequent Marriott stayers, there are many different versions of the Fall MegaBonus, but this is the basic offer that is open to all. There are, as always, some terms and conditions that I will get to in a minute, but on the whole this promo is currently the quickest way for many travelers to earn a couple of free hotel nights. (At least outside of credit card sign-ups!) Here’s how it works:
- Register for the promotion before October 31, 2011. It is a good idea to go ahead and register, even if you aren’t sure whether or not you will have any Marriott stays. Better safe than sorry!
- Ensure that your Marriott Rewards earning preference is set to points, not airline miles. You cannot double dip, but you can always switch your earning preference back to miles at any point.
- Earn one free night in a Category 1-4 hotel after every two stays in one of the following properties: JW Marriott®, EDITIONSM, Autograph Collection®, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott®, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®, SpringHill Suites by Marriott®, Residence Inn by Marriott®, TownePlace Suites by Marriott® and Marriott Vacation Club®. The Ritz-Carlton® participates as the exclusive luxury partner to Marriott Rewards. Remember, this promo is counting stays, not nights. So, one stay of 8 nights counts the same as one stay of one night. Plan your reservations accordingly! For instance, if you will be traveling on a work trip for two nights, each night can count as one stay if you are willing to book a different qualifying hotel each night.
- Pay for your reservation with a Visa card. This is pretty simple and straight forward for most of us, but if you are traveling for business and are required to pay for the stay with a business credit card that is not a Visa, you may or may not have some luck if you are a little “creative” with paying for incidentals charged to your room. You can read more about how to try to do this here. I am not personally in a situation where I couldn’t use a Visa card, but I could see how it would be frustrating to be missing out on this promo if you were required by your employer to pay with a non-Visa card. Get “creative” at your own risk. 🙂
- Redeem your free nights by May 31, 2012. Free nights earned are not transferable and cannot be given as gifts. They should be deposited into your account within 3-5 days following your second and fourth qualifying stay.
Being able to acquire a free night after just two stays in pretty great in my book. Traveler A from the previous promo review post would absolutely be best served by taking advantage of this Marriott MegaBonus promo with four of their stays. While a Category 1-4 hotel isn’t going to be the most luxurious hotel on Earth, there are several very solid hotel options on that list. For example, you could use your free nights at the Courtyard Washington DC Dupont Circle, the Fairfield Inn & Suites Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, the Heathrow/Windsor Marriott Hotel, or the Renaissance Austin Hotel. I am now strongly considering moving a few stays this fall to Marriott in order to earn two free nights for my family to use while on vacation early next year.
Which fall hotel promo are you concentrating on? Do you think this Marriott promo would work for you and your family?