Marriott and Starwood have introduced their “not-so-fourth-quarter” promos (for the period September 12-January 15, which is four months). One is good and one is not so good. And personally, I was surprised by the good one. Regardless, don’t forget to register for the promotions or you might not get anything.
Marriott wins the top slot with its MegaBonus promotion. Typically, Marriott’s MB promo is something along the lines of , “Earn 2,000 bonus points starting with your second night in any given stay.” It’s not easy to achieve and often not worth the payoff.
The new MegaBonus is better. You’ll get a free night after two stays with the chain.* Just complete your stays by January 15, 2018 and you will get an electronic certificate for a free night in Categories 1-5 hotels. The promo also hints that you may get a follow-up offer if you complete two nights, but it doesn’t give any hint as to what that offer might be. Per the terms and conditions:
If a member completes two qualifying stays during the promotional period, an additional offer may be unlocked and become available in the members account within 2-3 days after the second qualifying stay.
I’d bet on getting an offer for a second free night for two more stays, but only the shadow knows. Or in this case, only somebody at Marriott.
Starwood’s Explore More
Not as good. You’ll get 1,000 bonus points per stay at most brands, while Aloft, Element and Four Points will offer you 500 points per night. If you hit 25 nights during the promotional period, you’ll earn a bonus 10,000 points. Those numbers don’t sound particularly high, but it’s worth remembering that SPG points are worth anywhere between two and three cents each, or about three times the value of a Marriott point and 5-6 times the value of a Hilton point. The cheapest nights start at only 3,000 points and the uber-luxury hotels are 30,000-35,000 points per night.
Sadly, not every hotel is participating in the promotion, meaning that you should check the list of participating properties before booking your trip.
Beginner’s Hint: It’s important to remember the difference between a “stay” and a “night.” A night is, well, a night. A stay starts the minute you check in and ends when you check out. For example, if you check in Monday and check out Thursday, you’ll have one stay that lasted three nights.
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