The Marriott Bonvoy program just announced its new seasonal global promotion for winter 2024. It is very interesting for those who want to reach elite status especially: elite night credits (ENCs) are doubled and there is a 1000-point bonus per night (in addition to your 2 regular earn rates).
Marriott, the largest hotel chain in the world, has the best hotel rewards program for Canadian travelers. The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card is really one of the best cards in Canada and all travelers should eventually have it and always keep it too (that’s very rare). Especially with its new increased offer.
And unlike airline programs, with hotel programs, you can earn a worthwhile amount of points by actually traveling. And it’s worth paying for the nights with cash sometimes since they are rewards of the more valuable type.
Especially when there are global promotions, which all hotel chains offer regularly (approximately every season). As is the case with this Marriott promotion for winter 2024.
Here are the details and our analysis, followed by some details on how Marriott promotions work in general, if you want more info. Make sure to read about the basics of hotel promotions.
Overview of the Marriott Bonvoy global promotion
Here’s what the Marriott promotion gives you:
- 1 bonus elite night credit per night
- 1000 bonus points per night
- No maximum for bonuses
Here are the validity dates for the Marriott promotion:
- Stays until April 29, 2024
- Registration required before April 15, 2024
- Bonuses apply starting on the 1st night
Here’s how to take advantage of the Marriott promotion:
- Register for free before your stay
- With 1 click on the Marriott website
- Always do it right away
- Book a stay paid in cash
- Not paid in points
- Not paid in certificates
- Book with Marriott directly
- On their website or app
- Not on 3rd-party sites or agencies
I remind you of the basics of all Marriott promotions:
- Bonus points are in addition to earned points:
- Via the program (10 pts/US$ minimum)
- Via your card (5 pts/C$ or even 18.5% back)
- Stays booked previously are eligible:
- As long as they take place during the promotion
- As long as you have registered before your stay
- The stay is eligible (payment/booking methods)
- Promotions can be global or targeted:
- This one is global, everyone can take advantage
- Your targeted promotions are on the Marriott website
Finally, here are some standard exclusions for the Marriott promotion (which are not relevant to most travelers):
- Hotel brands are all included
- Not Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy
- Not Marriott Executive Apartments
- Not timeshare brands
- Multiple rooms are excluded
- If they are on the same night
- It’s for 1 room per member per night
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Analysis of the Marriott Bonvoy global promotion
Overall, this is a good promotion.
For bonus points, it’s decent. But it’s really interesting to reach Marriott Bonvoy elite status more easily, especially if you simply plan a trip to an affordable country in the next 2 months.
1 bonus elite night credit per night
This equals the best Marriott promotion for elite night credits, often abbreviated to just “elite nights.”
These are quite simply the nights that count for elite status qualification. Marriott Bonvoy elite status is great for enhancing your hotel stays.
To reach elite status, you earn 1 elite night credit every time you spend 1 night at 1 of Marriott’s 8000+ hotels (whether you pay with points, certificates, or cash), as long as you book directly with Marriott.
With this Marriott promotion, it’s doubled: you will earn 2 elite night credits per night paid in cash.
You already have 15 elite night credits each year as a benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card too. That gives you Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status automatically.
So with this Marriott promotion, you would reach Marriott Bonvoy Platinum elite status with only 18 nights paid with cash instead of 35 nights (Marriott Bonvoy Platinum elite status requires 50 nights).
This is the status level where the benefits are really interesting. It gives you even more of a VIP treatment, free breakfast, free room upgrades, late check-out, access to hotel lounges (at hotels that have them), and more bonus points for stays paid with cash.
If you already have trips planned between now and April, another of the countless advantages of booking your own accommodations autonomously like a good independent traveler is that almost all hotel bookings are fully refundable.
So you can look to see if there’s a similarly priced Marriott hotel that would give you elite status for all of 2024, all of 2025, and the beginning of 2026.
Otherwise, as mentioned in our free ebook with 100+ travel tips, the key to traveling for less is to plan your trips accordingly!
In some countries, you can get 18 nights for really not too much with cash, like for example in Bali for C$1362 taxes included at the Four Points by Sheraton Bali Ungasan (so C$681 per person if you have a travel buddy, which is just C$38 per night each).
That’s still a lot of money (there are tons of hotels for half that price in Bali), but it gives you Marriott Bonvoy Platinum elite status for almost 2 full years and close to 3 full weeks in a beautiful hotel that really looks wonderful!
Flytrippers’ other co-founder Kevin went there to show you. Stay tuned for his reviews of 4 Marriott hotels in Bali soon. You can also move around to avoid staying so long in one spot, there are plenty of cheap Marriott hotels in Indonesia and neighboring Malaysia (don’t miss our detailed post next week).
In some less popular destinations, you can pay even less (like at the Four Points by Sheraton Manado from this post’s cover image) but obviously, prices tend to be higher for more popular (and therefore touristy) destinations.
1000 bonus points per night
In terms of bonus points, the promotion is okay, even a little better than the recent Marriott global promotions. Because you get 1000 points per night and not a number of bonus points per stay.
But when you compare that to the 71,000 points you get with the welcome bonus from the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card or the 87,000 from the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex Card (which doesn’t require a business), it’s obviously not much.
Welcome bonuses are always the key to going faster.
There are some seasons when Marriott offers no global promotion, so no bonus. So it’s better to get a bonus of 1000 points than no bonus at all.
But still, 1000 points is just ≈ $9 according to our Flytrippers Valuation.
I remind you that if you have the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card, you already earn 13 pts per $C in total before the promos (≈ 12%). So the 1000 bonus points improve your return by a certain percentage, which obviously depends on the cash price of your night.
Value of the Marriott promotion
The value of elite nights is too subjective. Each traveler values the benefits differently, and these benefits are not easily quantifiable.
The value of points also varies, of course. But not as much. And that at least we can estimate with our Flytrippers Valuation for average travelers.
I’ll reuse the example of a night at $76 taxes included. Instead of earning ≈ 12% with the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card, with the 1000 bonus points per night, you earn ≈ 24%. It doubles!
For a more normal night at say $150 taxes included, instead of earning ≈ 12%, you earn ≈ 18%. That’s 50% more. The more expensive the room, the lower the percentage that a bonus of 1000 points represents obviously.
Details of how Marriott promotions work in general
Here are more details on the basics of Marriott promotions.
Types of bonuses with Marriott promotions
We’ll start documenting the history of Marriott promotions at the end of this article, but more generally, there are a few types of Marriott promotions.
Bonuses offered are either:
- Bonus points
- Bonus elite night credits
Sometimes the 2 are offered at the same time, like right now.
Bonus points are simple: they can be used to get free hotel nights. Elite night credits are really just to reach elite status. Many people find the term “elite night” confusing, but the name says it all: it’s just for your count of nights to reach elite status.
Types of requirements for Marriott promotions
A major difference in Marriott promotions is how the bonus is offered.
- Per night
- Per stay
When there is a bonus of 1000 points per night, it is easier and the length of your stay is not relevant.
But if it’s 1000 points per stay, the number of consecutive nights in the same hotel greatly affects the value of the promotion and the bonus. It incentivizes shorter stays, or changing hotels during a trip.
Sometimes there are special bonuses like 2000 points per different hotel brand you try during the promo period.
Finally, sometimes there are extra bonus points for travelers who have the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card only!
Earnings with Marriott promotions
Regardless of the Marriott promotion, you also always earn the points in the 2 normal ways in addition to the bonuses because those 2 earnings are always there:
- Earnings via the program (10 pts/US$ minimum)
- Earnings via your card (5 pts/C$ or 18.5% for example)
All members always earn 10 points per US$ (the equivalent of 7 points per C$) at a minimum (before promotions) on their Marriott stays with the Marriott Bonvoy program (or 5 points per US$ at some brands).
Members with the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card have automatic Silver elite status and therefore earn 11 points per US$ — the equivalent of 8 points per C$. Members with the American Express Platinum Card have automatic Gold elite status and therefore earn 12.5 points per US$ — the equivalent of 9 points per C$!
All travelers will obviously earn points on their credit cards as well.
All travelers in Canada should have the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card and will therefore earn a minimum of 5 points per C$. That’s a total of 13 points per C$ (≈ 12%) before bonuses from promotions. Depending on the value of the promotion, it can sometimes easily reach 20% back in total!
But welcome bonuses are always the key to earning more. So if you’re already done unlocking the bonus on your Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card, it’s obviously more lucrative to use your spending to unlock a new welcome bonus.
For example, the record-high bonus on the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card gives you the equivalent of 18.5% back on $5000 — and TD Rewards points are of the more simple type (they can be used for any travel expense).
Validity period for Marriott promotions
The 1st of the 2 time periods to know about Marriott promotions is the period to take advantage of the promotion.
That’s the most important and it’s quite simple. Your stay must take place during the Marriott promotion period.
For seasonal global promotions, the periods to take advantage of them usually last 2-3 months.
Finally, sometimes the bonus starts with the 2nd stay during the promotion’s time period, instead of the 1st. This is to incentivize you to make multiple stays. It’s one of the variables we’ll always list in the overview of the promotion at the top of this page.
Registration period for Marriott promotions
The 2nd of the 2 time periods to know about Marriott promotions is the period to register for the promotion.
You must have registered before your stay to take advantage of the promotion. And the registration period always ends before the end of the promotion itself. It usually starts before too.
By the way, it’s normal for them to require registration: they certainly don’t want to give bonuses to travelers who didn’t even know there was a promotion and who clearly would’ve booked the hotel even without knowing about the bonuses!
Be a savvy traveler and always register. You should always register as soon as you see the promotion because it takes a minute and you never know if you will have to book a hotel later, for example with your flight delay insurance.
(So if you register when we share the post about the new promo, there’s really just the period for the promotion itself to worry about!)
Frequency of Marriott promotions
There are often periods between promotions when there is no global promotion going on, unfortunately.
There can be anywhere from 1 to 4 global promotions per year. It varies.
As mentioned, at the end of this guide there’s the history of Marriott global promotions that we’ll fill out (including those in the past once we have a bit of time to research it).
Payment methods eligible for Marriott promotions
To take advantage of Marriott’s promotions, you must pay with cash, not:
- With Marriott Bonvoy points
- With Marriott Bonvoy free night certificates
This is not the case with all hotel chains by the way. I’ve already taken advantage of some absolutely amazing Hilton global promotions thanks to the fact that they applied even to reservations made with points, I’ll talk about that in another post soon.
Marriott points are the easiest hotel points to earn in Canada. They are the most valuable too. But like all rewards of the more valuable type, there are dates and/or hotels where it’s not a good value to use the points!
That means sometimes it’s better to pay with cash. To determine this, the basic rule is to look at the cost in cash of course. Including the earnings you’ll get, especially during Marriott promotions.
So to make the most accurate calculation, also consider the earnings you would get by paying with cash, which is at least ≈ 12% for those who have the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card and even more during promotions!
Booking methods eligible for Marriott promotions
Hotel chains are very different from airlines: to be eligible for the program benefits, you must book directly with them and not through intermediary booking sites or agencies.
This applies to promotions as well.
The hotel chains’ websites pretty much always have the lowest price too, unlike the airlines’ sites.
However, for the hotel chains you don’t stay with often enough, it’s probably better to get the simple 10% back from the Hotels.com Rewards program, even though that’s usually less than what you earn from the hotel rewards program directly. And at the last minute, Hotwire’s opaque deals can save you more.
Stays eligible for Marriott promotions
Any hotel reservations made before registration and before the promotion is announced are eligible, as long as:
- Your stay takes place during the promotion period
- You have registered for the promotion before your stay
- The stay is eligible (payment/booking methods)
Hotel brands eligible for Marriott promotions
You can check out our introduction to the 30+ different Marriott hotel brands, which will be updated and improved soon.
All hotel brands are included in the promotions.
What is often excluded are brands that are something other than traditional hotels:
- Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy: Marriott’s version of Airbnb and Vrbo
- Marriott Executive Apartments: another brand of long-term rentals
- Timeshare Clubs: not hotels at all
Logistics to take advantage of a Marriott promotion
There are just 2 simple steps:
- Register for the promotion
- Book a stay with cash during the promotion period
Now here’s the step-by-step process if you want more information.
Logistics of registration for a Marriott promotion
You need to log in to your Marriott online account first.
(All Canadian travelers should have a free account, Marriott Bonvoy is 1 of the 5 in our free cheat sheet of the essential rewards programs for Canadians!)
I’ll do a separate post soon on how to create it if you want that step-by-step, but you just need to follow what it says on the account creation page of the Marriott website!
Once you’re logged in, you click on the link for the current Marriott promotion (always listed in a simple way for you in the overview at the top of this article).
On the Marriott promotion page, there’s always going to be a big purple button that says “Register”
You click and voilà, you are registered.
Logistics to see all Marriott promotions
I’ll take the liberty of adding this sidenote. You can also see the global promotion without the direct link, along with all your targeted promotions (if you have any).
Once logged into your Marriott account, you click on your name in the top right corner and then click on the “Promotions” option.
It takes you to the directory of all Marriott promotions, but most of the time, there is just the global promotion anyway.
You click on “Register” and it will take you to the specific Marriott promotion page.
Logistics of booking a stay during a Marriott promotion
There is absolutely nothing special to do when booking a hotel during a Marriott promotion.
(Except obviously being logged into your Marriott account, but you should always be logged in!)
You go to the Marriott website (as with everything, we appreciate it when you use the links on the Flytrippers website instead of going directly because it’s zero cost to you and it allows you to support us so we can share more free content to help you travel for less).
Then you enter your destination and dates.
I still recommend clicking on “Use Points” because it will allow you to compare to make sure it’s worth paying cash to take advantage of the promotion.
(Because the price in cash appears in addition to the price in points when you select this option — whereas there is just the cash price if you don’t select it!)
I have 2 pro tips to simplify your Marriott searches, whether in points or with cash. The 1st is to see your hotel options faster and the 2nd is to find the cheapest dates.
Don’t miss it soon by signing up for our free newsletter for travel rewards, you’ll also receive lots of other useful tips!
Historical Marriott promotions
Here’s the history of Marriott promotions (we’ll fill this in from now on and go back and fill in the more recent ones too shortly):
- Winter 2023: 1 elite night credit and 1000 bonus points per night
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