Big news today with the announcement Marriott International has signed a deal to acquire Delta Hotels 38 properties in Canada for about $135 million USD. Delta Hotels & Resorts are located in 30 Canadian cities. The acquisition is expected to be completed in Q2-2015. The deal will make Marriott the largest hotel chain in Canada with more than 120 hotels.

Marriott International has grown quickly in the past few years to more than 4,100 hotels worldwide in 79 countries. Different hotel brands acquired by Marriott include AC Hotels (Spain), Protea (South Africa) and now Delta Hotels (Canada).

There are currently about 49 million Marriott Rewards members.

Marriott Rewards members have the choice of earning points with Marriott MegaBonus or miles with Marriott MegaMiles. The Marriott MegaMiles February 1 to April 30, 2015 earns 2,500 bonus miles for every second stay, up to 50,000 bonus miles during the promotion period. Marriott Rewards has 30 airline partners.

Now, it will take 50 stays to max out this miles offer and few members will have that kind of activity. The way I look at this offer is earning 5,000 bonus miles after four stays could be a good alternative to 7,500 or 9,000 bonus points in Marriott Rewards if you have some low cost stays.

Assume four $100 stays.

My Marriott Rewards MegaBonus offer is 3,000 bonus points for every stay beginning with second stay. Other targeted offers include 2,000 or 2,500 bonus points beginning with second stay.

So for me, I can earn 9,000 bonus points after four stays. You might have an offer with as few as 6,000 bonus points after four stays. In this case, miles can be a much better value.

5,000 bonus frequent flyer miles can offer far more value than 6,000 to 9,000 Marriott points with four eligible stays. You also earn 1 or 2 miles per dollar in hotel spend, depending on brand.

I changed my Marriott Rewards account earning preference to miles and registered for Marriott MegaMiles linked to my American AAdvantage account. You must have miles selected as your earning preference to register for Marriott MegaMiles. Registration is required by March 31. 2015.

Marriott MegaMiles Q12015

Courtyard by Marriott Salt Lake City Downtown was moving on up the hotel market segment after three nights in Country Inn & Suites West Valley City. The Courtyard hotel downtown location is a convenient location, one block walk to the light rail UTA TRAX Courthouse Station on the green line with direct service to SLC Airport.  TRAX costs $2.50 one way and is a 23 minute trip from downtown to airport. You can walk to the terminals in 2 to 5 minutes depending on airline. Over three days of riding TRAX, it was one of the most accurately scheduled arrival times compared to mass transit systems I have experienced. Every train was within a minute of its published schedule. Trains between airport and downtown run every 15 to 20 minutes.

I burned a category 1-5 free night certificate I earned in 2014 from Marriott MegaBonus promotion. I would not have predicted in April last year I’d burn a free night certificate for a category 3 hotel.

January 20 was the night before the big event. Outdoor Retailers opened yesterday and it is one of the largest conventions for the year in Salt Lake City at about 24,000 attendees. Surprisingly, Sundance Film Festival starts January 22 and runs to February 2, 2015, but that is primarily a Park City event 30 miles away and does not drive hotel rates in Salt Lake City. Room rates in Salt Lake City are no higher during Sundance Film Festival than they were last week. It is the Outdoor Retailers convention that packed hotels, bars and restaurants downtown beginning Tuesday night.

Read More…

Marriott eBreaks January 22-25 offer hotel rate discounts for stays at select Marriott brand hotels in the USA and Canada this Thursday through Sunday nights.














New Hampshire

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina




South Carolina



West Virginia


Outside of U.S.


  • Rates are per night. Thursday requires a Friday night stay. Sunday requires a Saturday night stay.
  • Rates are valid for dates specified in email at advertised hotels only.
  • eBreaks rates are exclusive to customers who subscribe to the eBreaks program. Therefore, these rates do not qualify for Marriott’s Look No further Best Rates Guarantee.
  • A limited number of rooms are available and will be sold on a first-come, first served basis.
  • Advance bookings are required and must be guaranteed with a credit card.
  • Rates are offered Thursday through Sunday Some hotels only offer eBreaks rates Friday- Sunday. These hotels indicated with an asterisk ( * ) next to rates.
  • Rates are standard room, per night and based on single are double occupancy.
  • Rates are non-commissionable and not include taxes, fees, or other costs or gratuities.
  • Rates cannot be used in conjunction with other offers and/ or discounts.
  • Does not apply to groups of 10 or more rooms.
  • Canadian cities are quoted in Canadian dollars and US cites are quoted in US dollars. All other destinations are quoted in currency listed.
  • Rates are eligible for Marriott Rewards Points and miles credit. Join Marriott Rewards for Free »

Marriott Rewards is kind of like a Hotel Loyalty Scouts program with badges, if you have the desire to adorn your Marriott Rewards profile with a sash of personal achievements and milestones of your hotel loyalty.

Marriott Rewards started a badge game last August to confer bragging rights to members who opt in to receive badges.  Beyond simple adornment, some of the Marriott Rewards badges earn points. Don’t get excited about the points. You might earn 1,000 extra points after thousands of dollars in hotel stays.

Ready to play? You simply need to opt in on your Marriott Rewards account.

A word of warning to head off your question with a disappointing answer…

Your past Marriott Rewards activity does not count. Badge earning requirements start only after you have opted in for the game.

Marriott Rewards badges

Member level badge – there is a badge to match your Marriott Rewards elite level as seen in the screenshot above. No points earned for this badge.

Brand Loyalist – Earn 25 points and a brand badge after two stays at a brand.

Marriott Rewards brand badges-1

  1. Ritz-Carlton
  2. JW Marriott
  3. Edition
  4. Autograph Collection
  5. Renaissance Hotels
  6. AC Hotels
  7. Marriott
  8. Courtyard
  9. SpringHill Suites
  10. Fairfield Inn
  11. Residence Inn
  12. TownePlace Suites
  13. Gaylord Hotels
  14. Marriott Vacation Club

There are no badges for Marriott Executive Apartments or Protea Hotels, the African hotel chain Marriott acquired last year. Or Moxy, the new millennial focused brand. Then, there is the luxury brand Bulgari, which does not even participate in Marriott Rewards.

Marriott Brand Explorer Badges

Marriott Rewards brand badges

  • Stay at 5 different Marriott hotel brands and earn 5-brand explorer badge and 50 points.
  • 10-brand explorer badge earns 75 points.
  • 14-brand explorer badge earns 250 points.

Marriott Road Warrior Badges

Marriott Rewards explorer badges

  • Stay 100 nights at Marriott hotel brands and earn 100 night badge  and 25 points.
  • Stay 500 nights and earn 500 night badge and 125 points.
  • Stay 1000 nights and earn 1000 night badge and 250 points.

Social Maven Badges

  • Participate in Plus Points and earn a social badge.
  • Donate to IFRC or Hotels for Heroes and earn a Good Citizen Badge and 25 points.
  • Refer a Friend and earn the Refer a Friend Badge.

Marriott Badges

Marriott Rewards Insiders has a thread on the Badge game. The primary sentiment expressed is disappointment that past Marriott Rewards activity does not count.

Ritz-Carlton Rewards members in 2015 earn double elite nights for Ritz Carlton Hotel stays throughout the year. This promotion from 2014 is  available all 2015 for Ritz-Carlton Rewards members, however the double elite credit is not applicable for Marriott Rewards members.

Marriott Rewards members can change membership to Ritz-Carlton Rewards. You can be a member of either program, but not both loyalty programs simultaneously. Ritz-Carlton Rewards has different promotions than Marriott Rewards, and the best offers require Ritz-Carlton hotel stays.


Continue to receive credit for twice the nights in 2015

If you have yet to experience the benefits of Elite status or are looking to elevate your membership to the next level, 2015 could be your year.

As a member of The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, you will earn two Elite night credits for each night stay at participating Ritz-Carlton properties.

This benefit applies to stays at The Ritz-Carlton between January 1 and December 31, 2015.

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Double Elite Nights 2015

Terms and Conditions
Guests must be a member of The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® at the time of their stay. Stays must be at a participating Ritz-Carlton® property between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015. For each eligible night, members will receive two Elite night credits. Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for Elite night credit. Nights stayed at a Ritz-Carlton property as a member of the Marriott Rewards® program are not eligible for double Elite night credit.

Ritz Carlton 2xelite 2015

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Elite Benefits

  • Silver elite = 10 nights or 1 Meeting
  • Gold Elite = 50 elite nights or 5 Meetings
  • Platinum Elite = 75 elite nights or 8 meetings

Double elite credit in 2015 means 25 eligible nights at Ritz-Carlton hotels earns Gold Elite. While only stays at Ritz-Carlton hotels earn double elite credit, stays at other Marriott International hotel brands earn regular nights credit.

This means 15 nights at Ritz-Carlton earns 30 elite qualifying nights and 20 nights at other Marriott brands is sufficient for Gold elite membership with 50 elite eligible nights in Ritz-Carlton Rewards after 35 paid nights.

And as of today, January 15, 2015 Ritz Carlton Hotels offer complimentary internet access in rooms as do all Marriott International hotel brands worldwide.

Loyalty TravelerMarriott Rewards free WiFi worldwide begins January 15, 2015

Comments are off for this article

Evaluating 2015 Q1 hotel promotions with $1000 spend is my take on a comparative analysis of the major promotions across several hotel chains.

People who travel frequently on company expense accounts might look at Hyatt’s offer and think 20 nights for 65,000 bonus points is brilliant. They may knock that out in the next three weeks of work travel.

I look at 15 nights to earn 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points by April 30 and think that is at least $1,500 in hotel spend and I get two free nights at a category 6 hotel (20,000 points per reward night) or three free nights at a category 4 hotel (15,000 points per reward night). Those can be valuable free nights in certain locations. But, 15 nights for 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for $1,000 in hotel stays is a difficult achievement.

This post looks at the advantages of the different hotel promotions this quarter to evaluate what kinds of travel favor which kind of promotion.

Evaluating 2015 Q1 hotel promotions with $1000 spend


#1 Club Carlson 30,000 bonus points for 3-night stays Jan 12-March 29, 2015

My top pick for best promotion bonus: Club Carlson Extend Your Stay 30,000 bonus points for 3-night stay. Loyalty Traveler – Club Carlson Jan 12 to March 29, 2015 stays earn 15K for 2 nights, 30K for 3 nights (January 5, 2015).

Promotion Favors hotel stays of 2 or 3 nights. 3 nights is best earning rate.

Club Carlson is my top pick for big points with little spend for extended stays. Club Carlson has a simple global offer of 15,000 bonus points on 2-night stays and 30,000 bonus points on 3-night stays.

I favor Club Carlson due to being a Club Carlson Visa card member with the benefit of Gold elite and one free reward night for any reward stay of two or more nights.

Assuming an average $100 per night Carlson brand hotel room in Radisson, Park Inn or Country Inns & Suites means I can get three 3-night stays for 90,000 bonus points and earn 37 points/$1 in hotel spend. Assume $1,000 in hotel spend and that is 37,000 points + 90,000 bonus points after 9 hotel nights. 127,000 Club Carlson points can buy 8 two-night reward stays at category 2 hotels. My preference is to aim for 50,000 points hotels in major tourist destinations like Paris, London, Vienna and Sydney where 50,000 points buys a two-night reward stay at a hotel that normally averages $300 per night hotel rates. Club Carlson points buy more nights than most other hotel program points. I’ll be in Copenhagen in July and a two-night stay at Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Copenhagen will be a good use of points.

Radisson Copenhagen

Two nights at Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen is priced at $577 or 50,000 points. My $1,000 in Club Carlson spend can earn 127,000 points. Those points cover a 2-night stay in Copenhagen upon airport arrival and before departure for our international trip.

Club Carlson has a solid offer.

#2 Choice Privileges Triple Points December 29 to February 18, 2015

Promotion favors: any traveler who spends. This offer can be earned at $40 per night hotels or $400 per night hotels. Length of stay not a factor.

Loyalty Traveler – Choice Privileges Triple Points Dec 29-February 18, 2015 (Dec 29, 2014)

Admittedly, I will probably not put much effort into this offer, but I think it is a fantastic points earning offer you can earn for economy and midscale hotel stays in brands from Rodeway Inn to Clarion, Comfort Inn and Quality Inn.

Choice Privileges Triple Points means 30 points/$1 on hotel stays at six hotel brands, including Ascend Collection, Clarion, Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Cambria Suites and Sleep Inn.

Choice Hotels has four other extended stay and economy brands with MainStay, Suburban, Rodeway Inn and Econolodge. These four brands normally earn 50% points at 5 points/$1 and will earn 15 points/$1 during triple points promotion.

$1,000 in hotel spend can earn 30,000 points. This can be 2 nights at many hotels with a $600 total value. Choice Privileges is spend based so spending enough to earn 16,000 points is sufficient for wide choice of free night hotels. This can be earned with $534 in hotel spend making this offer one of the best earning promotions for low spenders.

You’ll want to go for the higher earning points brands. Finding a hotel under $60 per night in winter season in the USA is easy with these brands. There are 6,000 hotels to choose from, most in Comfort Inn and Quality Inn. Even Monterey, my home town tourist spot has low rates.

No Concern about length of stay with Choice Hotels triple points. This offer is based on hotel spend, so you earn 30 points/$1 for one-night stays or seven-night stays.

Value of Choice Privileges points – 20,000 points will buy a mid-priced hotel in the USA, whereas 20,000 points can be a $500 per night hotel in Europe and select places.

Hotel loyalty aficionados are turned off by the limited booking window with Choice Privileges points.  USA members can only redeem points within 30 days of stay, unless you have elite status for an earlier booking window.

The advantage of this regional system for USA members is we can book international hotels in Europe at 60 days before stay, while Europeans are limited by the same 30-day window for hotel points reward stays in their home region of Europe. Availability for reward stays in Europe is good for USA members who have one month head start on Europeans for choice hotels.

#3 IHG Rewards Club Set Your Sights January 1 – April 30, 2015

Loyalty Traveler – Loyalty Traveler – Our IHG Set Your Sights tasks for 50000 points Jan 1-Apr 30, 2015 

This is a targeted offer and your personal tasks will determine how this offer ranks to other hotel promotions. My wife’s tasks for 50,000 points can be completed with 3 nights, including two stays at a Holiday Inn and one of those stays being a 2-night weekend stay. My tasks for 50,000 points can be completed with 6 nights including two 2-night weekend stays and two 1-night stays at Crowne Plaza hotels. Some members received tasks that require many more nights. IHG Rewards Club tends to favor members who stay less frequently with easier to reach tasks.

This promotion favors low spenders who will benefit from a high earning promotion for 50,000 points for 3 to 6 nights.

I view IHG Set Your Sights as a 100,000 bonus points offer we can earn with 9 paid hotel nights. This fits in my $1,000 spend scenario. 50,000 points is the reward rate for the highest level IHG hotels. There is also the possibility of finding PointBreaks hotels at 5,000 points per night for great redemption value. Personally, I look at the 50,000 points as free high-end hotel nights for places like London and San Francisco.

Loyalty Traveler – IHG PointBreaks Nov 24 to Feb 28, 2015 by State and Country (Nov 21, 2014)


#4 Marriott Rewards MegaBonus February 1 to April 30, 2015 + West Coast 2K bonus per weekend night Jan 2 to March 28

Loyalty Traveler –  Marriott MegaBonus offers for Feb 1 to April 30, 2015 (Dec 19, 2014)

Loyalty Traveler -  Marriott Big Bonus Payout Western USA 2,000 points per night January 2 to March 28, 2015 (Jan 10, 2015)

Promotion favors: Weekend stays of one or two nights.

Marriott Rewards MegaBonus did not seem too lucrative to me and I received one of the better targeted offers at 3,000 bonus points per stay, for stays 2 to 9 during the promotion period.

Then, a second offer for 2,000 points per weekend night at West Coast hotels. Northern California is well represented and rates are far lower on weekends around the San Francisco Bay Area hotels. Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Utah also have hotels offering 2,000 bonus points per night for Friday, Saturday or Sunday night stays.

One night stays can earn 5,000 bonus points per stay for 8 of 9 hotel stays. That is 40,000 bonus points and another 10,000 in regular points. 50,000 points can be one night at the top of the line category 8 (40,000 per night) or category 9 (45,000 per night) Marriott. There are 60 of 85 Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 available for 30,000 to 50,000 points per night.

50,000 points can buy 3 to 5 nights at low category 2 and 3 hotels.

Marriott Rewards has 767 hotels at the category 2 reward level for 10,000 points per night.  There are 971 hotels at category 3 reward level for 15,000 points per night.

Marriott offers a good value promotion if you find hotels to combine MegaBonus with another hotel specific bonus. There are hundreds of hotels with Marriott Rewards bonus points offers.


#5 Hyatt Gold Passport Stay More Play More January 15 to April 30, 2015

Another targeted offer with many members getting low earning offers and others getting high earning offers.

Promotion favors hotel guests who can stay 10 to 25 nights by April 30, 2015. This is an expensive promotion to fulfill based on the high number of nights needed for the best bonus offers.

  • 2,000 bonus points after next stay.
  • 5,000 bonus points after 2 stays
  • 10 nights for 20,000 points
  • 20 nights for 50,000 bonus points in intervals with 5 nights = 5,000; 10 nights = 15,000; 15 nights = 30,000 points.
  • 5 nights = 5,000 bonus points; 10 nights = 15,000; 15 Nights = 30,000 points; 20 Nights + 15,000 Points = 45,000 bonus points;
    25 Nights + 20,000 Points = 65,000.

10 nights earning 15,000 or 20,000 points is sufficient for one free night at a category 4 hotel for 15,000 points or category 5 hotel at 20,000 points. Many of these hotels will have $300 per night rates.

$1,000 in spend for ten nights earns one free upper tier or up to four nights at Hyatt Gold Passport category 1 hotels at 5,000 points per night. $1,000 in spend earns another 5,000 base points. You might find it difficult to get ten Hyatt nights for $1,000.

#6 SPG Double Play January 5 to April 15

Loyalty Traveler – SPG Double Play Jan 5 to April 15, 2015 is double weak (Dec 30, 2014)

  • 2-night stay earns 2 bonus points per dollar.
  • Earn 1,000 bonus points every 5 nights, up to 4,000 points maximum during promotion after 20 nights.

Promotion favors die-hard SPG loyalists who prefer the Starwood Hotels over lucrative hotel promotion bonuses. You need to have 2-night stays to really get any value. On single night stays, you can earn a maximum 4,000 points after 20 nights.

$1,000 in spend for two 5-night stays might earn 4,000 to 5,000 points with the double points offer and 2,000 bonus points for 10 nights if you are a base member or Gold/Platinum elite. 

The actual bonus points above what is normally earned by an SPG member is only 4,000 bonus points after 10 nights. This is a miserable earning bonus limited to SPG members who make 2-night or longer stays.

Personally, I’ll be looking for better hotel stay spend bonuses available with the other major hotel programs.

This is only 6,000 to 8,000 SPG points after $1,000 in spend and will buy one night at a mid-category hotel.

# 7 Hilton Double Up Double Points Nov 1 to January 31, 2015

Hilton will likely announce a new promotion for 2015 Q1 this week. The current offer of double points runs through January 31. Double points means 25 points/$1, and more for elite and credit card members. The catch is the double points does not start until second stay.

Loyalty Traveler – Register for Hilton HHonors Double Up Double Points Nov 1 to Jan 31, 2015 (October 31, 2014)

After first stay, which should be a one-night stay to kickstart the bonus, assume $900 in spend at double points whether multiple stays or an extended stay. This promotion can earn maybe 25,000 to 30,000 points after $1,000 in spend. That is one night at a mid-category hotel.

Hilton comes up low in my ranking, although it is a very flexible earning promotion good for single night stays or extended stay after you get the first qualifying stay finished to begin earning double points.

Earn 2,000 bonus points per night January 2 to March 28, 2015 at 35 Marriott Western USA hotels for Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights. This offer is for Courtyard, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites hotels in five western USA states. Northern California is well represented in hotel selection. Use promotion code M41.

Marriott WestUSA 2K-stay Jan 2015

There is a maximum 6,000 points per stay with a Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Bonus may be earned unlimited times.

This is a nice bonus points opportunity in between MegaBonus offers and looks stackable with MegaBonus offers. To me, this offer looks stackable for 2,000 bonus points with a weekend 1-night stay and 3,000 bonus points for Marriott MegaBonus, up to 8 stays.

Silicon Valley hotel rates around San Jose and Santa Clara often drop to under $80 per night on weekends. I can potentially earn 5,000 bonus points per stay with MegaBonus and this Big Bonus Payout on $80 one-night stays.

Loyalty Traveler – Marriott MegaBonus offers for Feb 1 to April 30, 2015 (Dec 19, 2014).

Western USA Participating Hotels for 2,000 bonus points per night


Marriott Rewards Big Bonus Payout Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions:

A limited number of rooms are available for this promotion. Offer limited to participating hotels. Marriott Rewards membership required to earn bonus Marriott Rewards points.  A maximum of 6,000 bonus points may be earned per guest room reserved. Visit for details. © 2015 Marriott International, Inc. Marriott® and other trademarks and logos used herein are registered trademarks owned by Marriott International, Inc.

Guest must book reservation using promotional code listed above in order to receive bonus points. Offer applies to one regular room per stay, per member on dates listed.  A “hotel stay” or “stay” means all consecutive nights spent with Marriott by a registered Marriott Rewards member.  Offer not available during special events; tax is additional; special offers cannot be combined; blackout dates may exist; advance reservations are required.  Offer does not apply to groups of 10 or more rooms.  Members electing to earn miles are not eligible for this promotion.

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This is an article I wrote for November 2014 InsideFlyer magazine about hotel loyalty program targeted promotions. This past month Hyatt, IHG and Marriott came out with another set of targeted offers for loyalty members with Hyatt Stay More Earn More, IHG Set Your Sights and Marriott Rewards MegaBonus.

Loyalty Traveler – Hyatt Gold Passport Stay More Play More Jan 15 to April 30, 2015 registration (January 9, 2015)

Loyalty Traveler – Our IHG Set Your Sights tasks for 50000 points Jan 1-Apr 30, 2015 (Dec 15, 2014)

Loyalty Traveler – Marriott MegaBonus offers for Feb 1 to April 30, 2015 (Dec 19, 2014)


Are hotel loyalty members simply a target?

Hotel industry conferences I have attended and research articles for the past several years have encouraged hotel loyalty programs to use data mining of guest profiles and expenditures to customize hotel loyalty promotions. Your loyalty program activity and credit card expenditures are tracked, profiled and stored in a marketing folder for customized pitches. The objective is to engage new customers to hotel brands, re-engage existing loyalty members who have reduced activity and incentivize profit generating hotel loyalty members to spend more with the hotel chain.

Marriott Rewards, Hyatt Gold Passport and IHG Rewards Club are three major hotel chains with targeted promotions for late 2014 travel. These promotions are designed to target an individual guest’s travel profile.

Marriott Rewards has differentiated the recurring MegaBonus promotion for several years. Over the four month period September 15 to January 15, 2015, the generic offer is double points beginning with your second stay, up to 25,000 bonus points. This could mean $2,500 to $5,000 in hotel spend to earn 25,000 bonus points. My offer is 2,500 bonus points for each stay beginning with second stay, up to 25,000 bonus points. My offer is better for me than double points. I am typically a one-night stay traveler. Six $100 one-night stays earn 12,500 bonus points, even if they are all at Residence Inn or TownePlace Suites. Double points earns 5,000 bonus points for the same spend when avoiding the extended stay brands. Other targeted offers do not earn any bonus points until reaching 12 or even 20 nights. These offers have the potential to earn from at 30,000 to 55,000 bonus points, but only if you stay 18 to 30 nights. Marriott Rewards is generally friendly in allowing elite members to change their targeted offer.

Hyatt Gold Passport has at least eight targeted offers for September 1 – November 30, ranging from a maximum 2,000 bonus points for one stay to 50,000 bonus points for 20 nights. My offer was 2,000 bonus points per stay for three stays. Hyatt Gold Passport allowed some members with no offer and others with a lower points offer to enroll for the 50,000 points version which earns bonus points cumulatively for every five nights at 5,000; 10,000; 15,000 and 20,000 bonus points. My Hyatt offer for 6,000 points after three stays is a good one for my travel pattern since I am unlikely to stay ten nights during the promotion period.

IHG Rewards Club openly advocates the targeted approach to hotel loyalty promotions with the current September 1 -December 31 Into the Nights. This promotion follows two versions of targeted offers from The Big Win in late 2013 and early 2014. IHG members with fewer hotel stays in 2014 appear to have easier offers for earning 50,000 bonus points or two free nights than more frequent guests. Some IHG Rewards Club members need more than 15 nights to earn their full Into the Nights bonus offer, whereas other members like me who have stayed infrequently at IHG hotels this year need only stay three paid nights to earn two free nights at any IHG hotel.

Hyatt, IHG and Marriott loyalty programs received plenty of negative responses from unhappy members on travel forums to the idea of targeted offers. Perhaps a better promotion strategy for hotel loyalty programs was pioneered by Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) in 2008 and 2012 when SPG members had a choice from a variety of promotions offers.

SPG ran a promotion in 2008 called You Choose. The promotion ran October 1 to December 31 and members had a choice of 12 different offers ranging from double elite credit or free nights or bonus points. The best part was the member registration deadline was November 15, midway through the promotion period, and hotel stay credit applied retroactively. We can’t expect the kind of lucrative bonuses these days like loyalty programs offered during the ‘Great Recession’, yet the gesture of member choice is significant. SPG followed up in 2012 with Nice Choice, a promotion I consider to be a great prototype for member choice. SPG members could choose three consecutive months for their promotion period between May and September with a choice of six different bonuses including free nights, discount awards and bonus points. I think SPG had a great alternative to targeted offers with these past promotions. The ability to select our own offers from promotion choices is a respectful signal to loyalty members that we are the ones best suited to predict our own travel pattern.

Hyatt, IHG and Marriott hit their target with my bonus points promotion offers that I can take to heart when planning my hotel travel. My sense though is there are many other hotel loyalty members who would prefer more choice instead of being a target waiting to be hit with an unwelcome promotion.

Marriott gave me a birthday gift this week. An email offer I received on my birthday gifted me one free elite night for my 2015 elite qualifying nights.

Marriott Happy Birthday to me

Now, one elite night credited to my account in 2015 still leaves me nine nights short of Silver elite for 2015. I didn’t make it to 10 nights in 2014 so my elite status should drop after February.

Marriott Elite Rollover Nights

So when I saw my Marriott Rewards account today, I looked at 6 nights this year and thought Elite Rollover Nights.

Marriott Silver elite

6 rollover nights + 1 night for my birthday would mean only 3 nights in 2015 to reach Silver elite status again with 10 nights in 2015.

Alas, Marriott’s Elite Rollover nights terms state only nights in excess of elite qualifying nights needed to maintain your current level are eligible rollover nights.

One more reason to keep staying, Rollover is now permanent.

As a Marriott Rewards® member, your benefits follow you wherever you go. Now, so do your Elite nights. With Elite Rollover, your extra Elite nights will be carried into the next year, making it faster and easier to achieve higher Elite status and maintain the Elite benefits you’ve come to enjoy.

It’s easy to make every night count:

  • Reserve and stay the minimum number of nights required to earn Elite status in 2015
  • All nights in excess of the Elite requirement are automatically applied to your 2016 status*

*Silver member nights in excess of 10, Gold member nights in excess of 50 and Platinum member nights in excess of 75 all carry forward to the next year.

So now, you can keep rolling and enjoy your benefits as much as you like.

Track your Elite Rollover Nights in your account

Frequently Asked Questions

According to the Elite Rollover terms, only nights stayed in excess of 10 nights rollover for Silver elite members. Looks like I still need 9 eligible nights in 2015 to regain Marriott Silver elite, after my complimentary one elite night birthday gift

At least I will still have free internet access as a non-elite in 2015 when Marriott Rewards gives free internet access to all guests at hotels in all Marriott brands worldwide beginning January 15, 2015.

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