Marriott 3x MegaMiles July 1-Oct 31, 2012 –Better than Points?

Marriott Rewards MegaMiles is the triple miles summer bonus promotion from Marriott Rewards from July 1 to October 31, 2012 beginning with your second qualifying hotel stay.

Should you choose triple airline miles instead of earning Marriott Rewards points for this four month period?

The good news is signing up for the MegaMiles promotion does not exclude you from earning the Summer Bonus free night after two stays.

While you can only earn credit for one of these promotion bonuses from each hotel stay, there is no restriction to switching your earning preference prior to each Marriott brand hotel stay to get the most value, whether that is by earning points (and free night credit) or by earning triple miles.

You need to manage your earning preference for your Marriott Rewards account to maximize the value of each promotion for your hotel stays.

Loyalty Traveler analyzes the value of earning miles through Marriott Rewards MegaMiles offer.

Participating airlines of the MegaMiles promotion are:

  • Aeroflot
  • Air Berlin
  • Air Canada (Aeroplan)
  • Air China
  • Air France/KLM
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Alitalia
  • ANA
  • Asiana
  • Avianca-TACA
  • Avios
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • China Eastern
  • China Southern
  • Delta
  • Frontier
  • Gol/Varig
  • Hawaiian
  • Japan Airlines
  • Jet Airways
  • JetBlue
  • Kingfisher Airlines
  • LAN
  • Lufthansa
  • Qatar
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest
  • TAP Portugal
  • United Airlines
  • US Airways
  • Virgin America
  • Virgin Atlantic

Miles Earning with Marriott Rewards

Marriott hotel brands fall into two earning tiers for miles.

2 miles per $1 (6 miles with 3x MegaMiles)

  • JW Marriott (all eligible charges)
  • Marriott (all eligible charges)
  • Renaissance (all eligible charges)
  • Autograph Collection (all eligible charges)
  • Marriott Vacation Club (all eligible charges)
  • Ritz-Carlton (room rate only)
  • Edition (room rate only)

1 mile per $1 (3 miles with 3x MegaMiles)

  • Courtyard by Marriott (room rate only)
  • Residence Inn (room rate only)
  • Fairfield inn & Suites (room rate only)
  • SpringHill Suites (room rate only)
  • TownePlace Suites (room rate only)
  • AC Hotels (room rate only)

There are a few airline partners with different earn rates.

Southwest = 600 Rapid Rewards points per stay at any brand. Since Southwest points are per stay, this means you will earn 1,800 points with MegaMiles, regardless if you spend $100 at a Fairfield Inn or $1,000 at a JW Marriott.

Jet Blue = 1 airline mile per $1 in top tier Marriott brands and 1 airline mile per $2 in lower tier brands.

Virgin America = 1 Elevate Point per $1 in top tier Marriott brands and 1 Elevate point per $2 in lower tier brands.

Managing your earning preference is important since staying two times at a Fairfield Inn paying $100 per night for two different one night stays will earn:

  • Miles Earning Preference = 400 total miles = 100 miles for stay #1 and 300 miles for stay #2.
  • Points Earning Preference = 1 free night certificate for a category 4 hotel reward after two hotel stays.

Now assume you have the one night Fairfield Inn stay at $100 followed by a 4-night stay at JW Marriott spending $250 per night and $1,000 for the stay.

  • Miles Earning Preference = 6,100 total miles = 100 miles for stay #1 at Fairfield Inn and 6,000 miles for stay #2 at JW Marriott.
  • Points Earning Preference = 1 free night certificate for a category 4 hotel reward after two hotel stays.

Earning a free night certificate rather than 400 airline miles is a no brainer. Earning 6,100 miles might be a better value for you than earning a free night certificate. Also, once you have maxed out the points earner promotion for three free nights, then you might get better value earning miles than points. 

For example, assume you already earned the maximum three free night certificates with the Summer Bonus offer and you have already completed one stay earning miles in August. You then have two hotel stays with one night at Fairfield Inn on a $100 room rate followed by a 4-night stay at JW Marriott spending $250 per night and $1,000 for the stay.

  • Miles Earning Preference = 6,300 total miles = 300 miles for Fairfield Inn stay and 6,000 miles at JW Marriott.
  • Points Earning Preference = 11,000 points = 1,000 points for Fairfield Inn stay and 10,000 points for JW Marriott stay.

For many members the better value for these two stays will be earning 3x miles rather than points. Obviously the higher your elite status, then the more bonus points you will get on top of the 11,000 base points shown here and that might make earning points more favorable.

A frequent guest at Marriott brands during the next few months can change earning preference between miles and points to apply the hotel stay to the promotion that earns the best value. You can choose to earn points for some hotel stays and miles for other hotel stays.

Marriott Rewards members with ten or more stays by August 31 can max out the free night certificates Summer Bonus promotion by choosing to earn points on six low spend stays and earn miles for high spend stays at brands that normally earn 2 miles per $1 to get 6 miles per $1 during the MegaMiles months.

Registering for Marriott Rewards MegaMiles Registration in Pictures

Marriott Rewards requires the member to have your earning preference set to miles to even see the MegaMiles promotion. This is important to remember when it comes to finding bonus miles promotion offers with Marriott Rewards.

Here is a quick pictorial showing how I switched my Marriott Rewards account preference to miles to find the MegaMiles promotion for my account.

Marriott pic-1

Sign In to Marriott Rewards member account and click Member Profile tab. Then select Earning Preferences tab. My account is set to earn “Points”.

When I click on MY ACCOUNT there is a drop down menu including a tab called ‘Promotion Central’.

Marriott Rewards my account

When my account is set to earn points, the promotion offer I see is the Summer Bonus for a free night after two stays.


Marriott rewards Summer Bonus is the only promotion offer shown when my earning preference is set to points.


My Earning Preferences needs to be set to miles to see the MegaMiles promotion offer. I click the edit link.


Changing earning preference to miles.


There are more than 30 frequent flyer programs participating in Marriott Rewards 3x MegaMiles. I select United Mileage Plus.

Marriott rewards my account-2

After changing my earning preference to miles there is a new promotion for my account:


The good news is the Marriott Rewards member can sign up for both the Summer Bonus and MegaMiles promotion.

You can only earn credit for either the Summer Bonus or the MegaMiles promotion with each hotel stay, however, you can earn credit for both promotions during the same period by changing your earning preference between points and miles to maximize the earning value for each Marriott hotel stay.


Marriott Rewards MegaMiles Terms & Conditions

  • Earning period is July 1, 2012 to October 31, 2012.
  • Enrollment and registration with Marriott Rewards® is required to be eligible for this promotion.
  • A ‘stay’ is defined as consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, regardless of check-in/check-out activity.
  • Members electing to earn Marriott Rewards points are not eligible for this promotion.
  • This Marriott Rewards promotional offer is limited to specific participating airline partnersonly and is valid only for qualifying stays you personally make at participating Marriott® brand hotels.
  • Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for credit and MVC owner-occupied weeks are not eligible for credit.
  • Base miles will be earned for each paid stay, PLUS earn triple miles every paid stay, beginning with the second stay.
  • Marriott Rewards base mileage earned for qualifying charges is calculated based on the airline loyalty program’s “currency” (points or miles). To review base mileage calculations, click here. For participating airline partners whose earning currency is in kilometers, bonus miles earned will be converted into kilometers at a conversion rate of 1.6 prior to posting to member’s preferred airline account.
  • Miles earned on all qualifying charges at JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection®, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Vacation Club® brands; and on room rate only at EDITION®, AC Hotels by MarriottSM, Courtyard by Marriott®, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®, SpringHill Suites by Marriott®, Residence Inn by Marriott® and TownePlace Suites by Marriott® brands.
  • Stays at our exclusive luxury hotel partner, The Ritz-Carlton®, will count toward achievement.
  • Miles are earned based on qualifying charges that are charged to the hotel room: room rate, meals, beverages, phone calls, movies, purchases at a Marriott-operated Gift Shop.
  • Non-qualifying charges are: taxes, paid outs, gift certificate redemption/gift card purchases, banquet, catering and group charges.
  • Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for Elite credit.


Any questions?

Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. Ric, what do you think of this Marriott miles promotion versus the current Hyatt miles promotion? I think for Hyatt diamonds the Hyatt offer is better, especially for 1-2 night stays (since the diamond points amenity is still earned as well for each stay).

  2. as a marriott plat , I have a different offer for 40000 points. I will pursue this, but it expires aug 31, after which I will change to miles, unless I hit the 40000 points sooner in which case I will convert sooner. Marriotts 4th quarter bonus usually requires spend to be put on a visa, which makes it harder for me to reach the target. Thanks for the analysis

  3. Do the nights earning miles count toward Marriott elite status? I believe the Hyatt nights earning miles do count towards elite status which is another point in favor of Hyatt’s promo.

  4. Read that members who elect to receive miles in summer bonus do not get stays to count for it. Check terms&conditions of summer bonus.

  5. @Shawn – I do not see the term you are referring to in the MegaMiles terms & conditions.

    These are the only terms that refer to elite credit:

    • Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for credit and MVC owner-occupied weeks are not eligible for credit.

    • Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for Elite credit.

    In the general Marriott Rewards terms is this clause:
    “Miles and elite night credit may be earned for stays completed within 30 days prior to the Member’s enrollment, if such credit is requested in writing, along with a copy of the paid hotel receipt, within 60 days of the stay.” https://www.marriott.com/rewards/terms/miles.mi

    Elite night credit is earned for miles earners.

  6. Hyatt welcome amenity is only available in the US. If you stay overseas the calculation will naturally look different.

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