Marriott MegaBonus Sep 15–Jan 15, 2014

Marriott MegaBonus has been one of my favorite promotions the past couple years since most of the other hotel chains dropped offers for earning free hotel nights through stays. Completing two one-night stays for a free hotel night is about the best deal going in the hotel chain industry and Marriott Rewards has this offer for the third time in 2013.


To earn your free nights:

  • Register by November 15, 2013.
  • Stay between September 15, 2013 and January 15, 2014.
  • Earn a free night at a category 1-5 hotel, up to two free nights, for every second paid stay.

Note: This promotion was not listed on my personal Promotion Central page all last week. Finally I called Marriott Rewards on Friday (16 minute wait) and the Marriott agent registered my account for the category 1-5 free night certificate offer. This is the first time I have had to call to be registered for MegaBonus and the ironic part is 2013 has been the most paid stays I have ever had with Marriott brand hotels.

Free nights is the most common MegaBonus offer. Frequent guests in Marriott Rewards may receive a points offer based on total hotel nights. 


Here are three points offers targeted members have reported on FlyerTalk:

  • 25,000 bonus points after 15 nights + additional 15,000 bonus points after 20 paid nights for total of 40,000 bonus points for 20 nights.
  • 25,000 bonus points after 12 nights + additional 15,000 bonus points after 18 paid nights for total of 40,000 bonus points for 18 nights.
  • 35,000 bonus points after 20 nights + additional 15,000 bonus points after 25 paid nights for total of 50,000 bonus points for 25 nights.

Two improvements to Marriott MegaBonus over the past year make this good free nights hotel promotion even better.

  1. Free night certificates are valid for one year from date of issue compared to past offers when they were valid four to seven months depending on when they were earned during the MegaBonus promotion.
  2. Free night certificates are valid for category 1-5 hotels rather than category 1-4 hotels in the past.

Marriott MegaBonus seemed like it might fade away as a significant value after Marriott shifted more than half its category 4 hotels to category 5 in 2013. 370 of 725 hotels in Marriott Rewards category 4 shifted up to category 5 on May 16, 2013.

In years past, MegaBonus was primarily an offer for 2 stays earn one free night certificate valid at category 1-4 hotels. Now that a majority of the former category 4 hotels are listed as category 5, the change in MegaBonus certificates valid for category 5 hotels is probably even a better offer since about 150 hotels unavailable before can be booked in 2013/2014 with the MegaBonus category 1-5 certificates.

191 of 344 hotels in Marriott Rewards category 5, hotels where free nights are normally 25,000 points per night, went to category 6 on May 16, 2013. This means 150 hotels are available with category 5 certificates that were not available last year or early 2013 with Marriott Rewards category 4 MegaBonus certificates.

The reason I love this promotion is four one-night hotel stays earns two free category 5 award nights. That is equivalent to earning 50,000 Marriott Rewards points after four paid nights if the free night certificates are redeemed for category 5 hotels in Marriott.

MegaBonus Terms and Conditions (link)

  • A ‘stay’ is defined as consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, regardless of check-in/check-out activity.
  • Registration is required.
  • Marriott Rewards members who register for this promotion by November 15, 2013 will earn one (1) free night award at a category 1-5 hotel after each second paid stay made between September 15, 2013 and January 15, 2014, at a participating Marriott property.
  • Maximum two (2) free night awards earned with this promotion per member.
  • The member receiving this offer has been specifically targeted and the offer is not transferable.
  • An earned free night award can be redeemed for a future stay at participating Marriott Rewards category 1-5 properties for one (1) free night.
  • Free night award will expire one (1) year after the date of issuance.
  • An earned free night award is good for one (1) single or double occupancy standard room only and includes the cost of the hotel room and applicable room taxes only.
  • An earned free night award will be added to the member’s account within 3-5 business days after the second qualifying stay.
  • Awards are not transferable and may not be given as a gift.
  • Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for credit and Marriott Vacation Club® owner-occupied weeks are not eligible for credit.
  • Only one room per hotel is counted toward a member’s nights or stay.
  • Members electing to earn miles are not eligible for this promotion.
  • Participating brands include JW Marriott®, EDITION®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, AC Hotels by MarriottSM, Marriott® Hotels, Courtyard by Marriott®, SpringHill Suites by Marriott®, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®, Residence Inn by Marriott®, TownePlace Suites by Marriott®, Gaylord Hotels and Marriott Vacation Club.
  • Stays at our exclusive luxury hotel partner, The Ritz-Carlton®, will count toward achievement.
  • All Marriott Rewards program terms and conditions apply.
  • Visit, or call 888-MARRIOTT (627-7468), “, or call your local Marriott Rewards Customer Support office for complete details. for complete details.

MegaBonus Frequently Asked Questions (link)

If I check in before September 15, 2013, or check out after January 15, 2014, do I still earn credit for that stay?

As long as one (1) eligible night occurs during the eligibility earning window (September 15, 2013 – January 15, 2014) a member would earn a credit for that stay.

Do qualifying stays/nights made prior to my registration count toward the promotion?

Yes, as long as you register prior to the registration deadline of November 15, 2013, and your previous stays are between September 15 – January 15, 2014.

How do I redeem my free night reward?

To redeem your free night reward, call Marriott Rewards Guest Services at 1-800-450-4442

Is there an expiration date for my free night reward?

Yes. All free night rewards must be used at a qualifying hotel one(1) year from date of issuance or they will be forfeited and become invalid.

Can I gift my free night reward?

Rewards are not transferable and may not be given as a gift.

What would happen if I make a reservation using my free night reward and then cancel it? Do I lose it?

No. As long as you cancel your stay in accordance with the hotel’s cancellation policy and additional nights of validity remain in the redemption period (through one (1) year after date of issuance), you may use your reward on a subsequent stay up to and including one (1) year after date of issuance.


Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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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 in 2008.

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  1. You say two one-night stays qualifies for a free night, but Marriott defines a “stay” as consecutive nights spent at the same hotel. So is a “stay” one or two nights?

  2. A stay s just one night.

    You can’t break up a two night stay at the sane hotel as two one night stays under different reservation numbers under the same account.

  3. @Josh – A qualifying stay can be one night. And DJP is correct that consecutive nights at the same hotel are considered one stay even when booked as separate reservations. (The front desk generally combines the separate reservations into one for your stay.)

    I will use my stays at Denver last month as an example of how to maximize hotel stays.

    Stay 1: One night at TownePlace Suites Denver Downtown.

    Stay 2: One Night at TownePlace Suites Denver Tech Center.

    Stay 3: One night at TownePlace Suites Denver Downtown.

    Stay 4: One Night at TownePlace Suites Denver Tech Center.

    These four hotels stays are consecutive nights bouncing back and forth each night between two Marriott hotels. These four consecutive nights would earn two free night certificates.

    (Note: Avid readers of Loyalty Traveler may notice I actually did the first three stays in Denver and they were all discount Look No Further rates, but Stay #3 was two nights long and I did not continue changing hotels to get stay #4 at Denver Tech. I could have, but the circumstances in Denver made it preferable to stay two nights at the same Marriott hotel before leaving Denver.)

  4. HI DJP,

    when you say same account, does the promotion count based on every account, or every person? Can a person hold two account, each got one eligible stay and then combine?

    Also, how about 2 person in a room, 1st night under A; 2nd B; 3rd A; same room; Is A getting two eligible stays?


  5. @Franc – A person can not have two Marriott accounts. That violates program rules.

    Your second scenario works. I have done this many times with my wife.

    A four-night stay at one hotel with

    Night 1 = my account
    Night 2 = wife’s account
    Night 3 = my account
    Night 4 = wife’s account

    We would both earn a free night certificate.

    The issue is whether you can keep the same room for the entire stay.

    There is no problem if you check out each day and let the hotel change your room for the second person.

    I have in the past simply told the front desk what I am doing with the separate reservations and ask to keep the same room. The front desk generally does not care since it means less work for them in cleaning the room for another guest.

    But you have to be sure to physically check-out and get your hotel folio each day and have the second person check-in on the other reservation so someone at the front desk, who may not be the same person you made the arrangement for keeping the same room, does not have the opportunity to combine your hotel stay into one reservation.

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