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Marriott Rewards counts reward nights on points and certificates for elite nights starting Nov 1, 2015

Marriott Rewards announced its Fab Four program changes last week with full details supposedly coming out today.

Two of the changes will offer significantly greater value for the Marriott Rewards program to nearly all members.

1. Reward nights using points and certificates will count for elite status starting November 1, 2015. Silver elite at 10 nights will be much easier to attain, especially when MegaBonus free nights add to your annual elite nights count. Marriott Rewards Elite Member benefits.

2. Marriott Rewards will supposedly introduce a real Cash & Points reward night option in early 2016. Currently the option Marriott calls Cash + Points means you can pay for a multi-night stay using points for some nights and paying published rates for other nights. There is no discount in points required or cash required in the current Cash + Points model for Marriott Rewards.

Loyalty Traveler – Tutorial: Marriott Cash and Points Rewards with 5th Night Free (Jan 28, 2014) explains how Marriott Points + Cash currently works.

In early 2016 a different model for Points + Cash will be introduced in Marriott Rewards. I assume this means a model similar to Hilton, Hyatt and SPG, whereby a member pays a fixed cash portion and fixed points amount based on the hotel award category.

Of course, there is also the model used by Choice Privileges and IHG Rewards Club where the member buys a portion of points needed for the reward stay at a discount rate at time of booking.

There is also the Club Carlson model, the worst option of all in my opinion, where a set amount of points is required based on hotel reward category and the cash portion is fixed at 60% of the published rate for the specific dates of the hotel stay. I seldom find good value in Club Carlson’s Cash & Points model.

Later today we should have the Marriott press release with more details. I have not been able to locate it yet at 10am ET.

The information here is from Marriott Rewards Insiders – The Fab Four.

Marriott The Fab Four

In advance of our announcement next week, we’re giving you a sneak peek into four new benefits to make your Marriott Rewards membership even more rewarding:

Points Advance

Available now! Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members are able to book redemption stays beforehaving sufficient points to cover the cost of that stay.

Points Sharing

Beginning Oct. 12, 2015 Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members will have the ability to share points with friends and family. Members can transfer up to 50,000 points from their account each year!

Redemption Stay Credit

Starting Nov. 1, 2015 Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members will earn  Elite night credit on redemption nights paid for with points.

NEW Cash + Points

Coming in early 2016, the NEW Cash + Points will give Rewards members the flexibility to use a mix of cash and points to cover single or multi-night redemption stays.

More information regarding the Fab Four will be provided on Monday, October 12


  • HORACE October 12, 2015

    Ric, your blog is one of the most informative out there, but you fumbled this big.

    No where does it say in their announcement that certificate stays will count toward elite night credit — they specifically mention points based earning counting towards elite night credit, not certificate award stays.

    Now, with respect to certificate award stays, where have you been?

    I know of no current or even recent past MegaBonus promotions that involved certificates.

    Sure, once upon a time, they used to have such promotions, but at least for an entire year, Marriott has done away with such a promotion — due to their category creep all but ending the utility of such MegaBonus awards.

    Finally, although not putting too much of a fine points on it, Marriott has been silent as to whether rewards stays that will now contribute towards elite nights for YEARLY/ANNUAL status purposes will also count as elite nights towards LIFETIME status, as well.

    One would presume that one COULD follow the other, but since Marriott is such a conservative company whose moves are glacially slow, until one sees a press release stating as much or actually sees one’s lifetime elite count increase, one can’t be sure.

    Now, if you could get a scoop on the latter, that would be impressive.

  • Ric Garrido October 12, 2015

    The Community Manager replied to a specific question regarding MegaBonus free nights in the forum announcing these changes,

    “Elite night credit will be extended on all redemption certificate stays. (points and certs)”

    When I say certificates, I am referring to e-certificates.

  • HORACE October 12, 2015

    I assume that when you use the term Community Manager, you are referring to the CM from Marriott Insiders and that they have apparently clarified their statement to include all certificates?

    If so, then this is a welcome change as it would seem to also circumscribe award certificates earned from credit card use.

    Have they also opined about lifetime status — I ask as you did not provide a link to that web page.

  • Captain Obvious October 12, 2015

    HORACE, take a page out of Aaron Rodger’s playbook and R…E…L…A…X…

  • HORACE October 12, 2015

    JINXY — Too afraid to post under your pre-existing handle, now.


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