Marriott recent promotions have had free night certificate as an award option for every two stays and usually capped at max 3 free certificates during the promotional period. I consider these certificates as a bonus and try to assess a value to them so that it would be easier to compare offers from number of chains.
Benefits of points:
1. Never expire
2. Can be used for fifth night free awards
3. Can be used for travel packages etc.
Free night certificates expire, cannot get discounts for five night stays, cannot be combined for travel packages, won’t earn you a stay credit, doesn’t count as a stay towards a bonus, the stay won’t earn you points etc.
Normally, a free night at category 4 property would set you back 20K Marriott Rewards points. But you cannot value free night cert at the same value due to the points laid down above.
The value that I assign to a free night certificate due to all points mentioned before is $100. It doesn’t hurt that it is a nice round figure.
Of course there might be occasions that you can use them during a time when there is something going on in the city and the hotel rates are through the roof. You do have to ask yourself, however, had you stayed at this hotel during the time and be willing to pay the rate that the hotel was charging.
I really like Marriott’s recent promotions for these free night certificates. It is important that you put an estimate dollar value for the free night certificate so that you can compare promotions between hotel chains.