A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question regarding valid overlapping stays with Marriott due to relocating to the east coast from California, temporary living in one Marriott, and staying at others for work.
You can access Marriott here.
Here’s the question from the reader:
I have a dilemma that I am not sure how to handle concerning my loyalty to the Marriott brand.
My current status is Lifetime Titanium and I am way ahead of schedule to reach ambassador this year. Because I am relocating within a week to the east coast from California, I plan to stay at a Marriott property between 60-90 days while I house hunt and prepare my household belongings for transport.
My new job requires me to travel up to 75% of the time and such travel will begin right away. It would be my desire to book Marriott properties for these business stays, however I have been told by some Marriott representatives (and told the opposite by others) that I will NOT be allowed to earn points while on the road if I am still checked into my living hotel at the same time.
Obviously, it will not be possible to pack all my belongings and vacate my living hotel each week I’m on the road, as I’d have no place to store some many things, not to mention the trying task doing so each week would be,
If for instance the naysayers are correct, will I be forced to patronize a different brand for business travel, at least for the next 2-3 months until I purchase a home? I would think (and hope) Marriott would NOT want to share me with a rival brand due to this (seemingly) not so unusual situation.
I seek your assistance in determining which of the two answers I’ve received concerning this is correct, as well as your advice.
What would YOU do?
I’ll thank you for your response as soon as possible.
FYI. My temporary stay is not corporate paid. It will come from my personal credit card, as will my business travel until reimbursement.
PS. If I must go elsewhere, I wonder if Hilton or some other property will offer me an immediate status match, so that I may enjoy similar services as I do now.
This is not THAT uncommon occurrence for people who “live” on the road or are in between apartments. They may have an extended stay and checked in at one hotel while having trips to other locations.
We were in touch with Marriott, and their spokesperson sent us the relevant part of the T&Cs:
2.1.d. Qualifying Stay. A “Stay” or “Qualifying Stay” means all consecutive nights a Member registers for, and personally pays and stays at any Participating Property, for which (i) the room is billed to the Member, or (ii) the guest room is direct billed to the company who has arranged payment for the Member’s stay that is not associated with a convention or group meeting.
i. A “Stay” is a stay of one or more consecutive nights at the same Participating Property by a Member who: (A) provides his/her Membership Number at the time of reservation or at check-in; (B) pays a Qualifying Rate or redeems a Points redemption Award or a promotional Award for the stay; and (C) stays in one of the reserved guest rooms. If a Member checks out of a guest room and then checks back in to a guest room at the same Participating Property within 24 hours, it will count as a single stay for purposes of calculating Stays and issuing Member benefits. A Member may only earn Points for up to three (3) guest rooms during any Stay if he/she stays in one of the reserved guest rooms and pays a Qualifying Rate or redeems a Points redemption Award or a promotional Award for all of the guest rooms.
ii. A “Qualifying Stay” is a credit pursuant to these Program Rules that counts toward earning Elite Night Credit. Except as otherwise set forth in these Program Rules, including in Section 7.1 and 7.2 below with respect to MVC Owners and Vistana Owners, Members will only earn credit for each Qualifying Night (i) which is part of a Stay at a Qualifying Rate (as described in 2.1.e.), for the guest room the Member personally pays for and stays in, and not for any additional guest rooms, or (ii) for the guest room direct billed to the company who has arranged payment for the Member’s stay that is not associated with a convention or group meeting. Members do not receive Elite Night Credit on stays at Non-Qualifying Rates (see 2.1.f.).
iii. Members cannot earn or receive benefits at multiple Participating Properties for the same stay date(s)
Individual properties are not aware if you have overlapping stays, so there is no issue with your elite-level benefits received at both properties at which you are simultaneously staying at.
It is an entirely different issue, however, how these overlapping stays would post to Marriott Bonvoy. Their T&Cs indicate that you would not get points or elite night credits for nights that are overlapping )not sure which one they would need ineligible).
I have no personal experience of how this happens in reality, however. If someone at the Marriott decides to audit your account, it should not have an adverse reaction (read termination). Still, if some points and elite qualifying nights have posted for overlapping nights, they are likely removed.
To prevent this issue, it is better to stay at a non-Marriott hotel, as the reader also suggests as a solution.
Hilton does have a status match program ongoing right now (read more here), and you can reach the highest World of Hyatt status with just 30 nights.
I would probably go with the Hyatt that better compliments Marriott Bonvoy, although you need to make sure Hyatt’s footprint works for you, the reader.
I understand why Marriott Bonvoy has a clause on its T&Cs “banning” overlapping stays. They try to prevent people from “gifting” nights where someone else would get the status benefits.
They should, however, have exceptions in place in cases such as the reader has here, or they will drive business to competitors. How does this make sense? Illogical!
I would not have overlapping stays with Marriott or any other hotel loyalty program. However, there are sometimes valid reasons for them, such as the reader has here, or if you pay for an additional night due to requiring a very late checkout and then fly into another city and check-in for the same night.
Hilton has a similar presence to Marriott Bonvoy. Still, I would go with World of Hyatt, which, at least for now, provides better benefits for its top-tier elite members than Hilton or Marriott, but their number of properties is one-seventh of Marriott’s and one-sixth of Hilton’s.