Marriott Travel Packages

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Marriott Travel Packages are the best way to use Marriott Rewards points IF you need some airlines miles as well. These packages consists of 7 nights stay at a chosen category or tier (Ritz-Carlton & Marriott Vacation Club) hotel and set number of miles at various airline programs. You will also get a 25% coupon for Hertz rental that I have never been able to use as rates that are not discount eligible have always been a better deal.

marriott-travel-packages

The reason why these are such a good deal is that you will get a nice chunk of airline miles in the process. You can collect airline miles on your Marriott stays but it is far better just continue crediting towards Marriott points and take advantage of MegaBonuses. Then, when you have enough points in your account to redeem for a Marriott Travel Package, you just issue one.

Marriott Travel Packages Levels
Marriott Travel Packages Levels

You can essentially “transfer” Marriott Rewards points at 1 to 1 level for airlines like United, US Airways, and British Airways.

Here’s an example of redeeming for cat 1 to 5 travel package + 120K airline miles

If we assume that you would use the 7 nights at category 5 property, it would cost you 25K per night but you would get the 4th night free. The number of points required would be 150K.

marriott-travel-packages-airline-miles-levels

The travel package at category 1 to 5 costs you 270K Marriott Rewards points. If we deduct the point value of the room part (150k), you “transfer” the 120K Marriott Rewards points to 120K airline miles.

Choosing the number of airline miles level

Each of the travel packages has four level for number of airline miles you would earn by redeeming a travel package. I would suggest that you go for the highest level if possible.

Upgrading the hotel category part of the travel package

If you redeem for a category 1 to 5 package and would later want to stay at the category 6 property, you can do this by paying the difference in points that is 30K. You need to call Marriott Rewards customer service and they can do it instantly.

Downgrading the hotel category part of the travel package

I always suggest that you should issue the travel package at the lowest category first if you are not sure how you are going to use it. You can always upgrade it.

But if you issued the package at the higher level that is required for your stay, you can always call the Marriott Rewards customer service and request them to downgrade it and get the difference in points deposited to your account.

Extending the hotel certificate

The hotel certificate that is deposited to your Marriott Rewards account is valid for 12 months after issuance. I have personally, however, been able to extend these more than twice. You need to contact the Marriott Rewards customer service to achieve this. I cannot guarantee that it will work for you, but it has for me.

Unable to use the hotel award

Try extending the award certificate. I have managed to do this few times. If they are not willing to do it, consider giving it away as the number of points you get back is not a lot. If you issued it higher than the lowest category level, downgrade it to the lowest level and get some points back to your account.

If you are not able to use it or give it away, you will get some points back for unused certificate and it is dependent and what mileage level you originally issued it.

Here are some values that you can expect to get back IF you need to redeposit unused hotel certificate from the travel package

Travel package with highest number of miles redeemed:
Cat. 1-5 : 10K points
Cat. 6 : 25K points
Cat. 7 : 40K points

Travel package with lowest number of miles redeemed:
Cat. 1-5 : 40K points
Cat. 6 : 55K points
Cat. 7 : 75K points

When to redeem

Some airlines like US Airways and American Airlines, which used to be a Marriott partner, tend to run promotions once in a while for transfer from hotel programs. They might give you a 35% to 50% bonus for miles transferred in. This is the time to redeem. I redeemed 3 or 4 travel packages when the partnership with American Airlines was ending and AA was offering bonus for points transfers. I made my first Million Miles status with AA with the help of Marriott.

Few of other tips

– You can use the ward certificate for less than 7 nights but you won’t receive any points back. Just do a reservation online for 7 nights and leave early. Otherwise, you can contact the Marriott Rewards and have them to make the reservation for you

– If there is a day in between that is not available for points, you can pay for it in cash. You need to arrange this with the Marriott Rewards customer service i.e. you stay at the hotel for 10 nights and use travel package for nights 1 to 3 and 7 to 10. You can pay for nights 4 to 6.

Marriott Travel Package: Hotel + Air Package 1

marriott-travel-package-1

Note that you will receive 50K, 70K, 100K or 120K miles in any of the participating airlines: Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways or Virgin Atlantic

Marriott Travel Package: Hotel + Air Package 2

marriott-travel-package-2

Note that you will receive 35K, 50K, 70K or 85K miles in any of the participating airlines:

Aeroflot, airberlin, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA LifeMiles, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, LAN, Lufthansa Miles & More, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines  or TAP Air Portugal

Marriott Travel Package: Hotel + Air Package 3

marriott-travel-package-3

This package is reserved entire for Southwest. You will receive 50K, 70K, 100K, or 120K Rapid Reward points that are COMPASSION PASS QUALIFYING. If you redeem the highest package and deposit the points to Southwest, you receive a Southwest Companion Pass for a year.

Marriott Travel Package: Hotel + Air Package 4

marriott-travel-package-4

This package is for JetBlue TruBlue and Virgin America Elevate members. You will receive 25K, 35K, 50K, or 60K points.

Conclusion

IMHO this IS really the best way to use Marriott points IF you prefer getting a lot airline miles along the way. There are some drawbacks to this as well that I listed above and workarounds like extending the certificate for a year.

Here are the short terms and conditions of this award:

To redeem for a Hotel, Air & Car Package reward:
Contact the airline you will use as your carrier.  (You must be a member of their frequent flyer program.)  Inquire about the number of miles needed to travel from departure location to your destination and remember to take into account the number of people traveling in your party.

Once you know the number of miles needed, call
1-800-MARRIOTT to make your hotel reservation.  Make sure to inform the reservation agent that you are using a Travel Package Reward.

After your reservation is confirmed, you can complete the reward order over the phone or order online.

Reward Delivery Information

  1. Hotel certificate will be issued electronically and will be available at the hotel upon check-in.
  2. Airline miles will automatically be sent to your frequent flyer account.Please allow approximately 6 weeks for your miles to be posted to your frequent flyer account or contact your local Marriott Rewards office to inquire about express service (may include a fee).

    Miles will automatically transfer into the frequent flyer mileage account that matches the name on your Marriott Rewards account.  Once processed, airline miles cannot be transferred back to your Marriott Rewards account.

  3. You will receive a paper certificate for your Hertz rental.Please allow 10 business days for US delivery, 4 weeks for delivery outside the US, or contact your local
    Marriott Rewards office to inquire about express service (may include a fee).

Top Hotel Promotions for October

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This is a new feature that I will do monthly after I have done the updated hotel promotions post. I will have a post about hotel promotions that I will take advantage of.

Yesterday, I made an updated post of hotel promotions for this quarter. Here are the five that I am taking advantage of and I think that you should too:

1. Marriott Rewards – Free night certificate after two stays for up to 3 certificates

marriott-rewards-fal-2012-megabonus

– This is an excellent promo for free night certificates. Only drawback is the categories where they can be used (category 1 to 4). Very useful in the Asia/Middle East but not so in the Americas.

2. Hilton HHonors Virgin Atlantic Promotion for 15K Bonus Miles

hilton-hhonors-virgin-atlantic-4th-quarter-offer

– Hilton apparently doesn’t have Hilton HHonors point promotion for this month, but you can make your own by taking advantage of this Virgin Atlantic one. If you have FIVE stays at Hilton HHonors properties (no Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, or Home2 Suites), you will receive 15000 bonus Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles in addition to 5000 base miles. You can transfer Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles then to Hilton HHonors points and you will receive 40000 Hilton points for 20000 miles.

3. Priority Club Promotions here and here

priority-club-roles-to-rooms

– There are number of promotions that you can always take advantage of. Some of these “unpublished” but I have listed them all here on LoyaltyLobby. I will do the Q4 stay promo combined with the Roles to Rooms. With other bonuses, I will earn in excess of 50K Priority Club points for 7 stays. You can do even better if you start with a “fresh” account.

4. Starwood Better By the Night + IOS Bookings Bonus + Air Canada Aeroplan Bonus

spg-better-by-the-night

You can actually combine all these promotions. The Better By The Night is lackluster but ok when you make the hotel booking using SPG’s iPhone app for 500 extra points per stay. You can combine these two with the Aeroplan bonus of 5K miles for 5 stays.

5. Radisson Free Night Promo: Stay One Night, Get One Night

club-carlson-radisson-1-for-1

You can get a free night award just for staying for a night by December 31, 2012 at any Radisson/Radisson Blu property in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. The free night award is valid until December 31, 2013.

Conclusion

It appears first that there are no truly outstanding promotions out there, but these four are definitely worth taking advantage of.

Hotel Promotions Update (October 2012) Le Club Accorhotels, Best Western Rewards, Choice Privileges, Club Carlson, Hilton HHonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club, Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest & Wyndham Rewards

Here our monthly blog post about hotel loyalty promotions. You can now find an updated list just by clicking the “Hotel Promotions” tab. This will be updated throughout the month when promotions expire and new ones are announced.

loyaltylobby-hotel-promotions

Accor Hotels – Le Club

Le Club Accorhotels is offering bonus miles for Air Canada Aeroplan, Delta SkyMiles, and Lufthansa Miles & More members until October 31, 2012.

le-club-accorhotels-aeroplan-triple

Le Club Accorhotels Airline Offers: Air Canada Aeroplan, Delta SkyMiles & Lufthansa Miles & More

You can get instant Platinum status with Le Club Accorhotels just by signing up to the program.

le-club-accorhotels-sign-up-august-2012-benefits

Accor A-Club / Le Club Accohotels Instant Platinum Status for New Accounts Still Available

Best Western Rewards

Best Western’s fall promotion for double/triple points is starting on September 23rd and ends on November 18th, 2012. You can read more about this promo by following the link.

Best Western Rewards Fall 2012 Promotion Double or Triple Points

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson

You can get a free night voucher for every two night stay at the Country Inns & Suites locations in the United States and Canada. This offer is valid from October 1 to November 30, 2012.

club-carlson-country-inns-suites-fallstay-offer

Country Inns & Suites Bonus Offer: Stay for Two Consecutive Nights and Get a Free Night Certificate

You can get triple points + 2000 bonus points by booking a breakfast package. This promotion is valid until December 31st, 2012 at selected Radisson & Radisson Blu locations.

radisson-breakfast-package

Book Breakfast Package Rate & Get Triple Gold Points at Select Radisson & Radisson Blu Hotels

You can get triple American Airline miles (1500) for Radisson/Radisson Blu stays worldwide until December 20th, 2012.

Triple American Airlines AAdvantage Miles for Radisson/Radisson Blu Stays

Club Carlson is celebrating 25 years of Country Inn & Suites by giving 25K bonus points for two night stays until October 14, 2012.

club-carlson-country-inn-suites-25-years-2

Club Carlson: Country Inn & Suites 25 Years – Get 25000 Bonus Points For 2 Nights Stay

Here are few other interesting posts about the Club Carlson program:

There is an elite offer for 2 for 1 and 4 for 2. You need to be a Gold or Concierge member to take advantage of these discounts that are valid in Europe, Middle East Africa.

Club Carlson Gold/Concierge Elite Member Offer – Stay 2 Pay 1

Club Carlson Gold/Concierge Elite Member Offer – Stay 4 Pay 2

You can get a Club Carlson Gold through a status match or being a shareholder:

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson Status Match

Club Carlson Gold Status for Rezidor Shareholders

If you have a friend or family member working for any Carlson hotel, you maybe eligible for the Friends & family discount:

Carlson Hotels Friends & Family Discount

Choice Privileges – Choice Hotels

Choice’s fall 2012 promotion is valid until November 14th, 2012. You will earn at the minimum 8000 points for every two stays.

choice-fall-2012-promotion

Choice Hotels Fall 2012 Promotion for Maximum of 8000 Bonus Points for Every Two Stays

Hilton HHonors

Hilton is offering maximum of 15K bonus Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles for 5 stays. You can always transfer the bonus + base miles back to Hilton HHonors for total of 40K HH points. This promotion is valid until December 31, 2012

hilton-hhonors-virgin-atlantic-4th-quarter-offer

Hilton HHonors Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Bonus Offer – 15K Bonus Miles for 5 Stays

Hilton has a promotion with Miles & More (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian etc) for up to quadruple miles until December 31, 2012.

Hilton HHonors Miles & More Promotion for Up To Quadruple Miles

You can earn 4000 bonus Emirates Skywards miles on your second stay. This offer is valid until December 31, 2012.

Hilton HHonors Emirates Skywards Promotion – 4000 Bonus Miles on Your Second Stay

Hilton has a special “Be Yourself” package for Conrad resorts. Gold/Diamond members will receive 5000 bonus points per stay.

Conrad Hotels “Be Yourself” Offer of Breakfast/Room Upgrade or 5000 Bonus Points

Hilton is offering instant Gold status until 2014 and bonus points/miles for American, Delta, JetBlu, United, US Airways, and Virgin American frequent fliers. This offer is targeted.

hilton-offer-american

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status Until March 2014 for American, Delta, JetBlue, United, US Airways, and Virgin America Frequent Fliers + Bonus Points & Miles (Targeted?)

You can get free 500 Hilton HHonors points for liking Hampton Inn on Facebook.

Get 500 Free Hilton HHonors Points by Liking Hampton Inn on Facebook

Here are some other important posts:

You can read about getting a status match with Hilton HHonors:

Hilton HHonors Gold & Diamond Status Match & Challenge & Fast Track Offer

Hilton HHonors Gold VIP Fast Track Offer Through MVP Program. Gold Status After Four Stays or Nine Nights During 90 period

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status for Visa Infinite Card Holders

It can make sense to use Virgin Atlantic as Double Dip partner and then transfer the miles back to Hilton. You can read more about this here:

Hilton HHonors Double Dip Strategy with Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club

Hyatt Gold Passport

Hyatt’s fall 2012 promotion is valid from September 1st to November 30th, 2012. You will earn 5000 bonus points after 5 nights and 10000 bonus points for every additional five nights for maximum bonus of 65000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.

hyatt-imagine

Hyatt Gold Passport Autumn “Imagine the Possibilities” Promotion

Here are couple of other important posts:

Hyatt also offers status matches/trials. You can read more about them here:

Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Status Match – Hyatt Diamond Trial Challenge As Of 2012

Sometimes it makes sense to use Hyatt Stay Certificate instead of paying. You can read about more of them here:

Hyatt Stay Certificates – Way to Save Money On Hyatt Stays

InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club

The beauty of Priority Club is the onslaught of ongoing overlapping promotions that you can triple/quadruple dip.You can read about my average Priority Club point earnings when all the promotions are factored in here. I have also written about different type of Priority Club promotions here and what you can expect to earn for your first stay if you sign up for an account here.

Just a word of warning. Some of these promotions may require an address to be in a specific country/area like United States. I take absolutely no guarantees what will post to your Priority Club account.  They may also conflict with a promotion that you have already signed up for and just return an error message.

There is an interesting “Roles To Rooms’ promotion for total of 15K bonus points for four stays. This promotion appears to be geographically targeted to Asia Pacific region.

priority-club-roles-to-rooms

Priority Club “Roles to Rooms” Promotion: 15000 Bonus Points for Four Stays

Here’s an update about the “Roles to Room” promotion:

Priority Club “Roles To Rooms” Promotion Update: 15K for 4 Stays

Complimentary Intercontinental Ambassador Status After Three InterContinental Nights

You can get complimentary InterContinental Ambassador status that normally costs $200 for staying 3 nights at InterContinental properties by the end of November

Priority Club Candlewood & Staybridge Suites Promotion for 5000 Bonus Points

You can get 5000 bonus Priority Cub points for staying two consecutive nights at Candlewood or Staybridge Suites property in the United States by December 30th, 2012.

Triple Priority Club Points in Spain & Portugal – Need to Book IKTB2 Rate

Triple points for stays at select properties in the Iberian peninsula. Valid until the end of December.

Quarter 4 Stay Bonuses

priority-cub-q4-stay-bonuses

These are valid from October 1st to December 31st, 2012. You should sign up for 5K, 10K or 15K varation of this offer depending how many IHg nights you are planning to have on the 4th quarter.

5000 Bonus Air Canada Aeroplan Miles for a Stay

This is a nice bonus for a stay in Canada. You need to have the stays by December 30th, 2012 to be eligible for the bonus miles.

Priority Club “Sweetheart Deal” $100 Visa Prepaid Debit Card for Each 3 Night Stay within 90 Day of Wedding

Priority Club is offering a $100 rebate for every stay of 3 nights or longer within 90 days of your wedding, This promotion is valid until the end of 2012.

Priority Club $25 Gift Card Offer for Booking Directly Online

You can get up to five codes that you can redeem for various gift card by booking online or mobile on any of IHG branded websites.

Priority Club Meeting Rewards Offer of Triple Points

You can get triple Priority Club points for meetings by switching your account to Priority Club Meetings Reward member.

Priority Club Surveys for 2000 Points or More

There are number of surveys that you can do in number of different languages for a quick 2000 Priority Club points, if you haven’t done any of them earlier. This is a quick way to get some points. My points posted immediately.

Priority Club Welcome Survey for 1000 Bonus Points

Not sure what is going on with this promotion, but you can try to see if it works for you.

Install (Not Required) Priority Club Shopping Toolbar & Get 300 Points

You can get easy 300 points by installing a Priority Club shopping toolbar.

You can register for the following promotions at priorityclub.com/register. You need to have the email address associated with the Priority Club OR the Priority Club account number available AND the four digit code associated with the promotion.

Anniversary Bonus Offer – 6102 – 1000 Bonus Points

This is most lucrative of the offers. You will get additional 1000 Priority Club points per stay for 90 days after your sign up.  Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

1000 Bonus Points for 60 Days – 8108 – 1000 Bonus Points

You will receive 1000 bonus Priority Club points per stay for the next 60 days after registering for this promotion. Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 5221 – 3000 Bonus Points

This works for sure if you are a Platinum member, but could work for Gold’s as well. Doesn’t hurt to sign up, right? You will get 3000 bonus Priority Club points for your next stay. You will need to have the stay within 90 days after signing up. You can only earn this once.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 7489 – 3000 Bonus Points NEW

This is another 3000 bonus points for an elite member. It posts for sure if you are Platinum but might work for a Gold account as well. You need to do the stay within 90 days of registering for this offer.

Welcome Back Bonus – 2120 – 1500 Bonus Points

You will get 1500 Priority Club bonus points for one stay after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days.

New Member Bonus – 3107 – 1500 Bonus Points

This is a new member bonus, but works for existing members as well. You will get onetime 1500 Priority Club bonus points after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days after registration.

Next Stay Bonus – 5109 – 1500 Bonus Points

This should be open for elite and non-elite members. You will get onetime bonus of 1500 Priority club points after a paid stay. The stay must be within 90 days after registration.

Weekend Stay Bonus – 3136 – 5000 Bonus Points

This should be open for all. You will get 5000 Priority Club bonus points for a two night weekend stay. Weekend is typically defined Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights. The stay must occur before the end of 2012. This promotion may require your Priority Club access to be in the United States. The promotion did post for me after a while. This promotion can be done several times.

Platinum 5000 Bonus – 3168 – 5000 Bonus Points

Not sure exactly how this works, but here’s the info about this offer: We’re pleased you have continued to stay with us and are now even closer to earning exclusive Platinum Elite benefits and 5,000 bonus points. All you need to do is register and stay with us 5 more nights before 30th November 2012. It would be our pleasure to reward your loyalty with exclusive Platinum Elite benefits. Keep staying with us and you’ll soon be there. We look forward to helping you make it to the top: Platinum Elite status!

Marriott Rewards

Marriott has their usual fall MegaBonus starting on September 15th and ends on January 15th 2013. You need, however, register for the promotion by October 31st, 2012.

marriott-rewards-fal-2012-megabonus

Marriott Rewards Fall 2012 MegaBonus

Update on Marriott Fall 2012 MegaBonus Choices

You can earn triple airline miles tarting on your second stay on Marriott’s MegaMiles promotion that ends on October 30th, 2012.

marriott-megamiles

Marriott Rewards MegaMiles Promotion – Earn Triple Airline Miles

Here are three other posts about Marriott Rewards:

You can get Southwest Rapid Rewards points for Marriott Gift card purchases.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Points for Marriott Gift Card Purchases

Marriott also offers status matches or taste of Platinum/Gold. You can read more about the procedures of getting one here:

Marriott Status Match Silver, Gold & Platinum – Taste of Silver, Gold or Platinum

If you haven’t been targeted to any of the promotions or you would like to change to another one, you can follow the instructions to get the promotion fixed for you.

Changing Targeted Marriott Promotions

Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Ritz-Carlton has an offer for 30K bonus points for a stay of four nights or longer. This offer is valid until October 15th, 2012.

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Ritz-Carlton Rewards Extraordinary Returns – 30000 Bonus Points for a Four Night Stay

Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood’s next promotion Better By The Night begins on October 1st and ends on December 20th, 2012. You will receive double Starpoints for stays of 1 to 2 nights and triple points for stays of 3 nights or longer.

spg-better-by-the-night

SPG Better By The Night Autumn 2012 Promotion for Double or Triple Starpoints

You can get 500 bonus points for booking made on the iPhone SPG app or 250 points for bookings made on spg.com.

spg-better-by-the-night-booking-bonuses

SPG Better By The Night Online & iPhone Booking Bonuses

Starwood has a promotion with Air Canada’s Aeroplan for maximum of 8000 bonus miles. This is in addition to the Starpoints that you earn. Promotion is valid from September 10 to December 9, 2012.

Starwood Aeroplan Offer: Up To 8000 Bonus Miles

Westin Kierland and Sheraton Wilde Horse Pass have exciting bonus points opportunity. Stay once at both properties and earn 10000 bonus Starpoints.

Stay at Westin Kierland & Sheraton Wild Horse Pass for 10000 Bonus Starpoints

You can get 1000 Delta SkyMiles or US Airways Dividend Miles for booking a special (expensive) rate plan.

1000 Bonus Delta SkyMiles or US Airways Dividend Miles for Sheraton Club Bookings

Starwood has been offering bonus points or free night certificate for new accounts that haven’t had stays

SPG Bonus Beginnings: 3K Bonus Starpoints or Free Night Award

Here’s a post about Starwood status match opportunity:

Starwood doesn’t offer straight status matches, but they can offer you a challenge:

Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum Status Match – Platinum Challenge

Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham’s autumn promotion is extra points or miles for second and fourth stay before November 30, 2012.

wyndham-rewards-fall-2012-promotion

Wyndham Rewards Fall 2012 “Bonus Earnings” Promotion 11K Bonus Points or 2K Bonus Miles

Marriott Rewards Special “Thank You Offer” for Extending Elite Status

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Every September Marriott emails out a specialized offer for those Platinum members that are not meeting the requalification requirement of 75 nights. These emails went out again this week.

marriott-rewards-thank-you-offer-2012

The offer is typically a requirement of 20 nights between the October 1 and December 31 to renew the Platinum status regardless of the number of nights stayed earlier in the year.

You have to decide if this offer is right for you. I would suggest that you consider the following other options as well:

1. You can buy back the Platinum status next year for 50K Marriott Rewards points. You can do it yearly.

2. You can do a Marriott Platinum status challenge in 2013 and have the Platinum status to be valid until 2015. You only need 9 stays within 3 months period + the month you sign up.

It might be time to consider if you really need the Platinum status? The Gold status gives pretty much the same core benefits i.e. complimentary internet and club access as the Platinum status.

Conclusion

I would probably wait and see if the Marriott would extend the Platinum status without having to put up any unnecessary night. Then, next year, if they didn’t extend the Platinum status, you could buy back the status or do the challenge.

Hertz Marriott Rewards Offer of Up To 5000 Points

Hertz has launched a promotion for up to 5000 Marriott Rewards points per rental of five days or longer. Shorter rentals of more than two days are eligible for 2000 Marriott Rewards points. This offer is valid for pick up until December 31, 2012, in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the Puerto Rico.

hertz-marriott-offer

These car rental promotions are always tricky. I normally rent using rates that are only eligible for points on Hertz’s own rewards programs and not eligible for the miles. You should check if you can save with this offer over regular discount rates and take the Marriott points into equation as well.

Normally, you could use other discount plans as well as long as you include the coupon number (PC#) associated with this promotion.

Conclusion

This is a good offer if it doesn’t inflate the rates over regular discount rates. The offer promises a 35% discount using the CDP associated with this Marriott offer but that is often not the case.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

Terms and Conditions: Advance reservation required.  CDP 154080, PC# 169680 and Marriott Rewards number must be included in the reservation.  Modifying your reservation may result in a change in your rate and/or invalidate this offer.  This offer has no cash value, may not be used with Pre-Pay Rates, Tour Rates or Insurance Replacement Rates and cannot be combined with any other certificate, voucher, offer or promotion.  Offer valid at participating airport and off airport locations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Hertz age, driver, credit and qualifying rate restrictions for the renting location apply.  Taxes, tax reimbursement, age differential charges, fees and optional service charges, such as refueling, are not included.  The CDP savings of up to 35% applies to time and mileage charges only; discounts vary by rental date, location and vehicle type.  Points will not be awarded on travel industry rates, wholesale tour packages, insurance/dealer replacement, other promotional rates or group travel.  Offer valid for pickup through 12/31/12.  All Marriott Rewards program terms and conditions apply.

Marriott Status Match Silver, Gold & Platinum – Taste of Silver, Gold or Platinum

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Marriott recently changed their status match requirements. The old one was based on number of NIGHTS stayed during the match period. Now, the requirement is based on STAYS. Note that one stay can consist of multiple nights and would only count as one stay. This new requirement is easier to those that can switch between Marriott branded hotels and have one night stays.

marriott

You can get a temporarily match to Silver, Gold or Platinum status with Marriott rewards, and then you have at minimum three months to complete the requirements of  the challenge you requested/were targeted for.

The normal Silver status requirements is 10 nights, Gold status requirement is 50 nights and Platinum status 75 nights within a calendar year.

Hyatt, Hilton, and Club Carlson have similar programs available. You can read about Starwood options here, Hyatt’s procedures here, Hilton options here, and finally Club Carlson one here.

The new Marriott taste of Silver/Gold/Platinum requirements are:

1. Silver 3 stays during three month period + the month when you sign up

2. Gold 6 stays during three month period + the month when you sign up

3. Platinum 9 during three month period + the month when you sign up

Marriott uses somewhat interchangeably words Taste of Silver/Gold/Platinum, status match, and challenge when it comes to accelerating the status with the program.

The key is to start the challenge after the 1st of the month. If you start the taste of challenge on September 1st, you have only September, October, and November to complete it. By starting September 5th you would have not only September, October, and November, but also December to complete it.

Marriott will give you an instant Silver, Gold or Platinum status for the duration of the taste of period and will extend it upon completion of the required number of nights.

If you fail to successfully complete the challenge, you can do it again after 12 months from the ending of the challenge period.

The best time to apply for a challenge would be right at the beginning of the month. Then you would have the temporarily Silver, Gold or Platinum status close to 4 months and, if you successfully completed the challenge, the status would be valid until February 2014.

Then in 2014 you can probably do another Taste of Silver/Gold/Platinum or simply buy back the Gold/Platinum status for additional year. Marriott Rewards has offered every year a chance to buy back the previous status, if you have been downgraded. You can read more about the process on a recent piece that I wrote.

How to request?

You can call your local Marriott Rewards customer service number. I would, however, rather request the challenge by email. This way you have everything in writing and there is no chance of miscommunication or misunderstanding the requirements. Marriott tends to be quite fast at replying to emails.  Email addresses that you can use for requesting challenge are rewards.procedures@marriott.com, marriott.concierge@marriott.com, or elite.member@Marriott.com.

What if I am denied the challenge that I requested?

There are few reasons that Marriott tend to give when they are denying the challenge.

1. Account not eligible

2. Not enough commitment to have Marriott stays

3. No forward bookings

All these are rather easy to argue. If you are switching from another chain, it is rather obvious that you don’t have prior stay history with Marriott or have future Marriott bookings. You can always reiterate the number of stays that you have had with competing chains and that it would be difficult to switch to Marriott, if you don’t get the elite status benefits during the “transitioning” period.

You may get different answer depending what email address you use and/or if you call Marriott. If the answer you received is not to your liking, it doesn’t hurt to contact Marriott using other contact channel i.e. phone.

Conclusion

It is normally rather easy to get a status match challenge from Marriott. The number of stays to get Platinum status extended is only 9 during the month you sign up + 3 full months. If you start the challenge at the beginning of the month, you have close to four months to complete it.

Trying to requalify the hard way is somewhat problematic though. Marriott requires 75 nights during a calendar year and only paid nights count. If you don’t requalify and would prefer maintaining the status, you can always use the Buy Back Your Status-offer from Marriott or to do another challenge

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updates and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting Marriott promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

Hotel Promotions Update (September 2012) Le Club Accorhotels, Best Western Rewards, Choice Privileges, Club Carlson, Hilton HHonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club, Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest & Wyndham Rewards

Here our monthly blog post about hotel loyalty promotions. You can now find an updated list just by clicking the “Hotel Promotions” tab. This will be updated when promotions expire and new ones are announced throughout the month.

loyaltylobby-hotel-promotions

Accor Hotels – Le Club

There are no currently bonus point promotions for Le Club Accorhotels. We do, however, have available instant Platinum status with the program. You can find more about this by following the link below.

le-club-accorhotels-sign-up-august-2012-benefits

Accor A-Club / Le Club Accorhotels Platinum Status for New Accounts

Best Western Rewards

Best Western’s fall promotion for double/triple points is starting on September 23rd and ends on November 18th, 2012. You can read more about this promo by following the link.

Best Western Rewards Fall 2012 Promotion Double or Triple Points

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson

You can get triple points + 2000 bonus points by booking a breakfast package. This promotion is valid until December 31st, 2012 at selected Radisson & Radisson Blu locations.

radisson-breakfast-package

Book Breakfast Package Rate & Get Triple Gold Points at Select Radisson & Radisson Blu Hotels

You can get 100 free Club Carlson points per day by flipping through a photo book. This offer is valid until September 24, 2012.

club-carlson-global-giveaway-100-points

Get More Than 3000 Free Club Carlson Points – 100 Points Per Day

Club Carlson is celebrating 25 years of Country Inn & Suites by giving 25K bonus points for two night stays until October 14, 2012.

club-carlson-country-inn-suites-25-years-2

Club Carlson: Country Inn & Suites 25 Years – Get 25000 Bonus Points For 2 Nights Stay

Radisson & Radisson Blu has an offer for Europe, Middle East & Africa. You can get 3rd night free and 2000 bonus points when you book for three nights and pay using American Express. This offer is valid until September 30th, 2012.

club-carlson-3-for-2-amex-offer

Radisson & Radisson Blu 3rd Night Free + 2000 Bonus Club Carlson Points

Club Carlson is offering double points at number of their properties in Europe, Middle East & Africa. This offer is valid until September 30th, 2012.

cc-our-summer-specials

Club Carlson Double Points in Europe, Middle East & Africa at Participating Hotels

Club Carlson has a redemption discount offer of 50% at number of properties in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. You can use your points at half the usual rate. This offer is valid until September 30th, 2012.

club-carlson-50redeem

Club Carlson 50% Redemption Discount At Select Hotels in Europe, Middle East & Africa

Club Carlson has a promotion for the Asia Pacific region. You can get 10K bonus points for stays of two nights or longer. You can earn the bonus points unlimited time. The promotion ends on September 30th, 2012.

club-carlson-apac-offer-10k-for-2-nights

Club Carlson Asia Pacific Promotion “Two Nights. 10,000 Points” – 10K Bonus Points For Stays Of Two Nights Or Longer

Here are few other interesting posts about the Club Carlson program:

There is an elite offer for 2 for 1 and 4 for 2. You need to be a Gold or Concierge member to take advantage of these discounts that are valid in Europe, Middle East Africa.

Club Carlson Gold/Concierge Elite Member Offer – Stay 2 Pay 1

Club Carlson Gold/Concierge Elite Member Offer – Stay 4 Pay 2

You can get a Club Carlson Gold through a status match or being a shareholder:

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson Status Match

Club Carlson Gold Status for Rezidor Shareholders

If you have a friend or family member working for any Carlson hotel, you maybe eligible for the Friends & family discount:

Carlson Hotels Friends & Family Discount

Choice Privileges – Choice Hotels

Choice’s fall 2012 promotion is valid until November 14th, 2012. You will earn at the minimum 8000 points for every two stays.

choice-fall-2012-promotion

Choice Hotels Fall 2012 Promotion for Maximum of 8000 Bonus Points for Every Two Stays

Hilton HHonors

Hilton’s Triple Your Trip promotion for double points for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Stays, and triple for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday stays until September 30th, 2012.

hilton-hhonors-3q-2012

Hilton HHonors 3rd Quarter “Triple Your Trip” 2012 Double or Triple Points Promotion

Hilton HHonors and Delta has teamed up offering triple Delta SkyMiles at selected Hilton family of hotels until September 20th, 2012.

hilton-hhonors-delta-q3-2012-triple-miles

Triple Delta SkyMiles for Stays at Selected Hilton Family of Hotels

Hilton is offering instant Gold status until 2014 and bonus points/miles for American, Delta, JetBlu, United, US Airways, and Virgin American frequent fliers. This offer is targeted.

hilton-offer-american

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status Until March 2014 for American, Delta, JetBlue, United, US Airways, and Virgin America Frequent Fliers + Bonus Points & Miles (Targeted?)

Here are some other important posts:

You can read about getting a status match with Hilton HHonors:

Hilton HHonors Gold & Diamond Status Match & Challenge & Fast Track Offer

Hilton HHonors Gold VIP Fast Track Offer Through MVP Program. Gold Status After Four Stays or Nine Nights During 90 period

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status for Visa Infinite Card Holders

It can make sense to use Virgin Atlantic as Double Dip partner and then transfer the miles back to Hilton. You can read more about this here:

Hilton HHonors Double Dip Strategy with Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club

Hyatt Gold Passport

Hyatt’s fall 2012 promotion is valid from September 1st to November 30th, 2012. You will earn 5000 bonus points after 5 nights and 10000 bonus points for every additional five nights for maximum bonus of 65000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.

hyatt-imagine

Hyatt Gold Passport Autumn “Imagine the Possibilities” Promotion

Here are couple of other important posts:

Hyatt also offers status matches/trials. You can read more about them here:

Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Status Match – Hyatt Diamond Trial Challenge As Of 2012

Sometimes it makes sense to use Hyatt Stay Certificate instead of paying. You can read about more of them here:

Hyatt Stay Certificates – Way to Save Money On Hyatt Stays

InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club

The beauty of Priority Club is the onslaught of ongoing overlapping promotions that you can triple/quadruple dip.You can read about my average Priority Club point earnings when all the promotions are factored in here. I have also written about different type of Priority Club promotions here and what you can expect to earn for your first stay if you sign up for an account here.

Just a word of warning. Some of these promotions may require an address to be in a specific country/area like United States. I take absolutely no guarantees what will post to your Priority Club account. They may also conflict with a promotion that you have already signed up for and just return an error message.

There is an interesting “Roles To Rooms’ promotion for total of 15K bonus points for four stays. This promotion appears to be geographically targeted to Asia Pacific region.

priority-club-roles-to-rooms

Priority Club “Roles to Room” Promotion: 15000 Bonus Points for Four Stays

Quarter 3 Stay bonuses

These started on July 1st and will end on September 30th, 2012. You should sign up for an offer that you know you can achieve

5000 Bonus Air Canada Aeroplan Miles for a Stay

This is a nice bonus for a stay in Canada. You need to have the stays by December 30th, 2012 to be eligible for the bonus miles.

Priority Club “Sweetheart Deal” $100 Visa Prepaid Debit Card for Each 3 Night Stay within 90 Day of Wedding

Priority Club is offering a $100 rebate for every stay of 3 nights or longer within 90 days of your wedding, This promotion is valid until the end of 2012.

Priority Club $25 Gift Card Offer for Booking Directly Online

You can get up to five codes that you can redeem for various gift card by booking online or mobile on any of IHG branded websites.

Priority Club Meeting Rewards Offer of Triple Points

You can get triple Priority Club points for meetings by switching your account to Priority Club Meetings Reward member.

Priority Club Surveys for 2000 Points or More

There are number of surveys that you can do in number of different languages for a quick 2000 Priority Club points, if you haven’t done any of them earlier. This is a quick way to get some points. My points posted immediately.

Sign Up For Priority Club Shopping Emails & Get 500 Points

You can get 500 Priority Club points for just signing up for the shopping email.

Priority Club Welcome Survey for 1000 Bonus Points

Not sure what is going on with this promotion, but you can try to see if it works for you.

Install (Not Required) Priority Club Shopping Toolbar & Get 300 Points

You can get easy 300 points by installing a Priority Club shopping toolbar.

You can register for the following promotions at priorityclub.com/register. You need to have the email address associated with the Priority Club OR the Priority Club account number available AND the four digit code associated with the promotion.

Anniversary Bonus Offer – 6102 1000 Bonus Points

This is most lucrative of the offers. You will get additional 1000 Priority Club points per stay for 90 days after your sign up. Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

1000 Bonus Points for 60 Days – 8108 1000 Bonus Points

You will receive 1000 bonus Priority Club points per stay for the next 60 days after registering for this promotion. Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 5221 3000 Bonus Points

This works for sure if you are a Platinum member, but could work for Gold’s as well. Doesn’t hurt to sign up, right? You will get 3000 bonus Priority Club points for your next stay. You will need to have the stay within 90 days after signing up. You can only earn this once.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 7489 3000 Bonus Points NEW

This is another 3000 bonus points for an elite member. It posts for sure if you are Platinum but might work for a Gold account as well. You need to do the stay within 90 days of registering for this offer.

Welcome Back Bonus – 2120 – 1500 Bonus Points

You will get 1500 Priority Club bonus points for one stay after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days.

New Member Bonus – 3107 1500 Bonus Points

This is a new member bonus, but works for existing members as well. You will get onetime 1500 Priority Club bonus points after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days after registration.

Next Stay Bonus – 5109 1500 Bonus Points

This should be open for elite and non-elite members. You will get onetime bonus of 1500 Priority club points after a paid stay. The stay must be within 90 days after registration.

Weekend Stay Bonus – 3136 5000 Bonus Points

This should be open for all. You will get 5000 Priority Club bonus points for a two night weekend stay. Weekend is typically defined Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights. The stay must occur before the end of 2012. This promotion may require your Priority Club access to be in the United States. The promotion did post for me after a while. This promotion can be done several times.

Platinum 5000 Bonus – 3168 – 5000 Bonus Points

Not sure exactly how this works, but here’s the info about this offer: We’re pleased you have continued to stay with us and are now even closer to earning exclusive Platinum Elite benefits and 5,000 bonus points. All you need to do is register and stay with us 5 more nights before 30th November 2012. It would be our pleasure to reward your loyalty with exclusive Platinum Elite benefits. Keep staying with us and you’ll soon be there. We look forward to helping you make it to the top: Platinum Elite status!

Marriott Rewards

Marriott has their usual fall MegaBonus starting on September 15th and ends on January 15th 2013. You need, however, register for the promotion by October 31st, 2012.

marriott-rewards-fal-2012-megabonus

Marriott Rewards Fall 2012 MegaBonus

Update on Marriott Fall 2012 MegaBonus Choices

You can earn triple airline miles tarting on your second stay on Marriott’s MegaMiles promotion that ends on October 30th, 2012.

marriott-megamiles

Marriott Rewards MegaMiles Promotion – Earn Triple Airline Miles

Here are three other posts about Marriott Rewards:

You can get Southwest Rapid Rewards points for Marriott Gift card purchases.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Points for Marriott Gift Card Purchases

Marriott also offers status matches or taste of Platinum/Gold. You can read more about the procedures of getting one here:

Marriott Rewards Gold & Platinum Status Match – Taste of Platinum & Gold Challenge

If you haven’t been targeted to any of the promotions or you would like to change to another one, you can follow the instructions to get the promotion fixed for you.

Changing Targeted Marriott Promotions

Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Ritz-Carlton has an offer for 30K bonus points for a stay of four nights or longer. This offer is valid until October 15th, 2012.

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Ritz-Carlton Rewards Extraordinary Returns – 30000 Bonus Points for a Four Night Stay

Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood launched their much anticipated SPG Nice Choice promotion on May 1st that hasn’t gone down too well. You can read about the initial leak, my ability to confirm that the leaked information was real, and the strategy that you should take. Essentially, this is a double or triple Starpoints promotion that is very weak compared to free night promotions that SPG was running during 2010 and 2011. Note that you needed to choose what you would like to earn and when by June 30th, 2012.

Starwood’s next promotion Better By The Night begins on October 1st and ends on December 20th, 2012. You will receive double Starpoints for stays of 1 to 2 nights and triple points for stays of 3 nights or longer.

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SPG Better By The Night Autumn 2012 Promotion for Double or Triple Starpoints

You can get 500 bonus points for booking made on the iPhone SPG app or 250 points for bookings made on spg.com.

spg-better-by-the-night-booking-bonuses

SPG Better By The Night Online & iPhone Booking Bonuses

Westin Kierland and Sheraton Wilde Horse Pass have exciting bonus points opportunity. Stay once at both properties and earn 10000 bonus Starpoints.

Stay at Westin Kierland & Sheraton Wild Horse Pass for 10000 Bonus Starpoints

You can get 1000 Delta SkyMiles or US Airways Dividend Miles for booking a special (expensive) rate plan.

1000 Bonus Delta SkyMiles or US Airways Dividend Miles for Sheraton Club Bookings

Here’s a post about Starwood status match opportunity:

Starwood doesn’t offer straight status matches, but they can offer you a challenge:

Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum Status Match – Platinum Challenge

Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham’s summer promotion is coming to an end on September 13th, 2012. You can earn quadruple points or miles.

wyndham-s12summer

Wyndham Rewards Summer 2012 Promotion for Quadruple Miles or Points

Why Hotels Love Resort Charges & Why You Should Hate Them?

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Resort fees, also sometimes called “facility” or “service” charges, are spreading like a cancer to properties that are no resorts, and are becoming more difficult to avoid.

Here are eight reasons why hotels love “scamming” using resort charges:

1. Able to advertise a lower headline price and bury the extra charge to tax section.

2. Preferential display when searched using the price on hotel search engines.

3. Save on some taxes on municipalities that don’t collect taxes on “resort” charges.

4. Collect resort charge on award stays.

5. Collect resort charge on third party bookings i.e. Expedia, Hotwire, Booking.com, Priceline etc.

6. No need to pay for travel agent commission for amount of the resort fee.

7. No need to award points for the frequent guest program for the resort fee portion.

8. No need to pay franchise fees for the resort charge portion.

Here are three examples how these charges are displayed:

Westin Las Vegas Resort Charge
Westin Las Vegas Resort Charge

Westin Las Vegas the old Maxim hotel that was closed for couple of years. The property charges a “service” fee of $11.50 that is buried to the itemized rate display.

St Regis Puerto Rico Resort Charge
St Regis Puerto Rico Resort Charge

St Regis Puerto Rico. The resort charge is displayed on the search and the wording that the base rate excluded the resort fee of $60 per night that is included in the full price.

Hyatt Regency Palm Springs Resort Charge
Hyatt Regency Palm Springs Resort Charge

Hyatt has hidden the resort charge to rate details. The price breakdown that is shown only includes the taxes but shows the total with the resort charge included.

What do you might get for these resort charges?

Water bottle, free internet, usage of wellness facilities, free local and 800-phone calls, use of pool or then none of these might be included. If you happen to be an elite member with the hotel, most of these would be covered by your elite benefits regardless.

Conclusion

Resort charges are nothing else than a clever way for hotels to advertise a lower headline price and hide the accommodation charge that is not a tax to the tax breakdown. I absolutely hate hotels that do this. Then there are hotels like Westin Las Vegas or Hyatt Palm Springs that are not resorts and have started to charge service/resort fees.

You can always request for the resort charges to be waived or discounted on the basis that you didn’t use the services or that they are part of the elite level benefit package. Quite often the hotels are willing to waive these fees rather than argue with the customer.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Points for Marriott Gift Card Purchases

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Marriott often has promotions for their gift card purchases; sometimes you get a discount, sometimes they load more to the card than you paid, and occasionally they have promotions with the airlines for miles.

marriott-rapid-rewards

Now, Marriott has teamed up with Southwest Airlines. You can receive up to 12000 Rapid Rewards points for buying $1000 worth of Marriott gift cards. This promotion is valid from August 1st to November 30th, 2012. You can access this offer here.

If you buy the maximum amount of Marriott Gift cards, the value of the Rapid Rewards points you receive is $200 when used for Wanna Get Away fares, $120 when used for Anytime fares, and $100 when used for Business select fares.

Conclusion

If you are looking for some Rapid Rewards points and stay Marriott properties frequently, it is no brainer to buy the maximum amount through this offer. You can use the prepaid card to pay for all folio charges at the checkout.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

Marriott GiftCard Offer Terms and Conditions:  This is an online promotion only and cannot be combined with any other offer.  Offer not valid on Marriott GiftCards purchased on property, via third parties, or 1.800.813.GIFT.  Promotion is valid August 1, 2012 through November 30, 2012 only.  The Marriott GiftCard can be used for all purchases and services charged to a Marriott guest room.  If you are not a registered hotel guest and are planning to use this card at a spa, restaurant, retail store, or other outlet, please confirm in advance that the Marriott GiftCard is accepted.  The Marriott GiftCard cannot be used to secure or confirm a room reservation but may be used as payment at checkout. Marriott GiftCard purchases earning Rapid Rewards Points are not eligible for return or refund.  This is a limited time, limited inventory offer.  Marriott Rewards points will not be earned with the purchase of the GiftCards.  Shipping and handling fees apply.  $1 shipping option available to U.S. addresses only for orders less than $1,000 USD.  See full Marriott Rewards Terms and Conditions.  All Marriott Rewards rules and regulations apply.

Rapid Rewards Terms and Conditions:  Rapid Rewards Members will receive 1,200 points per $100 Marriott GiftCard purchase; 3,000 points per $250 Marriott GiftCard purchase; and 6,000 points per $500 Marriott GiftCard purchase. Only preset $100, $250, and $500 Marriott GiftCards are eligible for this promotion.  Marriott GiftCards purchased in other denominations are not eligible for this promotion.  Purchaser’s name must match Rapid Rewards account number to receive eligible points.  Maximum amount of Rapid Rewards Points eligible to earn for this promotion is 12,000 points per Member during promotional period. Member must purchase Marriott GiftCards between August 1, 2012 and November 30, 2012. Valid on new purchases only. Shipping and handling fees apply.  Please allow four to six weeks for points to post to your Rapid Rewards account. All Rapid Rewards rules and regulations apply.

Update on Marriott Fall 2012 MegaBonus Choices

5 Comments

This is an update to a post that I made about Marriott’sFall 2012 MegaBonus on July 31st, 2012. I now have the full list of promotions that people were targeted for. I have updated the original post to reflect these.

1. Free night certificate category 1-4 for every two paid stays. Max 3 free night certificates.

https://www.marriott.com/File_Blocks/MarriottRewards/PromotionCentral/Terms/2012/MB12/MB12A_terms_us.html

2. Free night certificate category 1-5 for every two paid stays. Max 2 free night certificates

https://www.marriott.com/File_Blocks/MarriottRewards/PromotionCentral/Terms/2012/MB12/MB12D_terms_us.html

3. 25000 bonus points after 15 paid nights + 15000 bonus after 20 nights. Maximum bonus 40000 points.

https://www.marriott.com/File_Blocks/MarriottRewards/PromotionCentral/Terms/2012/MB12/MB12H_terms_us.html

4. 35000 bonus points after 20 paid nights + 15000 bonus after 25 nights. Maximum bonus 50000 points.

https://www.marriott.com/File_Blocks/MarriottRewards/PromotionCentral/Terms/2012/MB12/MB12J_terms_us.html

Suite Upgrades for Marriott Rewards Platinum Members in Asia Pacific Region

Marriott Rewards Platinum members are now officially eligible for suite upgrades as a benefit of the status with the program. Many of the properties have upgraded Platinum members to suites previously as well, but it has not been an official benefit of the program before.

Sign up for our daily blog updates by email and follow us on TwitterFacebook to be notified about developments and promotions on Marriott’s program.

marriott-rewards-platinum-suite-upgrades

Complimentary suite upgrade, based on the availability, is valid at JW Marriott, Marriott, Renaissance, and Courtyard hotels in Australia, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Japan and South Korea are exceptions. In these two countries the suite upgrades are offered at hotels discretion.

Most of the suite categories are included. Only ones excluded are presidential, chairman and signature suites. If your stay is longer than 3 days, the upgrade is subject to hotel’s discretion.

Tips on getting suites upgrades at Marriott properties

1. Print out the official Marriott announcement about this new benefit and carry it with you.

2. On the day of arrival check if you have been upgraded by logging into your Marriott Rewards account and pulling up your reservation.

3. If the upgraded room type is not shown, check the availability of suites by trying to make a booking.

4. At check in, if the upgrade hasn’t been processed, inquire about the suite availability.

5. Be flexible about the bedding/smoking preferences. Most of the suite type accommodations are for king bed.

6. The shorter the stay the more likely you will be upgraded.

Conclusion

This is a welcomed official benefit of being a Platinum member of the Marriott Rewards program, although it only applies to Asia Pacific region and excludes Japan & South Korea.

Based on my experience with other chains that have had this benefit, you may sometimes have to educate the front desk personnel about the benefits. Hotels in this region (Asia Pacific) tend to be better educated about the benefits and follow the program closer than let’s say hotels in North America.

I have had quite a few suite upgrades at Marriott hotels in Asia Pacific recently: Renaissance Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya Marriott, Renaissance Bangkok, JW Marriott Bangkok, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur, JW Marriott Beijing and Renaissance Beijing. These are links for videos of the suites. If you are not a subscriber on our YouTube channel, you can subscribe here.

The terms and conditions of this new benefits are:

  • Complimentary suite upgrades are subject to availability for Platinum Elite members staying at participating hotels located in Asia Pacific.
  • Participating hotel brands in Asia Pacific include: JW Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott® Hotels & Resorts and Courtyard by Marriott® Hotels. Hotel locations in Asia Pacific include: Australia, China (including Hong Kong S.A.R.), Guam, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. In Japan and South Korea, suite upgrades may be limited and may be offered at the hotel’s discretion.
  • Complimentary Suite Upgrade: Generally, based on availability at check-in; in some cases, availability is determined later in the day. Limited to a Member’s personal guestroom. Upgrades include most available suite types, except Presidential Suites, Chairman Suites and other signature suites. For stays greater than 3 nights, suite upgrades are subject to the hotel’s discretion.
  • Rewards Program Terms and Conditions apply.

Using Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” to Save on Hotels

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Over the years, I have saved a lot by using Priceline for hotel bookings. As a matter of fact, Priceline got me hooked on hotel programs, when you were able to get a Hyatt hotel for $50 bucks and it would be a qualifying stay for both  promotional purposes and a stay credit as long as you had a minimal charge and used a MasterCard to settle the bill.

Those days are long gone, but there are still lots of opportunities to save on hotel stays using Priceline. I usually try first getting a decent deal by booking direct, but sometimes it just doesn’t produce the rates that I am happy to pay.

There are several websites that can provide tips and assistance on Priceline bookings. The two that provide the most information are BiddingForTravel (www.biddingfortravel.com) and BetterBidding (www.betterbidding.com). Both of these sites contain list of successful bids for various cities that bidders have successfully gotten on Priceline and other useful information about Priceline strategies etc.

My Bidding Experience for Vancouver BC

The other weekend I was in Vancouver. The rates at the downtown hotels were on the high side and I decided to give a Priceline a try.

First, I checked both the BetterBidding and BiddingForTravel to get an idea about the hotels that one might expect to receive and the price range. Both websites also provide a list and star rating of hotels that are available in each of the Priceline zones.

I was targeting a hotel in either of the two zones in downtown Vancouver. It didn’t matter if the hotel is in the downtown or entertainment district, but I needed something four stars according to the Priceline.

Priceline Zones

For Vancouver area Priceline has 11 different zones. These help with rebidding as only 4 of the zones has four star properties. I could rebid total of 8 times if I include the two downtown zones to get the best deal around.

You have to be very careful with the Priceline zones. Sometimes Priceline has a hotel that is exactly on the border of the zone.

Placing the First Bid

As always I want to get some cashback for my online purchases. There are several sites that offer cashback for Priceline. This time I decided to use TopCashBack that had 3% rebate for Priceline “Name Your Own Price” bookings.

Priceline is now offering three different kind of bookings; the traditional hotel booking that shows the name of the hotel and the price, the Name Your Own Price bidding, and Express Deals. You need to choose the “Name Your Own Price” tab for the best savings. I have not found the conventional prices on Priceline to be anything worthwhile, although I used them once for a Best Rate Guarantee with Marriott.

priceline-ll-1-name-your-own-price

When you choose the “Name Your Own Price”, you will be then presented with a “Lighbox” to enter the city and the dates.

priceline-ll-2-zone

I chose the Downtown Vancouver zone.

priceline-ll-3-star-level

Then you need to choose the star level of the hotel. I chose four stars. There is a box on the bottom next to the bid amount that “shows” the supposedly median price for a four star property in downtown Vancouver. Priceline basically just tries to get you to overbid. You can just completely disregard it.

priceline-ll-4-bid-amount

Based on the reports on both BetterBidding and BiddingForTravel, I decided to start at $76. There were fairly recent winning bids on the downtown zone for around $80 per night. The total price with the Priceline fees with this bid amount came to $95.30. The real tax rate in the Vancouver is 15.74%. The Priceline’s fee in this instance would have been in excess of $7.

priceline-ll-5-trip-protection-offer

You should always decline the “garbage” Trip Protection Offers that all the travel websites are offering. They are there to fatten their bottom line. You should, however, have comprehensive travel insurance.

priceline-ll-6-priceline-terms

It is good idea to familiarize yourself with the Priceline’s rules. Basically all these “Name Your Own Price” bookings are nonrefundable and noncancellable. Do NOT book through this service if your plans are not firm. I only use Priceline for same or next day bookings when I am already in the city. Then you need to fill out your credit card and address information.

priceline-ll-7-negotiating

You will then see a Priceline “negotiator” screen for few seconds while Priceline is trying to match hotel offers with the price that you bid.

priceline-ll-8-try-again-now

If your bid was not successful but  was close to a price that Priceline could offer, you are then presented an offer to up your bid to a certain amount, on this instance to $89, without having to choose any other options. You should always decline this offer as you can get the hotel at significantly less through the rebidding process.

priceline-ll-9-rebidding

As I pointed out earlier, there are numerous rebidding opportunities in the Vancouver area where there are no 4 star hotels offered by Priceline. I decided to up my bid by $1 at a time and just go through number of different zones.

priceline-ll-10-final-bid

After adding couple of different zones my bid had been upped to $79.

priceline-ll-11-working-on-your-request

This time I received a message that Priceline was working on my request. This is usually a sign that your offer has been accepted.

priceline-ll-12-winning-bid

My bid of $79 was accepted at the Renaissance Harbourside hotel. This suited me well because I am a Marriott Platinum member and the status benefits typically are extended to Priceline stays as well.

priceline-ll-13-renaissance

The lowest rate on Marriott website was 239 CAD for the night in question before the taxes.

How was my stay at the Renaissance?

It was not the most modern Marriott chain hotel and obviously they do have some sort of revenue problem if they need to dump rooms on Priceline for $79 per night during the height of the summer season.

I received probably the smallest room I have had so far this year, but all the Platinum benefits including welcome amenity and lounge access were extended. Cannot really complain considering the price I paid.

Conclusion

You should always keep in mind that there is an option of bidding hotel rooms through Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price”. The savings are usually significant enough to put up with the bidding process and the time it requires.

Priceline works remarkably well in North America but not so in some other countries.

Why Am I Hooked to Chain Hotels?

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Over the past eight years Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood hotels have been my home. When traveling, I have hard time staying at other brands due to benefits associated with the top tier statuses I have.

renaissance-club-benefits

Right now, I am here in Bangkok that has great number of very good hotels that are not associated with any of the five chains mentioned above, but I have very hard time trying any of them and here is why.

1. Upgrades

If I stick to any of the hotels, where I tend to stay here, I am almost always guaranteed a suite upgrade i.e. Renaissance, JW Marriott, InterContinental, Royal Orchid Sheraton, Plaza Athenee, Le Meridien, Westin, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, St Regis etc.  I have learned to bypass the Hilton properties here in Bangkok, where their elite treatment is the minimum required by the Hilton HHonors.

2. Lounge access

When traveling in the United States, I could care less about the lounge access, but here in Asia the lounges are actually worth something; the breakfast spread tend to be quite good, you often have afternoon tea and evening cocktails with some substantial food offerings as well.

3. Breakfast

I am not normally a breakfast person, but you can easily turn them into an early lunch like I did this morning. Quite a few of the hotels let you choose whether you prefer to have the breakfast in the lounge or in the hotel restaurant.

4. Early Check In/Late Check Out

Most of the chains guarantee you a 4PM check out that comes handy if you have a flight out in the evening. Hotels tend to charge a half day rate for late check outs if you are not an elite member.

5. Problem resolution

Few times a year the hotel stay doesn’t just go as smoothly as one would expect. It is just reassuring to know that the chain will back up their service promise even when the specific hotel has dropped the ball. I end up lodging a complaint four/five times a year and typically have resolution in couple of days if not sooner.

6. Points/Free Nights/Promotions

If you plan your hotel stays around the numerous promotions, it is rather easy to rack up lots of points and/or free night certificates. I essentially consider these as a rebate of the price I pay. For the most part the hotel chains are interchangeable for me. I can stay at a Marriott or Starwood property, but the chain that offers a better value proposition when points/promotions are factored in, gets my business.

When I don’t care about the benefits?

Sometimes I am arriving very late and then leaving very early in the morning. Unless there is a stellar promotion from one of the chains, I could practically care less about the hotel/brand as long as they have working and free wireless internet and the bed is comfortable. I might even use Priceline to get a rock bottom price for the night.

Conclusion

Having a top tier status with one or more of the global hotel chains can make your traveling a smoother if you take advantage of the associated benefits. I would love to try more independent hotels but the benefits package that I receive from the international chains if hard to beat.

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