Expiring Marriott Free Night? Call to Get it Extended for Another Year

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Reader Reid asked me yesterday whether there was anything he could do about two free nights from his Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card that are expiring next week.

• RCR Card 1 Free Night up to 60,000 Points Expires: 09/25/2019
• RCR Card 1 Free Night up to 60,000 Points Expires: 09/25/2019

While the Ritz-Carlton card is no longer issued, both Chase and American Express Marriott cards come with annual free night certificates. I find the cards are worth getting for their initial bonus, and you should hang onto the cards because the free night certificates are worth more than the annual fee each year.

  • Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card has an offer to earn 75,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Cardmembers receive a Free Night Award (which can be used at properties that require up to 35,000 points for the night) every year after account anniversary. [Offer expired]

  • Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is offering 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use it to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Cardmembers receive a Free Night Award every year after account anniversary as well as an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year. Each can be used for one night whose redemption cost is 35,000 points or less. I still have and keep this card for he annual free night.

  • My own Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card – I upgraded last year because I had spent $75,000 on the legacy Starwood Amex, and doing so gave me Platinum status for this year – nets an annual free night certificate valid on a redemption worth up to 50,000 points. (I do not have a referral link for this card and information about it is neither provided nor reviewed by American Express.)


Battle House Renaissance Mobile, Alabama

I hadn’t tried extending annual free night certificates myself, since I used both of mine that I earned last year shortly after receiving them. However I had read (for instance here and here) that calling in would do the trick, although as with all things Marriott there’s a chance of needing to hang up and call back.

Reid reported back that he called, asked for the certificates to be extended, and he was given another year to use each one.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I guess I’ll have to call again. When I called I was told they could do a one time extension, but she said I had to make the reservations for nights beyond the expiration date and they would then attach the certificates.

    She wouldn’t just extend the dates.

  2. For what it’s worth, on the Chase side somehow they watch to see if you’re actually using the card. If you haven’t charged anything in a while the Marriott Rep will say “Sorry, Chase is not allowing us to extend the certificate”.

    I had a Marriott rep strongly imply that it was because I hadn’t charged anything to the card in a long time and hinted that maybe I should call back in a few weeks and see if anything had changed. So taking the hint I put a few charges on the card and after the bill came I called back to Marriott and they were able to both reinstate the Certificate (it had already expired) and extend it.

    So to summarize, if you just keep the card in a drawer for the free night, I’d recommend putting a charge or two on your card before calling to ask.

  3. I successfully did the exact same thing with my two certificates recieved from the Ritz card last year. I actually already downgraded the Ritz card to the Bonvoy Bold (no annual fee) card. The CSR said I needed to have a good excuse and I told her that our family had a child this past year which prevented us from traveling a lot and using them (which is true). She originally said she could only reissue them ast 50k certs, but after I told her to go ahead, she found out that she had been able to reissue them as 60k certs without a problem and with another year before expiration.

  4. I was frustrated that I was charged $200 to use my free night certificates—$100 for the two nights in resort fees, and $100 to park. The hotel was in Southern California, not in a big city, in a place where you most likely would need a car to get there. So it just wasn’t two free nights, really. I like how Hyatt waives those fees; it just shouldn’t be called free nights if they aren’t, well, free.
    It’s good you found a way to extend them, though.

  5. My Marriott Bonvoy visa card still gives me a free night worth up to 25,000 points only. Any idea why it is not up to 35,000 points?

  6. It worked – calling. I had to HUCA one time. Extension is one year from date of call.

    Thank you!

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