Yesterday I wrote that Marriott’s perennial MegaBonus promotion would be back.
Based on past experience, here’s what I expected:
This is usually, for most members, ‘two stays earns a free night’ which:
- Can be earned up to two times
- And redeemed for stays at any participating Marriott property up to category 4.
Some people get targeted for redemptions up to category 5. Others get targeted for bonus point offers.
Bonus point offers may be something like:
- Stay 25 nights during the promotion period and earn 45,000 points
- Stay 20 nights during the promotion period and earn 35,000 points
- Earn double points after your second stay up to 25,000 points
Only MegaBonus is here and it’s worse than usual.
Here’s the offer, or at least the default offer shown without logging in:
To earn up to 25,000 bonus points:
- Register by November 15, 2014
- Stay at participating properties between September 15, 2014 and January 15, 2015
- Earn double points with every paid stay*, starting with your second stay, up to 25,000 bonus points
In other words, the standard offer is not ‘stay twice and get a free night’. Just double points, only starting with your second stay, and capped at 25,000 points.
This means the most bonus points you can earn gets you a free night at a category 5 hotel after $2500 in spend after spending on a first night, instead of earning a category 4 or 5 night after two one-night stays at any Marriott and being able to earn two of those.
Bottom-line: this isn’t even a mediocre double points promotion – it’s a double points promotion that requires you to spend first and where your earning is capped.
This is how to take one of the better hotel promotions, ruin it, but hope customers don’t notice because you’re using the same name.
Now, as is generally the case with MegaBonus offers, there are targeted variants that may be more valuable. Some I’ve heard about:L
- 25,000 points after 12 nights plus 5,000 bonus points after 18 nights
- 25,000 points after 15 nights plus 15,000 bonus points after 20 nights
- 35,000 points after 20 nights plus 15,000 bonus points after 25 nights
- 35,000 points after 20 nights plus 2,000 points for each of the next 10 nights
If you’re a Marriott regular, think you can hit a particular higher bonus level, and weren’t targeted for it you might ask if they’ll switch you. Your mileage may vary, but Marriott Rewards has been open to this frequently in the past.