Quintuple Dipping with Marriott is Back On: MegaBonus Free Nights Return!

Last week I wrote about the opportunity for Quintuple Dipping With Marriott. There’s a huge earning opportunity with Marriott stays, since you can:

  • Make your booking through a shopping portal (~ 4% rebate)
  • Buy Marriott gift cards to pay for your stay, earning 12 Southwest points per dollar (~ 20% rebate)
  • Earn points for the credit card spend on those gift cards (~ 2% rebate)
  • Earn a free night via a promotion (~ 15% – 50% rebate)
  • Earn points in the regular Marriott Rewards program for the stsays (~ 5% – 7% rebate)

The only catch was that the last free night promotion — ‘Unexpected Bonus’ — was no longer open to registration.

Of course it’s so unexpected that it was the promotion they always run, and are running again, this time reverting to its usual name… MegaBonus.

Marriott Brings Back MegaBonus: A Free Night after Two Stays

Register here.

Most members are offered:

Register by November 15, 2013
Stay between September 15, 2013 and January 15, 2014
Earn a free night at a category 1-5 hotel, up to two free nights, for every second paid stay

This is actually a bit better than in the past (although in some ways just compensates for hotels moving up in category in the Marriott Rewards program), the free night can redeemed at a Marriott hotel property that is in category 5 or below rather than in category 4 or below.

Personally I prefer earning my free nights on cheap stays and redeeming them for aspirational, expensive properties I couldn’t otherwise afford. Marriott makes this impossible with the category cap.

I’ve used these free nights in the past, for instance, at the Marriott Boca Raton (which gets pricey weekends in winter) and the SkyCity Marriott at the Hong Kong airport.

Some members get offers of bonus points after a certain number of nights instead. Marriott Rewards has often in the past been willing to switch folks to the free nights if they prefer and were targeted for bonus points.

Marriott Quintuple Dipping is On! If you aren’t already a Marriott aficionado remember Marriott lets anyone call up and request temporary status (though they’ve been much more forthcoming recently with Gold rather than Platinum), anyone can sign up for Silver status, and United Gold elites and higher get Marriott Gold.

I’m not a huge fan of the Marriott program, but there’s little denying the value back at the moment.

Marriott has improved their program over the past year, removing the exclusion of suites from the upgrade pool (elites still aren’t entitled to suites, but they aren’t verboten). And Marriott now offers breakfast to Gold and Platinum elites on weekends which they didn’t used to guarantee (a few properties give points in lieu). There’s still no breakfast benefit at resorts or Courtyard properties, however.

This will appeal to many for sure.

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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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  1. Wait, but if you book through Ultimate Rewards, don’t the points only post if you check out/ultimately pay with a Chase card? Doesn’t using a gift card foil this plan?

  2. Oooof.. not at all close to the deal I was offered:

    Register by November 15, 2013
    Stay between September 15, 2013 and January 15, 2014
    Earn 25,000 bonus points after 12 paid nights plus an additional 15,000 after 18 paid nights, up to 40,000 bonus points

  3. On the back of the Marriott Gift Cards, I think it states that rewards points and bonuses are excluded when using a gift card for payment – do you think we can still get bonus nights and rewards points for stays anyways?

  4. My offer is for 50k points after 25 stays (35k after 20, 15k after 5 more. I’m platinum and this was consistent with my current promotion of 45k after 25 stays. I’m happy with this as it helps towards my goal of only using Marriott points for vacation packages.

  5. Here’s a silly question…I tried going through discover portal to Marriott to get the cashback option….When Marriott pops up I do not see the option to purchase gift cards or this offer. Where is this offer located on Marriott.com. I’m sure I’ve overlooked something. Please advise.

  6. CJ. I always pay with Marriott gift cards and earn the Marriott points & the free nights of the Unexpected Bonus promotion. They apparently look at it as a paid stay.

  7. Can someone talk a little about using a Marriott E-cert to pay for a room? i have a stay starting tomorrow and i would like to buy an e-cert to pay for the stay, but i am a little nervous.

  8. would someone please tell me a little about paying with a marriott e-cert? i have stay starting tomorrow and i would like to buy an e-cert to pay for it, but i am a little nervous about how the transaction would take place.

  9. I can confirm that gift card payments do not earn points at marriott. I am gold, I only get points for the balance not covered by the gift card (that I pay with my credit card)

  10. I have received points when paying with a gift card. Perhaps it is the Travelcard that does not earn points. That is a different Marriott payment card than a gift card.

  11. Would buying the Marriott gift cards with the Marriott Chase card be better or worse than a cash back card?

  12. @Taha, you are wrong. I am Platinum and received full points on all my stays using both gift cards and travel cards for the past 2 years, all points posted instantly, never had to call.

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