Have you heard? There are some great stackable promos going on at Marriott right now! Why am I so excited? Because it’s a great way to build a free little trip.
While I am not generally a huge Marriott fan, I have definitely stayed at some nice Marriott properties. The Renaissance Arts is always my choice when Ginger and I visit New Orleans, which just goes to show that sometimes a hotel chain can surprise you (in a good way) if you just give them a chance. Kind of like getting a really nice piece of jewelry from your husband.
As you all know, I love it when I’m able to stack savings with promos, cash back, points, and deals to the point where I get a lot of travel for not a lot of cash. I love it. However, the details on how to do this are definitely confusing for some people, so I decided to put together a little guide.
1. Earn Free Hotel Nights At Marriott
The current MegaBonus promo by itself is a pretty solid one:
- 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 means that even if you’ve got only a handful of nights planned over the next few months, you could still earn two free nights from this promo. Great, right?
2. Earn A Free Flight, Or At Least A Bunch Of Miles
There are two miles-earning promos going on right now with Marriott, one with Southwest and one with United, so you’ve got your pick. You can do one or both!
With the Southwest promotion, you’ll earn:
- 1,200 points with a $100 Marriott gift card purchase
- 3,000 points with a $250 Marriott gift card purchase
- 6,000 points with a $500 Marriott gift card purchase
Note that the maximum number of Rapid Rewards points you can earn per account is 12,000 (in other words, you can purchase up to $1000 of Marriott gift cards per Southwest account with this promotion). 12,000 Southwest points are worth $200 when you redeem them for “Wanna Get Away” fares – definitely enough for at least one flight!
With the United promotion, you’ll earn:
- 500 United miles with a $100 Marriott gift card purchase
- 1000 United miles with a $250 Marriott gift card purchase
- 2,500 United miles with a $500 Marriott gift card purchase
Note that the maximum number of United miles you can earn per account is 7,500 (in other words, you can purchase up to $1,500 of Marriott gift cards per United account with this promotion). The lowest award fare available on United is the “Saver” fare, which costs 12,500 miles. So while this promotion will not earn you a free flight, if you aren’t a fan of Southwest and would prefer to rack up United miles instead, this is an option for you.
3. Find A Great Rate – And Marriott Will Beat It
When you are ready to book your Marriott stay, spend some time shopping for the lowest rate possible. A good site to check is hotelscombined.com. What you are looking for is a rate that is lower than Marriott’s advertised rate for the exact same room on the same night(s). When you find one, you can then submit a “Look No Further” best rate guarantee form online. This is Marriott’s promise that you won’t be able to find a better rate than the one they’ve got on their site; if you do, they will match it, plus give you an additional 25% off. Pretty good!
The process takes 5 minutes and could potentially save you hundreds of dollars. You can read about my last “Look No Further” rate success story here (I chopped my rate in half!)
4. Get Cash Back
If you are unable to find a rate that is eligible for the “Look No Further” guarantee, don’t fret. You can still go through a shopping portal such as TopCashBack (my link) to earn a rebate on your purchase (your “purchase” being your hotel booking). Currently the rebate amount at TopCash Back is 3%. Definitely shop around to find the best current deal (Cashbackholic is also a good spot to check).
5. Earn Marriott Points
You will earn Marriott points for each of your stays. Since I don’t have any status with Marriott, my points don’t add up very quickly. However, if you are a Silver, Gold, or Platinum member, you will earn an additional 20-50% bonus on all the points you earn during each stay. This can definitely boost your points balance significantly.
So there you have it – a few ways to earn more points and cash out of an already sweet deal. Are you inspired to go for it?