How To Redeem The Marriott Amex Anniversary Free Night Award

How To Redeem The Marriott Amex Anniversary Free Night Award

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With the loyalty programs of Marriott and Starwood having recently been merged, we’ve also seen some changes made to their co-branded American Express cards, the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card.

While the points earning structures of these cards have been worsened, there’s one great new benefit. Both of these cards now offer a free night award on your account anniversary every year, valid at a property retailing for up to 35,000 points.

This new benefit kicked in as of August 2018, so the way it works is that you get your first free night certificate on your next account anniversary that falls in August 2018 or later (so if your account anniversary date was July 2018, you only get your first free night award in July 2019).

The terms state that you receive your free night award within 8-12 weeks of your account anniversary date, and it will be electronically deposited into your account.

I have both of these cards, and just received two free night awards, so wanted to share my observations.

How to find your SPG Amex free night awards

To find these certificates, log into your account, and on the account activity page, you should see an area with “Rewards Certificates.” This should list any outstanding certificates you have.

I have both the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card and Bonvoy Business Amex, and I’ve already had both of these post.

How to redeem your SPG Amex free night awards

Like many things in this merger, it’s not necessarily all that straightforward. First it’s worth noting that this certificate can be redeemed for a single night at any hotel that retails for up to 35,000 points. The availability using this certificate should be the same as the availability when redeeming points for a standard room.

If you’re redeeming for a stay at a “legacy” Marriott property (in other words, not a Starwood brand), you can redeem your certificate online. Search the hotel you want, and select the “Use Points” option.

Once you do that, just select the standard room you want that has availability. For example, take the below room for 25,000 points per night at the JW Marriott Bangkok.

When you select that and then go to the next page, you’ll see an option asking if you want to redeem points or a certificate (assuming you have a certificate). So if you want to redeem a certificate, select that option.

Unfortunately, this isn’t quite as simple with Starwood hotels. While Marriott is now technically using one platform, bookings at Starwood hotels are still redirecting to the old SPG website, and that has no option for redeeming these certificates (at least as far as I can tell). As a result, you’ll have to call if you want to redeem your free night award at an SPG property. The good news is that it’s a pretty painless process, at least based on the award I just tried to book.

How to find your account anniversary date

The easiest way to roughly tell your account anniversary date is to see when you were last billed an annual fee on the card. I got really lucky. As I mentioned above, August 1 was the cutoff date, and both of my accounts had the annual fees post within a few weeks of that date. Can’t get much luckier than that, eh?

Both certificates posted today (October 2), meaning that it took around six weeks for these certificates to post. So while that’s not quite 8-12 weeks, that’s still a while to wait.

Bottom line

The way I see it, the anniversary free night awards on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card and Bonvoy Business Amex more than cover the annual fees on the cards. For example, I just redeemed one at the St. Regis Bangkok on a night that would have cost $250, so I consider that to be a great deal.

Has anyone else had their Bonvoy Amex free night awards post? Have you redeemed the certificate yet?

Conversations (43)
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  1. cnm Guest

    Lucky, do you know if the certificate needs to be used by the expiration date, or just applied to a reservation by the expiration date? I am not able to find that information on the Marriott or Chase websites.
    Thanks.

  2. Ryan Guest

    @Angel I am thinking I am going to try to do that. With the devaluations that are taking some important options on using the 35K night certificate off the table, I really don't have much reason to keep the card another year.

  3. Tim Guest

    Where can you find this on the Marriott account portal? I have the SPG AMEX Business, but merged my 2 accounts into the Marriott portal. Am I SOL?

  4. Josh Guest

    @Tam Tran: I don't think so, but you can call and Marriott.

  5. Tam Tran New Member

    Can you extend your annual SPG free night certificate for another year?

  6. Josh Guest

    Can you apply more than one certificate to a multiple night reservation?

  7. Angel Guest

    @Mark - i cancelled my Amex in November after my anniversary to avoid the annual fee and I just received the annual free night certificate on 12/2. I was shocked to see it since my card was cancelled!

  8. Lisa Guest

    My Anniversary date was in early September but I didn’t get billed the AF until a month later. Still waiting on the free night :-(

  9. Robert Guest

    My renewal fee posted August 2, but I have not gotten my certificate yet.

  10. dmg9 New Member

    Daniel -

    Yes, and yes.

    I also have both SPG cards (personal and business) and the Chase Bank.

    I already received my Chase Bank anniversary night. I expect to receive two Amex certificates.

  11. Daniel Guest

    If you have both the Chase Marriott card and the Amex Starwood card, do you get one anniversary free night for each one?

    Do the business versions of the card give anniversary nights as well?

  12. Katrina Guest

    My anniversary date is August 25 (looked up by two Amex CSRs), but I have not yet received a free night certificate. Like John, all I have on my scrolled down Overview page is ads. It does not show my 15 SNAs either. I have called for attention, been put off A LOT, waited and waited for responses when cases were filed with a number and a promise for a call back with in 3-5...

    My anniversary date is August 25 (looked up by two Amex CSRs), but I have not yet received a free night certificate. Like John, all I have on my scrolled down Overview page is ads. It does not show my 15 SNAs either. I have called for attention, been put off A LOT, waited and waited for responses when cases were filed with a number and a promise for a call back with in 3-5 days (a month or more ago)... finally I have decided to just wait a while. But my blood pressure rises every time I think of the Marriott Mess and the hours I will still be wasting as I fight for what I've already earned.

    I miss SPG... I miss feeling like I was an appreciated client. I miss being excited to earn points with a company that actually awarded them in a prompt fashion and kept track of them with almost 100% reliability... and if they messed up they acknowledged it and apologized and even awarded appreciation points for my inconvenience...I miss SPG....

  13. dmg9 New Member

    I know that the subject of this article is the anniversary night certificate from Amex/SPG.

    I have both the personal and business Amex/SPG card with an October anniversary date. I will welcome the anniversary night certificates from Amex when they are posted to my account in a month or two.

    I want to comment that I also have Chase Bank - Marriott card with an October anniversary date. Already the Chase 35,000 point...

    I know that the subject of this article is the anniversary night certificate from Amex/SPG.

    I have both the personal and business Amex/SPG card with an October anniversary date. I will welcome the anniversary night certificates from Amex when they are posted to my account in a month or two.

    I want to comment that I also have Chase Bank - Marriott card with an October anniversary date. Already the Chase 35,000 point certificate posted to my Marriott account.

    Just curious why Chase is current with the anniversary certificate while Amex requires 6 - 8 weeks to post the same type certificate.

    Not a complaint - just curious -

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ dmg9 -- I'm guessing they're just using different methods for posting these. With Amex this is also a new benefit, so I could see them posting them quicker at some point in the future.

  14. Andrei Guest

    Hi Lucky,I got mine posted today,but it s from my Chase Marriott business cc...my email said up to 35000 points, but in my account shows certificate for 25000 points per night. Any updates on this? Thanks

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Andrei -- I believe one of the old Marriott cards offered lower category certificates, and therefore they're now only valid at properties retailing for up to 25,000 points.

  15. Greg New Member

    I also received my SPG business Amex free night today after my annual fee posted on 8/22. Oddly enough, I see it on the activity page and not the overview page.

  16. fll Guest

    Come on Lucky, the cut off has always been August 1st. That is in the email AMEX sent about the new earning structure and the annual FN - long before Marriott pushed its merger date to Aug 18.
    There is no backdate whatsoever. You just confuse the Merger date with the dates that only relate to AMEX SPG card.

    It is an AMEX thing, not Marriott thing.

    The earning of SPG card changed on...

    Come on Lucky, the cut off has always been August 1st. That is in the email AMEX sent about the new earning structure and the annual FN - long before Marriott pushed its merger date to Aug 18.
    There is no backdate whatsoever. You just confuse the Merger date with the dates that only relate to AMEX SPG card.

    It is an AMEX thing, not Marriott thing.

    The earning of SPG card changed on August 1st, NOT August 18th. i.e. anything earned before Aug 1st is SPG pt., anything you earned from August 1st onward is Point. I am sure you know the earning has devalued 30% by that, despite you earn 2 "Points" now.

  17. Grigor New Member

    I also was told that the cut off day should be August 1st...

  18. Priscilla Guest

    My husband has the Marriott card and the SPG card. I have the SPG card. Do you know if we can use the three free night certicates consecutively along with a paid stay to qualify for the fifth night free?

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Priscilla -- While you could use them consecutively, they wouldn't count towards a fifth night free stay. To get a fifth night free you need to book four consecutive nights with points on the same reservation. Sorry!

  19. KevinInRI Guest

    What if you already combined Marriott and SPG accounts and the Marriott Rewards account is your main one? Will the SPG free night certificate (and any points earned from the SPG Amex) automatically be deposited in the Marriott Rewards account?

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ KevinInRI -- They sure will be, yep.

  20. Chris Marra Guest

    What does it end up showing when you try to book a night at somewhere for more than 35,000 points? Can you pay the excess from your balance, or are you limited only to nights below that line?

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Chris Marra -- You're limited to stays of 35,000 points or less, you can't pay the difference, unfortunately.

  21. Brodie Gold

    Safe to say that if I do not see the certificate on the overview page I have not earned one yet? I also did a mock booking as you demonstrated and still see nothing.

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Brodie -- Yep, then safe to assume you don't have one.

  22. Steven Guest

    FWIW my annual fee posted on 8/16/18. My free night showed up today 10/2/18. Maybe the cutoff Is incorrect?

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Steven -- Very interesting. Sounds like they backdated it a bit to avoid frustration from members. Wonder just how far back they went.

  23. Joe Guest

    Also, did you get an email notifying you that the certificate was coming or did it just appear in your account?

    I have an August 6th anniversary date, so I believe I should be getting a certificate, but haven't seen it yet.

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Joe -- I didn't get an email, I just happened to check my account and saw it.

  24. Joe Guest

    I also thought the cut off was August 1st, is this not right?

  25. Bgriff Diamond

    Your anniversary date isn't your annual fee posting date. Your annual fee is posted at the end of the statement month of the anniversary date. I recently found out from Amex that my anniversary date is in July despite having the annual fee post in August, which is very annoying.

    Also the cutover to earning the free night was August 1 (it's an Amex thing, isn't tied to the August 18 cutover of the programs).

  26. John New Member

    Is it literally just on the Overview page? When I go to mine all I see is a bunch of upsells to refer friends to the amex, experiences, etc.

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ John -- At the bottom of the overview page is a link to to rewards certificates, where it shows each certificate.

  27. Catherine Guest

    @Corridor

    I had to manually check my account. Wasn’t emailed about the certificates.

  28. Corridor Guest

    How dis you know these made it to your account? Were you emailed?

  29. ken Member

    can you redeem travel package certificates on starwood properties? I thought you could not but if you can redeem a ceritificate from cc, then maybe now you can?

  30. Mark P Member

    Hmm given the 6 week time between annual fee posting and cert being received, seems like there is no way to get the cert in your account and cancel the card before having to pay the annual fee, right?

  31. naroowal New Member

    Hi Lucky - Did you get elite night credits too?

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ naroowal -- I haven't stayed yet, but you absolutely do get elite credits for these stays. :)

  32. jetset Member

    @Lucky - a bit off topic but did your SPG ambassador status correctly transfer over to the new Marriott status (Platinum Premier with Ambassador) post-IT integration? I was SPG 75 from last year so had SPG 75 up until August. Once the IT integration happened, they briefly put me at Platinum Premier but then demoted me to Platinum.

    Ever since then every CSR has been telling me I can only earn Platinum Premier as...

    @Lucky - a bit off topic but did your SPG ambassador status correctly transfer over to the new Marriott status (Platinum Premier with Ambassador) post-IT integration? I was SPG 75 from last year so had SPG 75 up until August. Once the IT integration happened, they briefly put me at Platinum Premier but then demoted me to Platinum.

    Ever since then every CSR has been telling me I can only earn Platinum Premier as a former SPG member by earning this year and nights last year don't count. Infuriating to say the least as it seems I have no recourse.

  33. Bill n DC Gold

    Love this example of your name Mr. Lucky!

    Ps. Hope your marriage is everything you hope it would be! And it’s just starting. Best wishes! <3

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

cnm Guest

Lucky, do you know if the certificate needs to be used by the expiration date, or just applied to a reservation by the expiration date? I am not able to find that information on the Marriott or Chase websites. Thanks.

0
Ryan Guest

@Angel I am thinking I am going to try to do that. With the devaluations that are taking some important options on using the 35K night certificate off the table, I really don't have much reason to keep the card another year.

0
Tim Guest

Where can you find this on the Marriott account portal? I have the SPG AMEX Business, but merged my 2 accounts into the Marriott portal. Am I SOL?

0
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