Marriott Bonvoy Double Points Promo Now Live

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In late February I wrote about how it was leaked that Marriott would soon be launching their spring promotion, and registration opened on March 5, 2019.

While Marriott’s major competitors have had promotions for weeks, Marriott has taken their time, and I guess their focus has been on launching the Bonvoy program. You’d think that would also be a good opportunity to offer a good promotion to get members excited, but they didn’t.

While you’ve hopefully already registered for this promotion, I just wanted to point out that the promotion is live as of today, March 19, 2019.

St. Regis Bora Bora

Marriott Bonvoy offering double points

Marriott Bonvoy Double Take is the combined Marriott Bonvoy program’s first ever global promotion.

With this promotion you’ll earn double points on all stays, starting with your second stay. Some things to be aware of:

  • The promotion is valid for stays March 19 through June 4, 2019
  • Registration is required by May 21, 2019
  • All hotels globally are participating

There’s even a second part to this promotion. Those with a US Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card can earn an additional 500 bonus points for weekend stays, starting with their first stay. A weekend stay is defined as one that includes a Friday or Saturday night, depending on where in the world you are. Bonus points are expected to post six weeks after the end of the promotion.

Some have reported registration issues, getting an error message when trying to register.

However, when you go to the “Promotions” page of your account it should clearly show you’re registered.

How good is Marriott Bonvoy’s Double Take promotion?

Marriott Bonvoy members earn 10 points per dollar spent on eligible hotel charges, except Element, Residence Inn, and TownePlace Suites, where they earn five points per dollar spent.

This means for most brands you’re earning 10 base points per dollar, plus 10 bonus points through this promotion (starting with the second stay), for a total of 20 points per dollar spent.

Then you can earn bonus points if you’re an elite member, which is calculated based on the base points earned:

  • Silver Elite members earn a 10% bonus
  • Gold Elite members earn a 25% bonus
  • Platinum Elite members earn a 50% bonus
  • Titanium Elite & Ambassador Elite members earn a 75% bonus

Le Meridien Paro, Bhutan

Then there’s what you earn through credit card spend. Co-branded Marriott Cards, including the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card from Chase and Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM American Express® Card, earn 6x points per dollar spent.

So when you add it all up, a Titanium or Ambassador Elite member paying with a co-brand Marriott Card is earning up to 33.5 Marriott points per dollar spent. If you value Marriott points at ~0.7 cents each (which I think is fair/conservative), that’s like a return of 23.5% on Marriott stays, which I’d say is pretty good.

Then there’s the added 500 point bonus if you have Marriott’s US co-brand credit card.

W Verbier

It potentially gets even better if you can book during one of the promotions we see every so often through portals offering 10% cash back or 10 bonus airline miles per dollar spent.

What do you make of the Marriott Bonvoy Double Take promotion?

Regarding Comments: 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.


  1. Pretty good return – given many divert bookings to Hilton during their double points promotions, this gives people more incentive to book Marriott. Cutting through all of the angst, Marriott seems to be getting better on the earn proposition when actually staying in hotels than they have in the past.

  2. Has anyone’s Megabonus (last promotion) points posted yet? Considering Marriott’s IT struggles, maybe they should get that right first….

  3. Will this promotion apply to anything you can charge to the room? Are there typically restrictions on what constitutes a stay? (ie would one night in any marriott get the first “stay” out of the way for the “starting with second stay” clause?)

    Reason I’m asking, I have a St Regis Maldives stay coming up in April which will be pricey. I’m thinking I may want to book a cheap local hotel night around the end of march to make that count as my “second stay” for an extra 10x points?

  4. Plus you can earn airline miles on top of that too if you go through a portal. So the earnings can be even higher. AA mall is 6 miles for Bonvoy today.

  5. Does the Marriott portal work, if you are using a corporate rate? As I always book my hotels through my company’s CONCUR, but there’s no checks and balances to ensure that’s what is actually happening. Thoughts?

  6. Are you certain that elite bonus will stack with the double points? Seeing how well Bonvoy is rolling out I’m willing to bet that the net on this promo is 10 points/$ regardless of elite status.

  7. Here’s how to assess the size of the “rebate” that one gets from a promo, OBJECTIVELY, without relying on highly subjective average redemption values of loyalty points. Also, focusing only on the size of a ‘rebate’ misses the big picture when comparing different programs. The better metric for across-program comparisons is the ‘Spend per Free Night’, because it is quite literally the most reliable estimate of the monetary cost of an award. That is, it is a measure of how much one has to spend in hard currency to afford an award night.

    While the “Spend per Free Night” can be computed across an award chart, I prefer to do it for the very top award rate within each program. However, things do generally scale proportionately up and down the award chart. Importantly, because it takes out all subjective factors “Spend per Free Night” allows award costs to be compared DIRECTLY among different programs.

    Below I estimate the size of the ‘rebate’ that very top Marriott BONVoY (MB) elites and top Hilton Honors (HH) elites get from a 2x promo. At the same time, I will also compare award costs for very top-end hotels in the two programs.

    A. Marriott BONVoY (using ‘MB’ points)

    Earn rate for Titanium or Ambassador elites w/o 2x promo: 10 + 7.5 + 6 = 23.5 MB/$
    Earn rate for Titanium or Ambassador elites w/ 2x promo: 10 + 7.5 + 6 + 10 = 33.5 MB/$
    Top standard award rate (currently): 85,000MB

    Spend per Free Night w/o 2x promo at top hotel Marriott: 85,000MB/(23.5MB/$) = $3,617
    Spend per Free Night w 2x promo at top hotel Marriott: 85,000MB/(33.5MB/$) = $2,537

    — Size of ‘rebate’ due to 2x promo for MB elites = $1,080 (pretty good).

    B. Hilton Honors (using ‘HH’ points)

    Earn rate for HH Diamonds w/o 2x promo: 10 + 10 + 14 = 34 HH/$
    Earn rate for HH Diamonds w/ 2x promo: 10 + 10 + 10 + 14 = 44 HH/$
    Top standard award rate (currently): 95,000HH

    Spend per Free Night w/o 2x promo at top hotel Hilton: 95,000HH/(34HH/$) = $2,794
    Spend per Free Night w 2x promo at top hotel Hilton: 95,000HH/(44HH/$) = $2,159

    — Size of ‘rebate’ due to 2x promo for HH Diamonds = $635 (lower but also pretty good).


    Bottom line:

    — The ‘rebate’ from a 2x promo is larger for MB elites than for HH elites.
    — Without the 2x promo, a top BONVoY award costs $3,617 vs. $2,794 for a top HH award
    — With the 2x promo, a top BONVoY award costs $2,537 vs. $2,159 for a top HH award

    While the “rebate” on award costs due to the 2x promo is larger for BONVoY, the absolute cost of a top HH award (i.e., Spend per Free Night) is invariably lower by several hundred dollars than BONVoY’s, which thus replaces SPG’s as the most expensive top-end award in the business. When the top seasonal award cost is raised to 100,000 as is planned, BONVoY awards will be even more expensive, therefore the program’s members should pray that they will keep getting high-rebate promos!


  8. @ madgoat — You can earn the double points and the elite bonus, but the double points is based on the base points earned, and not the elite bonus.

  9. I hate how they make this for “stays” rather than nights. I’m a different city everyday road warrior so always get shafted on these things.

  10. Where on earth is that hotel (first picture this article)? Looks like a points reward place in the backstreets of Kowloon Hong Kong!
    What an authentic view….

  11. Except those points are worthless now that Marriott makes you also pay the full cost of the room up front to secure the award reservation. I’m deeply uninterested in floating Marriott a $1,000+ loan for several months to book an aspirational stay.

  12. @LP — my Megabonus points posted but they are incorrect. Emailed them about 2 weeks ago and haven’t received a response yet.

    It would be nice if Marriott simply posted promotional bonus points at the same time as your stay, similar to how Chase immediately credits travel charges on the Sapphire Reserve. But knowing how Marketing departments operate I’m sure they’re too impatient to allow Tech to build that.

  13. 1-I already booked in 3 different cities in April for Easter. Do I have to cancel and rebook later? when it is official to get 1 $= 20pts with the second stay?

    2- also want to ask if any Plat who choose the 5 CR elite nites , see on line.
    Mid January I received an em, telling me: you got them; it is in our system…
    It is now 6 weeks, I still do not see them in my acc- I just saw the 15 Cr from Chase for my Visa MR..
    Any suggestion..??.

  14. I have not seen anything yet, and the link still does not work for this Marriott promotion. When will it be live. Seems like time is passing. Does anyone have any insight

  15. I don’t see the promo under my profile and when I try signing up with the link it tells me it’s unable to do so and that I need to call in….

  16. Its already very unfair that the Marriott Credit Cards are available to clients in Norh America and very few international countries. But adding another bonus for credit card holders in a global campaign is just ridiculous and shows again how much Marriott cares about non-US travellers.

  17. Can a second stay essentially be a booking for 5 nights, split in to 1 night for the first ‘stay’ and then the next 4 the second ‘stay’ .. ?

  18. This promotion (plus the double stay credit I was targeted for) was enough to make me cancel a trip to Guatemala (using non-Marriott hotels) and go to Mexico instead (booking Marriott’s Haciendas).

  19. Works now. I can see that I’m signed up on the website but the app still doesn’t show anything under “Promotions”.

  20. Thanks Lucky, yet I just tried to enter the promo on the Marriott page. It is another failure to launch. I received an error message with a phone number to call which would be a waste of time to attempt. Is it possible to hire SPG IT if any of those wonderful people are still around? I never had a problem with SPG IT and stays were posted correctly within 24 hours. What is wrong with Marriott IT? What is wrong with Marriott management for not communicating what steps are being taken to address the problem?

  21. My last 3 Marriott stays never posted. I had to initiate a “request missing stays” every time. It was a mix of SPG and Marriott properties.

  22. @lucky – I’m also seeing an ‘Exclusively for you’ under Promotions’. Terms are stay once, get 6k, twice another 7.5k and 3rd time get another 9k. Had over 100 nights last year and may simply be as I’ve not stayed at all this year (switched mostly to IHG and Hyatt). I’m surprised, as I’ve never been eligible for these types of things in the past no matter how much I’ve stayed or not. Anyone else seeing similar?

  23. For what it’s worth, I called Marriott Guest Services regarding the red error message. I was told that the promotion is “pending” on my account and should be good to go in 24-48 hours.

  24. I was just able to sign up for the “Double Take” promotion after first being told on the phone that I was not eligible, and not having received any communication from Marriott on it (as contrasted with all earlier such promotions over the years). Went into my Bonvoy account–Promotions section–and there it was, and I signed up and it now says on my account that I am signed up. I then called Bonvoy to ask if my first upcoming reservation in the relevant period which is for points and dollars (a small amount–55 Euros– for an upgrade) would count as my first stay, meaning my later stays at different hotels in Spain in the period which are paid stays, not points, will qualify. After getting a confused agent who could not tell me, I spoke to a Supervisor, who said the first stay would qualify and I would get the double points on the subsequent paid stays after she had to fully read the rules. Marriott seems to be having real issues implementing this promotion in the Bonvoy changeover context. I hope they figure this out and address it soon–it is hurting the brand among loyal members.

  25. Will a stay from 17th March – 21st March count as my first stay? I’ll be checking in before the promo has started but checking out 2 days into the promo window.

  26. Like Bob from Florida, I was able to access and register for the promotion by logging into my Bonvoy account and heading to the Promotions section. The URL was the same as the link in this article, fwiw. I had to click Register, and then Register again on the following page, but I’m now registered and it’s reflected in my account.

  27. Got an error message, could not sign up, they said I should call…..I don’t think so, I am not calling to speak with someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about. Marriott, you have wasted enough of my time during the last six months. Adios.

  28. @M I got the same message. I am suspecting this is targeted and we are not eligible for some reason. Are you Lifetime Titanium in the U.S.? Very odd and wondering what the criteria for targeting is and why, if so, we are not on the list.

  29. @DCS: “Here’s how to assess the size of the “rebate” that one gets from a promo, OBJECTIVELY, without relying on highly subjective average redemption values of loyalty points.”

    To the extent that the analysis includes the points earned from credit card spend (which is a factor that is completely independent of one’s status as an Honors Diamond or Marriott Titanium), the numbers presented here are biased upwards in favor of Hilton (due to the 14 points per dollar earned with the Aspire, as opposed to the 6 points per dollar earned for any of the Marriott cards).

    DCS will, of course, argue that anyone who doesn’t use the Aspire or any of the Marriott cards for their stays isn’t playing the game with a “full deck,” or whatever veiled insult he wants to use, but adding variables that aren’t absolutely necessary to solve the equation is hardly an objective outcome, if you ask me – especially when one of the variables is skewed heavily in favor of Hilton.

  30. I get the same error page as @Flo and @derreisende Is this promotion targeted? Are certain members excluded? I am Platinum Elite (from SPG) and I live in Canada.

  31. I get the same error described by @Flo, @derresiende, and @idchance. When I log into my account, the only “promotion” I have is “New Name. New Look. Same Great Earn.”, which isn’t a promotion at all…

  32. The link didn’t work and the deal doesn’t show up on my Marriott Bonvoy Promotions page, just a link to sign up for the new credit card, which I already did (and included my current bonvoy membership number) and have received and used…so wtf Marriott Bonvoy? Not only do you not have a valid promotion I’d like to register for, but you’ve also not recognized I’ve already signed up for and gotten and used the only promotion you are “offering” me. Oh and thanks for taking my United 1k status match and flushing it down the toilet from Platinum (free breakfast/lounge!) to Gold = bupkiss.

  33. I went through the link and registered and the promo is showing in my Promotion Cental, along with another 22.5K/2 stays promo I have.

    This is in spite of Marriott IT working hard. This is what the web site told me after I clicked the “Register” button:

    Please correct the following and try again.

    Unfortunately, we cannot register you for this promotion, but if you call our Guest Services number, we would be happy to answer any question you have. Call 800-450-4442 In the United States and Canada, or one of our worldwide numbers.

  34. @Mike sez: “DCS will, of course, argue that anyone who doesn’t use the Aspire or any of the Marriott cards for their stays isn’t playing the game with a “full deck,” or whatever veiled insult he wants to use…”

    Does this guy, who calls himself “Mike”, ever have a point worth the cyber ink that he spills?

    At least he read me correctly on this one: Anyone in this day and age who plays the loyalty game and does not have appropriate credit cards to maximize the points or miles one earns on every penny spent is too stupid to be playing the game. To support that strong statement, I will show below below not only why co-branded credit cards are a MUST, but they are also a differentiating feature in establishing affordability among the programs.

    Class is now in session for some easy math

    First, The data.

    Earn rates for top BONVoY, HHonors and WoH elites who have NO co-branded credit card:

    Marriott: 17.5 pts/$
    Hilton: 20 pts/$
    Hyatt: 6.5 pts/$

    Award costs in points at top Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt properties:

    Marriott: 85K (before it goes up seasonally to 100K)
    Hilton: 95K
    Hyatt: 30K

    Second, The Easy Math.

    Calculate the spend required in hard currency to afford 1 award night in each program, which is the closest thing to the monetary cost of the same award night:

    Marriott: 85,000 pts/(17.5pts/$) = $4,857
    Hilton: 95,000 pts/(20pts/$) = $4,750
    Hyatt: 30,000 pts/(6.5pts) = $4,615

    Third, The Interpretation.

    The precising result shows what I said several times before: Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt awards cost almost exactly the same when one does not include any additional sources of points, like co-branded CC bonus points. By contrast, top SPG awards were almost one order of magnitude more expensive (no wonder the program went belly-up), while IHG and Radisson awards are the cheapest, anyway you look at them, although IHG’s have increase somewhat recently.

    But, to remain on topic, who in their right mind would (or could afford to) spend over $4.5K just to earn enough points to afford a SINGLE award night at top (aspirational) Marriott, Hilton or Hyatt hotels??? No one who has any business playing the game. That is why to do it with a “full deck”, every loyalty game player must get a co-branded credit card. It is NOT an option. The higher the CC’s return on the spend, the better!

    Now let’s estimate the “rebate” that one gets in the 3 programs for having the best CC in each program. I did the math above for Marriott and Hilton; let’s do it for Hyatt and then compare.

    The new WoH CC awards 4x for in-hotel spend, so that the earn rate for a Globalist, including the CC spend, is:

    6.5 + 4 = 10.5pts/$

    To afford 1 award night at a 30K Hyatt hotel a Globalist must spend:

    30,000pts/(10.5pts/$)= $2,857.

    Fourth, The Bottom Line

    Now, let’s paint the pig picture. For each program we’ll provide the Spend per Free Night (SPFN, i.e., the cost of an award in cash), with and with CC spend, to estimate the ‘rebate’ due to having a co-branded CC

    Program Name | SPFN w/o CC | SPFN w/ CC | “Rebate
    Marriott Bonvoy| ___$4,857____|___$3,617___|__$1,240
    Hilton Honors —| ___$4,750____|___$2,794___|__$1,956
    World of Hyatt — | ___$4,615____|___$2,857___|__$1,758

    See the picture? Rather than requiring > $4.5K to earn enough points to afford a SINGLE award night at a top-tier hotel, top Hilton and Hyatt elites equipped with their respective program’s best co-branded card would require just over $2.5K, while top BONVoY elites would require over $3.5K.

    The clear lessons.

    — A co-branded CC is a MUST if one is to play the hotel loyalty game in a way that makes sense, i.e., yes, with a “full deck”. Period. It would be utter stupidity to play without it.

    — The top HHonors credit card (Aspire) provides the biggest bang for the buck (a rebate of nearly $2K), followed closely by the WoH card. BONVoY’s best card lags far behind.

    — Of the three programs, Hilton and Hyatt awards cost about the same (HH’s a bit cheaper) and are much cheaper than BONVoY’s (will be more so when BONVoY’s 100K rate kicks in).

    — Because promos decrease the spend required for a free award night (i.e., they decrease award costs or increase the size of the ‘rebate’), a program that consistently runs promos is by far the most rewarding, and we know which program has offered promos nonstop over the past several years!

    The math is trivial, so that @Mike is usually out to lunch should no longer be in doubt.

    Moreover, you have seen where the one who calls himself ‘thought leader in travel’ has repeatedly claimed that Hilton offers the poorest return for in-hotel spend. The preceding trivial math should once and for all establish just how ludicrous that claim is. He uses highly SUBJECTIVE average REDEMPTION values of points to estimate return on the EARN or SPEND side of the equation, which is utter nonsense.

    Long post so my apologies for any typos, missing words, or other such errors.

    Class dismissed!

  35. @DCS: “At least he read me correctly on this one: Anyone in this day and age who plays the loyalty game and does not have appropriate credit cards to maximize the points or miles one earns on every penny spent is too stupid to be playing the game.”

    First, I suppose I should appreciate that DCS decided to make his insults not so veiled this time, but then again, we’re talking about someone who has (laughably) claimed that he never proactively insults people.

    To that end, I continue to be amused each time he proves himself wrong on that front, but I digress.

    The only thing that DCS has otherwise done in his diatribe is proved the point I was originally trying to make – that is, his so-called “objective” analysis becomes heavily biased towards Hilton as soon as credit cards are introduced into the equation.

    Aside from the fact that his use of the term “objective” became completely laughable the moment he called people who don’t play the game his way stupid, the analysis was never intended to be anything else than DCS showing how much better Honors redemptions are than Bonvoy redemptions. The second problem with his original analysis is that, whether DCS likes it or not, having those cards is not a requirement to play the game. There is nothing in the T&Cs for any hotel program that says you have to have their credit card to participate at any level.

    The end result, though, is the same – my original argument about the heavy bias in his original “analysis” was confirmed and proven in my rebuttal, when he had to go back and do the math both ways. You can see it in the differences in the redemption costs for a high-end room without the credit card involved – the Hilton room, at $4,750 in spend, is $107 (or only 2.4%) cheaper than the Marriott room.

    And let’s not ignore the fact that this is only high-end rooms we’re talking about here, which makes the “objective” claim all the more laughable. Had he actually wanted to be objective, he might have done a more complete analysis of the entire portfolio (taking into account weighted averages of redemption values based on all available hotels), rather than just cherry-picking the top tier to make his claim.

    And again, the moment that he called people who don’t have a certain credit card “stupid,” the illusion of objectivity should have been shattered completely in the minds of the average person. This is the typical MO for DCS, though, so I certainly am not surprised that his reaction was what it was here.

  36. @Mike

    The point you see to miss is that loyalty programs really only pay benefits to the top end. And to obtain maximum rewards you must have a card similar to the Aspire.

    Anything less and you should only shop for the best deal. Exactly like what has happened to airline loyalty programs.

    As a Canadian I wish I could get an Aspire card. It is a game changer.

    Sitting here in the Bali Hilton executive floor lounge I am dreading the upcoming week in the Ritz Carlton where I only have Gold (should have been Platinum – thanks MARRIOTT). Even Platinum doesn’t get free breakfast or executive floor.

    So that’s the difference between Bonvoy and Hilton where it really matters! In my wallet!

    Marriott screwed their program and all the poor fools who can’t see the light.

    But please don’t switch to Hilton!

  37. @Mike — Genug ist genug!

    The case is clear, air-tight, and not subject to misinterpretation because it is simple math and all data are freely available and OBJECTIVE. Got that? The data seem “biased” to you in favor Hilton, but that is precisely because Hilton has the more rewarding program!!! Marriott could have offered the same or better rates of return for spend on their credit cards, but they did not. That is not my fault or Hilton’s. It is just what the reality is! In fact, Hyatt did respond to the introduction of the Aspire card’s 14X by bumping the earning on their own co-branded card from 3x to 4x. That is why Globalists are able to keep up with HH Diamonds and remain where HGP Diamonds were in similar analyses that I did 3-4 years ago! Marriott BONVoY elites’ problem is that rather than their program making up for the bump in top HH and WoH elites’ earning rates, it “split the difference” between Marriott Rewards’ prior competitive award costs and SPG’s exorbitant costs, with only a modest bump in earning rates on their CCs. The result is that while the new program’s awards are more affordable than SPG’s ever were, it now has the most expensive awards in the industry. See how utterly ridiculous the claim of “bias” is? The only “bias” is that some program do actually reward their members better than other and that is precisely what the math showed!!!

    Since, as you indicated here, your goal is to use your points for award stays at low-end hotels like Hampton Inn, and you believe that you can afford even such low-end hotels without needing a co-branded credit card (you can do the easy math), then that is your prerogative. However, I suspect that there are few who share that objective or your game plan.

    The math is trivial and the data are OBJECTIVE. Anyone who wishes to carry out the same types of analyses across the award charts is free to knock themselves out. I am here to discuss what I believe I and most people who come here have in common: to learn the tricks for affording potentially expensive vacations that we would not otherwise be able to afford. I would bother if the objective were to afford award stays at Hampton Inn.

    As for the rest of your diatribe, it just exposes your limited grasp of anything I try to say, no matter how clearly and succinctly.

    You have flunked the course. I will read none of your “remedial essays or theses” because you are a lost cause.

    Good bye.

  38. @Azamaraal — You just made the point I just finished making in comment that is held up for ‘moderation’ because it is longer than what appears to be a new cutoff length.

    It is tough to play the game without a high-return CC, and it simply simply to argue otherwise. The objective data which use that he considered “biased” is known by most people as one program screwing its members more than the other does, as you just put it.

  39. I went on MI web to look for the promo and tried to register. Surprise!! could not but saw that 2 nites are needed-
    —-as seen on the screen-
    “Double Take: Earn double points
    Earn double points on stays – starting with your second stay – at more than 6,700 participating hotels around the world.
    Register by May 21, 2019.
    Stay at any of our participating hotels and resorts worldwide between March 19, 2019, and June 4, 2019…”…..
    and I am a Plat..
    Did any other get the same? the ad did not mention that.
    Is it a matter of poor communication, or another IT bubu, or a new requirement?? and no info what to do….

  40. @Azamaraal: “So that’s the difference between Bonvoy and Hilton where it really matters! In my wallet!”

    Which is all well and good, but let’s not pretend that either you or DCS are providing anything remotely close to objective here.

  41. OMAAT- Could you please release my pending comment that clearly shows that the data are what they are and not manufactured, and what this commenter calls ‘bias’ is precisely a key aspect programmatic feature that differentiates rewarding from less rewarding programs!

  42. @Mike

    My wallet is very objective – just ask my wife 😉

    I have been SPG Gold on and off since it was called “the Sheraton Club” in 1991. Silver and Gold Marriott since 2001 and HH Gold/Diamond since 1996.

    In all those years I have only been upgraded at a Marriott ONCE and that was two years ago at the JW MARRIOT in Bucharest. That was to an executive floor suite and I was only silver at the time.

    ONCE! In what Marriott-SPG records show as 19 years and 175 stays. (Go figure that math)

    The only time I am not upgraded at Hilton is at Hamptons that don’t have any upgrade rooms.

    My wallet doesn’t lie.

    I will see what the Ritz Carlton Bali does for me on Friday. But history will repeat and I am certainly not expecting anything. (This stay is a last minute 7 nights and flights award from last July.)

    If you are right then they will be rolling out the red carpet.

    If I am right my stay at the Conrad after the Ritz will blow my doors off.

    We shall see (objectively)

    But please don’t switch.

  43. @Azamaraal: I’m sorry to disappoint you, but a) I’m already an Honors Diamond and have been for a decade now, and b) you’re only proving my point about subjectivity the more you post.

  44. In the most anti-climactic reveal ever, the moderated DCS post has been revealed. It should come as no surprise that the gist of this post, aside from the usual DCS insults and fabricated arguments, is the usual “I’m right because I said so.”

    Otherwise, your issues about the rest of my diatribe are nothing more than the fact that you can’t handle it when people call you out for being an asshole.

    Yet again, DCS, grow up and get help.

  45. Good. My last post is out now. Let me address this other point, specifically, that seems to trip this guy and I will exit: “You can see it in the differences in the redemption costs for a high-end room without the credit card involved – the Hilton room, at $4,750 in spend, is $107 (or only 2.4%) cheaper than the Marriott room.”

    The similarity in the award costs is a point I specifically made. Without a CC, BOTH rates are quite HIGH and similar. However, that is precisely why one needs a co-branded credit card to be able to play the game. Importantly, the cards do not just decrease the award costs from $4,957 for BONVoY and $4,750 for HHonors to $3,617 and $2,794, respectively, to make them both more affordable (much more so for HH). The cards also clearly establish which is the more generous and affordable program with respect to award costs because a difference of just $107 lower award cost for Hilton ww/o CCs, jumps to a whopping lower award cost for Hilton of $823 w/ the programs’ respective CCs! What that says is that Hilton is the more generous and rewarding program, and not that the data are ‘biased in favor of Hilton!!! I did not set the earn rates for either CC, I just used them in my math.

    Got it now?

    There is nothing left to say.

    I am out. The soapbox is yours. Knock yourself out.

  46. Another post held in moderation!!! OMAAT is this really necessary?

    Anyway, I was done, especially considering the continuation of fact-free and oblivious claims crumbling against a virtual Himalaya of objective facts and data, as well as trivial math.

    Yeah, right. I really, truly, need help and to grow up to be just like Mean Mike by striving to stay at Hampton Inn. LOL

  47. @Mike

    You mean having ONE UPGRADE in 19 years with Marriott-SPG proves I’m not objective?

    This proves Bonvoy is better?

    What are you smoking, mate?

    (I’m confused – why are you a Hilton Diamond?)

  48. “NOT” is missing in post above:

    “I would NOT bother [playing the game] if the objective were to afford award stays at Hampton Inn.”

  49. So, to sum up, it is possible, in the eyes of many people here, to use subjectivity to defend just how objective their arguments are.

    The fact that people here can’t see that for what it is isn’t my problem.

  50. Actually, DCS, it is kind of funny that you believe that you have been objective throughout this, even though you rebutted my claim of your bias by admitting your bias.

    It’s okay to admit you’re wrong, DCS. Perhaps you should try it sometime.

  51. Let me break it to you bluntly because you are clearly too “out there” to get it.

    There was never an “argument” and anyone here can tell you that. The whole exchange was so lopsided I subsequently felt guilty, as if I had beaten up on a mentally challenged toddler.

    For anyone, especially one claiming to be a ‘Diamond’, to go on and on and on arguing on a travel blog, of all places, that it is unfair or “biased” to use credit cards to maximize one’s earning of loyalty points is of such breathtaking inanity that if I were you I would’ve disappeared for good rather than return to the “scene of the crime” to endure yet more ignominy.

    The use credit cards “biases” nothing because it is not a bug. Rather, it is a central, if not the central feature of the game because it is, by far, the best way to earn the huge numbers of points that are necessary to minimize the costs of one’s leisure travel — ostensibly the WHOLE PURPOSE of the game.

    I thought you should know, but I doubt I got through.

    Good bye.

  52. @DCS: “There was never an “argument” and anyone here can tell you that.”

    First of all, as I have pointed out to you on numerous occasions, you do not get to dictate that no one is allowed to disagree with you. Even if you were allowed to dictate as such (which you aren’t), I don’t believe that you could realistically argue that everyone here agrees with you.

    @DCS: “For anyone, especially one claiming to be a ‘Diamond’, to go on and on and on arguing on a travel blog, of all places, that it is unfair or “biased” to use credit cards to maximize one’s earning of loyalty points is of such breathtaking inanity that if I were you I would’ve disappeared for good rather than return to the “scene of the crime” to endure yet more ignominy.”

    This is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to misrepresent my argument, as he does on a regular basis. (See earlier in the comments for this post, where he claims – as he repeatedly does – that my preference for redemptions is for Hampton Inns, when the only thing I ever really do is point out how DCS’s so-called “analysis” of the Honors program generally overlooks those properties, because it’s not somewhere where he thinks people should redeem.)

    @DCS: “The use credit cards “biases” nothing because it is not a bug. Rather, it is a central, if not the central feature of the game because it is, by far, the best way to earn the huge numbers of points that are necessary to minimize the costs of one’s leisure travel — ostensibly the WHOLE PURPOSE of the game.”

    Aside from moving the goalposts of his argument yet again, this only serves to prove the point I’ve been making the whole time – that is, nothing about DCS’s so-called “analysis” in these posts has been objective. Even though there is absolutely no requirement for an elite in any program to own or use the relevant credit card, DCS believes that they are so central to the earning for the programs, that these non-required features (which are completely independent of the programs themselves) absolutely MUST be included in the analysis of which program’s top tiers have the best earning from their programs, because any top tier elite who doesn’t have the card is stupid.

    Of course, this isn’t the only instance where you’re moving the goalposts, either – your lone selective usage of the so-called highest category amounts is not only ignoring the fact that the highest standard room at the W=A Maldives is now 120,000 points, not 95,000, but it is also nothing more than you shifting your definition of what the most desirable properties to book at are. (After all, I could point out all of the instances where you’ve talked about the Curio Collection as the epitome of aspirational properties in the Honors chain, and I can tell you for a fact that many, if not most, of those properties can be redeemed for far fewer than 95,000 points.)

    My point stands here, DCS, whether you like it or not – even though you believe otherwise, you have injected far too many of your personal biases into your so-called “analysis” to have it stand as being objective. That isn’t to say that analysis that is actually objective wouldn’t come to the same result – I have no reason to believe in either direction that it would or wouldn’t – but I still contend that you have provided enough evidence here that there is absolutely nothing objective about your study here.

    In reality, DCS, the only thing that you have done here is the same thing that you always do – that is, turn into a petulant 4-year-old who goes into unbridled narcissistic rage when someone dares to say anything that might possibly disagree with you. Whether you choose to realize it or not, those reactions say far more about you here than I ever could.

    I’m done here – I have better things to do right now than continue to engage with a child having a temper tantrum.

  53. If you think I am or anyone else is going to read that drivel, then you are sorely mistaken. It’s time to have your head examined since it is clear that you really, truly believe that you had a valid point in the lopsided exchange up-thread.

    It’s now time to give you the “silent treatment” because the mindless, fact-free and thesis-length jeremiads usually mean that you are off your meds and getting unhinged.

    Wish you a speedy and happy recovery!

  54. @Mike — I think you fundamentally misunderstand the meaning of the words “objective” and “subjective.” DCS’s analyses *were* objective, they were simply numbers. Overlooking low-end properties (or assuming frequent-enough hotel stays to make the cc annual fee worth it) doesn’t make his analysis subjective, it makes it incomplete at best. Those are two very different things. For those who accumulate points with the objective of redeeming them at top-value properties this analysis is spot on and the numbers are very clear. And if that is your strategy, not having the credit card is simply going to cost you more hard cash spend to get there. That’s not subjective, it is just math. The credit card may not be the right choice for everyone depending on their individual travel or spend habits, but it indisputably saves you money in the long run if you are a frequent traveler.

    @DCS — you’ve said “goodbye” at least 3 times. @Mike claims he’s done here. I’m really hoping we can just be finished trading comments back and forth.

  55. @Matt – Exactly right and thanks the explaining it in simplified language.

    Not to worry about the back and forth commenting. I am again giving my friend “Mike” the heaviest dose yet of an old-fashioned “silent treatment”.

    Le chien aboie la cavane passe!

  56. Thank god that long back and forth is over. So much scrolling down to blast through it and get back to the topic 🙂

  57. If I already booked the stays, do I need to re-book after registering for this promo, or will my existing reservations earn the bonus?

  58. I never got to sign up for this, it always has and still does take me to a Promotion is Unavailable page, like @Fio above. I’m a gold elite, but seems like even platinum elites are having the same problem. Is this a targeted promotion or have we all been #Bonvoyed again?

  59. Good luck actually getting your points to post properly. I will continue to book away from Marriott, as I have since last August.

  60. Bonvoyed! Once again impossible to register. Good thing I’m gold at Hilton … Marriott is toast.

    p.s. another reason why choosing “Bonvoy” was such a stupid idea

  61. DCS you claim to be a professor but at what college? No professor I know of thinks they know it all like you do.

  62. I wouldn’t trust them right now to even make good on any promotion. You do not get points for regular stays, I hope people actually get their promo points.

  63. @ Mike @ DCS – most important thru the time & effort we spend on good value is getting the property/experience we each seek. You are both “right” using different belief systems – that will always be in the eye of the beholder/cardholder. Good discussion!

  64. Still can’t register today. I have a stay on Saturday that I’d like to get the bonus for. I wonder if there’s a hope in hell that it will be fixed by the end of this week? As a former SPG loyalist, I switched 95% of my business to a combo of Hilton & Hyatt as soon as the Marriott takeover was even announced. I’ve never liked Marriott much and only stay with them when Hilton or Hyatt brands are in less abundance (particularly in Europe). Now I’m starting to hold them in the same regard as Allegiant or Spirit.

  65. hi all — if I charge a $2k machu picchu excursion to my room, you think that would get double points? thanks

  66. Good promotion EXCEPT… it seems like a smaller “window” of opportunity to capitalize on than normal… By the time this promotion posted (late) I had already made multiple travel plans, which will not occur until starting a few days after this promotion ends.

  67. Does anyone know whether/when this would show in the main ‘Account activity and hotel bills’ section? As of know all points earned from this promotion seem to only show in the promotion section. Can these additional points be used before the end of the promotion?


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