Marriott’s Fall MegaBonus Promotion is Now Live

For years, Marriott has released their MegaBonus promotions – a way to earn additional bonus points for fixed periods of time. They mix it up periodically, with slightly different formulas for how you earn bonus points, and while the promotions have certainly been devalued over the years, they still provide an easy way to bolster your account with minimal additional effort.

Fall 2018 MegaBonus Promotion

The promotion just went live, and is valid for stays from September 26th, 2018 and January 31st, 2019, although you’ll need to register no later than January 7th, 2019.

For every qualifying stay of two nights or more, you’ll earn 2,000 bonus points once you register through this link (and honestly, it takes like two seconds to register if you’re already a Marriott Rewards member). If you’re doing the math, this promotion probably offers slightly less value than last spring’s MegaBonus promotion of 750 points per night, unless your hotel stays somehow occur in exactly two-night increments.

You could try, I suppose, to break up your hotel stays into separate reservations if you’re keen to maximize these points, although the terms and conditions indicate that this tactic may not fly. And it might lead to some weird conversations at the check-in desk.

It’s also worth noting that award stays and most stays booked through third-party online retailers will not qualify for this promotion, per their terms and conditions.

1,000 Bonus Points for Each Additional Brand

That said, Marriott has added an additional option to earn points, based on their newly-acquired SPG and Ritz Carlton portfolios. With the SPG/Marriott merger fully in place, they’re now operating 29 unique brands, and they seem to be embracing this new portfolio by rewarding members with bonus points. The Fall 2018 MegaBonus promotion offers an additional 1,000 bonus points for each stay at a unique brand, starting with your second brand. This could, conceivably, earn you up to 28,000 bonus points for the duration of the program if you manage to stay at all 29 brands. And that just seems like a lot of work.

More realistically, I could imagine this promotion moving the needle for me if, for example, I’m debating between trying a new A.C. Hotel or staying at yet another Courtyard or Sheraton property. And for weekly road warriors who travel to the same location and know the hotel staff by name, this probably doesn’t buy you much.

29 Ways to Stay

In addition to their standard promotion, they’re really doubling down on their massive new hotel portfolio by introducing their “29 Ways to Stay” game. Part trivia, part sweepstakes (I think – the details are still a little vague), the game will run from October 4th through November 1st. According to Marriott’s press release:

“29 Ways to Stay” is a memory game with fun facts and trivia about Marriott’s entire loyalty portfolio of brands. Each day, players have the chance to win instant prizes, including bonus points and nights. By playing “29 Ways to Stay” every day members increase their chances of winning the grand prize which includes a two-night stay at each of the 29 brands participating in Marriott’s loyalty programs.

I guess they’re not merging individual hotel brands anytime soon.

Bottom line

With plenty of fall promotions out there offered by Hilton, Hyatt, Club Carlson, IHG, and Choice Privileges, this may not be the most competitive promotion out there. But if you’re already wed to Marriott/SPG brands, it’s an easy way to earn bonus points with minimal effort.

And I’ll never say no to trivia.

Does anyone actually plan to stay at all 29 Marriott/SPG brands? 

Comments

  1. Weak is the word lucky. Still doing themselves no favors at a time when looking benevolent would really help given the fiasco customers are currently enduring + they are still just a mid range hotel group.

  2. “…though I guess Marriott feels they don’t have to offer a generous promotion, given their global footprint and that hotels are full.”

    The promo does not only offer chump change, it is also quite stingy in requiring a stay at a different to earn…more chump change!

    Glad that Hilton, which also has a large global footprint and hotels that are full, has not relented from offering lucrative promos that make the comment by self-anointed ‘thought leader in travel’ that “Hotel occupancy and rates are up year-over-year and last year was a record, [so] don’t expect good hotel promotions soon” sound, well, thoughtless, to say the least. Good for you, @Lucky, for being fair-minded and giving credit where credit due! 🙂

  3. I hit LPP and have since switched to hilton with a status match. I mainly did it for an upcomig award trip and the 3x point amex promo but since the merger i have stayed with hilton due to the lack of and sorry promos. I had 34 nights at hilton since then and this current promo isnt changing my mind to come back yet.

    Also do we get the 1000 point per brand only once? I imagine so, otherwise they would say 1000 per stay. I did maximize the last brand promo but it sucked jumping hotel to hotel every night.

  4. For those travelling to Europe or in any part of the world where Accorhotels has a footprint, they run a very good promotion. Only 3 stays of 2 nights before January 2019 can earn you 6.000 points, e.g. 120 euros of voucher for a next stay.
    Quick and easy way to earn good value if the choice of hotels can suit your needs…

  5. Nice Kapalua picture in the promo graphic! Honolua Bay! You should go there Lucky… Though stay at the Montage, make sure to check out the spa there… world class.

  6. I think last time was 2000 per brand. That gave me some tiny effort to hop around a bit. 1000 is just waste of time.

  7. Do only 2-night-minimum-stays count towards the BRAND points or can this be also single nights stays? And for the Brand promo, do award stays qualify?

    Why does Marriott not publish T&Cs or FAQs on their promo page?

  8. Even if the offer wasn’t garbage, there’s probably only about a 50% chance your points will actually post, given the state of post-merger operations. Will continue avoiding Marriott.

  9. Lucky, I read the terms of the promotion and nowhere a stay is defined as a “pay stay” but only a stay. There is no mention if a point stay will not count. Do you think point stays will cpount for the promo?

  10. Very weak promotion. Disappointing.

    Regarding their upgrade policy. I’m Platinum Premier Elite, stayed 1 night at the Marriott Park Lane in London this week. Not only did I receive no upgrade at all but the room had a dreadful view looking straight into another guest’s room. I could just about see the sky if I went to the window and looked straight up.

  11. Also US residents are more benefitial as they can play a game quote:
    “Play our game 29 Ways to Stay from October 4 through November 1 to learn more about our 29 brands and for the chance to win prizes, including points and free nights.**”

  12. “nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for bonus points”

    That’s another huge difference between Hilton Honors and the competition: award stays are almost always considered ‘eligible stays’ for the purpose of earning promo points. In fact, once booked, award stays and revenue stays are usually virtually identical for most purposes (e.g., earning stay/night credit, promo points, elite recognition).

  13. Hmmm… is it just me or has this happened to others as well. I just tried registering and got the following message:

    “Please correct the following and try again.
    We’re sorry, but it’s not possible to register for or view progress in Marriott Rewards member promotions at this time. Please try again later. Thank you for your patience.”

    There was nothing to correct in the first place, and then it tells me that it is not possible to register at this time. Oh, well, I’ll try again tomorrow…

  14. @DCS – I’m getting the same error. My goodness! Their new website really sucks! Cannot see all my reservations. Continuously being asked to logged in after navigating their website even after selecting option to “Remember Me”…Unbelievable!

  15. Evidently they don’t bother sending out an email with details of the promotion ( unlike SPG). The people running this show are truly amazing, not in a good way.

  16. I’m not registering. Even if I plan to stay at a Marriott property I am not registering. Going forward I’m just collecting points for air fares and other stuff. The whole loyalty thing with hotels has run its course for me and I’m now running my points balance down. When all my points have gone I’m going to close my accounts, evoke the right to be forgotten rule under GDPR we have in the UK and be like I used to be – an independently happy traveler who chose chose hotels because I liked them not because of the points.

  17. @ Steph – Do not feel that one will get credit for (as an example) for a 6 night stay, but broken up in to 3 different 2 night stays. Even though the reservation system will take it as 3 separate stays I think their system will not give the credit for 3 “stays”. Someone can try it, but don’t bitch.

    @ DCS – 2 more years to Platinum status and then back to Hilton with the Aspire card!

  18. “You could, I suppose, break up your hotel stays into separate reservations if you’re keen to maximize these points, although I imagine the process would get old pretty quickly and might lead to some weird conversations at the check-in desk.”

    Not happening, bad advice, you’ll only get points one time.

  19. The promo is a waste of time. As for the merger: seriously, a multi billion dollar company and they can’t do a better job with this merger. It’s not like they didn’t know it s coming. Not good. I’ve already cut back on my Marriott stays !

  20. I’m also unable to register for this promotion, and have received the same message as others noted above. I think I read something on another blog about Marriott apparently not making this promotion available to some members as some sort of “control group”. I called Marriott to report my issue registering for the promotion, and after more than an hour on hold and talking to a loyalty representative (she claimed she could not sign me up for the promotion and was trying to talk to someone else who hung up on her after a long wait), I asked her to open a case for me (she gave me a case #, but I have not received an email yet). It is really out of principle, since this is a weak promotion. I have two stays booked where Marriott/SPG is the best option, but after weeks of waiting to get my accounts correct (still not sure if my SPG credit card points are exactly right) after 8/18 program changes, and now this, I feel very negative about Marriott.

  21. Marriott have deliberately blocked some members from signing up for this promotion as a research tool. They want to see if there’s different patterns of behaviour. But considering how weak the promotion is, It’s probably not the best time for them to try this.

  22. @JN and @GRDowntown – Sorry to hear – keep us posted on how it goes (although I can understand that there may be a point where the follow through might not be worth it relative to the amount of points being left on the table).

    Re: Breaking up stays, on second (or fifth) reading of the terms and conditions, it looks like that tactic may not fly, although I suppose you could try. Here’s a link to the full T&Cs, in case you’re wondering. Thanks for looking out!

    https://www.marriott.com/rewards/promotion.mi?promotion=FB18&sourceCode=MBDC

  23. Marriott offer is underwhelming at best. I am pretty loyal to Hilton and the promo’s they run keep me in their properties (2X-3X point promo, Lufthansa 25th anniversary 2,500 mile double dip promo to name a few with 27,500 miles earned to date). However Marriott has alienated me (post 8/18) so much that I find the IHG loyalty program a better choice for my particular needs.

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