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Marriott Bonvoy’s Spring 2021 Targeted Promotions

Like all of its fellow hotel loyalty programs, Marriott Bonvoy puts on a rotating series of promotions every year to drive incremental stays among its members.

These promotions typically require a one-time registration, and then they’ll offer bonus points, free night certificates, or other rewards (like the ability to earn double or triple points) on all your paid stays during the promotion period.

The latest round of promotions, known as “More Points Ahead”, appears to vary quite a bit among Marriott Bonvoy members on a targeted basis. Some members have received promotions that are very rewarding, others that are more run-of-the-mill, and still others haven’t received any promotions at all.

We’ll summarize some of the key things to know here, and then I’ll give you my impressions of a few of the targeted promotions that have popped up.

Marriott Bonvoy’s “More Points Ahead” Promotions

Simply check the “Promotions” tab or menu on the Marriott Bonvoy website or app to see if you’ve been targeted for one of these promotions.

I personally noticed my targeted promotion on my profile as early as last week, although it was only this week that most Marriott Bonvoy members started seeing their promotions trickling in. If you don’t see one yet, keep checking back over the next couple of days, and also make sure to check all the accounts in your household too.

Keep in mind that there’s always a chance you were not targeted this time around. There’s no firm criteria for who gets targeted and who doesn’t.

For example, in my entourage, I myself have received a decent promotion as a Titanium Elite member who has (somehow) racked up 100+ elite nights in 2020, whereas neither my dad nor my fiancée’s mostly dormant accounts have been targeted for a promotion.

And meanwhile, others are reporting the opposite phenomenon, where it’s their more inactive accounts that are getting targeted.

Based on the terms and conditions, it seems that the promotion period can vary based on when you register: “Earning period starts the day after members register through the end of the month, plus an additional three (3) months.”

Those of us who have registered in December 2020 will have a promotion end-date of March 31, 2021; meanwhile, presumably if you waited until January 1 to register then you’d have until April 30, 2021 to complete your stays, so it may well be a good idea to delay your registration if you don’t have any urgent stays coming up.

Finally, as a general rule, only paid stays that earn base points within the Marriott Bonvoy program are eligible for promotions like these; redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points for a free night will not count towards the promotion criteria.

With that said, let’s break down a few of the different promotions that members have received under “More Points Ahead”, from the most generous to the least generous.

Earn Two Free Night Certificates After Two Stays

This is an insanely generous promotion if you’re lucky enough to be targeted for it.

Simply make one stay at a Marriott hotel and you’ll earn a free night certificate worth up to 35,000 Bonvoy points. Then make a second stay, and earn another certificate.

Needless to say, if you happen to see this promotion on your account, you should absolutely be thinking of ways to optimize it, even if you don’t haven’t actually planned any travels during the promotion period.

Search for some cheap Marriott hotels in your area to do a mattress run – or if there aren’t any good choices nearby, you can always get a friend to check you in elsewhere using the “second guest trick” at a cheap property like the Four Points by Sheraton Edmonton Gateway.

Remember, a free night certificate worth up to 35,000 Bonvoy points can be redeemed against a Category 5 hotel at the standard rate, or in the optimal scenario against a Category 6 hotel at the off-peak PointSavers rate.

The certificate can quite easily fetch $300+ in value if redeemed wisely, so it’s very much a blessing if you’ve been targeted for this promotion and can pick up two certificates for two cheap stays.

The only thing to note is that the free night certificates earned here come with a six-month validity period, so you’ll want to think about how to tailor them towards your 2021 travel plans – although there’s always a chance that the certificates’ expiry dates may be extended further.

Earn 22,500 Bonus Points After Two, Three, or Four Stays

Most of the remaining promotions are pretty straightforward, offering bonus points after a certain number of stays. In these discussions, we’ll draw upon our 0.9cpp (CAD) valuation of Marriott Bonvoy points to evaluate the offers.

The most generous one I’ve seen is for 22,500 bonus points. One version of it is structured based on two stays:

  • 7,500 bonus points ($67.5) after one stay
  • 15,000 bonus points ($135) after two stays

Another version is based on three stays instead:

  • 6,000 bonus points ($54) after one stay
  • 7,500 bonus points ($67.5) after two stays
  • 9,000 bonus points ($81) after three stays

There’s also a variant of this offer that gives the same totals as the three-stay version, except the points are earned after two, three, and four stays respectively.

No matter which of these offers you get, a total return worth $202.50 is fairly respectable, especially if your underlying stays weren’t the most expensive to begin with.

Earn 18,000 Bonus Points After Three Weekend Stays

Here’s the offer that I was personally targeted with. I’ll earn a total of 18,000 bonus points, as follows:

  • 4,000 bonus points ($36) after one weekend stay
  • 6,000 bonus points ($54) after two weekend stays
  • 8,000 bonus points ($72) after three weekend stays

The tricky part here is that the stays need to fall on a weekend, which is defined as a stay the includes a Friday or Saturday night.

I’d feel fairly confident of maximizing this promotion if it counted for weekdays as well. The limitation to weekend nights means that it’s less likely to influence my behaviour, but it’s something I’ll be keeping in mind if I do happen to be planning some weekend getaways. 

Other Targeted Promotions

The above three promotions are the most rewarding ones that I’ve seen.

There’s also a wide range of other lower-value promotions, which I’d say are not really worth going out of your way for. Instead, it’s something you’d happily take if you were planning to book some Marriott hotels over the next few months anyway, and it might move the needle when deciding whether to pay cash or redeem points for a hotel. 

These targeted promotions include:

  • Earn 15,000 bonus points after three stays:
    • 6,000 bonus points ($54) after one stay
    • 3,000 bonus points ($27) after two stays
    • 6,000 bonus points ($54) after three stays
  • Earn 12,000 bonus points after two stays:
    • 4,500 bonus points ($40.5) after one stay
    • 7,500 bonus points ($67.5) after two stays
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after three stays:
    • 4,000 bonus points ($36) after one stay
    • 2,000 bonus points ($18) after two stays
    • 4,000 bonus points ($36) after three stays
  • Earn 9,000 bonus points after three stays:
    • 1,500 bonus points ($13.5) after one stay
    • 3,000 bonus points ($27) after two stays
    • 4,500 bonus points ($40.5) after three stays
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after two weekend stays:
    • 2,000 bonus points ($18) after one weekend stay
    • 3,000 bonus points ($27) after two weekend stays
  • Earn double points on stays of at least two nights

Conclusion

Marriott’s “More Points Ahead” event for the spring of 2021 offers one of the widest range of targeted promotions that we’ve seen from the program recently. Check your Promotions page to see whether you’ve been targeted for an offer, and especially whether you’ve been lucky enough to get one of the promotions for two free night certificates.