My favorite promotion: Bonus nights toward elite status - example: stay 1 night, get 2 nights credit toward elite status. Last saw this in June 2009. Any plans for Marriott to offer it again? I prefer this to bonus points!
I wish it could be so, too. The issue is apparently cost, if I had to guess, and this was a direct cost to Marriott Rewards. One from which millions of us benefited in an otherwise lean year, travel-wise.
With the addition of a megabonus for the end of the year, it appears that Marriott will be giving bonus points instead of bonus nights. When you consider that a rewards program is just like a commission plan, you want to reward behavior that helps the company, continuing bonus points makes sense. Bonus nights gives an extra bonus, such as concierge lounge access, to people who are not staying enough nights to earn it. This costs them money without generating revenue. The megabonus gives extra points to those who stay extra nights. While this does cost them by giving extra free stays, it also generates revenue and loyalty by encouraging people to stay more nights. Like all business plans, you have to look at return on investment and bonus points has a greater benefit for Marriott.