In recent years, Marriott has been doing promotions that provide certificates for free stays at Marriott Hotel properties (Level 1-5 category hotels). While this appears to be a generous reward for loyally staying at Marriott Hotel properties when I travel, I'm finding the certificates to be highly restrictive.
My strong suggestion to Marriott is rather than providing restrictive certificates as the ONLY option for rewarding loyalty for staying extra hotel nights at your properties, give Rewards members the option to receive extra points in their account which don't expire and can be used at the Reward members discretion AND can be transferable to family or friends. Let your Rewards members choose how to be rewarded. It's all about choice, right? This is what Marriott used to do, but Marriott has changed their program in recent years. This represents a downgrade to the program and not a real incentive that makes me want to be a loyal member.
So please pass this feedback along to your SVP over your Marriott Rewards Program. Give members a choice. Hotel stay certificates or points. Thanks for the consideration.
I invite other Marriott Rewards customers to provide their feedback on this suggestion if they agree.
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Yes, you're correct and that's why a lot of folks decide to opt for the certificates instead. I was including previous links to highlight the reality that as much as Insiders and FlyerTalkers have suggested/requested more flexibility in the Certificates, currently there hasn't been any movement that way.
There are usually two points based Megbonus offers:
one being a bonus at 15 nights with an additional bonus at 20 nights
second being a bonus at 20 nights with an additional bonus at 25
Usually the lower offer is better if you expect to get 15 or 20 nights, and the higher better if you expect to get 25 nights.
Sometimes there is a third offer that goes all the way to 30 nights.
Certificates can be used at all of the different brands, but of course can only be used for the eligible categories.
Currently (subject to change this week) there are 79 US Rens of which five are Category 3, thirteen are Category 4, and twenty five are Category 5, so a Cat. 5 certificate could be used for any of those forty three properties and a Category 4 Certificate would be good at the eighteen Cat. 3's and 4's.
The policy applies internationally also, I just used the United States as an example.
Yes, you are correct. The certificates can be used at any property that is a category that the certificate states (1-4 or 1-5), in other words;
If you have a Certificate for Category 1-4 you can use it on any brand Marriott property that is a Category 1-4.
If you have a Certificate for Category 1-5 you can use it on any brand Marriott property that is a Category 1-5.
I mentioned Renaissance because you asked about Renaissance.
and in case you were wondering about the Ritz Carlton brand;
Ritz Carltons are in Tiers - the lowest is Tier 1 which is 30,000 points - so neither of the above Certificates would be of any use at a Ritz
As erc points out, all that matters is that the property falls within the appropriate category (1-4 or 1-5). I've used certificates at several different brands (Renaissance, Marriott, Courtyard, SpringHill Suites, TownePlace Suites, and Fairfield Inn).
Finding a full service property in category 4 or 5 may be more difficult than finding one in the more budget-conscious brands, but it is by no means impossible. I've got 2 Renaissance stays on category 1-5 certificates booked over the next couple months, one in Charlotte, the other in St. Louis.