I am quite new to Marriott program, so I don't know the rules behind it. I used a free night certificate on 5 of July during my trip to Dallas. Even after all my reward points were posted a week ago, I still didn't see the stay credited to my account. So it doesn't count for a stay towards elite status?
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Any night that is not a paid stay does not count toward elite status. As you noticed you'll still get your points based upon the dollar amount you spend, but no nights are awarded.
You're more than welcome chenbing.
1. Now, night redeemed using points do not count toward elite nights either, sorry to give bad news.
2. You will however; or at least I have gotten credit for an elite night for the night/s using cash.
Thank you so much for answering my dumb questions. It seems like in most of the cases, I will save up the points for Hotel+Air package instead of redeeming for free night.
I am also a SPG Gold member, and all award nights are credited towards your elite status/lifetime status, therefore making it more attractive to redeem points for free nights.
Award nights counting as qualifying is one of those areas where there is low level pressure on the chains from their customers that eventually they respond to. Other such issues are free internet and rollover nights...
Award nights never qualified in any of the 4 major programs (IHG/Marriott/Hilton/SPG) but Hilton broke ranks last decade, SPG followed suit 3 years ago and last year IHG did the same. Marriott is the refusenik here, for which it has form, Marriott has steadfastly maintained its industry-most-demanding 75 night top-tier requirement against an industry that has consolidated around a top tier 50 night requirement.
On the other hand, rolling over nights was never done by any till Marriott broke ranks a few years ago, IHG followed last year and but with Hilton and SPG now standing in the "no" camp, I don't expect this to last, watch SPG fold as it likes to be seen as an innovator, and whilst that ship has well and truly sailed it won't want to be identified as the last refusenik.
Lastly free internet for elites at FS hotels, the fastest in this game of "follow the leader". 5 years ago all 4 required elites to pay. Now all provide it as an elite benefit with IHG being the laggard, though some may say making a virtue out of its delay by including it as a benefit to all members, so with IHG, it's an immediate benefit just for signing up. I suspect it's membership number will rise rapidly, and no doubt the pressure will build on the other 3 to make this a basic membership benefit too...
Hi Bob, I confirm that SPG do counts Award Nights including points or points+cash redeemed nights towards both elite status and lifetime status. I cannot remember clearly but points+cash may be good for Hyatt as well. Interestingly you get all elite benefit for a free stay, including welcome gift such as bonus points (I bet Marriott may do the same).
As for free internet, IHG does a quite normal job but other players are definitely doing it wrong - how could you offer free internet in lower tier brands but not high-end brands? But in real competition, different properties reacts differently, since hotel chains are more complicated in ownership and management. Recently I visited Embassy Suite in Austin, TX, and Sheraton by Galleria in Dallas,TX. Both offer complimentary high speed internet. Embassy Suite even offers free cocktail, beverage and snacks in the afternoon for all guest!
Just returned a week ago from the Austin Embassy Suites, nice place but have to say that Managers Reception was the weakest I've seen at any Embassy......but still had to try it.
I love to try out different hotels and it's always fun to pick from lots of Marriott properties in the same place. I was actually on a road trip to San Antonio and decided to stop over in Austin. SPG at that time had just raised its Austin W from Category 5 to 6, making it less attractive for me to spend points on. Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio has worse service than any other hotels I have visited in contrast to a night prior when I stayed at Austin Embassy Suite, just for your information lol.
I love Hyatt, which offers great properties and excellent service, but chances are 50% when you cannot find one for your travel plan.
I was wowed by JetBlue's promotion for a round trip from HOU to BOS for just $108, and decided to spend my Labor Day there. Just booked three nights in different part of Boston: Intercontinental, The Liberty (SPG's Luxury Collection), and Boston W. So I'm moving on to my next stop, and hope you are doing some wonderful trip in the next few months!
More details to share if you are interested:
1. The first night in Intercontinental Boston is redeemed with 45,000 points. Considering the price tag of $299+tax, I would say it's not too bad a deal.
2. Both stays at SPG are actually from their 'new member welcome bonus", which they offer two free nights for any Category 1-6 properties around the globe. I don't have any plan for oversea or tropical islands, and hotel price in new England is ridiculously high, so I decided to redeem in Boston. Each night costs $280+tax
OOh, I think all hotels reserve the right to be inconsistent. Although Marriott as a company is totally commited to its tie-up with Pepsi, I have heard a few Marriotts serve Coke! Then there's exec lounges, golds get access everywhere, except a very few places they don't!
Admittedly, Marriott is probably the most consistent of all the big chains. Inconsistency certainly abounds at IHG where some hotels upgrade and give lounge access to Plats, others only on paid stays, many, not at all! Marriott mandates seem to be virtually uniformally adhered to, which makes it easy...
Certainly as a Gold/Plat at Marriott the free internet is easy, you get it whatever hotel, wherever you are. I do wonder if Marriott will continue as the refusenik on award stays qualifying and top-tier=75 nights. I suspect they will fall into line on the award stays bit, but bearing in mind the repeated comments about crowded lounges, there'll be no move on Plat qualification. I really do wonder how Hilton manages with such low top tier stay targets, their lounges must be crammed!!
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