I was looking for rates for a weekend getaway when I noticed a "Marriott Rewards Member Rate" at a couple of Columbus OH hotels. In this case the discount is nominal, $5/night under the leisure rate. Has anyone else seen or taken advantage of these offers? And are they ever significant savings or offered frequently enough to seek out?
I really don't mean to by cynical about these "member" rates, but it's been my experience, at least recently, that they are "much ado about nothing." Rarely is the discount anything significant, as you just mentioned, or, in order to get the "free night discount," the other nights have to be booked at a pre-established "best rate," which has the effect of minimizing the savings.
There are occasionally some great promotions. For example, a couple of years ago there was a summer promotion in Flordia in which MR members could choose three full-service Marriotts (located all around the state) for a total of I think it was seven nights, and the package was at a significantly reduced rate. And even this year there was a good promotion with regard to two Courtyard Inn stays, involving both points and some free nights. So there are still some good promotions out there, but likely not in the "member rates" category.
Are you registered to receive the weekly email that outlines these rates and where they are offered? This is sent out most Mondays, and is good for the upcoming weekend.
You can also type in the code MEB during the reservation process to see if it is offered at the particular hotel you want.
And the "discount" varies - in some hotels it is pretty spectacular, others - not so much. I believe it depends on their bookings - the fewer the bookings, the higher the discounts.
I often find the BAR (best available rate) or WKD (weekend) rate to be as good....