Has anyone else found it hard to book a free category 1-5 hotel stay using the free night that Visa offers? I have been looking and there seem to be very few places to use the benefit during the time that I want.
This is also one of the few things that you cannot book online.
I've never had a problem -- though it's probably because I've gotten stuck at NYC airports and have had a wide variety of choices! I've also stayed a couple of times at the last minute on a free night award when getting into Portland late at night.
Stepping Stone: I have not had any problems using the visa free night certificate. For Example, I will be using it in September for an overnight stay at the LAX full service Marriott hotel on my way on a trip to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore and Malaysia. Frankly, I am suprised you are having difficulty using your certificate.
I have had issues this past month. I had a free room certificate (category 1 - 5) that I had been saving for an upcoming trip to Niagara Falls.
Upon booking, I discovered that although the hotel was indeed a category 5 hotel, they would not except my certificate.
I've never had a problem. I use the WEB site to get a two or three day booking where and when I want and then call Marriott Rewards to convert one of those nights to "free" using the VISA award It seems to work. I suppose even a 1 night would work but I usually stay more than that.
The only problem I have ever had is remembering to use it within the 6 month use window.
I haven't had any problems. We used the Mariott Visa free night last year in downtown Cleveland and have this years booked next month in Arizona.
For some reason, I can book the Mariott Visa free night on the Internet -- it has worked the same way using other free bonus nights have worked.
I've booked online, too. . .just did so last week, specifying points, and the system magically (?) used the free night's certificate for a visit to my daughter and son in law in PA. I did try to use it at the Chicago Mag Mile Courtyard and they wouldn't accept it, saying their were blackout dates. Thought those were abolished??
You should be able to book your e-cert online. Just search for a city and date and check the "Use Marriott Rewards Points" box.
When you get to step 2 of the reservation process (Guest Information), it will ask if you want to use the e-cert that is already in your account or if you want to order a new one.
You might need to make the reservation for 1 night only or the system will try to use only your points.
Our e- cert was for a free cat 1-4. We booked a "free night" at a cat 4 hotel back in April, only problem was the hotel was upgraded to a cat 5 hotel after our stay. It wasn't for months later the "points" were modified on our account and we found we were actually charged 25,000 points for our "free" stay. When I called a very nice lady explained to me when they went to post the free stay they denied it because our hotel was upgraded to cat 5. She said all they can do is put the 25,000 points back in, but here it is Oct 19th and it still hasn't been done. Very frustrating!