There are actually two types of Megabonuses which begins on February 1 and end on April 30. However, you can only sign up to only one. What is interesting is that the Megabonus that is more widely advertised is the one which earns the certificates as opposed to the one that earns the points. The two options are:
1. Earn up to 2 free nights at a category 1-4 hotel. You earn each night when you complete your second paid stay, that is, to get the 2 nights, you need four separate paid stays.
2. Earn 35000 points for the first 20 paid stays and an additional 15000 if you make it to 25 nights for a grand total of 50000 points.
Both of these options have their advantages/disadvantages. An advantage of the first proposal is that you can earn free nights with fewer paid nights. However, the disadvantage is that the certificates are only good for category 1-4 and in addition, the certificates expire 6 months after being issues, that is, sometime end of September of 2011. Note that reward of a category 4 hotel is worth 20000 points, which means that the equivalent worth of these two certificates is up to 40000 points. It would be interesting to know how many of these certificates expire and are never used up by all members. From my personal experience, I would guess that a lot of these certificates will never be used within the first 6 months and will thus expire.
The second option is a bit more interesting. Note that the first 35000 points is less than 2 free nights at a category 4 hotel (i.e., 40000 points). A major advantage of this option is that the points you can earn (up to 50000) go to directly to your account and you can use them whenever you want. Note that if you make it to 50000 points, this is the equivalent of two free nights at a category 5 hotel. Earning points this way is way more flexible. However, you need to make sure that you will be traveling a lot to reach these levels, so basically, reaching the 25 paid nights is the hardest thing.
When I signed up, I only had the option of signing up for the first option. In a respect, I did not like it since though the first option is the easiest to attain, it is at the end the least flexible since you are pigeonholed to a category 1-4 hotel. So basically if you want to stay at a 5 or higher, the certificates are useless and of course, they will expire in 6 months. However, I also heard of this 50000 option which is more interesting to me. So basically I called the Marriott platinum line today (10 March) and asked them what was the deal with these two options. They told me that some clients were given the choice of one and some other ones were given the choice of the other. I asked whether I could get the second option, that is, the one with 50000 points. The representative told me that she could do that and asked me whether I was sure whether I could make the 25 nights. I told her I could, so she manually changed the option to the second one and deducted the free night certificate that I had already earned from the first option. The only disadvantage was that she told me that I could not follow the progress of the promotion on line since this was done manually and that the points would be issued on 15 May and that she would have to manually do this on this date.