Marriott has just completed the merger of the Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz Carlton Rewards programs. While the merger of the three programs, which will not be complete until sometime in 2019, has suffered a series of technical issues, the programs are all now working with one currency under the same umbrella.
With the hard work of merging programs behind them, Marriott has just rolled out their newest Megabonus promotion. I’m sad to say that it wasn’t worth the wait.
Since Hilton and IHG have already announced their promotions, Marriott had a chance to get back some good will and offer a great promo to get people to stay at all of the hotels under their umbrella. Instead, we got a generic promotion that doesn’t reward you much for staying at their hotels.
Here’s the details of the promotion
- Earn 2,000 bonus points on all stays of two or more nights from September 16, 2018 to January 31, 2019
- With each different brand, starting with the second one, you’ll get an additional 1,000 points.
- On October 4th, a 29 Ways to Stay game will be introduced with chances to win prized including points and free nights.
To truly understand the promotion, you need to know the value of the points earned.
Just today I booked an overpriced hotel near Newark Airport that’s going for 25,000 Marriott points a night. I’d need to book two night stays in eight different hotel brands just to earn enough points for a single night at this hotel. For comparison, an equivalent room would cost me about $150 if I just paid out of my own pocket.
This promotion isn’t worth moving any stays to Marriott hotels and I’d actually move stays away from Marriott hotels if you can do better with the promotion from Hilton where you’ll earning double or triple base points on every stay.
Despite the poor return, I still recommend registering for the promotion here. Registration closes on January 7th. From the wording on the website, it looks like as long as you register by January 7th, all eligible stays during the promotion period will be eligible.
Until we know the details of the game part of the promotion, who knows what that be worth. I am interested because of the details at the bottom of the promotion page.
Odds of winning a Grand Prize are dependent on number of eligible entries received. One (1) Grand Prize of twenty-nine (29) 2-night stays at each of the 29 brands of $30,596.80USD maximum value (odds 1: 4,500,000); Eighty-seven (87) 4-night stays of $3,060USD maximum value each (odds 1:52,000); Two million, four hundred and twenty-one thousand and five hundred (2,421,500) Point Wins of $180USD maximum value each (odds 1:2). For complete Official Rules, prize values and eligibility, visit www.Marriott.com/29Ways. Sponsor: Marriott International, Inc.
There could be 2,421,500 winners of points worth a maximum of $180 with a 1:2 chance of winning? Adding in the other prizes, that means that more than half of the Marriott Rewards members will win points in this promotion, if they enter. The link to the contest isn’t active but for the moment, this has enough potential to keep me interested.
While I initially thought the Hilton promotion was weak, the offers I received from IHG and Marriott are even worse. None of these promotions are driving me towards one chain or another. While there was an opportunity for someone to step out and offer something great, instead we’re muddling through a field of mediocre offers of which none are very inspiring.