Home Contests & Sweepstakes Marriott Created A Contest You Don’t Want To Win

Marriott Created A Contest You Don’t Want To Win

by joeheg

The whole point of running a contest is to make people happy when they win. But what if you manage to design a contest where most entrants are actually disappointed when they win? How can you do that? Well, the folks at Marriott have apparently figured that out with their current “29 Ways To Stay” promotion.

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I’d like to win a four night stay at the Goldener Hirsch in Salzburg, Austria

The contest was announced the same time as the currently running MegaBonus promotion. While the MegaBonus offer this time was rather lackluster, the contest was a mystery. No details were announced besides the contest would be starting on October 4th and offered a chance to wins points or free hotel nights.

Well, October 4th came and went and no contest. After a week delay, the contest finally started on October 11th and will run for 29 days, until November 8. You can enter the contest once daily and the prizes sound good. Well, until you read the fine print.

Each day of the contest, they’ll be rewarding six (6) four night stays at the hotel brand featured that day. They’ll also be giving away points prizes daily from 50 points to 20,000 points.

The Contest

The first day of the contest, I went to the contest webpage and signed in to my Marriott account (since you need to have a Marriott Rewards account to play).

After playing the “Match the tiles” game, I was happy to see this screen pop up.

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 9.10.48 PM

Fifty points is better than nothing, even if Marriott only puts a $0.45 value on the prize. I logged into Sharon’s account next and received the same message. I figured that I’d just spend a few minutes every day and rack up 50 points every other day (since the chance to win is just over 50%).

Next day, after playing the contest, I received this message for the both of us:

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 10.03.07 PM.png

Ok, so I received another entry for the grand prize but what about the instant win game. I thought a message saying I didn’t win TODAY would be clearer.

Then I saw this tweet from Mommy Points to SPG

Not surprisingly, she didn’t get an answer on Twitter.

The internet combed through the entire contest rules and found this little gem hidden under the prize list.

Limit one (1) Instant Win Prize per person

Disappointment Sets In

So for the entire contest, you can only win an instant prize once. If you win fifty points on day 1, you’re done for the next 28 days. Going to the website and playing again for the rest of the contest only gets you an extra entry for the grand prize.

Way to kill the excitement for the contest. I’ve never played a contest where I was sad that I won. If you haven’t entered yet, here’s what I’d do if I knew what I know now.

Wait to play on a day where they’re featuring one of the expensive brands. Put your chips in when you can win a four night stay (or 85,000 points a night) at an Autograph Collection, Le Meridien, Ritz Carlton or St. Regis. Don’t waste your instant entry on a chance to stay at a Fairfield Suites.

photo-feb-14-2-32-59-pm

I’d rather if they told me I could trade my 50 points back in for a chance to win tomorrow. That’d be a contest where I’d want to go back every day. Then you need to decide if you want to keep what you won or go for a bigger prize, like Let’s Make a Deal.

Final Thoughts

Marriott is sure on a roll. They botched the integration of the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs by failing to get the IT to work and by not communicating honestly with their members. They followed that up by announcing a mediocre promotion and contest, that didn’t even start when they said it would. Now they managed to make it so you’re ineligible to play once you win 45 cents worth of points. Makes you look back fondly at the time when Marriott Rewards gave away 1000 points a week to anyone who answered a football question on Twitter.

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Here’s the list of all the prizes. While I’d imagine EVERYONE who plays for a few days will win something, the longer you wait to enter, the less people you’ll be competing against for the prizes.

Prize Description Number Available Maximum ARV Odds of Winning
4-Night Stay at Four Points by Sheraton 6 $1,260 USD each (up to 35,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Autograph Collection 6 $3,060 USD each (up to 85,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Aloft Hotels 6 $1,260 USD each (up to 35,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at AC Hotels 6 $1,260 USD each (up to 35,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Renaissance Hotels 6 $2,160 USD each (up to 60,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Courtyard by Marriott 6 $1,800 USD each (up to 50,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Delta Hotels 6 $1,800 USD each (up to 50,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Design Hotels 6 $3,060 USD each (up to 85,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at EDITION 6 $3,060 USD each (up to 85,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Element Hotels 6 $1,260 USD each (up to 35,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Fairfield 6 $1,800 USD each (up to 50,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Gaylord Hotels 6 $1,260 USD each (up to 35,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at The Luxury Collection 6 $3,060 USD each (up to 85,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at JW Marriott 6 $2,160 USD each (up to 60,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Marriott Hotels 6 $2,160 USD each (up to 60,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Marriott Executive Apartments 6 $1,800 USD each (up to 50,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Le Meridien 6 $3,060 USD each (up to 85,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Marriott Vacation Club 6 $2,160 USD each (up to 60,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Moxy Hotels 6 $1,260 USD each (up to 35,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Protea Hotels 6 $900 USD each (up to 25,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Residence Inn 6 $1,800 USD each (up to 50,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at The Ritz-Carlton 6 $3,060 USD each (up to 85,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at SpringHill Suites 6 $1,800 USD each (up to 50,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Sheraton 6 $2,160 USD each (up to 60,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at St. Regis 6 $3,060 USD each (up to 85,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at TownePlace Suite 6 $1,260 USD each (up to 35,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Tribute Portfolio Hotels 6 $1,800 USD each (up to 50,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at W Hotels 6 $3,060 USD each (up to 85,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
4-Night Stay at Westin 6 $3,060 USD each (up to 85,000 Bonus Points per night) 1:26,000
50 Bonus Points 75,000 per day $0.45 USD each 1:2
500 Bonus Points 5,000 per day $4.50 USD each 1:26
1000 Bonus Points 2,500 per day $9.00 USD each 1:52
2000 Bonus Points 500 per day $18.00 USD each 1:310
3000 Bonus Points 250 per day $27.00 USD each 1:615
4000 Bonus Points 100 per day $36.00 USD each 1:1,552
5000 Bonus Points 75 per day $45.00 USD each 1:1,940
10000 Bonus Points 50 per day $90.00 USD each 1:2,821
20000 Bonus Points 16 per day $180.00 USD each 1:9,698

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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