Marriott Rewards has announced the details of its latest MegaBonus promotion and instead of bonus points, the program is giving away free nights. Members who register and complete two paid stays from Sept. 15 through Jan. 15, 2011 and pay with their Visa card will receive a free night’s stay. There is a limit of two free nights per member and free nights can be redeemed at any Marriott Rewards category 1-4 hotel around the world, through May 31, 2011. Registration is required at http://www.MarriottRewards.com/MegaBonus or call (888) 627-7468.
Bottom line: In general, promotions that offer a free night for every two paid stays are a great deal. You can stay two nights at a relatively cheap hotel and redeem your free night for a very nice, expensive hotel. Marriott Rewards MegaBonus, however, only allows members to redeem at category 1-4 hotels, which will limit its appeal. Marriott Rewards has eight hotel categories so the free nights earned through this promotion cannot be used at the highest four award tiers. And members can only earn a maximum of two free nights during the promotion. Members normally earn 10 points per $1 spent at most Marriott brands so two regular one-night stays at $150 per night would yield only 3,000 points, a far cry from the 20,000 points required for a free night at a category 4 property and not even very close to the 7,500 points required for a category 1. So the promotion is still a good one, just not nearly as rich as Hyatt’s recurring stay twice, get one free offer, where members can redeem the free night at high-end Hyatt properties.