Is Marriott’s First Quarter Promotion Even Worse Than Starwood’s?

Via One Mile at a Time Marriott’s first quarter 2018 promotion is out. You should register for it right away so you’ll earn the points if you happen to stay at least twice with Marriotts, and you won’t have to think about it again. Ever.

If you can believe it — and even though with Starwood and Marriott beginning to align their loyalty programs and being run together — Marriott’s offer is even less generous than Starwood’s.

Between January 16 and April 15 you’ll earn:

  • 2000 bonus points per stay but only starting with your second stay
  • 1000 additional points for stays that include a weekend night (Friday or Saturday night, but Thursday/Friday in the Mideast)
  • Bonus points-earning capped at 50,000

This is a very similar promotion to Starwood’s — double points after the second stay and 500 additional points for weekend stays — but it’s worse.

  1. Full service Marriotts earn 10 points per dollar. 2000 points per stay is more generous up until your stay costs $200. That’s marginally better for a one night stay but not as good for most stays longer than a night.

  2. Marriott themselves say that Marriott Rewards are worth 1/3rd of a Starwood point. So they’re effectively giving you 333 Starpoints for stays including a weekend night, or one-third fewer bonus points than Starwood will give you.

  3. And they cap your earning. It’s not like this is a generous promotion to begin with but they’re making sure you don’t walk away with even a free night at their pricier properties.

Some commenters are suggesting they aren’t able to register for MA18 so perhaps there are other MegaBonus offers out there that will be more rewarding. Let me know what you get!

Regardless always register for these promotions, even when they’re weak, because extra points are always better than a hole in the head (‘lokh in kop’) as my grandfather used to say.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Granny was right
    However Murriott has to pay off their 13 billion dollar buy out of Starwurst
    Cheap ba$t###s
    I love how they toss points out like candy for social media yet cant reward their elites properly who stay
    Oh well that’s why they bought Starwood
    round up the elites like cattle and give them crumbs when they stay

  2. Marriott promotions are rarely exciting or enticing, take it from a long time Marriott loyalist. The best they get are the Megabonus promotion with 2 stays and you get a capped cert for a free night — usually one can earn but one per promotion (although once they permitted you to earn 2).

    Slow and steady always wins the race and that has been their credo for some time.

  3. but both better than Hyatt’s recent promotion, which yielded me zilch in spite of staying at many Hyatts, because my corporate travel agency use (required usage ) makes me ineligible.

  4. Here’s another example of the benefits companies reap when competition is eliminated through mergers.

    The wealthy feast, and the gap widens. All they need is to dangle a few crumbs before us and the serfs rejoice. Of course a crumb is better than no crumb. Believe me. Believe me. Believe me.

  5. I’m SO sick of this merger/purchase. Just when can I expect my Lifetime Platinum benefits with SPG to fly out the window? I didn’t hear of the SPG promotion and I have 4 upcoming stays with them!

    I thought they were merging the programs on the 1st of January. But neither program has kept me up on the details. I’ve recommended SPG hotels for so many years that I’ve lost track. But when it becomes Marriott, forget it.

    I was ready to give it a try. Then my most frequented Sherston suddenly got the world’s worst new bath amenities. They closed the lounge on weekends! And the Marriott employees they’re training are only getting worse. I understand it takes awhile, but it’s so obvious that they’re trying to push the Sheraton brand down to a lower category hotel. The ONLY positive I saw in my last 3 stays was a huge TV in the suite I’m usually upgraded to. But since Marriott doesn’t Suite upgrade, I have no interest in staying there.

    Whatever they’re up to, I’m guessing that the Lifetime Plats, the Plat 75 & 50s will miss out the most. Anyone wanna buy Suite night awards? They were useless this year (and believe me, I tried!) Then I got 10 more! How are they going to work with Marriott?

    I just wish they’d take the time to bother with an email to SPG members to let us know WTH is happening. Lifetime status? Suite Night Awards? Our points? Should I use them up before the new year?

    Promos or no, this whole thing sucks.

  6. I can tweet at Marriott on Sundays during football season and get a thousand points. So why even bother to go stay at a property thinking I’m being somehow incentivized by this lame offer?

  7. Yes, yes it is.

    Honestly, since the merger, Starwood hasn’t had any very lucrative promotions. I remember banking about 7,000 Starpoints on 2 stays in Dec 2015/Jan 2016 by stacking a couple offers. Wish they would bring more like that back.

    My Q1 2018 IHG Accelerate on the other hand…

  8. Got the same promo and I concur. Have an upcoming stay that will cost USD $1k. As SPG Gold would get 6000 points (w/2x points). As Marriott Gold will get 14,000 points. At 3:1 conversion SPG is clearly the winner, notwithstanding the lack of lounge access.

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