Marriott Credit Card Free Night Awards: Two Months to Post

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I’ve had a Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express since 2001. I also have the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

Currently each card has an initial bonus of 75,000 points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of cardmembership and has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Now that the Starwood and Marriott programs have been aligned, the cards have each added an annual reward night benefit after your card year anniversary. These can be used for one night at a property whose redemption level is at or under 35,000 points. The free nights make the cards worth keeping, since they’re worth more than the annual fees.

However I’ve been waiting for my free nights to post.

I was charged the business card’s annual fee on September 6.

I was charged my personal card’s annual fee on September 9.

My annual free nights though didn’t post. And they didn’t post. I did not try to chase these down. As with an ongoing issue with my Marriott account, I’m waiting to see how long it takes to get fixed or if it ever gets fixed. I’ve used that as a barometer to judge against when Marriott tells me that they’ve solved their program integration problems.

Reader Joe K. asked me about his annual free night for his card which renewed last month, so I had a look at my own account this morning. And my free nights finally posted overnight.

I now have (2) free night certificates, each valid for a hotel night whose cost is up to 35,000 points, to redeem within the next year.

These certificates make the cards worth keeping. I’ll likely get more than twice each card’s annual fee in value out of redeeming them (and on stays where I would have otherwise paid cash or redeemed 35,000 points).

I know that some have reported posting of these certificates more quickly. Perhaps mine were just caught up in the Marriott program merger IT debacle. So hopefully free night certificates will post more quickly going forward.

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. The official word from Amex SPG is that it takes 8-12 weeks. My renewal date was Aug 13 and am still waiting for the free night. Grrrr…………..

  2. I’m still waiting for 2 elite night credits from the end of the Marriott business card on August 25th. (1 credit /3k in spend). I’m missing promotional points. “Green” stay Marriott points etc. It’s a mess.

  3. I am not sure when my annual fee posted, but my card member anniversary was Aug 2 (anniversary of approval of card) which is what AMEX uses as the yearly milestone. My annual certificate was put in my account on Oct 11, so 40 days for me.

    Also, I upgraded my card to the SPG LUX in the period between my anniversary and receiving the certificate, but the cert came with no issues (CAT 5, next year will be CAT 6), in case this info helps anyone.

  4. How about the fact that if you upgrade to the new Chase Marriott card before your anniversary date that you don’t get the 15 elite night credits? Chase says I upgraded in June (though I don’t remember doing and I definitely wouldn’t have done it if I knew I wouldn’t get the credits) and I’ve been fighting with them to undo it. I got the credits in 2017, I’ll get them in 2019 so it makes zero sense that I wouldn’t get them in 2018 because of where my anniversary date happened to fall. Very frustrating as it is currently the difference between gold and platinum.

  5. My Marriott free night posted immediately. My SPG free night from the AMEX card took a cool 6+ weeks to post. I finally merged the accounts once I got the nights they owed me credited.

  6. they have not credited my free night certificate after I cancelled the hotel. the funny thing is their system could see my missing certificate while I could not see it….creepy IT system

  7. Good to know- when I contemplated cancelling my business card a month ago, they told me the free night certificates wouldn’t come until my NEXT anniversary (2019).

    Looked at my account now – and there it is – one certificate (posted today – card renewed at some point in early October).

  8. Sep 18 fee for me, mine also posted today. From the FT thread, the last reports of them showing up were on Oct 2. I think they are being processed in a monthly batch job.

  9. @shawn same here, cancelled August 20th, been on contact with them since August 22nd. Three weeks ago was told they can see it was cancelled but needed to contact hotel to see what happened, and to give it 5 to 7 business days. Nothing. Crickets. Just sick of it.

  10. I have both Amex (SPG) and Chase Bank credit cards for Marriott.

    Chase posted my free night Marriott certificate almost immediately after the $95 annual fee was added to my monthly Chase statement.

    However, my Amex free night has not posted and it is in its second month since renewal and my payment, but the certificate has not posted to my Marriott account.

    Amex says it takes 8 – 12 weeks to send the certificate to Marriott.

    Question – – Does anyone know the reason why Chase acts immediately in sending the free night certificate while Amex takes two or three months to send the same type certificate for the same item?

    Is this good for marketing to have the same product furnished immediately by one company but up to three months by a competitor?

    We are talking about the same type of annual free night for the same price ($95).

  11. I upgraded my Chase Marriott back in June or so, and my annual fee posted on September 1. Still no free night certificate. (Previous anniversary date was in December).

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