Middle Age Miles

[UPDATED: Can Only Win Points 1 Time – UGH!] Marriott “29 Ways to Stay” Promo – Win Free Points and Maybe Free Stays

UPDATED 10/15/2018: It appears that you can only win points one time during this promotion. This makes this promotion virtually useless after you’ve won once (unless you just like spending 2-3 minutes of time each day for a single sweepstakes entry). We are out on this promotion at this point. We apologize for getting this detail wrong in our original article. That said, the fact that we’re not the only blogger who missed this point surely suggests that Marriott’s promotional language was, at best, unclear.

From now through November 8, Marriott Rewards is running a game-play promotion where you can win Marriott Rewards points or even free stays at hotels in the Marriott family of brands. The promotion is called “29 Ways to Stay,” to increase awareness of Marriott’s 29 different hotel brands. Here’s what you need to know about this new promotion:

Relevant Link

To enter this contest for your chance to win free Marriott hotel stays and Marriott Rewards points, go to the “29 Ways to Stay” page and log in to your Marriott Rewards account.

Link to Marriott “29 Ways to Stay” web page

Details of the Promotion

Here’s how the promotion works:

  • The promotion runs from October 11 (yesterday) through November 8
  • You may play once each day [UPDATE: But you may only win Marriott Rewards points once. Subsequent plays will only earn you an additional sweepstakes entry for the Grand Prize.]
  • Once you go to the promotion web page and sign in, you’ll play a short card-matching game and answer a couple of trivia questions – it takes about a minute, and it doesn’t matter whether you get the trivia questions right
  • Once you complete the game, you’ll be notified if you’re an Instant Winner of a daily prize, and you’ll also receive a sweepstakes entry for the Grand Prize

There is one Grand Prize, which will be determined by a sweepstakes drawing after the end of the promotion. There are also many Instant Win daily prizes that are dispensed when you complete the game play.  [UPDATE: We’ll reiterate here – You may only win Marriott Rewards points once. Subsequent plays will only earn you an additional sweepstakes entry for the Grand Prize.]

The Grand Prize consists of 29 2-night stays, 1 at each of the 29 Marriott brands, for the winner and one guest, plus a check for $7,000 to help defray taxes for the Grand Prize winner if the winner is a US resident. Marriott values the Grand Prize at a remarkably specific number, $30,596.80. The Grand Prize is awarded in the form of free-stay certificates deposited in the winner’s Marriott Rewards account. Transportation to and from the hotels is not included.

The Instant Win prizes consist of Marriott Rewards points in varying amounts, plus each day 6 lucky winners receive a free 4-night stay at the hotel brand that’s being featured that day.

Maybe we’ll win free nights in “29 Ways to Stay” and go to the St. Regis Maldives!

Here’s a sampling of some of the free-night prizes, including the value Marriott attributes to each prize and Marriott’s projected odds of winning:

And here are the different Marriott Rewards prizes being offered, along with Marriott’s projected odds of winning:

And here’s an interesting “morality” clause in the promotion’s terms and conditions (Hat Tip to Loyalty Traveler for pointing this out). As much as I’d like to comment, I’ll leave it alone except to present it here for your own reading.

Our Take

This is kind of a fun promotion, and if you win one of the free-stay prizes it could be pretty valuable.

However, don’t expect much. Looking at the odds presented by Marriott, if you play every day from today through the end of the promotion on November 8, that’s 28 entries.  Your most likely result would be to win about 14 50-point awards and 1 500-point award. That would be a total of 1,200 Marriott Rewards points. At our baseline value of 0.75 cents per Marriott Rewards point, that’s worth a whopping 9 bucks.

I’ll spare you the complete probability analysis, but indeed you might earn more.

For what it’s worth, I’ve played the game 4 times so far using 3 different family accounts, and we’ve won 50 points on 3 of the 4 times. [UPDATE: And due to the one-win limitation, it looks like 150 Marriott Rewards points will be the final total of our wins from this promotion. That’s weak.]

I would also note that I had some technical issues playing the game in Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers, but it worked fine in Chrome on my laptop and in Safari on my mobile phone.

Good luck, and I hope all Middle Age Miles readers win a great prize from Marriott!


At Middle Age Miles, we’ll always try to help you earn the most points and miles to help you travel the world for less, including through promotions like Marriott’s “29 Ways to Stay” game. To see all of our tips and tricks, please Like and Follow us on social media at:

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