Middle Age Miles

Marriott Bonvoy “Double Take” Promotion Starts Today – Be Sure to Register!

marriott bonvoy double take promotion double points 2nd quarter 2019

Marriott’s newest promotion, “Double Take,” starts today and runs through June 4. It’s a good, solid promotion, especially for Marriott’s best customers – double points on all stays, starting with the member’s second stay.

Details of the Marriott Double Take Promotion

  • Earn double base points for each stay between now and June 4, starting with your second stay
    • Base points are 10 points per dollar of spend at most Marriott-family properties
      • Only 5 points per dollar at Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, and Element
    • Bonus points from elite status are not doubled
  • Points earning is uncapped
  • Only paid stays count for the promotion
    • Thus, an award or certificate stay will not count as your first stay for purposes of the promo
    • Double points wills start only with your second paid stay
  • You must register for the promotion by May 21, 2019
  • ExecuStay and Marriott Executive Apartments are not eligible for this promotion
  • Rooms booked through most third party online retailers and select travel agency bookings are ineligible to earn for this promotion
  • We believe only one room at a time can earn double points, but we’re not entirely sure – here is the exact language from the promotion terms:
    • “Only one room per hotel is counted toward a member’s nights or stay.”

In addition, this promotion has a second prong, which Marriott calls “Earn Even More”:

  • Marriott Bonvoy US Cardholders earn a bonus of 500 points per stay, for weekend stays, starting with your first stay
    • Any stay that includes a Friday or Saturday night counts as a weekend stay
    • The 500 bonus points are in addition to double-points earning, for stays that qualify for both bonuses
    • Points earning is uncapped
    • The Marriott Bonvoy member must be the primary cardholder (not merely an authorized user)
    • The following cards qualify:
      • Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant (formerly the Amex SPG Luxury card)
      • Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business (formerly the Amex SPG personal card)
      • Amex Marriott Bonvoy (formerly the Amex SPG personal card)
      • Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless (formerly the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card)
      • Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier (formerly the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier card)
      • Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business (formerly the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business card)
      • Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa
      • and two other Marriott cards that I don’t recognize (possibly no-fee cards?)
    • It does not appear that you actually have to pay with your Marriott card to get the 500-point bonus

Relevant Link

The registration link includes some terms and conditions at the bottom of the page, which we’ve pretty much recapped above. We could not locate any longer set of terms and conditions for the promotion, which leaves some potentially important issues unanswered (for example, we have have a stay that begins on June 3 and ends on June 6, thus straddling the June 4 end date for the promotion – would some or all of this stay earn double points?).

Upon registration, we didn’t receive any direct confirmation that our registration was successful. However, clicking the registration page took us to a page where we could see that the Double Take promotion was attached to our Marriott account:

Analysis of the Marriott Double Take Promo

If you have multiple Marriott stays in the next 2½ months, this is a very nice promotion for you. It’s especially valuable for road warriors who will have many stays, and people who will have expensive stays that will be their second or later stays during the promotional period.

We currently assign a baseline value of 0.7 cents per Marriott point. We recently reduced this baseline value from 0.75, based on major devaluations to award redemptions. There’s also a possibility of a further reduction in our baseline value, depending on how Marriott implements Peak/Standard/Off-Peak pricing sometime later this year. We don’t see this falling below 0.65 cents per point, though, given the ability to convert Marriott points to airline miles in a wide variety of programs.

Given that baseline value of 0.7 cents per point and the fact that most Marriott brands will earn an extra 10 points per dollar of spend, the promotion is giving an extra 7% return on Marriott spend in the form of a points rebate. We’ve had plenty of complaints about Marriott recently, but we think that an extra 7% return represents a very solid promotion.

In addition, for weekend stays the extra 500 points would be an additional points rebate worth about $3.50. That’s probably not going to move the needle for anyone, but it’s a nice-to-have extra bonus.

To see the promotion in action, let’s take an example of a Platinum member on a weekend stay at a JW Marriott (or any other brand where the base earning rate is 10 points per dollar), where the total room rate is $600:

  • Base points earning = 10 * $600 = 6,000
  • Platinum bonus = 50% * 6,000 = 3,000
  • Double points promo = 6,000
  • Weekend stay promo = 500
  • TOTAL POINTS EARNING = 15,500
  • Value at 0.7 cents/point = $108.50
  • Percentage points rebate = $108.50 / $600 = 18.1%

In this example, let’s further assume that, with taxes, the all-in total becomes $700, and the member pays with a Marriott co-branded card that earns 6 points per dollar of spend:

  • Points earning from credit card = 6 * $700 = 4,200
  • TOTAL POINTS EARNING FROM STAY + CARD = 15,500 + 4,200 = 19,700
  • Value at 0.7 cents/point = $137.90
  • Percentage points rebate on all-in price = $137.90 / $700 = 19.7%

That’s not a bad return at all – and remember that Titanium and Ambassador members with a 75% bonus would even earn slightly more, pushing their percentage return on the all-in price up over 21%.

Ways to Maximize This Promotion

Will This Stack with Portal Earnings?

Yes, at least theoretically. And we’ve seen some great portal offers for Marriott-family hotels recently. You have to watch to see what promotional earning rates might turn up on any given day. But we’ve recently seen portal earnings of 10% cashback / 10x MR at Ebates, 10% at Top Cashback, 10x AA miles at AAdvantage eShopping, and 10x United miles through the United MileagePlus portal.

Our caveat here is that portal earning may not actually track for Marriott. We are in the midst of a long, drawn-out effort to collect the 6,500+ AA miles we should have earned from a Marriott stay in January that we booked by clicking through the AAdvantage eShopping portal. (See Will I Ever Receive My AA Miles from AAdvantage eShopping from My Marriott Stay? [Update from Article on 2/15]) The status remains unchanged since February 22 when we wrote this article. It is “still pending a resolution with the merchant” according to the AAdvantage eShopping customer service representative. Given that AAdvantage eShopping has been very responsive to us, it surely seems as if the problem is on the Marriott side. (Bonvoyed again!) And given the extent of Marriott’s problems these days, we’re not exactly hopeful of a resolution any time soon.

So, yes, theoretically you’ll get portal earnings from Marriott stays. But beware of whether they’ll actually track and post correctly.

Will This Stack with My Individualized Promotion?

We’re pretty sure the answer here is yes. We don’t see any reason why the Double Take promotion should not stack with individualized Marriott promotions received by some Marriott members in February. There’s not any express language in the terms and conditions preventing a stack.

In early February, some Marriott members received individualized promotional offers. Mine was a great offer for a total of up to 22,500 bonus points – 6,000 for my first stay, 7,500 for my second, and 9,000 for my third. On the other hand, Philly received nothing. We wrote about the individualized promos here: Check Your Marriott Rewards Account for a Special Promo!

My promotional period runs through 5/31/2019, so it almost entirely overlaps with the Double Take promotion. This makes for a very valuable stacking opportunity and even brings mattress run possibilities into play. It would be almost criminal to let the opportunity to earn these points pass without collecting.

Other people received a variety of other individualized offers, including double points on stays of 2 nights or more, double elite night credits, 10 elite nights after 2 stays, other points offers, and even free night offers.

So – if you have a good individualized offer, you may be in a real sweet spot for Marriott earnings over the next 2½ months.

Does Double Take Apply to Points Earning from Marriott Rewarding Events?

We don’t think so.

We saw a comment on another blog (can’t remember exactly which one) suggesting that the double points bonus from this promotion would apply to Marriott Rewarding Events. Upon checking the limited terms and conditions for the promotion, we’re guessing that the promotion doesn’t apply to Rewarding Events, though. The language in the terms says that the Double Take promotion applies to “stays.” If you look at the Marriott Bonvoy full terms and conditions, they distinguish Rewarding Events from “stays” and thus, our reading and best guess is that a Rewarding Event is not a “stay” and thus would not qualify for double points.

If you have any data points that would clarify this, please let us know in the Comments!

Will This Stack with Benefits from Amex FHR, Chase LHRC and/or Virtuoso?

Marriott stays booked through the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program, the Chase Luxury Hotels & Resorts Collection and Virtuoso typically earn Marriott points and elite night credits, and you receive your regular Marriott elite benefits in addition to the benefits conferred by the programs. That shouldn’t be any different with respect to the Double Take promotion.

So, yes, you should be able to earn Double Take promotional bonus points on stays booked through these programs.

Similarly, stays booked using the Citi Prestige 4th-night-free benefit will be eligible for Double Take, but if and only if you book them through the Citi Aspire Concierge (but not if booked through the ThankYou travel portal).

Will This Promotion Stack with Amex Offers?

Yes. The only current Marriott-family Amex Offer is for St. Regis hotels in the US, Canada and Mexico- get a $100 statement credit if you spend $500+. This Offer runs through May 31, so the time period almost exactly coincides with this promotion. If any other Amex Offers for Marriott-family properties become available before the end of the promotion, they too will stack with the Double Take promotion.

Conclusion

There are many problems and a general lack of trustworthiness plaguing Marriott these days. We also don’t love the recent trend in hotel promotions where the bonuses don’t start until your second stay during the promotional period.

But that said, the new Double Take promotion is very solid, and potentially quite rewarding for some people. We’ve registered, and we’ll be taking advantage of the promotion as well as stacking it with our individualized promotion from February to earn a boatload of Marriott points on 3 upcoming stays where Marriott is our only option or a clear choice. Even with Marriott’s massive devaluations, we’re sure we’ll find a use for the points on some fun travel to come!

What do you think of the new Marriott Double Take promotion? Do you have information or data points on the questions we posed in this article about stacking? Please let us know in the Comments!


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