For all of the unfriendly changes and customer service issues we’ve seen from Marriott over the past year-and-a-half (#Bonvoyed), there’s an area where Marriott Bonvoy customer service has excelled for us and many others – extending the expiration date on free night certificates.
This is a fairly well-known data point, but we were so pleased with our experience this week that we wanted to write about it to make sure all Middle Age Miles readers are award that this is a possibility.
Extending a Marriott Free Night Certificate
In short, if you have a Marriott free night certificate that’s about to expire unused, call Marriott Bonvoy customer service and ask if it can be extended. There have been many data points, including our own, of Marriott extending free night certificates by a full year.
To be clear, Marriott does *not* have a written policy that will extend expiring certificates. To the contrary, the Marriott rep may describe the extension as a “one-time exception” or similar language.
Our Personal Experience
We have called Marriott twice in the past 2 months to ask about extending free night certificates, including once earlier this week. Both times, the agent has graciously agreed to extend the certificate by a year.
The agents described the process as cancelling the existing certificate and adding a new certificate that would expire one year from the date of the call. As a strategic matter, you might want to wait until just before the certificate expires to make the call to Marriott, to get the longest possible period of use
In each of our experiences, the new certificate appeared immediately in our Marriott Bonvoy online account, ready to be redeemed. On our extension yesterday, the new certificate showed the new expiration date exactly 1 year after our call:
Other Questions About Free Night Certificates
- Does the expiration date mean that I have to book by the expiration date or stay by the expiration date?
- You must stay by the expiration date of the certificate
- Are certificate extensions automatic? What can I do to improve my chances of an extension?
- No. The data points that we’ve read on this topic vary quite a bit. Sometimes people have had to give an explanation of why they couldn’t use the certificate by the original expiration date. Elite status probably helps – and if you have elite status, you definitely should call the special number for your elite status level. If you aren’t able to get the extension on your first try, hang up and call again (HUCA).
What’s been your experience with extending Marriott Free Night Certificates? Do you have any helpful tips? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!
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