Middle Age Miles

Marriott Bonvoy Spring 2020 “Unlimited Bonus Points” Promotion Starts March 17

marriott bonvoy promotion spring 2020 unlimited bonus points

Summary of the Promotion

Marriott Bonvoy has announced its Spring 2020 chainwide promotion, called “Unlimited Bonus Points.” Key details are as follows:

  • Earn 2,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points for each stay during the promotional period, starting with your second stay
  • Promotion period is March 17 through June 14, 2020
  • Must register by 5/31/2020 and in advance of your first stay
  • Only stays on points-eligible rates count for this promotion (more on this later)
  • A “stay” is defined as consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, regardless of check-in/checkout activity

Relevant Link

You can register for the promotion and view the full terms and conditions here:

Quick Analysis and Questions

At our baseline value of 0.67 cents per Marriott Bonvoy point, this promotion is worth about $13.34 per stay, starting with your second stay during the promotional period. That’s not enough to move the needle on routing any stays to Marriott properties.

The people who can benefit most from this promotion are those who have a lot of inexpensive 1-night stays. In this way, the promotion is similar to Hilton’s current “Points Unlimited” promotion (2,000 bonus HH points for every stay starting with the first, plus a 10,000-point bonus for every 10 nights). The promotion does not reward high spending, which is a bit of a surprise.

We also continue to dislike the current trend of promotional benefits kicking in only upon the second stay during relatively short promotional periods (in this case, 3 months).

One question that’s not entirely clear to us is whether award stays that include points-earning charges made to the room will qualify for this promotion. The promotion terms say that the member must stay on any “points-eligible rate”/”Qualifying Rate” to count. This makes it reasonably clear that paid stays count (except for third-party bookings and special rates like travel industry rates), and award stays with no spend do not count. But “Qualifying Rate” (points-eligible rate), in the Marriott Bonvoy terms and conditions (section 2.1.e) is defined as a stay “which qualifies to earn Points or Miles.” Award stays with certain types of room charges earn points; for example, food & beverage and in-room movies & video games (see section 2.1.b, “Qualifying Charges”). These types of stays would appear to become “Qualifying Rate” stays that would be eligible for the promotion. All that said, we are not confident that Marriott will consider any award stays to be eligible for the promotion.

Note that stays where the member elects to earn miles rather than Marriott points are not eligible for this promotion.

Also, note that there’s no reason to mattress-run a first stay under this promotion, because you can only earn about $13 in promotional bonus points from your second stay. Mattress-running a first stay generally only works with spend-based promotions.

All in all, we consider this to be a weak promotion, in line with the other weak promotions that Marriott Bonvoy has offered over the past few months. We’ll register, but we won’t be moving any stays over to Marriott as a result of this promotion.

What do you think of Marriott Bonvoy’s “Unlimited Bonus Points” promotion? Do you have any further insight about whether award stays that include points-earning room charges will count? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!

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