I imagine this is probably exceedingly obvious to Marriott loyalists, but for those of us who are just learning our way around Marriott Rewards, I figure this is worth a post.
Historically I’ve been a Starwood loyalist, though with Marriott’s takeover of Starwood, I’m now also a Marriott Rewards Platinum member through their status match offering. While my priority is always to stay at Starwood hotels when possible, they don’t have nearly as big of a global footprint as Marriott does. As a result, I’ve found myself occasionally staying at Marriott hotels.
Marriott’s global promotions are typically called “MegaBonus.” During Marriott’s MegaBonus promotion last fall, they offered a Category 1-5 free night certificate after making just two stays at any Marriott family property. That’s really generous — I easily qualified for that, and am now just getting around to redeeming the certificate for an upcoming airport hotel stay, as it expires in July 2018.
This is my first time redeeming a Marriott free night certificate (in the past I’ve only outright redeemed points), though these are similar to the ones they offer through their co-branded credit card, so the redemption process should be identical.
Anyway, to find your Marriott Rewards free night certificate, simply log into your Marriott Rewards account and click on the “Activity” tab, where you’ll see a section with “Unused Certificates,” assuming you have any to redeem.
That part is straightforward enough, though what tricked me was that there was nothing there to click on to go through the booking process, and I couldn’t get the website to display an option to redeem the certificate, at least not initially.
It took me a while to figure out the correct process, and then it was obvious. To redeem a Marriott free night certificate you just click “Use Points,” as you’d do if you were redeeming points for a stay.
On the next page you’ll see all the options for redeeming points. In this case I didn’t even have enough points for a free night, so interestingly it only showed me hotels that were within the category range of my certificate. This page lists the category of each property, so you can easily verify that a property is in an eligible category.
On the next page you’ll see the price in points, so you’ll want to select the base room. It let me select this even though I didn’t even have enough points in my account for the room I wanted.
Finally the last page before you confirm the reservation shows your e-certificates as a payment method option. Since I didn’t have enough points, I had the option of paying $62.50 to buy 5,000 points, or the option of redeeming a certificate.
So I apologize if this is exceedingly obvious to everyone else, but it took me a good five minutes to figure out how to redeem the certificate, and figured it was worth a post. Just go through the process of making a points booking (even if you don’t have enough points), and then the last page before confirming the booking, select the eligible e-certificate that you want to use for the booking.