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Not wanting Hyatt to have all the fun, Marriott just announced its new fall promotion—which it's dubbing the “Week of Wonders”. There are four separate deals, but the most exciting of which promises the ability to book award nights for “up to 33% fewer points”. Translation: Marriott is temporarily offering off-peak award pricing for most of its hotels.
Up to 33% Off Award Nights During “Week of Wonders”
- Book Marriott award nights at all off-peak pricing (up to 33% less than standard award pricing).
- This is available for award stays booked before October 15, 2020 for stays through November 30, 2020.
While Marriott is advertising it as 33% off, it's really just setting hotels to Off-Peak pricing. Let's review Marriott's Peak/Standard/Off-Peak award chart:
In reality, only category 1 properties get a full “33% off” as promised in the “Week of Wonders” headline. That's because the off-peak award price for a category 1 property is 5,000 points per night—33% less than the standard 7,500 points. Otherwise, the “discount” for every other category is actually between 14–20%.
Nevertheless, there is certainly value to be found in this promotion. And that's particularly true if you're trying to use a Marriott Free Night Award for maximum value. For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (review) offers a Free Night Award worth up to 50,000 points every account anniversary.
During this promotion, you could use that award at a Marriott category 7 property for huge value. For example, you could stay a night at the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, which would typically cost $960 all-in.
Moreover, if you're sitting on a pile of Bonvoy points, now could be a fantastic time to book a luxurious getaway. Here's a screenshot of November award availability at the famous St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort. With off-peak pricing almost every night and Marriott's fifth-night-free benefit, you can score a five-night stay for only 280,000 points!
- Book and stay with Marriott Homes & Villas between October 8, 2020 and December 31, 2020 and receive a Free Night Award worth up to 35,000 points.
- You must book a minimum of three consecutive nights to earn the free night.
- The Free Night Award is issued 3-6 weeks after the qualifying stay and is valid for up to six months after issuance—with no extensions allowed.
As far as I can tell, this promotion's terms and conditions severely limit its value. Essentially, it's only valuable if you plan to book a three-night stay in a private vacation home before the end of the year. But even then, you'll only have six months to find a valuable use for the Free Night Award.
- Marriott Bonvoy members can get up to 25% off the standard rate at participating Marriott hotels.
- Only prepaid rates booked at least 24 hours in advance qualify.
- This is valid on hotel stays over the next four weekends and all days of the week for resorts.
- The terms and conditions include many qualifications and exclusions.
Non-Bonvoy members can save up to 20% off the standard rate, and Bonvoy members can save up to 25%. However, once again, the terms and conditions are so extensive that you'd almost have to luck into finding and completing a qualifying stay. This is certainly not a deal worth chasing.
- Save 30% on all Marriott Boutique purchases through October 15, 2020.
This is your chance to score your favorite Marriott brand products at a discount. Some of the fan favorites include the Westin Heavenly Bed or Ritz-Carlton bathrobes. Simply shop at any Marriott Boutique store now through October 15, 2020 and receive 30% off the total price.
These offerings are in addition to Marriott's previously announced promotion offering 2,500 bonus points on every stay. That promotion runs until October 18, 2020. Plus, you can still buy Marriott Bonvoy points for as little as 0.83¢ each through October 22, 2020.
For me, the only interesting part of the “Week of Wonders” is the off-peak award pricing—which is a promotion that Marriott last offered in June. If you planned to stay at a Marriott in the next few weeks, this presents a great opportunity. However, the limited booking window is frustrating.
While Hyatt currently offers up to a 25% rebate on award bookings through January 2021, Marriott limits the scope of this promotion to bookings made in the next week. Given the wavering state of the travel industry, that's not overly generous.
What are your thoughts on this promotion?
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