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How to Get an Extension on Your Free Night Certificate

How to Get an Extension on Your Free Night Certificate

Once a year, Marriott gives rewards members with one of seven co-branded credit cards a Free Night Certificate every year on their card anniversary. It’s undoubtedly a valuable benefit for Marriott Bonvoy members. But, with Peak Award Pricing, category increases and other changes that came along with the 2018 merger, it can feel like free night certificates don’t have as much value as they used to.

But, there is one way to squeeze a little more value out of your free night certificate–especially if program changes have meant that you’ve gone longer without using it.

Cancel and Ye May Receive

We discovered this “loophole” in the Marriott Free Night Certificate Discussion Thread when a FlyerTalker posted that he’d heard, from a friend of a friend, that when their reservation with their free night certificate was canceled, Marriott replaced it with a new Free Night Certificate. This one didn’t have the original expiration date, but a new one, dated one year from the date that it was issued.

Another FlyerTalker said that (almost) the same thing happened to them: they canceled their reservation online. But, when the Free Night Certificate didn’t automatically show back up in their account they reached out to Marriott via e-mail and their certificate was returned with a fresh one-year expiration date.

Ask and Ye May Also Receive

Not everyone who’s gotten their free night certificate extended for another year did it by canceling a reservation or having it canceled. Another FlyerTalker realized that their Free Night Certificate expired the day before their check-in date. So, they reached out to Marriott via Twitter and got the stock response:  “We apologize, our team will not be able to extend free night award. The other option if you can be flexible with your dates and use the award before expiration. Please feel free to reach out to us should you need further assistance.”

So they called up the Marriott Gold Line and “a very helpful phone agent extended the cert by a full year without any hassle at all.”

Bottom line, it doesn’t sound like it’s that hard to get your Free Night Certificate extended for another year. A cancellation or a call to the Gold line could do it. So, if you’re running out of time to use your free night certificate, it can’t hurt to reach out and see if you can finagle a little more time.


View Comments (6)


  1. mimica

    February 14, 2020 at 7:06 am

    What is a Gold line?

  2. iowa guy

    February 14, 2020 at 8:36 am

    What is the Gold line?

  3. sdsearch

    February 14, 2020 at 9:41 am

    It’s a phone call to Marriott when you have Gold status, like a Platinum call is a phone call to Marriott when you have Platinum status, etc. Ie, when you call Marriott and you have status with them at Gold or above, you may get automatically connected to a special agent for that level of status, which is then called a call to the Gold or Platinum (or whichever status) line by many. (Or it may be a special number printed on your membership card for that status level, if you have one.)

  4. mimica

    February 14, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    Thank you!

  5. iowa guy

    February 17, 2020 at 10:51 am

    I am trying the booking then cancelling method. How soon after cancelling do you think I should contact Marriott about the free night certificate not being in my account? thanks

  6. mhrb

    February 26, 2020 at 6:35 am

    ffs, this was a pretty obvious loophole to try for but now it won’t last long after thoughtless idiots publicise it.

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