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Marriott Branded Credit Cards Free Night Certificate Discussion Thread

Marriott Branded Credit Cards Free Night Certificate Discussion Thread

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Old Jun 27, 22, 12:39 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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If you need to cancel a reservation booked using a free night certificate, follow the process in this post before cancelling to avoid potentially losing your certificate. If the certificate is lost it should be reenstatable by Marriott customer service, but it may take a while and require some extra work on your part.

Certificate top-off is available as of April 30th: and discussed in a separate thread. Marriott has announced that starting in early 2022, members will be able to combine free-night certs with up to 15,000 points when making redemptions. See the FT thread discussing the 10/26/21 announcements and Marriotts FAQ for current info.

EXTENDING CERTIFICATES EXPIRING June 30, 2022 or later:
  • Except for two people, here and here, everyone has been denied an extension of certificates expiring 6/30/22. 1 person (in Canada) had success with an 8/2 certificate. In past years, your best chance for an extension was to request it close to the expiration date, with a specific property and date in mind.
NEW EXTENSION OF CERTIFICATES announced in October 2021:
  • Free night awards, Suite night awards, and travel certificates will be given a new expiration date of June 30, 2022
  • The Marriott Bonvoy app shows the original issue date of your free night certificates. Go to Account -> Free Night Certificates to find the issue date in small print above each certificate. It's unlikely you have a certificate that won't be extended. If you don't see the issue date in the app, you'll have to wait for the actual extension to happen to check the new expiration.
  • Expiration of points is paused through December 31, 2022. At that time, your points will only expire if your account has been inactive for at least 24 months
  • In March 2022, Marriott will eliminate hotel categories and use variable point pricing for awards. Only a small number will be affected at first, so you won't see an immediate sweep of all properties at once.
PREVIOUS EXTENSION announced May 2021:
  • "Starting May 6, members who had a FNA with an original expiration date in 2020, or which will expire before January 2, 2022, as part of their Cobrand Credit Card Benefit, Annual Choice Benefit, promotions or travel package will be able to redeem it through January 3, 2022.
  • Please note that FNAs with an original expiration date before 2020 will not be eligible for the additional extension. Members do not need to take any action because the system will automatically update their account with these extensions on May 6, 2021."
PREVIOUS EXTENSION announced in 2020:
The expiration date on certificates this year is pushed to 1/31/21.
  • ...Members who currently have an active Free Night Award (FNA) expiring in 2020 as part of their credit card benefit, annual choice benefit, promotions or travel package will be able to use it through January 31, 2021.
  • Expiration dates will be updated by the end of April, giving priority to those expiring soonest.
  • If yours will expire within just a couple days, contact a Marriott representative here by private message.
Before 18 Aug 2018, Chase issued certificates good for specific categories of hotels. Post 18 Aug 2018, all certificates have been converted or will be issued at a specific level of points. SPG AMEX and Ritz Carlton credit cards have also begun to issue certs.

25K points - lower level certificates
35K points - higher level certificates
50K points - luxury level certificates

Marriott will introduce peak and non peak levels for hotels after 1 Jan 2019. Certificates will be capped at the points level where they can be redeemed rather than for a specific category of hotel. Thus, if a hotel is 25K at the non peak level and the peak level is higher, it cannot be booked in the peak level window.

Seven co-branded credit cards offer an annual free night worth up to 50,000 points:
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card (formerly Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Credit Card from American Express) - up to 50K
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless (formerly Rewards Premier Plus) Credit Card - up to 35K
  • Marriott Bonvoy Premier (formerly Rewards Premier) - up to 25K
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express - up to 35K
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express - up to 35K
  • Marriott Rewards Business Premier Plus Credit Card - up to 35K
  • Ritz Carlton Rewards - up to 50K
Things to know:
  1. Certificate is issued at the anniversary date plus one month of the credit card
  2. The certificate expires one year after it is issued. You must complete your stay by the expiration date.
  3. Can NOT be combined with a 3 night award to get a "Stay for 5, Pay for 4" award.
  4. According to Marriott's terms, points reservations can be gifted to another person but certificates earned from a credit card cannot. This means the certificate owner (cardholder) must check-in even if someone else is listed as a guest on the reservation. In rare cases a property has given leeway and allowed just the guest to check-in anyway without the certificate owner present, but it is very risky to depend on this.
How to use:
  • Search for a points booking at an eligible hotel and the option to use the certificate a replacement for some of the required points should appear during the booking process
  • Some have had trouble booking certificates from the 2020 credit card offer to get 5 free nights. In that case, try this website for booking: https://www.marriott.com/loyalty/red...free-nights.mi
  • Officially Marriott allows gifting of points awards but not gifting of free night certificates from credit cards. For the latter, your name will still need to be the reservation. Whether the property requires you to be present for check-in may depend on the hotel.
  • If you have 2 certificates of different value and try to redeem one, the Marriott website offers the one expiring first. If that's not what you want, work around this issue by making a dummy booking with that certificate. Then book the real reservation with the desired certificate. Then cancel the dummy. Be sure to pay attention to any cancellation terms since a few properties are more strict than others.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 4:27 pm
  #496  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ORD
Programs: status free since 2017
Posts: 2,148
Can the free night certificates be used to book for someone else (given that card holder is not traveling)?

My cert from AMEX card is gonna expire in summer and I had an opportunity to use this for the family but website says the name of certificate holder should match with people checking in.... I can add their name on the reservation by calling the property but not sure if that would help. Any thoughts?

Last edited by carsnoceans; Mar 4, 20 at 4:32 pm
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Old Mar 4, 20, 4:59 pm
  #497  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: Aeroplan, Amex AeroPlat
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
Can the free night certificates be used to book for someone else (given that card holder is not traveling)?

My cert from AMEX card is gonna expire in summer and I had an opportunity to use this for the family but website says the name of certificate holder should match with people checking in.... I can add their name on the reservation by calling the property but not sure if that would help. Any thoughts?
No. a free certificate from CC has to be used (as in checked in, stayed, checked out) by the primary card holder of the CC
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Old Mar 4, 20, 10:21 pm
  #498  
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
Can the free night certificates be used to book for someone else (given that card holder is not traveling)?

My cert from AMEX card is gonna expire in summer and I had an opportunity to use this for the family but website says the name of certificate holder should match with people checking in.... I can add their name on the reservation by calling the property but not sure if that would help. Any thoughts?
Especially if you haven't done so before, you may well be able to get a "one time" extension of a Amex or Chase certificate if you can't use it before its expiration. Just make sure you request that extension well enough before it actually expires to be able to HUCA (hang up, call again) in case that's necessary to find someone who's willing to extend it.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 11:45 am
  #499  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,089
Has anyone had problems trying to cancel a certificate stay?
I keep getting:

An unexpected error has occurred

This service is temporarily unavailable. But don't worry, we're on it. Please try again later.


this is for the Westin Chosun in Seoul, SK, as unfortunately we have an employer-mandated 14 day quarantine if we visit South Korea, currently, so we're having to postpone our stay.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 11:52 am
  #500  
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Originally Posted by hurnik View Post
Has anyone had problems trying to cancel a certificate stay?
I keep getting:

An unexpected error has occurred

This service is temporarily unavailable. But don't worry, we're on it. Please try again later.


this is for the Westin Chosun in Seoul, SK, as unfortunately we have an employer-mandated 14 day quarantine if we visit South Korea, currently, so we're having to postpone our stay.
Not sure if it will make a difference in this case, but try detaching the cert first. (You should never cancel a reservation with cert attached as it may take days for the cert to be returned, if at all.)

Click on View Reservation, then Modify. Pick the same room type and it will ask how you want to pay. Choose pts. Cert should be redeposited immediately and you should be able to cancel your reservation. But I dont know what is going on in your case.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 12:58 pm
  #501  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by margarita girl View Post
Not sure if it will make a difference in this case, but try detaching the cert first. (You should never cancel a reservation with cert attached as it may take days for the cert to be returned, if at all.)

Click on View Reservation, then Modify. Pick the same room type and it will ask how you want to pay. Choose pts. Cert should be redeposited immediately and you should be able to cancel your reservation. But I dont know what is going on in your case.
that worked perfectly! Thank you so much!!!!!
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Old Mar 8, 20, 1:54 pm
  #502  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Southern Cali
Programs: AA ExPlat, Marriott Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 1,560
Any recent experience on how long after the anniversary date it took for a 50k cert to post from the Amex Bonvoy Luxury
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Old Mar 9, 20, 7:16 pm
  #503  
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Originally Posted by margarita girl View Post
. (You should never cancel a reservation with cert attached as it may take days for the cert to be returned, if at all.)

.
But sometimes you need to cancel without an alternative in mind...I just did that, and of course I don't see the returned certificate, but maybe I'm looking in the wrong place - exactly where in my account should it (eventually) show up? I also cancelled directly with the hotel, not central reservations, if that makes a difference.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 8:32 pm
  #504  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by theOtherHolmes View Post
No. a free certificate from CC has to be used (as in checked in, stayed, checked out) by the primary card holder of the CC
No, this is not true. I used a certificate from my wife's card (primary cardholder) when I was traveling alone.

I remember there was one extra minor step involved but cannot remember what it was. I think it was something like having to name the party that was going to be using the reservation as they do ask for ID at check-in. I believe that I did call Rewards to confirm so you should be able to do the same.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 9:39 pm
  #505  
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Originally Posted by Eujeanie View Post
But sometimes you need to cancel without an alternative in mind...I just did that, and of course I don't see the returned certificate, but maybe I'm looking in the wrong place - exactly where in my account should it (eventually) show up? I also cancelled directly with the hotel, not central reservations, if that makes a difference.
If you canceled a reservation without detaching the certificate first, it may take a few days to be returned to your account, or it may disappear into the ether. I just gave instructions on how to detach a cert so it is returned to your account immediately. There is no need to have an alternative in mind. With Marriott IT, its very important to act defensively. Certs and SNAs should always be detached before cancelling any reservation.

If you log log in and click on Overview from the drop down menu in top right corner, youll see the cert in your account, if its been returned. Good luck!
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Old Mar 9, 20, 10:22 pm
  #506  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ORD
Programs: status free since 2017
Posts: 2,148
Originally Posted by margarita girl View Post
If you canceled a reservation without detaching the certificate first, it may take a few days to be returned to your account, or it may disappear into the ether. I just gave instructions on how to detach a cert so it is returned to your account immediately. There is no need to have an alternative in mind. With Marriott IT, its very important to act defensively. Certs and SNAs should always be detached before cancelling any reservation.

If you log log in and click on Overview from the drop down menu in top right corner, youll see the cert in your account, if its been returned. Good luck!
I read the post regarding detaching cert a day too late and cancelled my reservation without following the proper steps as mentioned above. Although it has only been less than a week, I am yet to see the certificate on the account. If it doesn't show-up in another week or so, should I try calling reservations or Bonvoy customer care?
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Old Mar 10, 20, 4:17 am
  #507  
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
I read the post regarding detaching cert a day too late and cancelled my reservation without following the proper steps as mentioned above. Although it has only been less than a week, I am yet to see the certificate on the account. If it doesn't show-up in another week or so, should I try calling reservations or Bonvoy customer care?
I only have one phone number for Customer Service. If they cant find your cert, contact the Lurkers for help.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 1:48 pm
  #508  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 192
I chatted online with a Marriott rep a few moments ago. I have a certificate that is expiring in 12 days. I asked if Marriott could extend the expiration date of that due to COVID-19. They said sorry, they will not extend the date. Very short sighted on their part with all of the issues surrounding COVID-19. I'm just a Platinum Elite but you would think that would not be too problematic for them.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 4:32 pm
  #509  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by Ski Ag-'82 View Post
I chatted online with a Marriott rep a few moments ago. I have a certificate that is expiring in 12 days. I asked if Marriott could extend the expiration date of that due to COVID-19. They said sorry, they will not extend the date. Very short sighted on their part with all of the issues surrounding COVID-19. I'm just a Platinum Elite but you would think that would not be too problematic for them.
Hmm, from the various posts over time, it sounded like Marriott was fairly flexible on this even before this virus thing. I have a certificate expiring early May and was toying with the idea of calling them for an extension but I haven't seen any recent posts (except yours) with people's experiences. I have enough time to use the certificate and while a date after expiration would be more preferable, I can live with what I have. I don't really want to call and be shot down, particularly since my Marriott frequency is low at best.
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Old Mar 11, 20, 5:12 pm
  #510  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 56
Originally Posted by Marriott Bonvoy Lurker II View Post
Hi gellison47, please PM us, or drop us an email using the address below, along with these information and your loyalty account so we may look into this for you.

Best regards,

Siti Shahnas
Social Media Team
Marriott International
[email protected]
Hi,
In Feb 2019, I was approved for a Chase Marriott credit card that gave me 3 nights free up to 35K/a night. I did not see/know that these nights were subject to one year expiration until I logged on my Marriott Bonvoy account (these nights have April 2020 expiration date). Had I known of the one year restriction, I'd have not applied for this credit card promotion. Anyway, I called Marriott and they said that I had to take it up with Chase. I called Chase and it seems like Chase told me to talk to Marriott. Can someone kindly help me to get these reward nights extended? Initially, I was going to use these nights for a Vietnam trip but due to the Co Vid 19 spread, I cancelled the trip and per CDC recommendation, I don't plan to make any trips soon.
Any advices are greatly appreciated.
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