Reverse Bonvoyed: Doubled Elite Nights Awarded When They Shouldn’t Have Been

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Marriott is even more unpredictable than this year’s March Madness.

They launched a new promotion last month offering double elite nights on stays that included at least one paid night. You could even book 25 award nights and earn double elite night credits provided you had at least one paid night included on the same reservation (see Marriott launches easy elite status for 2021 and cheaper saver awards).

Confused

This was unlike past double elite night promotions which were only valid on paid nights, so we checked with Marriott and they assured us that this was correct – reservations with at least one paid night would earn double elite night credits (see Official word: Marriott mixed paid / award stays will earn double credit).

Nick subsequently republished a post originally written by Julian advising how to make a reservation with Marriott where you combine both paid and award and/or certificate nights (see Combining Marriott awards, certificates, and paid nights in a single booking).

It seems like a number of readers took advantage of this promotion to earn additional elite nights to lock in status through the beginning of 2023. However, it probably won’t be too shocking to you given that it’s Marriott that things haven’t exactly gone smoothly. We received report after report in the Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group that double elite nights weren’t posting correctly.

Let’s say you booked a week-long reservation with two nights being paid and five nights being booked with points. The way the promotion should work is that you’d earn a total of 14 elite night credits for the 7 night stay because at least one night was paid. However, what was happening in this scenario is that people were being awarded 9 elite night credits – 5 elite night credits for the award nights and 2 elite night credits for the paid nights, with only the paid nights earning the doubled credits for an extra 2 nights of credits.

Greg reached out to Marriott to find out what was going on and they assured us that the correct number of elite nights would post within 14 days after an eligible stay. (See Marriott double elite nights not (yet) working as expected.)

I’ve since seen reports that stays still weren’t posting correctly, but it seems like Marriott might now have gone to the other extreme and started awarding double elite nights even when members weren’t eligible for them. #ReverseBonvoyed

Marriott double elite nights on award stays

The first I saw of this was in the Frequent Miler Insiders group. Austin shared that he’d received 4 elite night credits for a 2 night stay. He subsequently surmised that it was a glitch with their system when making a change with the certificates he was using, but I think his original assumption was correct – that Marriott awarded him double elite nights on an award stay.

The reason I think this is because I’ve had a chance to test this out for myself. A couple of days ago I was at 68 elite nights for the year. My wife and I just finished up a 12 night stay in Albuquerque booked entirely with points and so I expected to have my elite night total for 2021 to end up at 80 nights. Our stay didn’t include any paid nights, so I should only have received 12 elite night credits for our 12 night stay.

That didn’t happen though. Instead, I ended up with 92 elite night credits. That’s a total of 24 elite night credits earned for our 12 night stay, so Marriott clearly doubled all of them. When looking at the ‘Nights Detail’ section in my Bonvoy account, those 12 award nights are showing up as paid nights which is presumably why I earned double elite night credits.

Marriott elite night credits

As you can see, 50 of those 92 nights are promotional. 38 of them are due to Marriott awarding 50% elite night credits for 2021 based on your 2020 status. I earned Titanium status last year which got me a boost of 38 elite night credits, with the remaining 12 nights appearing after our 12 night award stay.

My suspicion is that after setting up this promotion to offer double elite night credits provided you book at least one paid night, Marriott’s IT team were rendered hairless after pulling it all out due to not being consulted as to their system’s capabilities. With the doubled elite nights not posting correctly when Bonvoy members booked stays with at least one paid night, I’m guessing that in recent days they decided the easiest thing was to flip a switch on their system so that all stays – regardless of how they were booked – get registered as paid stays. Award stays still wouldn’t earn points as 5x or 10x of $0 is still 0, but at least people who abided by the terms of the promotion would earn the correct number of elite night credits going forward, even if it meant ineligible stays would also earn double nights.

If my suspicion is indeed correct, that bodes well for anyone who has award stays booked through April 27 (the promotion’s end date) as it’d mean you wouldn’t need to include a paid night in your reservation in order to earn the double elite nights.

I should have an additional data point in the next day or two to confirm or refute my theory. A 3 night stay booked using free night certificates on my account just ended, so those elite nights should post to my account in the next 24-48 hours. If that stay earns 6 elite nights, it would support my theory that all elite night credits are now being doubled.

Question

Have you checked out of an award stay with Marriott in the last few days? If so, have you earned double elite night credits too? Let us know in the comments below.

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J B

I had a 6 night stay in April with one paid night and the other 5 using points. Only 7 nights out of 12 were credited; 2 for the paid night and 5 for the points nights. I called Guest services to request the missing 5 nights. I told the agent I had read about many people not being credited bonus nights for the point stays. I referenced Greg’s FAQ citation which proved crucial in getting a case submitted since the agent’s supervisor was operating under the assumption that only the paid nights got doubled. My agent said the additional 5 nights should post within 5 business days and if not, to call back and reference the case number. FM’s excellent reporting and all the reader feedback armed me with exactly the promotion facts I needed to hopefully get what the promotion intended. Thanks Greg and the FM team!

Andrew

Had a 3 night stay completed in early March that included 1 paid night and like many others only received the double elite nights on the one paid night. I messaged Marriott on the 16th business day and included a link to their own promotion terms since nobody over there seems to be aware of them. They said they would review and get back to me in 5 business days. On the 5th day they credited me with the missing elite nights. Hopefully others will ultimately receive their credits too although I’m sure not without it being an incredible hassle. Wish Marriott could get their act together.

Hua chen

I think you earned double elite night on those reward night stay were a honest mistake credited by one of those irresponsible Marriott agents. Hope that your theory is right.

Bob

Bonvoyed on this. I had a 4-night stay, one night paid and three award (cert and points) nights. I got 5 elite nights credited (4 for the stay and only one bonus night under the promotion). After waiting fourteen business days, I called the Bonvoy desk and a ticket was submitted for the “missing” three bonus nights. Here was my email response to the ticket:

Dear Mr. xxxx, 

My name is Elaine and I am contacting you from the Guest Experience Team. This is in relation to the Case you opened regarding the Q! Promotion. 

Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for bonus points or double Elite Night Credits. A “stay” is defined as consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, regardless of check-in/checkout activity on any points-eligible rate. 
You may access the full terms and conditions of the promotion via this link – https://www.marriott.com/loyalty/promotion.mi?promotion=DD21

I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. 

Should you need anything further, please don’t hesitate to reply. I remain at your disposal. 

Kind regards,

Elaine 

Elaine O’D. 
Guest Experience Team,   
Marriott International, McCurtain Street, Cork, Ireland 

Greg The Frequent Miler

Well, that’s awful. My recommendation is to call and try again until you get a rep who knows what they’re talking about.

Bob

But a call only results in a ticket for the Guest Experience Team to review. Won’t they then have a record of the ticket and previous response?

Greg The Frequent Miler

I don’t know. It might help to try to get them to review their own FAQ on this promo: https://help.marriott.com/s/article/Article-27593#:~:text=Earn%20double%20points%20and%20double,2021%20and%20April%2027%2C%202021.

The FAQ states:

Do redemption stays qualify for earning?

Only if a redemption stay includes at least one paid night, it will count toward the promotion offer of double points and double Elite Night Credits.

Bob

Awesome, Greg. Thanks so much for following up. Since the Guest Experience Rep asked me to contact her if I had any further questions, I have replied to her email with the reference you provided. I will keep you posted on how this resolves. Thanks again for following up.

Eliot

Just did a two night award stay March 18/19, only received 2 night credits.

SgFm

Without having at least one paid night in your reservation, you can’t get double nights credit.

Sam

If you read many of the posts in this thread including mine, this is not necessarily the case, Marriott has been giving out double nights, even on point only stays.

Jason

Completed a 7 night stay (1 night paid, 1 night credit card cert, and 5 nights points) on 3/21. Credited with 8 elite nights which I believe is the double credit for the paid night plus 1 elite night for the other 6 nights). Going to wait out the specified time period to see if the other 6 bonus elite nights post…

Sam

Way back in February Marriott was awarding double nights for award stays. I stayed for 3 nights in the latter half of February using points only and was very surprised, but happy, to be credited 6 nights for the stay.

rj123456

How soon do bonvoy nights post? Tempted to use a 5 night cert and get 10 nights to become Platinum, but will they clawback?

Bob

Latest DP. Used twitter to inquire about missing bonus elite nights from this program for both my wife’s and my accounts. We both paid for 1 night, with the extra 3 nights paid with points. Bonvoy Assist Twitter says that the timeframe to wait for posting is 14 business days (excluding weekends), not simply 14 days. Will wait the extra week or so to see what happens.

FreeLunch

I had a 7 night stay (1 paid + 6 points) starting march 7th. I just filed a case yesterday. Today, I received an email stating I don’t get the double nights since it was only a 1 night stay. I emailed them back again, however, with all things Marriott, I’m being #bonyoyed.

FreeLunch

Marriott is saying it will take 10-14 business days AFTER the stay is POSTED. So, what they’re saying it wait about 3 weeks after you check out and then come bother us. We’re in a ponzie scheme! Pass the buck until later! No Soup for You

#TakeYourBonvoyAndSmile.

SgFm

I just got off the phone with Bonvoy about a stay that ended 3/13 and the points only posted today, and only for the actual number of nights that I stayed. I was told the same thing, that I had to wait 10-14 business days from today for the remaining double night credits to post.

Kristin

I just posted on the other thread, but so far, I’ve only been Bonvoy’d. Did a six-night stay, paying for five nights and booking the others on points. Only got double for one night. I’m frustrated because I’m only a few nights away from Platinum and this would do it. Exchanged a few emails with Marriott and they’ve told me that they are only doubling my paid night and not the others. If anyone has any advice for communicating with them, I’d appreciate it. I’m so close! Ha.

Kristin

Thank you! It’s been 12 days, so I’ll wait two more before bugging them on Twitter. I appreciate the tip! I basically got the same response as FreeLunch below. Annoying indeed!

Jeff

I had a 6 night stay (5 on points, 1 paid) that checked out on March 6. After 16 days of not having the right number of nights credited, I reached out via Twitter. They said the right number of nights should post within 14 business days and told me to message them again on March 29. I fully expect the nights not to have posted by then. I feel like relying on business days is just a stall tactic.

Jeff

Update: as expected, the correct number of additional elite nights did not post by the 14 business day mark. I Tweeted them again and was told that the case would be passed to the “Loyalty team” and that I would receive an email when the nights post. That was on 3/29. Nothing yet.

wadacash

Recently checked out of a 10 night stay (1 paid, 9 award, all on the same certificate). Received only 11 nights, not the 20 expected.

wadacash

Checked out March 20

Greg The Frequent Miler

I think Marriott gave Stephen other people’s elite nights 🙂

MFK

DP: one-night award stay using a certificate at the Element Miami on March 10 and only received one elite night credit.

NK3

Also did a 1 night certificate stay (mine in Hawaii), checking out March 15th, only received one elite night credit.

Loren M

Too bad this won’t work retroactively. I booked a 3-night paid stay and a q-night certificate stay mid-Feb at the beginning of the promotion to earn the 7 I needed to go from gold last to platinum (I have both biz and personal cards). My 3 paid nights went through for double nights but my 1-night cert only earned me one night. Looking at other DPs in the comments, it sounds like my single night could have earned one more.

JoeSchmo

This is great news. Thanks for reporting on it! I’m in the midst of a 7 night award stay using a certificate and didn’t add a paid night ($1000/night). I’ll report back on my experience too.

Nate

I have a weird data point to add. I booked two rooms at a Marriott last weekend—one room was for two nights and one room was for one night. I paid for one room with points and cash combo and one room with an annual free night cert. When I checked out I saw they had given me 5 elite night credits (4 for the one room via promo) and 1 for the award room. Thinking that was sweet enough, yesterday one more elite night went into my account. Somehow my stay registered as being a 3 night stay and I got 6 elite nights total. Not complaining at all!

Nate

Most likely yes—I still find it odd that two rooms booked at the same time would post as 3 elite qualifying nights . That wasn’t my understanding of how it worked.

ORD-TGU

I received 2 EQN for a 1 night paid stay.

Benjamin

There’s supposed to be a 2-night minimum stay to trigger the double nights.

Miles Ahead

I thought the promo stated that it must be a minimum of a 2 night stay to get the double EQN?

JoeSchmo

I thought it was double for stays 2 nights or longer. …

Matthew

Thanks for the heads up. They should have just done this to begin with like Hyatt. Did you have any incidentals during your stay? Not sure if that matters with Marriott. I would love to do this with a points saver hotel somewhere but I guess to be safe I should add a paid night too. Unless they officially say all award stays are fine. If they change it back now, that would really disappoint a lot of people. But Marriott isn’t know for consistency anyway…