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Free Night Award

NboroGirl

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I got a Free Night Award Certificate (from having the Marriott credit card) to use up in a couple of months. When I log into my Marriott account, it shows up as:
Free Night Award Certificates (1) Boundless Free Night Award - 35K

I was expecting to see a category associated with it. Is the 35k the number of points I'm allowed for the one-night stay? (Any place I would want to stay at requires more than 35k points per night.) If so, could I add some MRPs to the awarded 35k if I wanted to stay a night in a hotel that required more points?
 

MOXJO7282

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I got a Free Night Award Certificate (from having the Marriott credit card) to use up in a couple of months. When I log into my Marriott account, it shows up as:
Free Night Award Certificates (1) Boundless Free Night Award - 35K

I was expecting to see a category associated with it. Is the 35k the number of points I'm allowed for the one-night stay? (Any place I would want to stay at requires more than 35k points per night.) If so, could I add some MRPs to the awarded 35k if I wanted to stay a night in a hotel that required more points?
I don't believe that is possible to add points to a cert like that.
 

frank808

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Disney Vacation Club (Aulani,SSR,VGC,VGF) Hilton Grand Vacation Club(Bay Club, Kohala Suites, The District) Marriott Vacation Club (Aruba Surf Club, Grand Residence, Grand Chateau, Grand Vista,Harbour Lake, KoOlina,Willow Ridge & DC points)
I got a Free Night Award Certificate (from having the Marriott credit card) to use up in a couple of months. When I log into my Marriott account, it shows up as:
Free Night Award Certificates (1) Boundless Free Night Award - 35K

I was expecting to see a category associated with it. Is the 35k the number of points I'm allowed for the one-night stay? (Any place I would want to stay at requires more than 35k points per night.) If so, could I add some MRPs to the awarded 35k if I wanted to stay a night in a hotel that required more points?
You can stay at any hotel that requires 35k points or less a night. It is not possible to add points to stay at a hotel that requires more points.

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GetawaysRus

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Marriott Grand Chateau
You're on the right track. In the old days, 35K points used to be category 5 (or lower). But Marriott introduced "peak pricing" in 2019, so a category 5 hotel might "cost" more than 35K points during peak demand periods. This has unfortunately decreased the usefulness of these "free night" certificates. So cross your fingers and keep searching for suitable redemptions.
 

NboroGirl

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Thanks for all the responses. Geez, I should've used it last year when I had a chance. I don't feel bad for canceling the credit card now.
 

CalGalTraveler

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This is similar to the IHG credit card free night which devalued from intercontinental stays to holiday inns (ouch!)

So far we have been able to use the free nights to visit our college kids at Springhill Suites, but resort vacations are now not possible. When these devalue further it's time to dump the card and save the AF.

My DH upgraded last year to the 50k free night card and got 150k bonvoy points. Will likely downgrade when next MF is due to 35k night because this would combine with our other 35k nights into a long weekend vs. 1 night at 50k which may not be a great hotel during peak. We still get the same 6x on Vistana MF without the $450 fee so it does not appear that the 50k night incremental benefit is worth it.
 
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Steve Fatula

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Just used the free night in Indianapolis, just over $225/night room. Worth it to me, was driving to Ohio and passing through.
 

frank808

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Disney Vacation Club (Aulani,SSR,VGC,VGF) Hilton Grand Vacation Club(Bay Club, Kohala Suites, The District) Marriott Vacation Club (Aruba Surf Club, Grand Residence, Grand Chateau, Grand Vista,Harbour Lake, KoOlina,Willow Ridge & DC points)
We still get the same 6x on Vistana MF without the $450 fee so it does not appear that the 50k night incremental benefit is worth it.

The Bonvoy Brilliant is not really $450. More like $150 after the $300 Marriott credit for paying anything Marriott like annual maintenance fee. Also comes with free global entry every 4 years so brings my cost down to $125. For my calculations, I pay $30 more to get a 50k certificate instead of a 35k certificate. Might work for you or not. For me, it works so we pay the extra $30 for the 50k certificate.

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PaulaC

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I got a Free Night Award Certificate (from having the Marriott credit card) to use up in a couple of months. When I log into my Marriott account, it shows up as:
Free Night Award Certificates (1) Boundless Free Night Award - 35K

I was expecting to see a category associated with it. Is the 35k the number of points I'm allowed for the one-night stay? (Any place I would want to stay at requires more than 35k points per night.) If so, could I add some MRPs to the awarded 35k if I wanted to stay a night in a hotel that required more points?

We were able to use the free night for a Westin in Hawaii for an upcoming trip in February, so there are still some nice hotels that can be booked for your 35k certificate.
 

CalGalTraveler

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The Bonvoy Brilliant is not really $450. More like $150 after the $300 Marriott credit for paying anything Marriott like annual maintenance fee. Also comes with free global entry every 4 years so brings my cost down to $125. For my calculations, I pay $30 more to get a 50k certificate instead of a 35k certificate. Might work for you or not. For me, it works so we pay the extra $30 for the 50k certificate.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

For our situation, we own an EOY Westin so do not pay to stay at Marriott/Westin brands every year. And when we do, we use our 35k certs and breakfast is included (Springhill) so nothing extra to spend.

If we pay MF on 35k card we get same 6x as 50k card so no incremental benefit other than reduces card to $150. But would rather earn 3% Costco cash back, or Chase Rewards for MF spend which are more flexible so more valuable than Bonvoy pesos.

We have global entry on several other cards so incremental value is 0.

So the question becomes whether we can consistently find a hotel room worth significantly more than $150 a night when we travel that we would have been willing to pay $150 for. And whether it is worth additional $55 /$395 CSR point opportunity cost + hassle to keep the card for a better hotel room that is not available during peak.

The jury is still out for us but leaning toward a downgrade to the 35k card. YMMV based on travel patterns. Not a slam dunk like the Hilton Aspire card which offers airline and resort credits and is uncapped for anniversary hotel night
 
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mdurette

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Persistence can pay off sometimes. I was looking for a room in Time Square the Friday night between Xmas and NY. Cash prices were insane (over $700 for a room that slept 3). I first ended up securing something with 70K points....but kept checking daily and a Four Points Sheraton Cat 5 actually opened up for 35K points so I was able to use the free night CC cert. Appeared recently renovated and they upgraded me to a 1BR suite when I did mobile check-in! Keep checking, something may open up.
 
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