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Can I Separate a Two-Night Hotel Stay to Earn Elite Credit?

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TPG reader Junaid asked me on Facebook:

“I recently signed up for the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card, and was curious about an upcoming two-night hotel stay. Can I book each of the two nights separately and get credit for two different stays with Marriott in order to earn elite status? Basically I’d reserve one night, then go back and reserve the second night as a completely separate stay, but on the same Marriott credit card.”

Most hotel loyalty programs award elite status based on the number of nights that you stay or the number of stays you complete in a year. A stay can be as short as one night, and usually fewer stays are required than nights to fulfill the status requirements. For example, Starwood will give you Platinum status at only 25 stays, but you have to stay 50 nights to qualify. You could stay 25 times for one night each and earn Platinum status, but staying ten times for three nights each would still leave you 20 nights (or 15 stays) short.

So can you “sneak” past these rules and have a two-night stay count as two, one night stays? The answer is technically no. The hotel will most likely merge two identical stays in their system. They don’t want to award you for two stays when you’re really only there for one. However, it’s possible that the hotel won’t catch on. You can simply say when it’s time to check out that you’ve booked another stay, and ask if it’s possible to just stay in the same room. They might not merge your stays, although they technically should.

You can try, but usually hotel staff will catch on and merge the reservations. Shutterstock.
Usually hotel staff will catch on and merge consecutive reservations. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

It couldn’t hurt to try, especially if you’re by yourself and it wouldn’t be a huge inconvenience to move or switch rooms (which they could technically make you do).

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

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  • Earn 80,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Plus, Earn 7,500 bonus points when you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 location every year after your account anniversary date!
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Rewards points and get free stays faster
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott locations & 2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
  • The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards Elite Status. Receive 15 Elite Credits guaranteeing Silver Elite Status or better. Plus, Earn 1 Elite Credit for every $3,000 spent on purchases
  • All for an $85 Annual Fee
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 16.24% - 23.24% Variable $85 0% Excellent Credit