My Marriott Rewards Sign-Up Offer: Earn Up To 50,000 Virgin America Elevate Points With Marriott Megamiles
In a season of lackluster hotel promos, Marriott's Megabonus is pretty decent with offers of up to 50,000 hotel points, free nights after just 2 stays and more. Offers are specifically tailored to individuals, so in order to see what you're being offered, you have to log into your Marriott Rewards account.
The current Megabonus runs February 1-April 30, and you must register by March 31. While I haven't been wowed by a lot of the offers readers have written in about, I actually received a different offer for new Marriott Rewards members who sign up and stay that I think is actually pretty lucrative in conjunction with one of Marriott's airline partners, Virgin America (though it looks like you can select any of their airline partners once you join). The offer stated:
"New Marriott Rewards members who enroll and register for this promotion by March 31, 2014, will earn 5,000 bonus points with every second paid stay, starting with their second stay—up to a total of 50,000 bonus miles, between February 1, 2014 and April 30, 2014, at participating Marriott properties."Stays must be paid, and it looks like all the brands are participating.
So thinking about it, I could really max out this promo by staying at some cheap properties at around the $100/night mark for one night each and then earn 5,000 bonus Virgin America points every second stay. Those Virgin points are usually redeemable at about 1.5-2.3 cents apiece, so for $200 in spend, I could get approximately $100 back in value to use on Virgin tickets.
For instance, if I were to stay at the Courtyard Austin - University Area, I could get rooms for as low as $88 this winter on various dates.
With taxes, that comes to $102. So for two one-night stays, I'm looking at $204 to earn those 5,000 Elevate points. So then let's say I turned around and wanted to go spend Valentine's Day in Las Vegas - must be a fun place to be single! Roundtrip flights to Las Vegas over those days are going for as low as $98.
I could score those same flights for 4,233 Elevate points:
So I'd actually be getting a value of about 2.2 cents per point here and over 50% return on my Marriott spending.
If I maxed out this promo at the 20 stays, let's say I spent a grand total of $2,500 on hotel rooms and credited my spend to Virgin America, which is a Marriott airline partner - I'd get an additional 1 Elevate point per $1, ending up with 52,500 Elevate points, just shy of the 54,500 points I'd need for a roundtrip first class ticket from LAX to Cancun this spring.
Which would cost me $1,200 otherwise - just under a 50% return on my Marriott spending again:
Because Virgin America is an Amex Membership Rewards transfer partner, I could transfer the remainder of the points I need (though Elevate points are a 1:2 transfer partner, so I'd need 4,000 Amex points to get the remaining 2,000 Elevate points I'd need) and enjoy a week of sun and sand.
While I won't be changing my hotel habits much because of this promo, it does have me thinking about getting some Marriott stays on the books to rack up Virgin points since I want to try out the airline (I still haven't flown them!), and this could be an easy, cheap way to rack up the points to do so. Only if I can find some cheap Marriott properties to max out the night/bonus requirements though.
Anyone else get this offer - or any other interesting airline partner ones?