Can I Separate a Two-Night Hotel Stay to Earn Elite Credit?
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.
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 email@example.com.