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When Marriott rolled out its ‘unified loyalty program’ in August 2018, a big change to Marriott Rewarding Events took away the benefit of earning 10 elite qualifying nights per meeting. Many people earned Platinum status year after year on the back of meetings.
The new August 2018 terms changed to, “Get 10 Elite Qualifying Nights (EQNs) with your first meeting.”
Hunt around the fine print of Marriott’s site in 2018 and you would find no clear definition of ‘first meeting.’ Reports via Marriott PR said that this means once per year, as in your first meeting every calendar year. I never saw this in writing in an official statement.
Terms Updated for 2019
Good news that the new Marriott Bonvoy terms as of February 2019 make this explicit as once per calendar year:
4.2.a.iv When booking a qualifying group event or meeting with Rewarding Events, ten (10) Elite nights per calendar year will be awarded to the Member for his/her first group, event or meeting, and thereafter, one (1) Elite Night Credit will be awarded for every twenty (20) rooms booked and actualized, up to a maximum of twenty (20) Elite Night Credits per contract. Points or Miles may be earned in addition to Elite Night Credits for Rewarding Events.
Shouldn’t Rewarding Events now be called Bonvoyding Events?
Confirmed by My Meetings
I held a meeting in November 2018 that earned 10 elite nights:
Tips for Booking Meetings
The following brands do not participate in Marriott Reward Events, so don’t book them:
- Residence Inn
- TownePlace Suites
- Marriott Executive Apartments
Some hotels can be booked and paid for online. Most hotels you need to submit a RFP. If you submit a RFP for a small meeting you’ll probably never get a response.
You can call hotels. Even better, I’ve found when I am staying at a hotel or passing by, asking to see the meeting manager quickly determines if this is a person that can meet my needs. Turnover among meeting planners at hotels in the U.S. seems incredibly high so don’t expect the contact to stay the same for long.
Be aware that on top of the quoted price, most hotels help themselves to generous service charges in addition to taxes.
Now, I wonder, have they really hard-coded their system to give only one set of 10 nights per calendar year?