As a Marriott Bonvoy member, it’s pretty simple to book a single room for your use while traveling. Login to your Bonvoy account, check rates and cancellation policy, book.
However, booking multiple rooms can be a bit more complex. You have to think about elite nights, points, promotions, status benefits and so on.
Let’s start with the basics.
Marriott’s policy on multiple room bookings
Marriott has spelled out its policy for multiple room bookings pretty clearly.
You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points for up to 3 rooms. However, all the following conditions should be fulfilled:
- You are staying in one of the rooms.
- Your Marriott Bonvoy number is mentioned on each room booking.
- You are personally paying for each room. So earning points on rooms of colleagues, paid for by work, is probably not going to happen.
- The additional rooms share at least one night in common with the room you are occupying.
The ability to earn points for up to 3 rooms is pretty good. The above conditions are clearly meant to prevent abuse. Shouldn’t be a problem for most.
You earn elite night credits ONLY for the room you are staying in.
This, I feel, is unfair. If one pays for 1 room for 3 nights or 3 rooms for 1 night, the cost doesn’t change.
One can argue that technically a member stayed for 1 night only, even if paying for 3 rooms. That’s also a fair point. I just feel bad that a person could spend way more than a credit card’s annual fees and still not get even a basic elite tier.
What about elite status benefits?
Elite status benefits are meant only for elite members. Hence, in the case of a multiple rooms booking, the elite benefits would be applicable to the member’s room only.
Benefits of Elite membership apply to stays on Qualifying Rates (as described in Section 2.1.e.) and are reserved for Members only and apply solely to the one guest room in which the Elite Member stays. Only one Member per guest room can earn Points/Miles and Elite Night Credit, as well as receive benefits as described in Section 2.1.d.(iv).
Further, the elite status benefits like lounge access and complimentary breakfast are mostly limited to a maximum of 2 guests. i.e., the member plus one additional guest, staying in the same room as the member. Doesn’t matter even if there are 3 guests sharing the room.
Promotions is where it starts getting complicated.
You might be okay with points for 3 rooms and no extra elite nights. Especially for once-a-year family trips.
However, promotions can make the decision much harder. e.g., there is a 2x points promotion, or 1000 bonus points per night, or 2x elite night credits.
Suddenly, the loss is huge. And it’s not that you are getting a discount for booking multiple rooms.
If you look at the latest Marriott promotions, such offers are pretty common.
What’s the best strategy to book multiple rooms at Marriott hotels?
As you may have guessed by now, there is no one right answer.
In my case, when we travel with family, I book one room and my partner books the second one. We both earn points, elite night credits, use all promotions, and are generally eligible for upgrades etc.
Even if it’s a few nights in a year, it works for us.
Marriott now also allows online points transfer without any fees. This makes it pretty easy to consolidate points to redeem.
Depending on the current promotions, and number of nights, it may be okay to book multiple rooms under one account.
However, if there are good promotions available, or if you are booking more than 3 rooms, separating booking will mostly be more rewarding.