Redeem Marriott Free Night Certificate for a One Night Reservation

If you have a Chase Marriott Rewards Credit Card, you get a free night certificate every year you pay the annual fee.  There are two things I dislike about the free night certificates.  Firstly, the free night certificate is only valid for 6 months (can be extended by calling Chase/Marriott during the last month of validity).  Secondly, you can only use the free night certificate at a category 1-5 hotel (Marriott has 8 hotel categories).  To use your free night certificate, log into your Marriott account (link) and click the link titled “You Have 1 Unused Certificate”.  Clicking that link will take you directly to your activity page (link).

Marriott Account

On the activity page, you can view all recent account activity and see details of your free night certificate (including expiration dates).  My free night certificate is valid through July 30, 2014.

Marriott Free Night Certificate

Next up, search for a hotel.  In my case, I am searching for a hotel in San Diego next weekend.

Search Marriott Hotel

My search produces 24 hotels with various Marriott categories.  Unfortunately, the best hotels (categories 6-8) are not bookable with my free night certificate.

Marriott Hotel Results All

Scroll down until you see these search options on the right hand side.  Expand the hotel category box and select category 5.  Double check categories 1-4 in case there are some good hotels listed.  In my example, the category 3 hotel is in Tijuana, Mexico, so that isn’t going to work, and the category 4 hotels are too far from San Diego. So I will look at only category 5 hotels.

Search Only Cat 5 Results

The search results will update with only category 5 hotels, sorted by distance from the center of San Diego.  By looking at the map, I can see that the Courtyard San Diego Central is near where I want to be, so I click the View Rates button.

All Cat 5 Hotels

Select the room/bed type you want and click the Continue button.  Ignore any warnings about not having enough Marriott Points in your account, you don’t need any Marriott Points to make this reservation.

25,000 Point Night Stay

Fill in your personal information and scroll down the page.

Fill In Personal Information

This is the most important step of the booking process.  You have to select the first option of redeeming your free night certificate.  Do not select the other options.  Enter your credit card information for your hotel incidentals and click the Continue button.

Select Stay Certificate Payment Option

Review all the information is correct and make sure that you are redeeming your free night certificate.

Reservation Complete1

Depending on which hotel you are redeeming your free night certificate at, you may or may not have to pay any local taxes.  If you do, it should only be a few dollars.  The cancellation policy is very generous, I can cancel my reservation and have the free night certificate redeposited into my Marriott account if I cancel my reservation before 6PM on the day of arrival.  Click the Continue button to confirm your reservation.

Reservation Complete2

Here are the details of your reservation and your confirmation number.

Reservation Complete3

If you go back to your account activity page (link), you should see that your unused free night certificate is gone.

Used Marriott Certificate

By clicking the reservation tab (link), you can see your free night reservation.  If you need to change or cancel your reservation, click the Actions drop down menu and make any changes to your reservation.

Upcoming Marriott Reservation

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized.

About Grant

Grant is an expert in frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty points, credit card rewards, and cash back deals. He also has a pretty cool travel blog. Find him on Twitter @travelwithgrant.

58 thoughts on “Redeem Marriott Free Night Certificate for a One Night Reservation

  1. Pingback: How to Use a Marriott Free Night Certificate to Make a Free One Night Reservation | Travel with Grant

  2. lg8302ch

    Thanks for this info. Good to know that reward certificates can be extended because I just hate that I applied in November and could not use it in summer period in Europe because of the 6 months limit. Used mine in Düsseldorf during a convention where the room price would have been 380EUR and this with the category 4 certificate from application.. not a bad deal for me this year but my next one I would like to use in July/August and not November to May!.

    Reply
  3. elena

    is there any way to sell or echange this certificate to the points? I already extended my voucher one time and now have no use for it, it wll expire on 9/19

    Reply
    1. Passione haynes

      I’m in need of this can you please help us! I’m a single mother in PHX Arizona just lost house due to fire! I have two daughters 11 &18 they are also with me and my account is dwindling away !I would be very greatful!!!!!

      Reply
  4. Sybil

    Hi, I am interested in getting this card but not sure about when this certificate will show up and expire. Say if I open my account on Oct 20, 2014, does that mean the certificate I get will expire on April 20, 2015? And does it really take 6-8 weeks for the certificate to show up in your account? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Those are very good questions. It has been a while since I got my Chase Marriott Credit Card, so I don’t remember the exact dates. I believe you get the free night certificate for a Category 1-4 hotel deposited into your Marriott account a week after you are approved for the card and the certificate has to be redeemed (hotel booked but not used) within 6 months. You can extend the date 6 more months if you call Chase a few weeks before the certificate expires.

      Reply
    2. John

      I applied for my Marriott card on Monday night and received the certificate in my account on Thursday. This is extremely fast.

      Reply
  5. mike

    I just received my anniversary night for this card. I also want to cancel the card to free up room for another chase card. Can I make a reservation with this certificate but then cancel the card after I book the room (and before my actual stay)?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      The Marriott free night certificate is in your Marriott account, so closing the Chase Marriott Rewards Credit Card will not affect your free night certificate.

      Reply
      1. medellinfein

        Grant,

        does that mean the you can book the certificate even after you cancel the Chase credit card, because it is in your Marriott account?

        (Just want to be sure before I go down that path)

        thanks :-)

        Reply
      2. Penny Westberry

        This may be a new development, but my husband cancelled his Marriott card rather than pay the annual fee, and the free night certificate that was in his Marriott rewards account now shows up as cancelled!

        Reply
        1. Grant Post author

          Oh wow, that is a new development. I haven’t heard of that happening before. I guess the work around would be to redeem your free night certificate before closing your Chase Marriott Rewards Credit Card.

          Reply
  6. Chris

    Hey grant u mention u can use the free night voucher for someone else is this true? my mom and I both signed up for the card and I am going to Germany this summer. can she book a night for me or does she have to be there (she won’t be)? Any experience in this situation?

    Reply
      1. Chris

        Thanks Grant. So you think if she booked her free night for signing up and put my name as a guest that I could add that to my night that i book with my voucher and then i can check in and stay both nights without her being there for the first night? That would be awesome if it works!

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Yes, that should work well. You may want to call Marriott after you book the 2 free nights and tell them to link the 2 reservation in their system so that you can stay in the same room both nights and not have to recheck-in.

          Reply
  7. Liz

    Do you know if there is any way I can use a certificate and upgrade the hotel to say a category 6 using points or cash?

    Reply
  8. medellinfein

    Grant,

    does your comment earlier to Mike mean the you can book the certificate even after you cancel the Chase credit card, because it is in your Marriott account?

    (Just want to be sure before I go down that path)

    thanks :-)

    Reply
  9. Dylan

    I am about to use my free night voucher for a category 5 courtyard, the only option I get is 2 queen beds for the voucher, do you know of a way that I can upgrade the room with cash or points to a king? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I would book the 2 queen beds and then call the hotel directly and ask them to put you in a king bed room or add a note to the reservation to switch to a room with a king bed as soon as one becomes available. Are you booking far into the future or in the next week?

      Reply
  10. Dustin

    Can you book prior to the expiration date for a date post expiration? For example, expires 5/5/2016, can I book now for a date in June?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      You must book and stay by the expiration date. If you need a slightly longer expiration date, you can call Chase and ask if they can extend the certificate by a few months.

      Reply
      1. Real

        Did you mean call Marriott? Don’t they have the control on the certificate once it is given to you?

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Chase is the one that issues the free night certificates, so I think they can expire the first one and issue a new one with a longer expiration date.

          Reply
  11. T. Perez

    hi there!
    how about me booking for someone else without me staying that night?
    is that possible?

    Reply
      1. T. Perez

        thanks for the quick response. love your blog, bdw.
        just to be clear, we are talking about Marriott Free Night Certificate given by Chase Marriott Rewards Credit Card, right?
        how do I add them as a guest to the reservation?
        do I need to be present at check in?
        many thanks
        Tania

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Hi Tania, yes, this will work with all Marriott reservations (free night certs and points bookings). When you go through the booking process, the last page before you confirm your reservation, there is a space to enter special requests. You can say “Second guest is ____”. They will be able to check in with out you being present. You can call Marriott reservations afterwards to confirm that the second guest’s name is added to the reservation.

          Reply
          1. T. Perez

            wow! thank you so much. I’m trying to book for my uncle (same last name).
            I read the T&C, and they say you can’t transfer certificate to someone else.
            I would hate to see him get into trouble if I’m not present at check in.

          2. Grant

            The T&C are trying to prevent people selling the certs to others. You can book the hotel reservation in your name and add your uncle as the guest. He can check in without you there. I’ve done it many times, you will be fine.

  12. Julian

    Hey Grant,

    I’m trying to go through the process like you’ve directed. But every time I get to the book now page, there is no place I can see where it says attach e-certifciate. My credit card info is already saved but there’s no attach option.

    At the bottom, right above the BOOK NOW button, it does have a check mark with rewards redemption saying it’ll attach my certificate. But when I went ahead and booked, it took out all the points needed for the stay. I sent Marriott a couple of emails but am not hearing back from them.

    Does the certificate kick in later? Do they give me back points for the night or something? Would love your help.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Hi Julian, the certificate is only valid for low end Marriott hotels (category 1-5). If the price of the hotel is 25,000 Marriott points or less, you can use the certificate. If the price is 30,000 Marriott points or more, you cannot use the certificate. How many points is your Marriott hotel?

      Reply
      1. Julian

        Thanks for the reply Grant.

        I see my error. It is a category 4 hotel but I was trying to book for three nights. I thought a certificate would just apply to one night. The booking was 60,000 points for three nights so 20,000 for one night I assume.

        If I want to book a multiple night stay, should I just do two separate reservations?

        Thanks again!

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Yes, book the first night using your free night certificate and then book the last 2 nights as a points booking. You can call Marriott afterwards to link the reservations together.

          Reply
          1. Julian

            Grant,
            Thank you so much for your help. I was bugging out over this and Marriott would not respond to my emails. Everything worked out found this way. Thanks again and appreciate your blog!

  13. Dal

    Hi all. I signed up for the Chase Marriotts rewards CC in May 2016. I never received my Free hotel voucher, so I called Marriott and Chase, and Chase told me that you only get the free anniversary voucher AFTER 1 year with the card. Has everyone else had the same experience? I am planning on cancelling this card after 1 year, so I hope to get the free voucher before they charge me another $85 annual fee. Does anyone know if the voucher will show up in my account BEFORE they charge me another annual fee? Thanks everyone!

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Hi Dal, the free night certificate is usually added to your Marriott account the day the annual fee is billed to your credit card. You can cancel the credit card right after the annual fee posts and keep the free night certificate.

      Reply
  14. Wilbur Jones

    Thanks for taking the time to step through this, Grant. I found it odd that my 1-year anniversary certificate didn’t appear in the snapshot view of my account (after clicking “My Account” at the top right of the home page). Thanks for the tip about going to “Account Overview.” My reservation is locked and loaded! Appreciate it!

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Unfortunately no, you can only use the certificate in a Marriott category 1-5 property. I wish it were possible to pay the difference for higher category hotels.

      Reply
  15. Old Poor Richard

    Thank you for pointing out the ridiculousness of the certificate being good no higher than category 5. There’s no excuse and it’s in bad taste to drastically limit the usefulness of this card benefit.

    It’s also ludicrous that properties set their own category. Hotels that are properly category 2 or 3 call themselves category 6 or 7 in New England. Shameful. It makes sense that more costly rooms require more points, I get that. Category should be set by Marriott based on mean cost per night for each property.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      I 100% agree, which is why I no longer keep the Chase Marriott Rewards Credit Card. The free night certificate was too hard to use.

      Reply
  16. P

    Thanks for the post. It’s my first anniversary with the Marriott Business card, and I got the annual certificate. I tried booking it in the app and couldn’t use it there. Went to the full website (not working properly with their merging upgrade) and it worked. I got the confirmation email that the anniversary certificate is attached as well. The only problem I have is that the website and the says 25k points not rewards certificate. I wish they could make it clear since Marriott allows pre-booking of hotels with points even if you don’t have enough points now. I don’t want to be accidentally charged later because I’ll never earn enough points with this program before that booked stay.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Yes, that’s the way Marriott works. Don’t worry, you didn’t spend 25,000 Marriott Points, just the equivalent of 25,000 Marriott Points when you redeemed your free night certificate.

      Reply

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