How to Earn Elite Night Credits With a Marriott Meeting
For those wondering how I do this, here’s a guide on how to earn elite night credits with a Marriott meeting. In last week’s article about how I plan to qualify for Marriott Platinum Elite next year, I mentioned using this tool. Here’s a guide on how to set it up and how to make sure you get the credits.
Marriott Rewarding Events Program
Marriott’s website specifically states that you can earn points and elite night credits for hosting meetings and events at their properties. The specific verbiage we care about is this:
Get 10 Elite Night Credits with your first meeting.
Earn 1 Elite Night Credit for every additional 20 room nights you book — up to 20 Elite Night Credits per event.
This means 2 things that we care about:
- Marriott states this directly, so it’s not a secret or something you have to dupe a representative into giving you.
- You only get the 10 nights on your first meeting. After that, it requires large bookings or your head on a pillow to earn credits.
How to Set Up Your Meeting
Now that you want to set up a meeting, here are the steps:
- Fill out the information here. Set your date(s), number of attendees, and the city.
- The site will show all available properties in the area. You can choose up to 3 you’re interested in.
- Click on “Create RFP” and provide your Marriott Bonvoy account information.
- Sales representative(s) from Marriott will contact you.
Making It Work For You
There are some things that I and others have experienced that I’ll assume are “par for the course” when the sales rep makes contact. First, they’re going to offer you much more than you want. Second, they will try to include banquet/food services. If you’re after just a simple meeting space, hold your ground on this. “I just need a small meeting space for 2 people. 2 hours is all I need, and we don’t need food service. All we need is a table, chairs, and wifi. What do you have that meets these requirements?” This has worked for me.
Also, different properties are served by different sales reps. There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to how this is broken up in cities with many Marriott properties. Don’t be afraid to create another RFP (request for proposal) on the website and get more contacts. Do this again or call properties directly until you get an offer from every location you would realistically consider. Then, choose the one you want after all the options are present. Don’t be afraid to negotiate to get your best price possible.
Don’t let them make you rent for the whole day; rent only for the time you really need. I’ve tried to rent for just an hour, but the lowest a sales rep has ever offered is 2 hours. The average is $100-$150 from all of the price quotes I’ve received. Bigger rooms, more features, etc. will increase the price. A small room at a lower-end property is going to be the cheapest price. Fairfield Inn meeting room with a maximum capacity of 8 people going for $100 is the best I’ve found.
Signing the Contract for Elite Night Credits
This is the part where we unfortunately know more than the sales reps. The sales reps are working based on money. We’re working on loyalty accounts as the primary concern. I’ve done 3 meetings now. I have 4 friends I’ve introduced to this program. Not a single sales rep has ever (REPEAT: NOT EVER) sent a sales contract for the meeting that said anything about earning points or night credits. I’m of the opinion that “if it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t exist.” Don’t sign the contract until there’s something in it about your points & nights. If the points don’t show up, you have no leg to stand on if it’s not in the contract.
Sales reps may or may not like this. Firm but polite should work. “It’s in both of our interests that everything is listed in the contract” can help. My first year having a meeting, I walked away from the contract and went to a different sales rep, because she wouldn’t alter her standard contract. In the end, I’ve had the reps add this generic statement:
As a Marriott Bonvoy member, __(name)__ is eligible to earn points and elite night credits from this meeting according to the terms on Marriott.com. The Bonvoy account number is ______.
This works for 2 reasons: 1. the rep doesn’t want to be on the hook as the one responsible for your points if you don’t get them. 2. You’ve got what you want in writing, so the contract is worth signing now.
Sign your contract, have your meeting at the arranged time and location, and then you’re done. I always email the rep afterwards to say thanks and let them know the meeting is finished.
After the Meeting
Expect about 10 days for your points and credits to show up. The rep submits the payment and contract into their events portal, and then it goes through a few channels to get authorized. This all takes time, so don’t plan your meeting after December 20 if you’re aiming for credits to show up this year. In theory, you should get the credit for this year even if it’s delayed. In theory. However, this is Bonvoy we’re talking about. I wouldn’t trust them or take the chance, if it can be avoided.
If your points haven’t shown up after 10 days, reach out to the rep and start chasing the paper trail. A friend of mine had his meeting the exact same day as me last month. Different city, different rep, 1 hour before me. His credits and points have shown up, but I’m still waiting on mine. The sales rep from last year was awesome but quit earlier this year. I think the new rep for my hotel is still figuring this out.
Now that we’ve looked at how to earn elite night credits with a Marriott meeting, you should be able to set this up. December is in full swing. If you’re trying to qualify for Platinum or Titanium Elite for next year and need these 10 nights of credits, it’s time to get cracking. Like I said, the 10 nights’ credits take about 10 days to post to your account. If you want them to show up before January 1, it’s time to reach out to the hotels. I hope this helps.