It’s Possible To Get Marriott 5th Night Free After The Fact
I like the Marriott 5th night free perk. Book 5 nights using points, and you only pay for 4. Recently, I got Marriott to give me this perk after the fact on a reservation where I added a few nights, then added a few nights…but didn’t book 5 at a time. Here’s how it went.
My Weird Booking
My wife and I got stuck, for lack of a better description, at a Marriott property in Tanzania last month. Because I got malaria, I not only spent time in the hospital, I was in no shape to check out of the hotel and travel for a while. Because of this, we kept adding a few nights to our reservation. Originally, our booking was 2 nights, check out to go on a safari, stay 2 more nights, check out to leave. 4 nights in total.
Instead, we kept adding nights and wound up staying at the property for 13 nights.
If I had booked 13 nights in one reservation, I would’ve received 2 free nights (nights 5 and 10). Since I didn’t book 5 nights together at any point (always hoping 3 more nights would be enough), the 5th night free perk didn’t kick in from the Marriott website.
Reaching Out To Marriott
Looking back, I see how stupid it was to not book 5 nights at a time. I decided to call Marriott and ask if they could honor the perk after the fact. Being a Platinum Elite member, I figured they wouldn’t mind.
I called Marriott and told them I had a question about points for my past reservation and waited while the friendly rep found it. Once we were on the same page, I pointed out that I’d passed the point where 2 nights of “Marriott 5th night free perk” would’ve kicked in. I explained that we had to keep adding nights until I was healthy enough to travel.
The rep told me there was no way to do that in the computer. He said couldn’t give me any points back. It seemed like he was ready to hang up and considered the conversation over. I asked, “Even as a Platinum Elite, you can’t do this as a one-time courtesy?” Nope.
“You and I both know if I’d called and freaked out about a bad stay, complaining about a bunch of stuff, Marriott would probably give me more than the points I’m asking for as a way to say ‘sorry’. It’s just 18,000 points.”
After checking with his supervisor, they gave me the points.
Lesson learned, I’ll make sure to remember this perk for the future. It shouldn’t require pointing out some nonsense (Marriott gives people points as a “sorry” all the time), but I’m glad I was able to get the perk retroactively. In case you wind up extending a stay, it’s good to know that you can ask Marriott to give you the 5th night free after the fact. It may take some convincing and maybe even a HUCA (hang up, call again) or two, but they can do it. It’s easier to just book the 5 nights together, though. I’ll be sure to do that from now on.