Yes, It’s Possible To Get Marriott 5th Night Free After The Fact – Here’s How I Did It

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It's Possible To Get Marriott 5th Night Free After The Fact - Here's How

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.

I got Marriott 5th Night Free After The Fact - Here's How

Final Thoughts

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.

Ryan S
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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9 COMMENTS

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Given the global pandemic, this is particularly relevant to consider. My wife and I have a trip to Bali planned late this year and if one of us gets COVID it could delay our return by a week or two. Thanks.

  2. @Ryan – I’ve been thinking about a somewhat similar situation with Hilton. If I had a 4 night stay booked with a combination of credit-card-free-night-certs and points, do you know if it is possible to get the 5th night free?

      • Thanks, that was a really useful example. So I am trying to think of the most effective way to frame this in my head…Based on the math in that example we are effectively comparing a four night stay which would end up costing 190,000 points + the two free night certificates OR a five night stay costing 228,000 points + the two free night certificates.

        So we are effectively paying 38,000 points for that fifth night (228K – 190K). So it certainly is not “free” but it IS a large discount compared to paying the full rate of 95,000 points.

        Would you agree with all of that logic?

        • It’s a discount, yes. The issue is that some nights can cost more than others during your stay, such as a holiday or a Friday, things like that. So the points value fluctuates, and Hilton takes the average. It never hurts to open a few tabs and experiment with a few variations of your booking.

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