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Category 1-4 Hotels/Award nights....usage

Question asked by exmarlin21 on Jan 22, 2013
Latest reply on Feb 11, 2013 by kharada46

Category 1-4 Hotels/Award nights....


The Marriott Rewards program gives a member multiple ways to rack up free nights (megabonus, credit card free night, quarterly promotions, etc.) but these free nights are typically Category 1-4 stays.  For example, I earned the max 3 free nights in Q4 2012, will do the same in Q1 2013, and have the credit card, giving me 7 free nights in Cat 1-4; I am guessing that anyone approaching Gold status or higher can easily claim the same.  Woo hoo, you say....but not so fast....


Here's the question;  Where do you use these rewards?  I can't find a decent Cat 4 or lower hotel in San Fran, San Diego, really anywhere on the water or at any sort of 'destination'.  I always like to use my reward points to take a special trip with my family; payback for all of my time away from them.  Sure I can use points for that, but these 7 free nights seem mostly useless in that regard. Again, no 'destination' type properties at the Cat 1-4 level.


So here are my questions for the community:

1.  Anyone experieincing the same frustration?  I am thankful for the free nights, but can't exactly figure out how to use them.

2.  Anyone have any hidden gem category 4 hotels they'd like to recommend?

3.  Can I use these award nights to put up family and friends locally at a Courtyard, Springfield or Fairfield; e.g. HS graduation this summer, folks coming to town, can I use these free nights for them?

4.  Any chance Marriott will offfer Cat 5-7+ rooms in their promotions, so that we can use them to travel to actual destination spots?  I would happily take 1/2 the free nights at higher category properties.


I appreciate any inputs, thank you!