I had a great experience talking to Marriott Bonvoy.

Readers have reported that it is hard to get their free nights extended. Sometimes it's necessary to call multiple times to find an agent willing to do so. The Marriott VP of Global Communications and Public Affairs told me that the rules aren't as firm as I thought.

The call center agent decides

Marriott told me that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to extending certs.

I think some agents have been given guidance like this.

  • No elite status required (but it can’t hurt): Any member may call to try to extend a free night certificate that’s near expiry. That said, I do think that they are more likely to approve the request from a high level elite member than a general member.
  • One time extension only: Once a certificate has been extended, agents aren’t supposed to allow another extension.
  • Call within 30 days of expiry: Members should wait until their certificate is within 30 days of expiring before calling to extend it.  Update: The official word from Marriott is that there is no hard and fast 30 day rule. Agents can extend certificates that are further than 30 days from expiry.  That said, it may help your case if your certificates are near expiry.

I learned this from an email conversation.

  • How you got the free night matters: Agents may be less likely to extend free nights that you earned from promotions vs. free nights earned from credit cards.

12 month extensions

If you are approved for an extension, your certificate will be extended for a year from the date of your phone call to Marriott.

Marriott had a hard rule against extending certificates that had been extended at least once before during the Pandemic.

Suggested approach

Since call center agents have the power to deny or approve extensions, it's important to get them on your side. If the agent can help you, please don't use those exact words, but use actual details from your life that show why it would be great if the agent could help you.

Don't argue your case if you're denied a request.

My thoughts

Marriott has a feature that allows them to extend free night certificates for a full year.

When I wrote this post, I thought the rules for extending the free nights were set in stone.

You can see the related posts for more information.