Marriott certificates are obtained either by having the Chase Marriott credit card which would give you a certificate annually or by completing a Marriott promotion. These certificates let you redeem for a category 1-5 hotel anywhere in the world that has availability and they have a 6 month expiration.
Making a Certificate Reservation
To see if you have a certificate to use, go to your account activity online and you will see the certificate and the expiration date
Next find a Category 1-5 hotel that you would like to redeem for. For a list of all Cat 1-5 hotels click here.
Next you want to start the process as if you were making an award reservation. Search the hotel and select one day or however many days you have certificates for. You must also select use reward points.
Select the hotel and your room type making sure it is a Category 5 or less
On the reservation page you will see that the free night certificate will be attached
All you need to do is click book now and your reservation will be made and an email will be sent with your reservation confirmation. No points will be deducted as you are using your free night certificate.
Extending Your Certificate
Now these hotel certificates expire after 6 months but you may be able to extend them. You will have to call the reservation line to do this. If the agent you get says that they are unwilling to do so, I would hang up and call again. If you are an elite you can call the elite reservation line at 1-800-399-4229 (you must enter Marriott # to confirm status) or you can call the regular reservation line at 1-888-236-2427. You can then ask them to extend the certificate which essentially means that they cancel this certificate and reissue another certificate with a 6 month expiration date.
Worth noting: if you check-in prior to the certificate’s expiration date but check-out AFTER it expires, the points will be automatically deducted to your account regardless of the fact you had a free night certificate. I’ve gotten them to reverse it manually by calling and explaining the issue, but it’s probably safer just not to push it to that extreme.
That sounds like a quirky technical problem with Marriott. Thanks for letting us know!
Any info about changing or mostly canceling a reservation when you use an e-certificate?
Are they just the same rule, cancel before 2 days of visit? Do you get the e-Cert back?
You can cancel and get the e-cert back into your account as long as the cert hasn’t already expired and you are following the hotel cancellation policy. If your cert will expire soon, I’d call customer service before canceling to see if they can cancel and extend the cert. Hope this helps!
I want to make sure I get a room for a busy night. If I book now with my points can I call once my certificate posts and change the booking to the free night? Essentially is there a way to book before you have the certificate as long as you have it by the time you stay!
I have never tried this approach and I’m not sure you could do it but it doesn’t hurt to book with points and try to switch to a cert later with an agent because you can cancel hotel rooms and get your points back as long as it falls within the cancellation policy.
Is it possible to get an extended stay after booking with these vouchers? For example, a 7 night stay was booked using the voucher, but then realized an extra 8th night was needed. Could we call Marriott and ask them to extend the stay and pay the difference for the extra night? Or would it screw up the previous booking with the voucher?
They should be able to extend the stay for one extra night without issues. If nothing else, you can always just book a separate reservation for that one extra night and let the front desk known you have two reservations back to back and want the same room the whole time.