This cardholder and a friend both had free night certificates from Marriott, so they decided to put them together for a quick getaway.
Name: Ronnie Barker Age: 61 Occupation: Crisis Responder/Victim Advocate Credit card: Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card
Hotel name and city: Courtyard Naples in Naples, Florida Dates of stay: June 2 - 4, 2018 Type of room: Standard room with two queen beds
Q: What amenities did you take advantage of?
A: I used the fitness center.
Q: Did you travel alone or with someone?
A: I stayed at the hotel with a friend. I live in Florida and my friend was visiting me from New York. I had a free night available as a Marriott Rewards cardholder and my friend had one as well, so we decided to use them back-to-back and share a room in Naples for the weekend. We went kayaking in the mangroves and explored the city and surrounding areas such as Marco Island.
The card and loyalty program
Q: What credit card did you use to get a free stay?
A: Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card.
» Learn more: Find the best hotel credit card for you
Q: How long were you a cardholder at that time?
A: Just over two years.
Q: How long were you planning/saving for this stay?
A: Two months.
Q: What's your favorite perk of this card/program?
A: The annual free night certificate.
Redemption and booking
Q: Did you take advantage of promotions while earning points for this trip?
Q: Where/how did you book?
A: I called to book the free night and make sure the reservations were connected so we wouldn’t have to change rooms.
Q: How many points/rewards did this cost?
A: It would have cost 25,000 Marriott points per night, but we used two free night certificates.
Q: Did you book in conjunction with a promotion or deal?
Q: Any surprises or hassles?
What's your next travel rewards goal?
I am planning a trip to Costa Rica and use Chase Ultimate Rewards® points I have saved up for the flight.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: How I flew for free: Miles to the rescue for a family emergency Travel loyalty program reviews Here's how much your points and miles are worth