Marriott’s birthday offer lured me into paying money for a hotel stay

About a month before my birthday, Marriott sent me an interesting offer:

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As the fine print says, I could earn a free night at any Marriott category 1-5 hotel if I complete a stay of two or more nights in June.

Not a bad deal, eh?

That’s what I thought too, so I talked myself into using money for two nights during a June visit to Portland.

This was my first time using money to pay a hotel directly, I think, ever (I usually stay for ~free with points, cheap using Hotels.com, or use Airbnb).

So I did it.

I paid in money.

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The hotel was well kept and convenient, so the stay was nice.

But, just one problem.

I didn’t realize how…humble…category 1-5 hotels are.

Basically any hotel that’s really nice or in an expensive location is gonna be a way higher category than the category 5 free night that Marriott is “giving” me.

I searched long and hard (15 mins) before I finally found a category 5 hotel that costs more for one night than the amount I paid for the two nights of this promo:

Looks like I’ve gotta find a reason to visit DC on July 10 or 12 so I can get my money’s worth.

The free night could be valuable if I’m lucky, but more than likely it’ll end up being worth around $100.

One positive is that I don’t feel as much FOMO that I can’t get the Marriott credit card and the annual category 1-5 free night that comes with that card.

If I could go back, I would not take Marriott up on their birthday gift.

Would you?

For more info, Points With A Crew posted on this promo previously.

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