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What are Marriott Friends and Family Rates?
Marriott offers employees’ friends and family members discounted rates for non-business leisure travel at properties around the world. Now that Starwood and Marriott are merging, we thought it was time to see what’s changed since our last post about Marriott friends and family rates and we’ll also try a dummy booking to see how much money you can save by using these rates.
On the Starwood site, it states that the new Explore program can be used by Starwood and Marriott associates and Starwood associates’ immediate family members, while the Explore Friends program can be used by Starwood associates’ friends and family and extended family members. There doesn’t seem to be a similar page on the Marriott website as yet, so we checked to see if the code we used in the past (MMF) still works in the ‘Special Rates’ box when searching for a hotel – and it does!
When using the code MMF, the rate details shows that it’s now classed as the ‘Explore Friends Rate’ and valid ID and an authorization form is still required:
How much can I save with Marriott Friends and Family Rates?
We checked Marriott for a one-night stay for two in Arlington, VA, on March 20th, 2017 and the redesigned Category 4 Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park came up at $278.88 all-in for the flexible non-member rate or $273.28 all-in for the flexible Marriott Rewards member rate:
However, it came up at just $99 plus taxes and fees at the Explore Friends Rate, totaling $110.88 all-in, which is $162.40 cheaper than the flexible member rate – saving you a whopping 59%!
What else do I need to know about Marriott Friends and Family Rates?
If you’re lucky enough to have a relative or friend who works at Marriott, then the MMF code can still save you a bundle on your stay. Just don’t forget that you’ll need the employee to get you that all-important authorization form from HR, Marriott Global Source or The Bridge in advance and you’ll need to show your own photo ID at check-in too.
While Marriott lets anyone book using the MMF code on Marriott.com, it also clearly states that you’ll need to prove eligibility for the Explore Friends Rate at your hotel.
This rate is not eligible to earn Marriott Rewards points, so you should always weigh up the monetary saving with any potential loss before booking.