Marriott offers its associates and close family members a deeply discounted “Explore Rate” and another “Explore Friends Rate” for friends & family (no need to be part of the close family).

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Most hotel chains offer their associates either completely free (12 nights with Hyatt) or deeply discounted rates for personal stays (like what Hilton does – read more here).

You can access Marriott here.

READ MORE: Marriott Bonvoy Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

Marriott changed its program T&Cs in November 2019 (read more here) by making both of these rate plans eligible for Bonvoy program benefits, qualifying nights, and points. Previously, they weren’t.

There are to rate plans: MMP (Explore Rate & Explore Friends Rate) and MM4 (Explore More). You can pull up these both on Marriott’s website or app using the respective codes.

Some hotels may only have Explore Rate available, while others only have the more expensive Explore Friends Rate. Others have both. You don’t often come across the Explore More.

Explore Rate

This is the employee or close family member-rate.

Explore Rate

Available to associates of Marriott for personal travel only (2 rooms/night maximum).

Available to spouses, domestic partners, parents, parents in-law, brothers, sisters and children of Marriott associates for personal travel only (1 room/night).

When booking the Explore Rate, the 2 room max applies to all rooms booked under all reservations made using the associate discount. (Ex: If an associate has 2 rooms, a parent cannot book an additional room at same hotel on same date. If an associate has 1 room, a parent can have 1 room at same hotel on same date.)

Voluntary USD 3/night donation to TakeCare Relief Fund, Inc. (TCRF) added at participating properties. TCRF is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) entity primarily supporting managed associates affected by emergencies.

Guests with confirmed reservations on a sold out night can be walked if provided alternate accommodations at the same rate.

At check-in, eligible guests must present a photo ID AND Marriott Discount Card, Quarter Century Club Card, or Explore Rate Authorization Form.

Guests are required to establish proper credit (according to local policy) when checking-in.

Marriott Vacations Worldwide will offer weekly housekeeping.

Explore Friends Rate

All Explore-eligible form holders can book the Friends-rate that doesn’t have the maximum two-room requirement as the employee rate.

Explore Friends and Family

Available to family members and friends of Marriott associates only for personal travel only.

Available to Marriott associates for personal travel only.

There is no limit on the number rooms or number of nights per stay.

Guests with confirmed reservations on a sold-out night can be walked if provided alternate accommodations at the same rate.

At check-in, eligible guests must present a photo ID AND Explore Rate Authorization.

Guests are required to establish proper credit (according to local policy) when checking-in.

Marriott Vacations Worldwide will offer daily housekeeping.

This rate is eligible to earn Marriott Bonvoy points or miles.

Authorization Forms are available through Human Resources or Marriott Global Source.

Here’s an example:

A hotel only has the Friends & Family one available.

Another hotel has both.

And you need to have the form:

This is not the complete form that has the name of the employee, hotel where the employee is working, and the contact details of the management team member of the hotel.

Conclusion

It pays to see if you have anyone within the circle of friends working for a Marriott affiliated hotels and is willing to issue one of these forms to you (valid for two months at a time).

These Explore Friends & Family-rates are not always the cheapest or even available (and much higher obviously than the employee rates). You can, however, get significant savings at higher-end hotels that are experiencing occupancy issues.

You need to have a valid form. When I had access to these rates, I was not asked to turn it in at the check-in only ONCE.

There were no issues with elite benefits and upgrades. I once had to clarify that the rate plan was eligible for the Platinum and higher tier welcome amenity.

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