A few readers have expressed concern over the numbers used in our last cover story (“Be Our Guest,” November 2004). In that article, we used three consumer profiles — high-spend, moderate-spend and low-spend — to determine how many points a traveler might earn in a year’s worth of hotel stays.
In our “moderate spend” profile, we suggested that a Marriott Rewards member would earn 33,480 points for a total expenditure of $5,095. It has since been pointed out to us that even at lower-cost properties like Courtyard and Fairfield Inns, members earn 10 points for every dollar spent, which should have increased that number substantially.
Yes and no. As we mentioned in the article, our “total spend” number was based not just on room rates, but also included an extra 30 percent from incidentals charged to the room. In the case of the moderate-spend Marriott customer, we remembered that while Courtyard and Fairfield stays do indeed earn 10 points per dollar, that earning is on room rate alone — incidental expenses do not count. As a result, we reduced the amount of points earned from incidentals accordingly.
We apologize for not making our methods clearer.