Major Devaluation of Marriott Rewads points on the Horizon?

Discussion in 'Marriott | Rewards' started by bigguyinpasadena, Mar 1, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. bigguyinpasadena
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    bigguyinpasadena Active Member

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    The "proprietary"nature of the updates is a smokescreen being poorly used by Ed French to skirt confrontations with upset Marriott Rewards members. They spill a very small(50 of 350 plus)percentage of the "ok"catagory changes and yet hide the rest.This very shady aproach is telling me to expect massive devaluation of MR points.​

    As they are "our"points earned with "our"money I believe these changes should be disclosed.By not disclosing them Ed French is demonstrating how little regard Marriott International actually has for its best customers.​
    The response on Flyertalk by the Marriott"concierge" just adds insult to injury.​

    I have always played fair with Marriott despite my growing irritation with them and the devaluation of a once fine program by Ed French. Maybe that needs to change.​
     
  2. you are probably right. A few get "better" and the rest increase - especially the ones where users want to go - high end, in city properties and resorts. Fairfields in the middle of no where never change

    Love the thread title - freudian slip?
     
  3. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    That was pretty funny. :D

    I've switched to SPG this year mostly because it's far easier to maintain top tier elite status since I am almost exclusively a leisure traveler. SPG's changes to their award structure was fairly balanced and almost universally accepted as reasonable (save for the few jerks who will always find something to complain about). This change, on the other hand, is a pretty wide swing of properties that are going up a category level, even if they are mostly Cat2 and 3 properties.
     
  4. I'm not sure what's up with the points themselves. My frustration with Marriott has been basic anticustomer changes in some of their core, long-term programs outside the points. The way hotels handle the Bonus Bucks is insulting - I got one in December that had a January expiration. The continuing devaluation of EEO - the single reason I actually care about maintaining a decent Marriott status - will likely be the factor that breaks my resolve to continually renew status at Marriott.

    I've been Gold since 2001, Plat since 2006. I've always known that SPG is superior on upgrades and HH is superior on elite treatment on weekends and at resorts. I've hung in there with Marriott because of EEO's and Travel Packages. The loss of AA in the TP's hurt. The epic and unprecedented WN devaluation on March 1st hurts again - although that one certainly isn't Marriott's fault. But with the EEO's tightening, and the Bonus Bucks becoming downright meanspirited, I find myself more and more becoming a Starwood guy. Especially with Starwood (supposedly) bringing back the Sheraton lounges in April 2011.

    Here it is March and I'm sitting at 11 YTD Starwood stays and 4 YTD Marriott. That wouldn't have happened in previous years. I still turn up at enough Marriotts to hit my Megabonus but beyond that I just don't feel like Marriott is all that interested in keeping its elites anymore. They still do okay...usually a nice room on the concierge floor somewhat near the closed, dark lounge...but I really feel like Starwood is doing more.
     
  5. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    pinniped said:*

    If you're a Platinum with SPG, maybe. In my experience, Starwood upgrades for Golds are a joke at most properties, while Marriott honestly does upgrade Golds and Platinums. And when I was a Gold with Marriott, I got suite upgrades about half the time; percentage rose when I became Platinum with Marriott.

    (I know, there's an argument that you should compare Starwood Plat -- suite upgrades if available -- with Marriott Gold because 50 nights is the qualifying threshold in each case, but don't forget the 15 bonus nights you get with Marriott for having their credit card, vice only 5 nights and 2 stays bonus with Starwood. Roll-over nights doesn't hurt, either.)

    Since we're on the subject, I posted in another thread what I really like about Marriott Rewards, so I suppose it's fair to post here what I'm disappointed with WRT Marriott Rewards. Here's a list.

    - No longer offering the "Sampler" awards. I sure wish they'd bring back the European Sampler.
    - No longer partnered with American Airlines. I loved the miles conversion to AAdvantage miles on the travel package awards. "SkyPesos" just don't compare.
    - Arrival gift could be better. Oh, usually the bottle of wine is a good one, but for someone who likes the points, 500 MR points doesn't compare to 500 Starpoints. MR might consider raising that to at least 1,000 points, and to be competitive it should be about 1,500.

    Having said that, though, I'm an active (and elite) member of three hotel programs, SPG, HHonors, and MR, and on balance I'm still primarily a Marriott fan.

    * Sorry, the "reply" function that automatically creates a quote and attributes it to the source is on the fritz.
     
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  6. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    The "BEST" Frequent Traveler is the one that fits the majority of your needs.

    Suite upgrades are pretty worthless to me - but they are certainly at the top of others' lists! For many, it IS easier to maintain top tier in other programs - but as Marriott has properties that I like where I have to go, I can do it easily. (especially as I received 35 rollover nights this year!) I really like Hyatt - but there aren't many FS, a lot of them are downtown or in resort areas, are often rather pricey..and I find HP to be a little gloomy. (although I do like the concept) I LOVE the fact that *Wood puts Starbucks coffee in their rooms....while Marriott's is horrible. I can get a free breakfast at HGI, but forget CY. Marriott loses 25 nights a year to Hyatt from me, solely because MR does not offer free breakfast at resorts. Hyatt ran some great promo's in late 2009 and early 2010 - but the last few have not particularly benefitted me.

    When I first joined "that other site" everyone raved about *Wood. So I joined, got the credit card, status match, everything. And didn't last 6 months...because the properties where I needed to go were not as nice as Marriott's. Because I do utilize " Fairfields in the middle of no where", and 4Points did not compare well. Does *Wood have some great properties - absolutely YES....but not where I consistently travel. Is Marriott the perfect program - absolutely NOT...but they are consistently good when I need them to be.

    One program doesn't fit all for me - so I am Marriott, Hyatt, and HH...because those offer bennies I care about with locations that match my business travel. If one is not happy with a program or chain...pick another - there are certainly enough to choose from. As for devaluation? I remember when there weren't any programs at all - so I think I am way easier to please than many. Any program beats none!

    My wish list for Marriott would be:
    -----free breakfast all the time in FS Properties, including resorts, for Platinum Members
    -----raise in arrival points, as Counseller says, 500 is pretty skimpy
    -----free breakfast at CY
    -----decent coffee [​IMG]

    As for Hyatt?
    ---build more properties!
     
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  7. hhoope01
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    hhoope01 Silver Member

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    An increase in benefits usually comes with a cost to the company. If the increased benefits drives more business, it may more than pay for itself. If they don't drive as much business, then it is an increased cost. As such, quite often, a chain (hotel/airline/etc.) may increase/add one benefit while lowering another. This would help them maintain their cost structure while still driving increased business.

    So, would you still want free breakfast everywhere all the time for Plats, if Marriott dropped that benefit from Golds? Or maybe they change Gold to something like Hilton's "pick which benefit you prefer."

    500 Arrival points may be "skimpy", but it seems a lot of Plats seem to choose that option over the others. Would Marriott increasing it to say 1000 points cause people to really increase their Marriott stays? (Note, if not, why would Marriott do it?)

    Interesting that you mention free b'fast at CYs. The last two CYs I've stayed at did offer free breakfast either to Plats in general or as part of their normal corporate rates. So I've been getting b'fast as CYs. So maybe at least some of the individual hotels are seeing the extra drawing power that has.
     
  8. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    Certainly true in the real world. But since "wish lists" are rarely based in reality.........

    But then again, there was a time when many of us thought..."free breakfast at CY?...when pigs fly!"
     
  9. What's the expected devaluation?
     
  10. hhoope01
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    hhoope01 Silver Member

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  11. DonV.Smith
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    DonV.Smith Gold Member

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    I tend to fair well at Marriott chains as well, and as pointed out above - corporate rates often include breakfast at CY's, regardless of status.

    If you are traveling somewhere frequently, have the conversation with the manager - they will often adjust rates or add in benefits if you will stay with them vs. other hotels (same of different chain). And, if several from your company travel to the same local - highlight this... You will likely see a very favorable rate (w/ breakfast, parking - if necessary, etc included).

    As for devaluation... I don't want to see properties I'll use on vacations increase... But will deal with it as needed right now. It's not worth me switching to another chain/program at this time.
     
  12. NJUPINTHEAIR
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    NJUPINTHEAIR Silver Member

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    As a mainly leisure traveler, I think the Marriott Rewards program actually has been getting better because of the greater choice of hotels to earn/use points at.

    Sure, Category up shifts do hurt, but quite frankly, I rarely, if ever will use my hard earned points at Category 3 or 4 properties - they are much more valuable to use in multi night stays at higher Category properties. Moreover, many of the properties moved up are the best properties and all the chains move their premier properties up a notch or two.

    However, with the imminent European expansion of Marriott via the Autograph Collection and the AC by Marriott brand, I am positively inclined towards Marriott.

    Finally, although the stay twice get up to a Cat 4 cert pales in comparison to Hyatt's FFNs, for a mainly leisure traveler like me, it is heads above SPG's promotions this year, and although Cat 4 properties generally aren't anything to rave about, a free night is a free night and two cheap stays still can be parlayed into a free night and a significant cost savings!
     
  13. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    WELCOME to MP.....and here is a "like" to get you started. We certainly need more posts in the Marriott forum...


     
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  14. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    hhoope01, good point about revenue/cost trade-offs, we're seeing the benefit reduction, but other than free internet (that was already free in the lounge and lobby), not sure what balancing is occurring to replace them.

    pinniped points out the reduction in EEO weekend benefits, that align with sophiegirl's #1 wishlist item, which is a weekend benefit.

    For example: I typically stay somewhere that gives me breakfast (which means i'm not at a CY weekday or weekend, but that's another post). The EEO's were an exception, where I was open to stay at a FS MAR on weekends with an EEO, but as EEO's are increasingly restricted, my weekend FS MAR stays disappear along with it.
    (Note: A sample size of one is not statistically significant)
     
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  15. DonV.Smith
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    DonV.Smith Gold Member

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    If you and others typically travel to the same location then it may be worth talking to someone in sales - CY's are willing to negotiate for your business as much as anyone. Through negotiated rates, as Silver I typically had breakfast included. As platinum, CYs seem to give me breakfast wherever I go.
     
  16. justinhamlin
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    justinhamlin Active Member

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    I think some of the others here said it best. While Marriott Rewards might not be the absolute best of the best, I still tend to lean towards them due to overall value for the money. The rewards points are nice, and in all honesty, would probably stay at Marriott properties, regardless of the points. To me, the nice points are stockpiling for a future vacation where I can parlay them into a free 7-14 day stay at a category 6 or higher.

    With the LNF guarantee, the room upgrades, location of properties, I still lean towards Marriott.

    3 examples.

    1. Recently with the free Gold and 5 stay requirement to maintain Hilton Gold for the year, I strived to get those 5 stays on a recent trip across the country. I passed up many a Marriott, drive 15-20 more miles, event spent a few more dollars in a few places just to stay at a Hilton property, I was not blown away by the cost/value, nor the points/rewards value. I could have had a much easier time stopping at Marriott properties and saved money in the process.

    2. As I just posted in the LNF thread, my wife and I just booked an 8 day, 7 night stay in St. Thomas this summer. $350/night was 40% off through Marriott, brought the price to $204/night for a beach front balcony. Their best room just this side of a suite. LNF comparison rate I found was $173. Marriott dropped my rate to under $130. I just turned a $2500 stay (after taxes) into a sub $1000 stay (after taxes). I don't see Hilton matching price like that (I could be wrong) as well as the fact that there are no Hilton properties in the US Virgin Islands. Marriott wins that one too.

    3. My wife and I were recently relocated and to save money (long story) we got put up at a Residence Inn for 6 months. While the room is not 110% modern, brand new, etc, the staff is more than willing to accomodate any requests we have had, including moving our room a few times due to random issues, including a room upgrade from a regular suite to a penthouse suite with only a minor increase in cost (sub $20/night) Free breakfast and dinner 5-6 nights a week, as well as free beer (its Bud Light, but its free, I am not complaining). This stay will garner us over 160+ qualifying nights towards Platinum status, which makes all of our other leisure or business stays on other travels that much nicer. I have never had the type of service at Hilton or Hyatt that I do at Marriott.

    on a sidenote, while staying at a residence inn, we have compared the other hotel chain extended stay rooms, and while some are newer, the Residence Inn has the biggest rooms and best cost. Those numbers don't lie.
     
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  17. thegasguru

    thegasguru Active Member

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    sophiegirl...I think I'm in the same boat as you. Marriott clearly has more/better property choices at the places I need to stay. At one of my primary work travel locations, the nearest starwood property is 60 miles away! Like you, I got the Amex spg card, got status matched, etc. But it's just too inconvenient to try to find suitable starwood properties to stay.

    I also have the Chase Premier Marriott Visa, which I use for all my Marriott stays. I've been using the spg card for everything else, thinking that spg points are more valuable than Marriott points. But I'm starting to second guess that. I like the ability to tranfer spg points into airline miles at the 25k to 20k ratio. But since I'll probably have over $200,000 spend/yr on whatever card I use as my primary card, I'm starting to think that putting all my eggs in the Marriott basket might make sense. Especially if, as a Marriott Plat, that Premier card gets me 5 pts per dollar.

    And as was pointed out by Counsellor on another thread:

    "-The "Hotel + Air" travel packages, where after you redeem enough points for 7 consecutive nights you can redeem up to 120,000 additional points for 120,000 airline miles, one mile per point, and since a Platinum gets 15 points per dollar spent at a full-service Marriott property (20 if you use a particular credit card), that's 20 airline miles per dollar!! Can you beat that anywhere else?"

    Hmmm...should I throw all my business and credit card spend to Marriott? If I could actually make use of the Hotel + Air packages (which I haven't tried before), then it seems like a no brainer that a 20:1 airline mile to dollar ratio is the way to go.

    What do all you milepoint experts think?
     
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  18. GenevaFlyer
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    GenevaFlyer Milepoint Guide

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    Hi,

    I fully concur on this one. Am getting to the final week of 3 months at a Residence Inn, and while it could use a refresh, the staff have been great and it really helps to build up that lifetime status, which the other chains do not offer.

    (The only slight disappoint: My RI is starting full room renovations in June .... I'll miss out on that :()

    GenevaFlyer
     
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  19. DonV.Smith
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    DonV.Smith Gold Member

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    I'll be curious on this one too. I have all efforts going towards Marriott stays at this time... I am platinum and also using the Chase Premier card. Plenty of points potential.

    I have no doubt I could get status match with other chains, but the quality and variety of Marriott's typically is plenty satisfying.

    Plus, if I keep utilizing only Marriott properties - I do have that option to take some quality vacations, cashing in points at resorts (I have plenty of airline miles right now). I did this in March - worked out great :)
     
  20. thegasguru

    thegasguru Active Member

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    For nice vacations (week long or more), if you pay cash, the hotel is always more expensive than the airfare. That's why I'm focusing all my spend on my Amex spg - it gives me not just spg hotel options, but the option of tranferring points to airline miles at favorable conversions. However - I'm piling up Marriott stays and points. If my goal is reward vacations (which it is), It won't do me as much good to have my points spread over two hotel programs will it? Would it be better to have it all in just one hotel program? Of course, this assumes that Marriott will continue to offer a nice range of Travel Packages - the stay + airfare combos. I haven't tried them yet - I'm a new Marriott Plat this year - but I like the concept, esp if, as Counsellor said, I can get 20 airline miles per dollar spent. :)

    On the surface, it seems like the spg points are more versatile - I know I can get airline miles with them, and of course, hotel stays as well. But I'd be interested to hear from Marriott experts if I can get an even better value for what I'm looking for via the Marriott program.
     
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  21. DonV.Smith
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    DonV.Smith Gold Member

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    All good things; The airline miles are less of an issue for me... I'll have a little over 400K in miles by years end. I can take my family in first class to many locations (that we are interested in) :)
    The travel packages become less of a constraint when using miles/points for everything... Though sometimes there is good value in paying $ too (like even more points... of course now I'm starting to sound like a points junkie :D).
     
  22. thegasguru

    thegasguru Active Member

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    Well, that's why I subscribe to the theory that "I never fly for free". ie, since I'm the one with status in our family, I always pay cash for my ticket, since I earn double or more miles for my trip. I pile up the reward miles, and then dish them out to my family. The only one who suffers while butt-in-seat in this arrangement is me, and apparently my family is OK with that. :)
     
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  23. justinhamlin
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    justinhamlin Active Member

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    At my RI, they did minor renovations, such as new appliances in most of the rooms. Appears that as appliances are breaking, they are adding brand new stainless steel appliances, which is good, but the best fact about it for me, they are FULL SIZE appliances, not these hotel-grade or apartment sized appliances. I have a full 4 burner electric stove, oven, microwave, dishwasher and 21 cu ft refrigerator. Every other Hilton property such as Homewood Suites I stayed in had a 2 burner countertop electric stove, apartment sized fridge, a microwave that fits maybe a cup of coffee or a frozen dinner and never a dishwasher.
     
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