Marriott new Plat arrival gift policy is a downgrade

Discussion in 'Marriott | Rewards' started by SkiAdcock, May 22, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. SkiAdcock
    Original Member

    SkiAdcock Silver Member

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    I don't think the new Platinum arrival gift changes has gotten the attention it should because it was bundled in w/ the offering cont'l brekkie on weekends announcement. In my opinion the new policy is a downgrade and it works in Marriott's favor.

    A few things (not in particular order):

    * Basically the Platinum arrival gift $100 guarantee is going away if it's 500 points or a $10F&B credit. The only way one would invoke it is if not asked in the first place. Note - I rarely invoked the guarantee, but it was there for a purpose: to ensure that properties a) offered & b) delivered the platinum arrival gift.


    Which raises another question that I would like to see someone at Marriott answer: if the $10 credit does not appear on one's bill, will the $100 guarantee be applicable?


    * I frequently took the amenity over the 500 points. I enjoyed the (my choice) 1/2 bottle of wine and cheese/crackers that would be delivered at some point during the stay (ie, when I asked for it to be delivered). I found it to be a nice snack & there would be times I wouldn't feel like a full meal or the restaurant was closed & it did the trick.

    * There are very few things on the menu that are $10 or less (certainly not a 1/2 bottle of wine & cheese/crackers), which means that Marriott will get increased revenue as people order something from room service or restaurant/bar to use up the credit. Note, if they were a leisure (vs biz) traveler & were going to order food/drink anyway, this might be better for them. But odds are more biz travelers stay at Marriotts than leisure travelers.

    * For the biz traveler, this doesn't offer any benefit as meals are expensed. Yes one could say that one should reduce expenses for one's employer, but the Plat amenity gift was supposed to be for the elite & a benefit to the elite, not the employer.

    * Also, if one chooses the $10F&B but then doesn't have time to use it, they lose out & Marriott wins.

    * A very, very, very minor point is that 150 points less are earned if the $10 credit is utilized.

    * While technically a property could offer more: a) 500 points or b) amenity gift or c) $10F&B credit (which I think is the optimum options), my guess is the vast majority are going to offer only a) 500 points or b) amenity gifts, as unlike the lounges open/closed on the weekends, the properties have been pretty consistent in offering up the pre-printed card w/ points or amenity, so when the new preprinted cards come out they'll just have the 500 points or $10F&B to check.

    So I consider the change to be a downgrade.

    Cheers.
     
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  2. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    I think the announcement is ambiguous. I took it to mean the $10 F&B credit was yet another option, not a replacement for any of the existing options. I don't see anything about discontinuing the guarantee either, but that has always been nearly impossible to use anyhow.

    You interpret it differently (or perhaps have other information) and you may well be correct though. Is there something I missed?
     
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  3. nacho

    nacho Silver Member

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    I also see that the $10 as an 'extra' option, when I read and understood the text. However I don't think that is what Marriott want to implement.
     
  4. SkiAdcock
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    SkiAdcock Silver Member

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    The CommunityManager on Marriott Insiders confirmed that the new option is 500 points or $10F&B credit, not 500 points or $10F&B credit or amenity gift. He said properties can offer more, but are not required to do so. Since this is the one area that the properties consistently follow the T&Cs my guess is that most will go w/ the new options, because the plat arrival card are printed in the thousands/millions. I don't see too many doing their own.

    Someone on FT just raised the question of whether this applies for domestic only or int'l as well, since it was included in the domestic weekend breakfast announcement.

    We're assuming the guarantee can still be invoked if the platinum arrival gift option isn't offered. We don't know yet if the guarantee can be invoked if the $10 is not credited. I'm going to ask on Marriott Insiders.

    Cheers.
     
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  5. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    Agreed, if the Amenity gift is going away that is a significant downgrade for those at full service props.
     
  6. Mooper
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    Mooper Silver Member

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    Unless the credit inspires you to order an additional $10 worth of food you wouldn't have otherwise!
     
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  7. cova

    cova Gold Member

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    I take the 500 bonus points anyway - so no change for me.
     
  8. SkiAdcock
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    SkiAdcock Silver Member

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    A few things....

    1. Someone on FT contacted Ed French re: the downgrade, & paraphrasing his response (which of course cites the elusive elite surveys that none of us ever seem to get!), folk wanted brekkie on weekends or points (fair enough, we know lack of brekkie's been a big issue), & further elites preferred the option of $10 credit vs. getting a fixed list of food/drink (not totally buying that) & eliminating the latter would help offset the increased costs of the brekkie (that's probably the truth).

    Sharon's version of Ed's response [​IMG][​IMG] (edited to note: Ed did NOT say the following Dear Marriott Elites; it's my humorous take on what some of the powers that be at Marriott said. Wanted to clarify that for anyone who thought Ed said the below; the paraphrasing above is more similar to what he said)

    "Dear Marriott Elites:

    We spoke to many customers after we noticed our revenue went down & they said they were headed to Hilton because they got free brekkie daily there. So while we saved $$ cutting back/closing the lounges 5 years ago, it finally dawned on us that it was starting to bite us in the arse when we lost room revenue, so we decided to offer it again.

    We also decided to offer points as an option instead of just offering cont'l brekkie because points are cheaper to give away than food/drink, which costs us something, and we figured a lot of elites wouldn't figure that out. So by offering cont'l brekkie we get back that room revenue we were losing out on, & if someone takes the points instead of the brekkie it saves us some $$.

    And while we were on the thought process of how we might continue to reduce costs, it dawned on us that by eliminating the food/drink amenity we would save $$ there & there was a good chance we'd actually make $$ because we know $10 doesn't go too far towards restaurant/bar/room service so you'll end up spending more - double win for us (fist pump).

    Love, Ed"

    2. Ok, I posted on Insiders this for Michelle & also PM'd Marriott Concierge to get clarification on the following. Will let you know when I hear. I also asked 1 question re: the breakfast changes, but will post what I asked re: that in the breakfast thread.

    Currently the Plat arrival gift guarantee applies if you're not asked if you want points or food/drink amenity upon arrival (or if the food/drink isn't delivered), with the caveat being that the request for compensation must occur before checkout. So - 2 related questions: a) will the Plat arrival gift guarantee still exist (ie, if you're not asked which you prefer can you invoke it as you can via current policy); b) can it be invoked if the $10 credit does not appear on the folio?

    Is the 500 points or $10 F&B credit for a) US/Canada only or b) worldwide? The change was announced w/ the change in US/Canada weekend breakfast notice, so it's not clear if it only affects the US/Canada or properties worldwide. Please advise which. If worldwide, is it then $10 equivalent in local currency.

    3. An FTer posted the following in the Marriott forum. Bolding in 2nd paragraph is mine.


    "I was talking with the GM at my usual Marriott and he said that 500 point option was far more popular at his hotel than the food/beverage amenity ever was. Though he did say that the downgrade is noticeable and from the way he explained it, the individual hotel if it isMarriott Managed has very little discretion to change/alter it in any way (i.e. offer the food/beverage instead of $10 credit).

    He said that internally the change is being explained as a way to increase dinning profits which have lagged at many properties and this is a way to get Elites to dine at the hotel and discover great restaurants on property which is something Marriott has been focusing on (i.e. carrot and stick) "


    Cheers.
     
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  9. SkiAdcock
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    SkiAdcock Silver Member

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    Michelle on Insiders confirmed the following:

    The Platinum arrival gift change is for US/Canada only. Int'l properties will continue to offer 500 points or food/drink amenity.

    US/Canada will be offered 500 points or a $10 coupon to use at hotel outlets (presumably outlets means room service, restaurant, bar).

    Sharon's note: You'd better know up front if you're really going to use the coupon because if by chance you don't I don't think they'll let you exchange it at check-out for 500 points. I still think this change is to reduce their costs in having to provide the amenity & a ploy to get you to spend more $$ on F/B.

    The Platinum arrival gift guarantee policy is still in place.

    Cheers.
     
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  10. SkiAdcock
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    SkiAdcock Silver Member

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  11. SkiAdcock
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    SkiAdcock Silver Member

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    Reports on FT are that the "$10FB credit is a $10 'red card', and one key "small print" item says that is "can be used for alcohol where permitted by local ordinances"... not sure what that exactly means or where it would be prohibited..."

    Cheers.
     

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