What's so great about Marriott Rewards?

Discussion in 'Marriott | Rewards' started by gba, Feb 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. gba
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    gba Silver Member

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    In some converations I've had with other miles/points junkees, it seems that Marriott Rewards often is seen as a second-tier loyaly program because it lacks some of the bang-for-the-buck available in other programs (like generous free weekend night promotions, or suite upgrades with free mini-bar, for example). With this new forum opening up, I thought it might be worth putting together a list of how people here get value from the Marriott Rewards program.

    For my part, I'd like to call out a couple rewards I find especially lucrative:
    • EEO BOGO weekends: while increasingly limited in where they're accepted, these are a great (and not well publicized) elite benefit and, when combined with LNF rates, can lead to unbeatable stays. Last year I was able to get the Mayflower in DC for under $60/night.
    • For 270,000 points I get 120,000 Air Canada miles (for a first class ticket to Phuket via Frankfurt and Tokyo) and a week at the JW when I get there. Sure, other programs let you move your points into miles, but few let you earn at this lucrative a rate (for Platinum's this is over 6 miles per dollar spent and that's excluding the week you get in the hotel)
     
  2. bk3day
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    bk3day Gold Member

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    As stated and illustrated elsewhere in this forum, Marriott's best rate guarantee (aka "Look No Further") is the primary benefit what keeps me coming back. It's hard to beat the savings offered by a price match and further 25% discount. Plus, the claims process is usually quick and hassle-free.

    Added to the LNF rates, the aforementioned EEOs, are frequent gift card discounts and the ability to cancel most reservations up the late afternoon on the date of arrival. Savings and flexibility are a great combination!

    Finally, ime there always is a Marriott family hotel wherever I need to be. I can't tell you how many times, for promo purposes or other reasons, I've wanted to stay at a Hyatt, SPG or Intercontinental property, only to find none at my destination.

    The MR program is far from perfect but it does offer value.
     
  3. SocialAdept
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    SocialAdept Silver Member

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    I got on due to a Gold challenge, and now that I'm there I'm working hard to keep it. I've experienced no other hotel program that gives out upgrades to the same extent (there's that free breakfast too).

    With most Concierge lounges being closed on weekends you can get some pretty sweet deals as a gold as a result.
    Some examples of this that I've had the last 2 months:
    $85 for Renaissance St Louis Airport - Got this 3 times now.
    $89 for Marriott City Center Fri-Mon - Got upgraded to a 2-floor suite after asking the nice receptionist. Was able to extend my stay with the same rate to the Tuesday upon simply asking front desk again.
    $135 for Renaissance 57 New York - For New York this is a crazy rate
     
  4. Cholula
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    Cholula Milepoint Guide

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    What I look for in a hotel chain.....and I guess that would also apply to their reward program......is consistency in both quality and service. With Marriott I can guarantee with almost 100% certainty that my room will be clean, fresh and in working order. And the hotel staff will be polite, helpful and friendly.

    I'm a Lifetime Platinum on Marriott and have well over 4,000 room nights logged with the chain. And I rarely run into surprises when staying at a Marriott. I don't usually like surprises when I'm traveling. I prefer to limit those to birthdays and Christmas. :)

    So I guess I make Marriott my hotel chain of choice more for their rooms, staff and attitude than for the razzle-dazzle of their Rewards Program.
     
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  5. roadwarrior365
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    roadwarrior365 Silver Member

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    BOGO and the consitency of the service and rooms I receive.
     
  6. travelingmore
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    travelingmore Gold Member

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    Also: with the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card, you get one free night's stay (at hotels in level 1-4) per year, and 15 nights credited toward elite status, which puts you at Silver (lowest) status each year, but on your way to Gold (50 n.) or Platinum (75 n.) as well. They expire six months after being awarded (in your card anniversary month), but can be extended on occasion by request. DH and I each have cards and have happily used the 2 free nights each year.
    And for the third year in a row, Marriott has done "rollover nights" - nights stayed last year that exceed your elite level requirement are rolled over to this year, so we started out this year with 38 nights rolled over - a great help. No guarantee that they will continue with this program, but it has been a help toward annual elite status.

    And we also like these benefits mentioned above: travel packages that give great amounts of airline miles, availability of Marriott properties almost everywhere, and reliability of getting decent rooms and service. We do use Hilton and Starwood occasionally, but Marriott is usually our first choice.
     
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  7. Bobofoosh
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    Bobofoosh Silver Member

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    It's the chain my company uses so that's the big one for me. Still once you have Gold that Lounge (or Breakfast) is a huge plus that you come to rely on.
     
  8. UADomer08
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    UADomer08 Silver Member

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    Just as many others who are passionate about the FF world, I travel extensively for business. While I do believe there are some short-comings with the MR program (it should be noted that this can be said about almost all FF programs), I stick with Marriott for two key reasons:
    1. The consistency and prevelence of the Marriott brand means I can find a reasonably priced and consistently solid product in just about every location I travel. I find Courtyards and Springhill's to be a staple in my life on the road. While I love Starwood, they are very difficult to find in some of the more remote locations I visit.
    2. When redeeming points for stays I find the redemption rates to be very reasonable and I rarely have difficulty finding a Marriott that is available for reward stays. This is enhanced as a platinum as the wonderful crew manning the platinum desk can typically find reward stays that are not available through the website.
    These 2 items have resulted in a high level of sticky-ness for me. I wouldn't say I am a MR decipal but I certainly recommend it to new coworkers that are looking to establish their FF accounts and begin building status and "vacation accounts"
     
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  9. Andy
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    Andy Silver Member

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    It's one of my company's preferred chains, so that drives a lot of my decisions. I can usually find one anywhere I go, with Geneva being a notable exception next week. When using the points we are usually traveling with the kids, and I find that I prefer the range of Marriott properties with family-friendly (Residence Inn, Springhill Suites, etc.) over the ultra luxurious properties that would be wonderful, but not where I want to spend a week with my 2 young kids.
     
  10. Rich
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    Rich Silver Member

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    It's my second chain. Having to get 75 nights for the (published) top tier is just too much for me, so I stick with SPG. If there's no SPG property, I stay at a Marriott property.
     
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  11. Delta Gazillion Miler
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    Delta Gazillion Miler Silver Member

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    I'm Platinum in Marriott Rewards and am very happy with the program. I like the (mostly) free breakfasts, the free wireless Internet and the welcome gift. I'm at a lower level at Hilton, Starwoods and Hyatt so really can't compare the higher levels.
     
  12. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    my thoughts on any loyalty program:
    No matter how great a program is, if you don't like the hotels themselves, it is going to be a tough 25 -50-75 nights away from home! If there aren't enough properties where you need them, how will you "earn" enough to reap the benefits?
    And finally, what specific benefits are the most important to you and your family?
    So when someone says a program isn't as lucrative as another, I always think...."for you".
    IMO, each of the major programs has significant strengths....and some weaknesses.
    Marriott offers me consistentcy, a range of pricing, a variety of brands -and most of the benefits that are important to me. For the ones they miss, my back up is Hyatt. Having top tier in those two covers all of our needs.
     
  13. WanderLuster
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    WanderLuster Silver Member

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    My current work schedule keeps me on the road enough to earn top tier status with both Hilton and Marriott. When my schedule settles down a bit, I'll have to choose between the two. The pros, IMHO, of Marriott Rewards are:
    1. The all inclusive rewards in the Carribbean.
    2. The hotel and air rewards.
    3. The consistency of the mid-level product. The Courtyard is my go to brand when travelling somewhere new. I've never been a fan of the Hampton product, which always seems to be the mid-range Hilton option in my locations.
    4. The promotions - they work for some and not for others, but I've found them to be relatively good fit for my travel patterns.
    Also, and this may be entirely my own misguided impression, but it feels like the top tier status on Marriott is less diluted. I seem to get far more recognition/special treatment as Platinum with MR than as a Diamond with HH.
     
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  14. UADomer08
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    UADomer08 Silver Member

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    How could I have forgotten the all inclusive rewards?? 6 days of luxury in Costa Rica at $0 basically made-up for my previous winter of traveling to NY during the blizzards.
     
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  15. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Well, the title of this thread is "what's so great about Marriott Rewards?" but I'd have to start my list by saying "that they're the Marriott program." Along with sophiegirl I consider the main hurdle for any loyalty program to be the quality of the product before thinking about the quality of the loyalty program. Marriott offers consistent quality, great staff, and fine service -- irrespective of whether you're a beginning member or a Platinum Premier.

    Now, once you're happy with the product, let's talk about the loyalty program. Many of the posters have already mentioned some of the key benefits, but my list includes:

    - Free breakfasts for Gold and Platinum;
    - "Buy one, get one" certificates for rooms, and for dining;
    - Bonus Bucks, Extra Euros, and the late, lamented, Premium Pounds;
    - Roll-over Nights, where the nights you earn in excess of the nights you need to requalify as elite roll over into the next year;
    - Rolling twelve-month qualification (an "informal" benefit which allows you to qualify for elite based on a rolling year rather than a calendar year, although some suspect this benefit was suspended when "roll-over nights" was begun);
    - Gift cards with bonuses (whether extra points, like 10 points per dollar; or gifts, like luggage; or a discount from face value, usually 10%);
    - 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?;
    - One redemption that has disappeared but I hope returns is the "Sampler", a 7-night offer that could be redeemed at up to three separate properties in Europe, or Hawaii, or other geographic areas depending on the offer. I loved this one; and finally
    - Lifetime status (not offered by any other "frequent sleeper" program that I'm aware of).

    All in all, absolutely outstanding!!!
     
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  16. 1. I know that I'm going to be treated well. If not they make it right quickly
    2. A choice of properties in most places I travel.
    3. We have not paid for a hotel room any where in the world when traveling personally in 20 years. That adds up to a lot $ over that period of time. My family loves them now as well and I have two kids who now travel for work.
     
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  17. justinhamlin
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    justinhamlin Active Member

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    It started originally for me as a family thing. My wife's family enjoyed staying at Marriott, not for the proce, but the quality of service. Once my wife and I agreed that Marriott was our hotel of choice, after staying at some Hilton, Hyatt, etc, the loyalty program made it a no brainer.

    Currently we will be Platinum members by August, without using the Marriott CC. Should be over 200k Marriott points by then as well. And we keep coming back due to the consistency of the quality of customer service, quality of stay, price matching (LNF) and the ease of using points for stays. I cannot remember a Marriott stay where we have not been exceptionally pleased or well taken care of.

    We are currently working on our Hilton status, should have gold status with their current promotion within the next month, but the fact that the person whose rewards number is on the room HAS to be present makes it a pain, as now we have to maintain 2 accounts when we travel for work independently. Marriott, we have no problems with that.
     
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  18. b1513
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    b1513 Silver Member

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    I am rarely disappointed with Marriott. I'm Hilton Diamond but I do think Marriott, at least the FS, is a cut above Hilton. Tonight I'm at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront and am again reminded of the type of good service and room I can depend on. There are a few exceptions, of course, but for the most part they go that extra mile.
     
  19. SVJ
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    SVJ Silver Member

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    Overall a geat progam for our family. Platinum for many years and close to lifetime status.
    Like:
    consistency of mid range product
    good staff
    many locations worldwide
    soft landings if required
    generally good lounges
    excellent call centre service when required
     
  20. carpe diem
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    carpe diem Silver Member

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    Quality, service, beds, EEO, LNF, free breakfast and internet. (Full service Marriott hotels)
    My stays are 95% personal....and the 5% business are still on my dime. The only down-side for me is not including reward night stays in the elite status counter. 75 nights are tough....but would be do-able for me with the inclusion of award night/free night stays. What's the sense of earning them if you can't use them if you want to maintain status?
     
  21. cfischer
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    cfischer Silver Member

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    1) LNF
    2) LNF
    3) LNF
    4) EEOs & restaurant BOGOs
    5) guaranteed lounge access at FS hotels
    6) 10+% Marriott gift card offers
    7) buy-back status
     
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  22. Phineas
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    Phineas Silver Member

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    this is a great program Sunday night through Friday morning. Its the worst one out there on the weekends.
     
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  23. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    I agree, it would be nice if Marriott, like Hilton, counted award/reward rooms.

    As to "free" nights, such as the EEO BOGO nights and similar, sometimes they do count with Marriott. I think it has something to do with the "date of departure minus day of arrival" calculation in the software, but I can't say for sure.
     
  24. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Also their policy if a FS hotel walks an elite member. Great compensation.
     
  25. bigguyinpasadena
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    bigguyinpasadena Active Member

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    I think we need to make a destinction between Marrott hotels and the Marriott Rewards program.
    When I joined Marriott Rewards it was the second best hotel Loyalty program going,That has all changed IMO and I now find Marriot Rewards and its treatment of its elite members to be the lowest of the three loyalty program I am seriously involved in.
    This is a real pity as I do enjoy many of the Marriott properties.
     
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