For the past year, I haven't receive a MegaBonus offer wherein I can earn 1 free night for every two nights stay. I found that odd. However, I recently checked my friend's account and he is not even an elite member and is getting a MegaBonus offer where he can earn 3 free nights (if he stay for 6 nights).
Questions to other Platinum members... Are you seeing this same offer as me or you still getting the free nights offer?
I found out today that a co-worker was invited to join a MegaBonus for the winter and I had not been notified. I assumed it was an oversight. We are both Gold members and we have an near identical stay history since we travel together. I called the 800 number and was told I am not eligible when my rewards number was entered. They had no explanation.
I'd like to know if any Plats out there have received that offer as well, or if they are all getting the stay 15-20-25 nights and receive 20-40k bonus reward points (or whatever; my numbers are probably off).
I have an idea that if this is the case, the megabonus offers are strategically placed incentives targeted towards specific traveler profiles to get them to stay more, ergo spend more. If Silvers and Golds, who don't have near as many nights or stays as Plats (who earn most of their nights on business stays in general) are given the earn one free night for every second stay (up to 6 stays and 3 free nights), they'll likely stay more often in order to get the free night. It wouldn't make (business) sense to give Plats that offer, as they'll get free certs without even trying due to their normal business stays. Do you get what I'm saying? Marriott would be basically just giving free nights certs away to Plats who would be staying anyway. On the other hand, if the Plats stay a lot, the 40k bonus might get them to add a couple of extra nights to meet that threshhold. I think the idea is to provide a win/win scenario between the business and it's customer, but you know a business isn't going to give anything away unless it produces a strategic ROI.
Unfortunately, if this is the case, it does not really bode well for the lifetime Plats who, once their business travel days are behind them, don't stay enough for the 40k bonus point offer to really work for them.
Clearly I am just speculating about that which I haven't a clue about!
I think that Marriott is offering a bonus offer to stay when one would not normally do so. That happened to me for summer. I almost never stay at CYs and was offered 5,000 for 2 weekend stays. I added 2 stays to take part in the promotion that I would not have done. However, by staying at CYs, I remember why I don't stay at them often. #1 reason, no free breakfast. Others who stay at CYs ofter were not offered the promotion.
As was mentioned in other posts, if you call Rewards, sometimes you are qualified for other promotions as well as the one presented. It is worth a call.
Samething happened to me. I haven't stayed in a SHS for over 10 years, so I was offered the promotion to stay there 2 nights and get 5,000 points, which I calculate I could have bought for $61, far less than staying there 2 nights which is anywhere from $200-300 depending on room rates. At first I was not going to do it at all. When I am in DTW, I like the FS property and I wasn't going to give it up for this promotion, and I can actually stay at the FS on my AAA rate for less than the SHS??? I did end up needing to stay in NJ a couple of nights, and the closest property was a SHS, so I used it. Its a new property, and very nicely laid out, but the prices are high, and they won't budge on late check-out, so not high on my list of places to stay. The promotion only confirmed this.
I was also offered the summer bonus as well, and since I do a lot of weekend travel, I have earned three cat 1-4 certificates that I now need to figure out how to use.
How about a Bonus program that rewards us with what we like to do based on our historical stay record
instead of a bunch of brands duking it out over who gets our business within the Marriott umbrella of products, and offering us either nominal or hard to use benefits. I am starting to feel like a real sucker!
I'm pretty sure Pluto and Cal have nailed it dead on - it's all about the infamous 'stretch' (like we often play in budgeting wars) and whereas as a Lifetime Plat playing on my own dime, I'm at a disadvantage by that, I can appreciate Marriott's intent. I started off three promos ago with a free room for every two stays up to two free rooms - and captured it. My most recent promo was a free room for every two stays up to three free rooms - and I captured that. Now, I've been moved out of my league into the 20 nites for 35k points and 25 nites for the additional 15k making a potential total of 50k points. My misfortune is that I have about six nites that fall at the end of August/Labor Day which don't qualify, so I'm out of luck. Oh well - and like Taxman, I called and was informed (again politely, so no beef on my end) that was the only offer I was eligible for, oh well again.
It's hard for me to make too much of a stink, since the promo calls for 25 nites in a third of a year (four months) or the annual plat requirement of 75 nights (3 x 25), it's just that my timing was off. This is why pricing is so very important to me as I grow less and less eligible for the promos and the Bogo's, weekend breakfasts, and real deals are being carved away from us - so expect my continued carping about the occasional illogical, almost deceitful, pricing quirks in the Marriott pricing grid - you've been forewarned - ha ha.
I received and participated in the exact same offers as erc during Spring and Summer. I too took advantage of getting the 'free nights' (5 in all) and was very happy that the expiration for the Summer Bonus free night program is not until 12 months after issue ( as opposed to the usual 6 month window to use them).
I agree with you erc about the 'pricing' issues so, beef on......and don't forget to continually check for that better rate that I probably talk too much about....but I do think the effort to get a better rate is worth it. I just re-booked all my west coast travel this month with better rates at every location in Anaheim, SF and Seattle. !
Fortunately, when the Mega Bonus kicks in I have some Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Aruba travel in Nov and Dec so that should help me with the 15 - 20 nights they are looking for....
That's what marketing does. Their job is to get you to spend more. In my opinion, I have benefited from the promotions. I like them. I don't take part in all and when I get a "Free" night, I just find a place to use it, after all, it was free. If I get points, I save them toward a package in most cases.
Actually I share both Gem's and Cal's feelings - a bit manipulated, but that's ok, we know it going in and there is usually a mutual benefit. My concern is when an insider finally reaches the hoop we can't jump through and are essentially 'promoted' out of the range of obtainable promotions. Like traveler2 and several others, I had previously been able to adjust promos. I would be interested if any one who received the 20nites/35k points - 25nites/50k points offer was able to choose another one or like taxman and I, were politely told that it was the only game in town for us.
Gem, you think they're tough now; if the Marriott stock price continues to rise (as it has) and the economy continues to firm for hotels (as it is), wow, then us deal hunters are really going to be facing tough times with the new (and to this point, financially successful) bean counter mentality as tef so aptly describes. That's when I post my very first discussion post asking all of the insiders tips on how to best use Priceline etc.
*I had to edit the promo - I put in the correct figures
You bring up a good point. Prices have been going up. Hotels that I was looking at a year or 2 ago are now double. As the economy continues to improve, the prices will go up more.
In the past promotions were only for off seasons like spring and fall; never in summer. I expect that there will be fewer also.
I won't be spending more, its just a question how I will spend it. Even on company travel, we have so many restrictions that our choices are much narrower then when I traveled alot for business. From my point of view, its just the brands competing among themselves, especially for us platinums as its probably a given that we will stay in a Marriott if there is one, just which one. Seems counterproductive to be competing within the same organization for the customer. Seems to me it would be better to focus efforts on making that frequent traveler happy regardless of brand so they are not off scoping out Hilton, Starwood properties, etc.
My company is cutting back travel so my available nights will be lower through the later half of the year than it was during the first half. If I know I can't meet the 20-25 bonus I was offered, then I guess I'll be staying at Hilton or SPG who keep offering me great opportunities.
The promo this fall said we wouldn't be allowed to switch. It has been hard enough during prior promos when I knew I switched to track promos. Your promo page shows you registered to the promo you didn't want and you have to hope that at the end of the promo period the CSR can straighten everything out. Not sure why Marriott's IT department can't figure out the same "pick 1 of 2 (or more) options" that is common at Hilton.
If I don't anticipate 20 nights during the Sept 15 - Jan 15 period, then any nights I do have will go elsewhere where I will get recognition. For the summer promo Marriott offered me 5000 pts for a Friday or Saturday stay. (which would only be vaca and not business related). Hilton offered me double pts during the week and triple pts on Friday/Saturday or Sunday. Business travel Sunday night is a possibilty.... and the promo helps me decide to travel out Sunday evening rather than Monday. Even if I don't make a weekend stay, anything is better than nothing.
Marriott's loss is Hilton's gain.
Marriott does indeed tailor the Mega Bonus differently according to the members level and the activity. Its chosen for you then put into your account. You can call the rewards desk and ask what bonus's are available and change it according to the trips you will be taking during the next bonus period. I travel a lot for work but there have been times when I knew I wouldn't reach the offer I had been given so I simply called and asked what other offers were available and made the change. Got the 2 nights free instead. Have done this twice and have never had a problem! Good luck!
I would like to add caution here, that some promotions can be switched and some cannot. If you get a good customer service rep when you call, you can ask for and hopefully get a good explanation. I'm sorry I cannot provide an accurate explanation of the why/how some promotions are "switchable," and some are not, but hopefully a good c/s rep can.
When I changed my promotion, I was tolld that I would have to call in after I completed it but they make notes and update our accounts when activity takes place. I found this out when I called for the CY bonus. If I hadn't called it would have been credited the next day. I am not done yet and will see if it continues to happen.