Consistency. In 25 years and close to 1000 nights in the hotels, I can count on one hand the number of substandard stays. That's over a 99% satisfaction rating from yours truly. I've held similar status with Hilton and IHG. Neither chain has come close to that number for me.
Now, I've been Platinum for the last 5 years and Platinum Premier for 1 (plus 2013?). At that level, I consistently get upgraded most of the time without ever asking. Marriott has earned my loyalty.
My back-up chain is IHG. I find there are about 20 nights per year that I need to stay in a non-Marriott property because of location. Hilton and Marriott mirror each other quite a bit. In the small towns I find myself for these 20 nights, IHG happens to be an option most of the time. I tried Choice Hotels for a while....not good. IHG does a fair job and sometimes an excellent job.
Marriott has more hotels in locations that I go to. In general, I am treated well. My backup is Hilton since they have hotels in places that Marriott doesn't. I am treated well there too. Starwood doesn't have enough hotels in areas that I am interested in. I have a lot of SPG points and am not sure \where I will use them.
If there is a Marriott and a Hilton in a place that I plan to go to, I tend to pick the Marriott. I have a long history with them as Pained said and the comfort of the rooms is more consistent as well as the treatment.
For whatever it's worth this is a no-brainer! Marriott points are now accepted at Ritz Carlton & the European Autograph Collection. If you own any Vacation Club weeks & add the new Destination Program
to your portfolio you can do almost anything you want. For Example: I own MVC weeks in Maui & Palm Desert. I bought into the Destination Program when it was $695. Then I purchased a program that gives me 5,000 Destination Points annually. This Summer my Destination Club Points got my wife & I two 1st Class round trip tickets from LAX to Rome & back. My Marriott Rewards points got me 10-Nights in the Autograph Boscolo in Vatican City for the Harley Davidson 110th Anniversary Celebration. I can use my MVC weeks as designed, I can trade Maui for 5750 Destination Points a year + add them to my new 5000 point a year program which gives me 10,750 Destination Points a year. Then I can use Palm Desert to the mix giving me an additional 110,000 Marriott reward points.Remember, if you use for 4-nights the 5th is free. I have enough Destination Club points left to fly all 5 of us to NYC & Back to San Diego up front, and with 160,000 Reward points I'm staying at the Central Park Ritz Carlton NYC for 5-nights. 10,000 Destination points is like 750,000 Reward points.I can mix & match for almost anything you can imagine. Next summer 2014, I got 5, 1st class round trip tickets from LAX to Barcelona, Spain a 10-Day Med. Cruise in an 8-Bed Stateroom and 1st class return flights for all 5 of us from Monte Carlo back to LA. You can bank points, you can borrow points. Then math works different for everyone depending on when you buy and where. For me they made me Gold for Life, when I spend money on 25 nights in 2013 I will be upgraded to Platinum for life. I purchased the 2-MVC 5-years ago & the destination Club last year. Overall I spent $90,000. With the flexibility I now have it basically works out to a scenario like this: I will get approximately $15,000/year in travel making the payoff for the $90K = 6Years. Then it's all mine. I can sell weeks and my kids can inherit them as well.
The best way I can answer this question is this:
Everything depends on the deal you made up front when you bought into the MVC, especially Two.
You already know they each depending on the weeks you own have a certain trade value to Marriott Rewards Points.
When you throw the Destination Club into the mix it opens a door to an entire new set of opportunities.
Like the Rewards Point Value, They each have a DC Point Value as well. For Example; My Platinum Maui week is worth
125,000 Reward Points or 5750 DC Points. My Shadow Ridge property is worth 110,000 Reward Points or 3750 DC Points.
I purchased into the Destinations Program at 5000 points annually, no matter what. So I can mix & match almost any scenario I want.
I can trade Maui for my 125K in Reward Points add them to my 5K DC Points and go anywhere with Room & Air covered. If I Trade Maui for 5750 DC Points
& Shadow Ridge for 3750 DC Points and use my annual 5K I now have 14,500 Destination Points a year. That's a cruise for 5 or 2 first class RT Airfare + any European Timeshare for a week.
The best part is you can now Bank Weeks or Borrow. I have no idea if I answered your question, but so far I like it. The Destination Program is the future & if you pay attention you can easily see
and verify this claim. I purchased into the program 6-months ago for an additional $695, today it's around $2500 and in May I'm told will be $6900 just to join. Then you have to pick a plan. My 5000 Points a Year for life cost close to $30K, this makes my payoff, 6-years. (Everyone's will be different) Mine is based on paying $90K for Maui, Shadow Ridge & the Dest. Program. This set-up gives me approximate. $15K/year in travel. One last thing: When I purchased the $30K Destination Club they credited my account with 9750 points. They booked for me on the spot a 7-day Disney Cruise for my family of 5.
This was the incentive Part.
Please feel free to ask me any questions, I will do my best to answer you!
Each MVC has a different price for maintenance fee's. They seem to keep going up. The Destination club has no maintenance fees, just a one time buy-in. This keeps going up as well. This program is extremely popular right now. I got in for $695, today it's in the $2650 ballpark. I am being told the June 1st it will be in the $6900 range. That's just the "Buy-In". You can figure out how many Destination Club Points your week is worth easy. They have a chart on the MVCI Website or you can simply call your advisor. You either have enough fpr what you want to do or you can buy more like I did. The Destination Club Program is great for people in a situation where they are becoming "Empty-Nesters" & have more time to do stuff with your & your spouse/friend/child, whatever.
I was very intrigued by your comment that the Destination Club has no maintenance fees. As I too am an enrolled owner I was given the option to 'purchase' more points....with 'goodies' attached (they are generally one time Rewards Points bonuses or destinations Club 'Points Plus' points that have a one time use).
However, the annual maintenance fee dissuaded me because, for a 5000 point purchase, there would be a $2150 ANNUAL maintenance fee I would have to pay to maintain that point value. The DC points program sells points that are called a 'beneficial interest'. Each beneficial interest is 250 points. The 'current' maintenance fee for one beneficial interest is $107.50. I just checked with MVCI to see if they had changed the program (since I noticed in an earlier post you joined Destinations just 6 months ago) and they told me that there is a maintenance fee that would have to be paid each year, even if I bought them under the 'special purchase' plans they are offering. I asked if there was, had been, or is any type of point purchase program that would give me yearly points without the annual 'sticker shock' of a maintenance fee. They had no knowledge of any program such as that.
I then called my MVCI counselor to inquire again and get a second opinion...same answers.
I'd be interested in knowing what the program is that gives you the points with no annual fee.
This is something I have not heard of. I will double check my Doc's. I was told that my $408/Monthly for my $$$loan is all I am obligated to pay. There are however, cancellation fee's & stuff like that. but no maintenance fee's. This makes sense to me. Like their is no deed either like the 2-MVC I own. They ate 1/52 of a year each, married to a specific resort & week. Destination Club is like you said "an enhancement". I don't have a specific resort to help maintain.
Thanks for your comment, I will definitely check it out further.
Please let me know what you find out. It'll be good to know the real deal. Part of the reasoning they had with the maintenance fee attached to the extra points purchase was that, since they no longer sell deeded weeks that they had to collect the maintenance fee because I would still be using their MVCI properties and therefore had to pay the maintenance fee just like all others.
You make a good point that there is no deed that runs with the 'point purchase' enhancement deal. I also have deeded property for my weeks but I agree that I also didn't like the idea that the extra points came with no deeded rights to them in perpetuity. Good luck!
The $695 only bought me membership into the Destination Club. This Club gives me access to a bunch of stuff the MVC or Rewards points alone do not. Once your a Destinations Club Member you still need a way to get Destination Club Points which are totally different than Rewards Club points. The $30K I was talking about is the program I purchased. You can purchase whatever you can afford or negotiate. The program I purchased for $30K gives me 5000 Destination Club Points annually for life. This is all I need. When I trade My Maui week for 5750 DC Points + 5000 from my DC Points program I have 10,750 Destination Club Points annually and still haven't touched my other property value. If I want 10-days in Rome or Paris, it's covered for two easy. Thats a pair of 1st class RT Airfare and 10-Days in a resort I normally wouldn't have access to.
Hope this helps,
Travel packages offered by Marriott, plain and simple!! It is the only rewards program that I know where you can, in all practicality, trade in 120,000 points for 120,000 miles. That is right. If you book a travel package that includes a 7 night certificate and airline miles, the stay is booked at the points for the level of hotel for seven nights, but then you are able to add the miles, up to 120,000, by spending the equivalent number of Reward Points. No other reward program offers this sort of exchange, and it makes the Marriott Rewards program the best in the business.
The last time I bought a travel package, I was not able to use the 7 nights hotel stay .To refund the 7 nights back to my account
the rep told me it is only worth 20,000 points (1 night stay at category 4). So beware! You get ripped off if you have an emergency during
Marriott has it set up that to get airline miles as part of a travel package, it is a good deal but to just get miles, it is not. If you take a travel package and just want the miles, they penalize you by giving little back for the hotel. If they didn't do this, everyone could take a TP and turn the hotel back in if they just wanted miles. I understand this.
The hotel stay does not have to be used at the same time as the miles and it can be extended more than 1 time to allow you to use it as long as the same packages are available.
Chances are if you are Marriott Platinum, your elite status with another hotel was probably given to you as a way to get your business. And although you might threaten to leave, there are not too many people on this site who are going to change.
And although you might find a suitable back-up hotel chain, there are still only so many days in a year.
Everyone likes to discuss how much they have or will be traveling as they comment. I've probably traveled as much as the rest and I'm sure that we have tried them all. The best advice might be to pick a hotel chain and stay with it.
Although a lot of these insiders "discuss issues" , I'm sure that they have figured out that Marriott still has the best value.