No, not the kind of lightweight bathroom scale that slips on a wet floor, (my talking scale is often rude) but the ability to counter the increasing less valuable points for everyone.
My idea (I am ready for all comments and critiques) is that higher elite levels would get a small break for free points used stays.
|Points needed per night (category 9)||Marriott Rewards Elite Level|
|35,000||Life Platinum and Platinum Premier|
This would reward loyalty and counter the trend toward devaluation of points, as seen in recent years. If this were done Marriott could eliminate Points Savers all together.
Being both PP and LTP, I whole-heartily support your proposal. What I have no experience in, is what the goal of a loyalty program should be. Naturally, Marriott's goal should be to:
1. drive more revenue
2. reward long-time loyalty
In my opinion, pt 1 is the driver here and anything else needs to meet that requirement first. Clearly, offering opportunities for PP members that are very much driving revenues is a smart thing to do, but I don't necessarily see how offering up savings for LTP members accomplices the same. It would be interesting and educational to continue this conversation regarding how rewarding long-term loyalty (after-the-fact) rives more revenue.
what say you?
I'm with you, it's all about driving revenue, even #2, rewarding long-time loyalty is certainly not due to altruistic feelings - which is fine by and understandable to most all of us. I feel for any Insiders who saved for years for a huge trip only to have it snatched away from them right as they were just about to realize it, but in fairness, Marriott had been signaling this 'corporate cultural' change for over 18 months, even in the face of significant criticism from this and other forums.
My concern over all of our polling and suggesting (we're about 0 for 12 of late) is that others, specifically newcomers to Insiders/rewards - (have you seen the credit card print ads for Marriott Rewards program that highlight the Category 3 JW in Medan, Indonesia? - these guys are playing for keeps) might hold out an optimistic view that something might actually change toward elites'/rewards' favor and get stung again by not dealing in an arms length fashion with Marriott. When you look at what might be considered 'positive' changes in the past year; cash + points, and Courtyard increasing their check in points (really?), they are dwarfed by the reductions. That's why most of my forum efforts in the future will be how best to maximize value in the current environment, rather than changing the environment.
My money is on using the efforts toward finding the best deals in the Marriott matrix before they contract again; (by chance, the rerun of the CNBC Marriott profile was on this non-trading day - wow, it's all there - like removing the five nights for four or increasing advance payment, or changing cancelation policies - which if they could w/o revenue impact, I'm confident they would), seeking out new venues at pricing values, like the aforementioned Fairmount and other competitors, learning more about VRBO and other growing alternatives, and treating Marriott like I would someone on the other side of the negotiating table, with respect but not awe - because that's certainly how they interact with us (which again, is certainly fine by me). I don't believe we'll see creative merchandising of loyalty value until (and if - Marriott may be 100% correct and loyalty is no longer a factor) it makes financial sense (lost revenue) which is the new normal.
Like voting in Chicago; book early and often - today's deal, the SpringHill in Chicago $90 for the week of Thanksgiving - this is a terrific property when it's not crowded, great location near terrific restaurants. (Editor's note: oops, I booked and now it's $99.99, still a good deal, but I in effect got a free lunch at the around the corner Potbelly). Of course by sharing this, like we all did with our favorite Cat. 4's, Intergalactic will swoop in and wipe out any deals, so perhaps this is my last sharing.
I am with you. I have been around long enough to see that our comments have not had any impact on Marriott. What we need to do is work harder at finding deals like you did. What I am noticing in the hotels and car rentals, is that as it gets closer the prices have been going up. An example: a reservation with National for a 4 week rental was booked at just under $1000 and it is not around $3500. Cars are renting at over $100/day. People must be traveling and willing to pay the higher prices.
Shoeman, REVpar is the be-all and end-all for hotels for sure. But if a hotel is compensated by corporate for a points staying guest then the amount of points that person used is not relevant, merely the Revpar (let's say at the Marquis the Rack is 500 dollars, and for argument's sake the reimbursement for the room is 50 dollars--that's a 450 dollar loss for the hotel).
Now for the intangibles: what good would come from this sliding scale? More favorable attitudes toward Marriott and toward Marriott Rewards? Less grumbling about points devaluation? More willingness to commit to Marriott as the lodging of choice among uber elites? I would say all of the above. Problem is that no one can track or quantify the pay back that comes from making elites feel more wanted.
Not sure where you were going with the RevPar conversation. I understand what it is, just don't understand its realevance in this conversation. Please help this lowly shoeman out and explain further what it means in this context.
Regarding intangibles, are not 'uber elites' already committed to Marriott? How much more committed can a PP become? My point is that the LTP has either retired, or at the very least, fell below the Platinum requirements and is likely to continue to become a less traveler the older he/she becomes. No doubt goodwill could be gained, but try taking that to the accoutants.........
We can go back and forth about the value of a guest based on status but what counts is how the hotels look at us.
Along a similar line of thinking, what is we were allowed to pay for a room using points based on the cost of the room. Maybe a point is worth a penny. So if the room cost is $200, we would pay 20,000. Better yet, be able to use on the best discounted rate. Pay the hotels accordingly and they won't care how many guests are using points since they will not be losing revenue. They could do away with categories.
Dollars and bottom lines are the name of the game for a hotel, that's what I mean. The rationale for any category is to make the guest use more points based on the previous year's redemptions--thus making the guest cash in more, and hopefully then give the hotel more in revenue (not as much as Rack however). So P and L, ROI, whatever--hotels are not in the business of losing money, and the scaling of categories may be a way to (a) reduce the points out there and (b) help a hotel's bottom line?
Amen Californian. But that's not gonna happen I'll wager since the system as it is is based on prior year points redemption and has been for a while. I guess as I mentioned to Shoeman that's an attempt to compensate hotels for less revenue, but I have no inside the tent information to prove that.