This 4hotelier article recounts results from a recent Deloitte study, and it seems to tell us that loyalty, like public opinion, is a very volatile and very iffy thing: Loyalty can be earned one day and jettisoned the next for many travelers.
Travelers say they are in need of benefits as well as points, for their stays. Innovation, such as one-upping the competition, seems to work to keep a wavering loyalist loyal.
Many programs, like Marriott Rewards, are long in the tooth and seemingly losing their appeal due to perceived or actual diminution of benefits. Coupled with addition of new categories and loss of other benefits to the most loyal, these programs seem to be fading in their purpose. They need to be tweaked in the future if they are to survive in the market place.
I agree with that, I have found that rewards programs that change often and diminish benefits are less valuable. I used to try to become a reward member of many different programs. I now keep as many points as I can in my AMEX rewards and transfer as needed. I am still Loyal to Marriott but most of the blogs are stating that Starwood Preferred has done a better job of rewarding and accruing points.
Buckeyesloopy: I agree. I see you are a management consultant (per your other post) and you are on the road allot. I dont do what you do, but I am alos on the road, a bit less, more like 50%. I also stay at mostly full service Marriotts. I too have been loyal to Marriott, but *wood seems pretty appealing, and it is an option for me. I too keep many Am Ex rewards points around, use them as the need fits. I hope Marriott sees the light (doesnt seem like they have so far), so it may soon be "hasta la Vista, baby!"