So, I currently have 5 certificates to use from the various promotions running. I find them completely useless. I can not find a hotel in a location that I would like to use, and if I do, I'd rather pay the $110 room fee to get the night's credit.
My question/point is: can we select an alternative to these? I would happily trade each in for bonus points or combine them so I can actually find a hotel in a place I want to be.
I much prefer the bonus point promotions.
No alternative exists other than using them. You can't give them to others (or we would gladly have a Stub Hub market right here on Insiders). You can't add cash or points to grab a higher category property. You can't cash them in for any points. What you can do, and should do, before you let them rot and allow "The Man" to win again, is be creative and think smaller - like Residence Inn, Spring Hill or even a nice Fairfield (each with those tasty waffles we all love).
For example - Go to a Patriots game, party hearty, and stay at the Foxborough Residence Inn.
Stay at the SpringHill O'Hare, catch the Blue Line into the city, sightsee or catch the Red Line to Wrigley and watch the Cubbies, they may just win.
Select Pentagon City Residence Inn (Arlington, Va near Reagan National) and catch Metro into the Nation's Capital, watch that impressive group of legislators in action.
Use one of the many airport properties below Cat. 5 with shuttle (they're out there) and fly on a different day that saves you $$$ on your airfare.
Select a lower Cat. property and watch a play, or a symphony, or a great dinner and stay nearby without having to drive home.
Come on Rodrigst, you're one of the youngbloods, you can't be giving up this easy. Go man, go
It would be nice if we could get the nights credits when using the Certificates. They can be a challenge to use sometimes especially if you have multiple ones. Like erc said if you do a little research you should be able to find a good use for them. I'm making good use of a category 4 Cert this weekend at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church VA. I'm paying for the first night @ $99 which includes 5K Rewards Points for the stay (MR5 promo code) and using the certificate for the second night. So extra rewards points and $99 for a two night stay. Sweetness.
If it's for the current promotion, call them up to tell them if you want the points for the stays. My husband was assigned the 2 certificates for 4 stays. Since we "live" in a RI, I called them up to complain and was told that they would change it in September when the promo ends, but we can't use the certificates, of course, and if they don't go through with their promise (which I'm not really worried about but always a bit concerned until after the deed is done), that will be 3 months off the usage period.
I hope that's what you were asking about because otherwise, I misinterpreted your question.
Now, this brings me to another really bad mark against Marriott. I just mentioned that there is a bit of concern until the certificates are exchanged for the points after the promo has ended. In the first place, we already have stayed enough nights to have earned the 45K points, but we have to wait until after September to have that verified. This isn't even the first time for this and we've been staying in RI for 3 years straight, and then various other places besides.
Why does a "smart" corporation like Marriott continue to put the customers through this wringer with each promo? It really says they aren't all that smart, doesn't it? The other thing it might be saying is that they are getting more and more greedy. But it absolutely says they don't care about their customers. So many people have gotten tired of this "mental abuse?" and left, taking all others in their companies with them. DEFINITELY NOT smart, Marriott!!!
Agreed! These Cat. 5 certificates have become almost completely useless for me. I usually use them for quick staycations near home, but now all properties on Oahu are a Cat. 6 and up, including the subpar CY Waikiki. I think at the very least Marriott should allow us to use Cert + Cash... they already allow this points!! Even better, all Cat 5 certs should be upgraded to 6...
Morning to all in this post
eb- I took it to mean that rodrigst already had the certificates, therefore his options were to use 'em or lose 'em. Definitely if the discussion is about potential of earning them and he doesn't like them, then your suggestion of attempting to change his promo and then monitor the manual switch, is the way to go. As far as Marriott being smart, disappointingly for us longtime loyal customers, Marriott is currently very smart when it comes to hitting financial targets that satisfy their shareholders and yes, customers take their business elsewhere but are replaced by more than enough additional new customers, proving as pricing guru D.R.Roberts indicated on the CNBC show, Marriott doesn't care the name of the customer, only the room rate. Time will show whether that truly is a 'smart' strategy, but for now, it's working and we're fortunate to get whatever we get, thus the enormous value of Insiders, keeping all informed of opportunities and ideas (but even that is being diluted, see closing paragraphs).
kharada - just like our Alaskan friend who was priced out of certificates during the previous increase, your problem is that you chose to live in the wrong state. Marriott's response to you islanders, "let them eat cake", so go catch a wave and either wait for when Marriott allows certs and cash or moves the Cat. 5s to 6s (you'll love the 'enhancements' that come along with that change).
profchiara- although Marriott has understandably, aggressively pushed actual costs (welcome amenity, if no breakfast or lounge closed, then points instead etc) to points where they can then reduce the value of those points by category inflation, the premise that Marriott thinks that Cat. 4 and 5 certificates are valuable to us has yet to be proven; the fact that Marriott wants us to think that they are valuable is a different story.
We must be careful what we hope for, if they were to switch to points - since two stays (meaning a possible minimum of two nights) earn a 20,000 point Cat. 4 stay and currently in the same promotion 20 nights earns 35,000 points, the more likely scenario would be something like 8 stays would earn a "Flex" Certificate worth either a free stay at a Cat. 4 or 20,000 points - your choice as part of the New and Improved Megabonus Promo (you're welcome Rewards Members, another enhancement courtesy of The Man).
Tongue in cheek response, yes. Sarcastic, yes - but who cares, it will be five days before anyone sees this since we'll have to wade through 95 hotel property reviews to find it. Has this become a new trend? Implement changes and swamp the forums with neutralizing material? (category changes were followed by weeks of 42 Stories contest, now amenity and breakfast changes followed by Hotel property review contest as the floodgates are opened). Ironically, rather than gathering additional insights and ideas by the increased membership brought about by the 42 Stories participants, we're instead lost in reviews (helpful, but overwhelming in the current format) of Marriott's more than 3,900 properties.
Like Fred Sanford used to say to Elizabeth, "this is the big one"; jasper, warm up the youtube and save me a chair, I'm coming to join you. Chat with all after the 4th.
I see your points, and know that it won't matter. But for me, traveling in Europe category 4 or 5 certs are almost entirely useless except when there are promotions. I did have one exception last year that made me think of this. I tried to use my annual Premier Plat MRI card 1-5 night for 1 night at the Athens Ledra. They were having a promotion of count it as cat 4 for a period of time, and for some totally bizarre reason it said I could not use my cat 5 certificate for a special rate. After speaking on the phone with customer service, they did some weird accounting and made it count. But later I decided to cancel it and pay instead (since the hotel had gotten so cheap I figured a night stay in Portland would be more expensive). When I cancelled, 20,000 pts appeared in my account.
haha! In my experience living in Hawaii, the large brand that seems to cater most to locals is Starwood. The company I work with not only has a corporate rate code for Starwood with no minimum stay requirement, but also has a special corporate kama'aina rate for Waikiki properties! Yes they have resort fees there too, but I think it's worth it! For example, the Royal Hawaiian has a $35/day resort fee, but that includes valet parking, internet access, 1 Mai Tai or non-alcoholic beverage per person, and kid's 5 and under eat free from kids menu with paying adult among other amenities! That's much better than Waikiki Beach Marriott's $25/day resort fee in addition to the parking fee and internet access fee for non-gold/platinum members. But I digress...
Once the wedding and honeymoon are done with, I think I will re-evaluate my relationship with Marriott.
That's what's so confusing, erc. Supposedly, we've already "earned" our 2 certificates for this promo. One has been credited to my husband's account while there is another stay applied towards the 4 stays and one stay hadn't been as of this A.M. We did stay in Jacksonville, FL RI on Sunday night, so it should be posted soon.
CS had said they would change the certificates to points after the promo has ended. That's why I don't know whether rodrigst got his certificates during this promo or a previous one. If this one, it could make a difference and he would also like the points instead. At least 2 of those certificates wouldn't have been earned with this promo, though.
When were your certificates earned?