I have a Chase Marriott Visa Signature that gave me instant Silver status....and 50K .
AMEX offered HHonors Surpass w/ Gold status first year and 60K....they already updated my HH to Gold on website and I haven't even received my card from AX yet.
Any non-luxury properties members surprised at this?
Not surprised really. Its a dog eat dog world with loyalty members and it seems once you make a list you will get more and more offers. If you do not have strong ties to one brand or the other (high status, lots of points, ownership, etc) and can make decisions on where you stay (ie not controlled by clients/company) then its probably worth looking to see if the grass is greener. I know I looked at Hilton at one point and they said they would give me Diamond status but only after staying 20nights as a standard member. Being plat. prem with marriott, eh, yeah I wasn't looking to "downgrade" my experience for a month so I stayed with Marriott. Lots of folks seem to have been moving around, I'm guessing the grass isn't greener, just a different flavor of grass
Two points to note:
- Value of points at MR vs HH: last I checked into it, the consensus was that 1 point at Marriott was worth more than at Hilton (prior to the most recent devaluations). So 50K vs 60K may be a wash, or it may be that 50K MR points is worth more than 60K HH points.
- HH Gold status: yes, it's better than MR silver, but one of the things that irks me is that you only get lounge access if you are placed on the Concierge floor. At MR, I get lounge access whatever floor I find myself on.
As for losing customers, reading the various boards, I think we have members leaving each chain to join another, so the numbers probably even out up to a point. Many business travelers have their staying patterns dictated by (a) their employer's travel policy, (b) the location of their office/customer's office and/or (c) a combination of the three. (Although, at my company's office in NJ, we have the choice of all chains within walking distance of each other, and have rates with all of them)