My wife and I love Marriott. We stay at Marriott for both business and pleasure. I am Lifetime Platinum and Platinum Premier and have 146 nights already this year. I would consider us Marriott Ambassadors because we have always recommended the chain to everyone we know. Over the years, we have greatly appreciated the way we have been welcomed by Marriott and we look forward to each and every stay. When I was awarded Platinum Premier this year, I was a little excited. Unfortunately, it is just a title with nothing to offer. I don't even know why Marriott bothers with the level since it offers no value to the members. The discontinuation of the E135 gift checks and the wine and cheese platinum arrival gift are the last straw. Trying to plan a winter vacation for my family recently proved to be very frustrating. Not only do the reward redemptions require more points, the upgrade certificates required for resorts are ridiculous. I have more points in my account than ever before but I can get little value for them when planning a family vacation. I keep hearing that Marriot is listening but are they really? They stated that there would be an alternative to E135 gift checks at some point...when? We are all waiting but our patience is really being tested ! I don't want to go elsewhere. As I stated before, we LOVE Marriott but we also like good value and being appreciated. Hilton is starting to look better all the time.
David, I understand your frustration although you are at a much higher level then I am. It seems to me that they are cutting back on the benefits to the point where it doesn't make it worth while to be loyal to them. I am only a Gold Member but ALL of my travel is pleasure and I pay for it out of my own pocket. I have been 99% faithful to the Marriott for a better part of 20 plus years. You are so right about them upping the amount of points it takes to get your free nights. I recently sent them a note telling them how unhappy I was with their new Mega bonus program which starts 9/15 and ends mid January. I always look forward to their Mega bonus program and take full advantage of it. As I am sure you know it is usually a free night for every 3'd paid stay. NOW, it is stay 15 days to get 25,000 points, 20 nights for 40,000. Well, I go to L.A a lot and sometimes only stay for a night or two. As you know that would count as one stay. If I go to L.A 3 separate times then that would be a free night for 6 days. I don't go away for weeks or numerous days at a time so the new Mega Bonus is not going to work for me. They are basically making it harder to get a free night OR points. You can't stay any where decent for 25,000 points a night anyway since they upped the point requirement. I am sure you are much more disappointed than I am since you travel much more than I do. If they continue to run these type of Mega Bonus's and cut back on the breakfasts and other perks then I am going to be out. I will run through my points OR see if another chain will give me credit.
As I wrote above, in this new era of "Let them eat cake", information is very valuable. See below to how you should be able to secure the Mega Bonus of more value to your travel needs. - good luck
Like eb says, call the Rewards Customer Service line 1-801-468-4000 between 8:15am -9:00pm EST M-F and request a different Mega Bonus (know what you want before you call and just politely ask to have that offer manually tracked).
Just a reminder, the two offers for Certificates are;
Category 1-4 - a Certificate for every two Stays with a maximum of Three Certificates (6 Stays). As you know, a Stay can be one or more nights.
Category 1-5 - a Certificate for every two Stays with a maximum of Two Certificates (4 Stays ).
The Rewards Customer Service rep should be able to permit the switch and inform you that they will make a notation and track it manually (which of course, so will you). Once the promotion ends (January 15th, call them again and receive your certificates). There have been incidences of folks getting their certificates as they earn them, but not as frequently when they are manually tracked (although if you really needed an earned certificate, it's worth a call because you may get a sympathetic rep who would grant it - there is not an ironclad rule against it - it's just low odds). Good luck
Yikes! Thank you, Erc and Eb!!
I called Marriott just now and spoke to Kimberly - very nice lady! And yes, she switched my Mega Bonus to the one I prefer; 2 stays received cat 1-5 e-cert (max of 2 e-cert). And yes, she mentioned it will not show on my page but will be manually credited. So, I'll just keep track of my stays.
It sure pays to come by here! Oh the things I've learned! THANK YOU again, Erc, Eb and everyone.
This really made my weekend. Happy Friday, everyone!
Here's another example of where Marriott for relatively little effort, could obtain significant good customer relations, the Mega Bonus offering.
In the thread above two issues keep surfacing; 1) a lot of eligible folks don't know about the various offers being offered and 2) a lot of folks are assigned offers that don't necessarily benefit Marriott in terms of providing stretch nor the potential positive impact of having a customer having a relevant offer.
Boldie, a 4 day a week travel veteran, Big Points hunter, is going to want to seek the maximum points available and not the Certificates (a slam dunk goal, but of little value for his vacation needs) needs to call and have his offers changed. Willsmom a less frequent lodger, is provided an offer without little chance of accomplishing (thus removing the possible stretch incentive from 2 stays to six) and, if not on this forum, finds out to her chagrin later (like eb5147 did once/and only once) that she could have changed it. nycuws10025 writes a good overview of the situation of page 7 of the post (which, if I copied correctly is where my link lands).
Well, in some respects, things are better. I remember back when the bonus was tied to a specific credit card. Could one have had it changed then? I don't know. I never tried, but we missed a lot of bonuses when my husband's company was requiring him to use Diner's Club.
And I did figure out finally that I was entitled to sign up under my own name for the Mega Bonuses, so I could get additional bonuses that way. Forget losing the bonus points or welcome gifts for that. And if your spouse recommends you, that's another 2000 points for each for up to 5 stays for the first year. That's a good start for an account, especially if combined with the Mega Bonus.
This heartfelt disappointment is almost too sad to respond to, but after a sip of coffee, I will. You will find as you scroll through this forum you are not alone in your feelings. We are facing a Marriott customer service corporate culture shift, still focused on strong performance, but more driven by development, effective contract negotiations, cost reduction, and to this date, successful marketing of a newer target audience, essentially making the concerns of the long time, substantial but apparently not material, revenue producing loyal customers insignificant. What I and many others have found as our best counter tactic to the new (successful) Marriott approach is an arms length (as opposed to our previous emotional) attitude toward lodging decisions and the securing of as much relevant travel and program information as possible, therein lies the value of The Insiders.
Not only does The Insiders provide the worthwhile empathy that you're not alone in your changing feelings toward a long time business companion, but it often offers some of the best travel tips to be found on the internet, so jump in and swim around browsing topics of interest. The short answer (because if I gave you the corp answer, Insiders would string me up for mentioning it again) to your E195 checks that Platinums used to be able purchase for 135,000 points, is that the program has been discontinued. Gift cards worth $1,000 can now be purchased for (pause, for dramatic effect) 255,000 points - no editorial comment necessary. Once again, if we want to compete/survive in this new arena of eroding benefits and loyalty, we better be well armed with info, because Marriott (who will sue a franchisee in a heartbeat) is playing serious hardball. The Insiders and Flyertalk are two of the best resources for gathering and sharing that info. Good luck whichever path you choose.
davidfbrandauer, I feel your pain. It is true that - most of the time - I try to revel in the perks and benefits of my Marriott loyalty, although sometimes I do get frustrated. The trends - and individual manifestations of the trends - here's a quick example: The Pain is Back....Chasing Points and Stays - can be really frustrating...
But if you really want to experience the changing face of Marriott, check out the current contest/promotion by Marriott's Renaissance line of hotels (frequently, our Marriott chain of choice) - Renaissance Discovery Doors Contest - Uh, gee, I don't get it.... - this, to me, is one of the most startling demonstrations that, despite the volume (and consistency) of my business, and the likelihood that I will continue to provide business, I am decidedly not their target audience or demographic.
But - as the others have said - if you're going to travel, and you're going to stay at Marriott properties (and/or use a Marriott VISA card), this site is a gold mine.
ssindc- I, too, wondered about the Renaissance "contest". I thought the whole thing was too much bother. My interest in Renaissance has been on the upswing after reading alrenaissance's postings. But this promotion did nothing to enhance my curiousity, in fact it was the opposite. I totally agree with your "this site is a gold mine" statement! Happy travels.
I am a big Marriott fan and have been with the program for years and am now Platinum Premiere/Lifetime Platinum. But I still get the same 500 point arrival gift; I only get an upgraded room if I ask, and I still get no free breakfast at Courtyards, so I won't be staying at another one of those anytime soon. I was under the impression, having seem some announcement recently, that there would now always be a free breakfast at any Marriott hotel for Gold and Platinum members, but apparently this does not apply at Courtyards, and at Residence Inns and Fairfield Inns everyone gets a free breakfast. At least your points build quicker as a Gold or Platinum member and there is the occasional hotel, such as the Amarillo Courtyard that will give you a free breakfast if you are Platinum Premiere.
fivedegrees13. The problem that I have found when I stay at a Courtyard, Towneplace Suites or a Residence Inn is that they couldn't care less if you were Gold, Platinum, Platinum Premiere or the Pope. They make absolutely no bones about it. You are getting NO extra's with them. Because I travel with my pets several times a year I am more than familiar with the R.I and Tplace Suites. I did read some where on the Marriott website that basically you aren't getting an upgrade at any of those properties. Also, we shouldn't have to ASK for an upgrade or anything else that is supposed to be coming to us. It states very clearly under each status level what that particular level is entitled to. I have been faithful to the Marriott for over 25 years and have been less than thrilled with some of their properties. Main issue is customer service.
I am about 50 nights from Lifetime Platinum. I have decided to be proactive with these last 50 nights (contacting hotels directly ahead of the visit), and I will make a decision about staying or status matching to another brand after that. I did talk with a Platinum Premiere operator last week about a reservation, who noted the request for an upgrade and put me on hold to talk directly with the New Orleans Marriott. Needless to say, the room was so bad that I moved to another hotel the next day.
I'm going to give Marriott the benefit of the doubt over the next 50 nights. I've been a loyal advocate; hopefully I can start having some of the experiences that I had that led me to be so loyal in the first place.
The New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street. You can find the review here: New Orleans Marriott
I'm only a gold member, but what gets me is that nights redeemed using marriott points do not count toward elite nights.
Last year I had 74 elite nights. This year getting elite nights is more difficult because redeemed nights do not count and staying at a non marriott hotel when a marriott is not available. Why don't redeemed nights count?
Missing a level due to a one night shortage, or one flight segment, is hard to swallow. However, there always seems to be a bridge too far, as it were, and I'm not sure there is an easy answer for this. That said, Marriott does offer folks the chance to 'buy' their lost status back and this may be worth looking into in your case. Regarding why redeemed nights count, this is simply the way the program was structured. Some competitors may count these nights but not provide 'rollover nights'. In addition to that, each program weighs the value of credit card purchases, vacation club membership, free night for birthday, etc. To each his own, I guess.
I hope this helps.
thank you for the update. This does sound like an alluring offer to pleasure travelers. Unfortunately, that is a deterent for me. I travel largely for business and I am reimbursed for all my stays. A cheaper rate would mean fewer points without impacting my wallet. My leisure stays are all based off my points, so reducing the cost would result in fewer leisure stays because I wouldn' thave the points to fund them.
I am sure many others would find this deal appealing, though!
Sorry I didn't elaborate on this posting. I rarely use Hyatt but was just pointing out that Hyatt was doing something extra for its elite members. We have talked a lot about the reduced advantage us Marriott elites seem to be getting so just wanted to point out some things the competition is doing