Is there a way to get points for a category 5 free stay applied towards a category 7 and pay the difference in points or currency? I think if not this should be something Marriot should consider for their Platinum members.
Message was edited by: CREST Thanks everyone for your thought and input. I did not really consider the recent changes with categories devaluing the certificate but a reality. A reasonable upgrade in points or currency would make sense or allow them to be retuned back to the account in points. People vote with their dollars and the competition for loyalty is fierce.
TThat's my complaint. I stay at 5-9 level properties. I receive vouchers for 1-4 category properties. I'm frustrated because they won't let me pay a different with cash or point. They are wasted and meaningless vouchers because I have never stayed at class 1-4 properties. Give points instead of free/useless vouchers.
THe the program is like giving away a basket of garlic for being loyal. But in my case, I'm allergic to garlic. What use is it to make empty promises.
Hi, CREST! Thanks for your patience while we checked this out. merb & I just heard back from one of our Rewards specialists who said that the promotional certificates do not have a point value, therefore can’t be traded in for points. Hope that helps answer your question.
We absolutely appreciate the suggestion/feedback and will definitely take it into consideration. Thanks for posting!
While CREST's request isn't possible, perhaps it should be. Promotional certificates, including the Visa ones, have become increasingly difficult to use (probably the goal of management) for a lot of us, especially since it's popular to use it for a quick getaway close to home. Most properties that we would stay at are now beyond cat 5. So, as we've been saying since Marriott started devaluing MR, I'd like to see the certificates upgraded to cat 6 at least, but ideally 7, and/or introduce more flexibility such as allowing us to use at a cat 7 and pay a reasonable cash fee to do so, or maybe even use points? We've already seen attrition caused by the devaluation right here in this community, and I suspect negative changes aren't over yet, so something positive would be nice to see. And I mean what we see as positive, not what management thinks we want.
That being said, I know the two of you have no control over these decisions, so please don't feel like I'm targeting you. I'm just genuinely concerned with the program and get a sense that Sorenso has perhaps lost touch with the values Mr. Marriott has instilled in the company. There appears to be too much concern over increasing profit margins and too little consideration for the company's most loyal guests and the people who champion the company the most.
I would agree. I think if you zoom out and see the big picture, loyalty should be rewarded and also provided some flexibility. After all, we pay an annual fee for the credit card and are loyal Marriott members with elite status, so it would be great to have some flexibility to be able to convert it into points or to be able to redeem it for a Category 7 hotel. Only then do the benefits outweigh the costs. With the devaluations, a Category 5 is hard to find and if a member were to redeem points, they would rather use the certificate combined with other My two cents. I hope Marriott gets more generous and changes this in the near future.
Being able to "upgrade" a certificate with cash or points would be a benefit to Marriott Rewards members. There is a defined value between categories of hotels. Except from category 1 to 2 the point value difference is 5,000 points per night. It would make sense to allow a member to turn a category 4 certificate into a category...6 certificate for 10,000 points or into a category 7 certificate for 15,000 points. In my opinion this would be very easy to administer on Marriott's side. Just my "2 cents worth."
We appreciate your 2 cents, lakersfan! We'll be sure to pass your feedback along as well.
In my mind, there are vast differences between a Cat 1-4 and a Cat 7, Cat 1-4 is where I stay on business, when I want a hotel near my location that I can count on for a good night's sleep and a good price. Cat 7 is where the magic happens, where memories are made and where I leave wanting more... as in MORE NIGHTS in that hotel. So it would make logical sense to offer some CERT+ packages where you can upgrade your certs to a higher category hotel, so you can experience those memorable experiences.
The perfect example is the Courtyard at Fisherman's Wharf which is a Cat 8 property. Not to disparage the property, but it is ONLY a Cat 8 because of the location. I stayed there on my last vacation for my anniversary, if I had opted for the CAT 1-4 certificate, I would be in the RI in S. San Francisco Airport (San Mateo) which is not a bad hotel, but would not encourage me to come back. As it stands, I used points (instead of my certificate) to book the Courtyard and will likely be back again and again. It is certainly something to consider allowing in the future so everyone can experience a little greatness.
I just came across this post and have the following to say.
I'm not sure why some of you are offering or requesting pie in the sky changes to the certificate rules because Marriott has absolutely no intention of allowing them to be upgraded and/or changed nor extended beyond their six month period.
Am I the only realist here?
Aah, c'mon mikieg, play along, after all Marriott appreciates our two cents and is passing along our feedback - don't cha know?
It's like the joy one gets daydreaming about hitting the lottery or pulling for the Cubs. Although I will note, the weekend continentals and the Category 5 certificates in the Mega-Bonus as ever so slight actual 'enhancements' (most enhancements like the $10 F & B coupons w/strings attached are often downgrades or like the Cash + Points, nothing to write home about).
I ever so humbly genuflected and suggested my certificate plus points premium in the rare hope the rewards gods might see some goal congruency on the margin and toss us a bone, but certainly am not holding my breath.
Well, while there probably is some truth to the fact that I felt lightheaded over the refreshing candor of merb's answer (as opposed to "few elites even knew about or used BOGOs"; or "our surveys show CY customers prefer buying Starbucks coffee"; or "the E195 Gift Cheques were eliminated because the maker of the cheques went out of business") I do fight the good fight on the edges in hopes of squeezing whatever scraps we can, but Don Quixote I'm not (that's why I don't argue the rules, like MegaBonus stays vs. nights, but rather the communication).
I've even grown not to be opposed to Marriott's 'wild west' let every property set their own rules (as seems to be the trend as Arne pushes decision making down to the lower levels) willing to try my luck with my own negotiating capabilities rather than relying upon an ironclad corporate mandate, that's why I'm such a huge Insider advocate; man the pitchforks, we're storming the castle!
I can't see this happening myself.
We like our points because they're flexible, stay at any hotel you want, anywhere, anytime (Nearly). They pay the bill. Points never expire, points earned in 1984 can be redeemed right now.
Businesses like to issue vouchers. They're restricted, subject to lots of T&Cs and expire if unused, ensuring that unlike unused points these certs don't sit around never-endingly as a drag on the balance sheet.
We use our points/certs for leisure and of course want to spend our leisure stays at luxurious FS hotels, or "go to" destinations, such as Vail, Disney, NY, Paris etc etc. These places don't need our redemptions, they've got plenty of paying guests at weekends and sit at categories 7,8 and 9 reflecting that 7 day week popularity. But pity the RI in Montgomery, the Marriott in Leicester and the multitude of FFI/CY in small towns around the world. All deserted at weekends. And all in categories 1-5... Hence the certificates. They look valuable, but in reality are mostly of use at the kind of places we go to for business, not leisure and help drum up some leisure trade on inventory that would otherwise go unused.
So, no... I don't see it being possible to upgrade certs by using points since that really would defeat their commercial purpose!
I have to agree with the sentiment of the post. I currently have 4 free night certificates for a cat 1-5 hotel. I normally stay in cat 6-8 hotels - why is this? Well they are located where I want to stay! So the cat 5 certificates are useless for me. I cannot book for someone else. I asked about converting them to points but just got the standard response -
Thank you for contacting Marriott Rewards.
I apologize, promotional certificates may not be re-credited for points. They do not have a point value.
I apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. If you have any additional questions, please let me know.
Thank you for choosing Marriott. We appreciate your loyalty as a Gold Elite member.
Clearly they do not value my loyalty enough.
I think the Free Nights promotions are a bit of a con, I wonder what percentage are actually redeemed?
I wanted to stay a night at the Renaissance North Hills and just saw it was a cat. 6. I could swear it used to be a 5. I have 2 unused free nights that will probably expire since I cannot find a property in that realm I want to stay at. Those certs. have become beyond useless. I may have to change my loyalties to Hilton. At least Hilton allows you to use your points and cash when you book and it's so much easier. While I'm all for Marriott making a profit, they may want to throw their loyal customers a bone before they lose a lot of business.
Well said, I am in the same boat. I travel monthly for business and I only stay at category 6 or 7 locations. I work for one of the largest companies in the world and we have a great partnership with all the major hotel chains. I started with Marriott, based on feedback from my co-workers and I've stuck with them from day 1. I recently heard about Hilton's status match program and I reached out to them just to test the waters. They offered to match my status with Marriott and I even convinced the Hilton Rewards specialist to give me bonus points to cover the 2 certificates I acquired.
I have to say that when I first had Marriott Rewards, I was impressed with the program and it seemed like I stayed 5 to 10 nights and had a free night. Now that I can't use these two category 1-5 passes, I am seriously reconsidering where I stay when I travel. I love the Marriott hotels and I've always stayed there, but if we can't get some value placed on these reward certificates, then perhaps we need to shop the market. Hopefully, we'll see some changes coming soon from Marriott's Rewards.
I presume this post is Assumed Answered either because of the duration or due to the fact that merb shared with the team back in November, kept us updated with any updates (none) and the Marriott team of specialists convened and given the record earnings, the record stock price, and the ongoing momentum, had decided to not change a winning lineup (can we really blame them?).
Certificates by the way are earned by two stays, for a maximum of four stays. That's possibly as low as only four $55-$60 nights in Town Place or Fairfields. We've had folks not only threaten, but actually leave taking a quarter million dollars worth of business without a blip - so those threatening to leave over the lack of certificate upgrades (which we all would love) shouldn't hold their breath or overestimate the impact of their threat of departure.
Let's see how next Monday's (4/21/14) Freddie Awards results turn out. If Marriott, who last year won four out of the five Hotel Loyalty Program Awards slips, who knows, maybe we'll get some attention - if they win again, our enhancement dreams are no doubt, dead meat.
Best Customer Service — Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards
Best Earning Promotion — Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards
Best Elite Level — Hyatt – Gold Passport
Best Redemption Ability — Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards
Program of the Year — Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards
I also tried to use my "free" night toward a discount at a cat8 hotel (where I would have stayed for a week) and was told by the reservation lady that it was impossible. To me this makes the visa credit card almost useless. First these certificates are only good for 6 months and now I cant even use it to go where I want. I think the visa credit card was awesome at first (not as good as in the US), but it is loosing its interest very fast. The card is what had me staying at Marriott in the first place and me and the wife got hooked. Marriott is the first option I consider when booking a hotel now but for my next vacation in the caribean, I am now considering other options. I think the program will have to consider a few things before loosing too many people.
Unfortunately, I decide to cancel my husbands cc. I live in southern California and I cannot use the cat 5 certificate anywhere that I want. Most of the places are now 7 and up.
Not sure how long I would keep my account open. I hope they come up with something that makes sense for us to carry the card, and pay the fee. As a timeshare owner, I still would like to use my credit card and remain loyal to Marriott.. but I do not see any value to accumulate points in the Marriott system.
Good point. It used to be a category 5 hotel coupon (either thru the rewards special promotion or credit card anniversary) could be used as.... well, a reward. However, since they "reclassified" the hotels, there aren't that many hotels where I'd want to stay that qualify as category 5... they're either category 6 or 7.
If it's their intent to provide an incentive or reward, then I would hope they revisit the categories.