No point made better than "You've been with this program since the outset. You've gone out of your way to shop within the rewards program and even took the time to master maximizing your points. You're only a few more purchases away from finally cashing in all those points. Then one morning you get up and the rewards terms have changed."
Rewards changed and boy did they. Looked at Home Depot gift cards one day only to find 44k which was good, now 60k in points, was going to order 5 Gift Cards but had to order 4 ( Glad I got my watch earlier this year. Been with Marriott for 10 years and now am starting to look else where for next year
We need to get the Millenials to complain about benefit erosion
kharada, you're in charge .
Average is 22 loyalty programs per household, WOW. I can barely keep up with the three we have let alone 19 more.
Thank for coming back with a great article anadyr, and #4 is always hanging out there to keep us off guard.
erc an excellent choice to have him start on a project that he can learn all about while in Europe soon!
Interesting all the complaining about Marriott changing the rules of the program. Darn I should be surprised! But the article is clear to me:
"Bottom line: Loyalty programs can change the rules in the middle of the game. Don't stay with a program to cash in on savings if the new rules negate the reward."
There are things in life where I make the rules. Marriott rewards ain't one of them. And whining doesn't change a thing.
No worries here. Marriott changing the rules would be like Macy's opening on Thanksgiving.... oops. Living well is the best revenge, keep those ideas on restaurants, activities, and deals coming Insiders. Speaking of which - some terrific <$100 rates on full service Rens and Marriotts in the DC market around Thanksgiving and from 12/18 on - visit Intergalactic and say hi to Andy and the gang. Anyone wanting to catch a performance at The Kennedy Center over the holidays, check out the pre-paid AAA $79 rate at the Dupont Circle Renaissance, several $99 Mayflower rates as well. Putting on my best Bob Barker, "Come on down". DC is a great town over the holidays (although if the gov't remains shut down - no tree lighting!).
erc is right - DC around the holidays is quite special. And I'm an unapologetic fan of the Mayflower (and I'm not alone - Starting 2013 in Washington, DC....The Mayflower Renaissance), and that's a great rate...
Also, for families (particularly grandparents), consider (alas) the DC Harbor Gaylord and the ICE! tour - ICE! Promotion - give it a try....
I've seen several hotels that have these and it's great that they do.
I also see non-electric cars parking in them because of their convenient locations to doors and elevators. The hotels and resorts that install them are going to have to do something about that, such as fining, or even towing, a car for parking in them.
(Roy Rogers and Dale Evans --- all time favorites of mine in every way.)
erc, what you've posted is exactly the best way to take advantage of whatever changes occur within the MR program. A very positive contribution. Capitalize on the bargains. And those DC rates are great ones! I believe in controlling what I can instead of p & m'ing about what I can't. I've been in too many rough spots in my life to let a couple thousand points determine my mood or direction.
I must say this article really hits points with a bullseye and certainly encapsulates my direction over this past year (and for years to come). I was really surprised to see that folks are into so many loyalty programs....oh well, they'll learn.
As for me, I belong to just 2 programs...Marriott and US (sc)Airways. I'm Plat with both but my loyalties have been strictly price driven as of last May when the Marriott program changes and US/American announced merger plans. I usually get upgraded to First Class on US (and have for our upcoming west coast junket), but, as I told my wife...that's over when the merger completes. It'll be just like Delta and United....good luck with that upgrade.
I've gone strictly price based this year when traveling and, if the big 'M' doesn't have the best price with a comparable hotel nearby, I'm not at Marriott....or, if there's a nice boutique we always wondered about, we're now giving them a go. I've had 5 paid stays at Marriott since Feb.
With USAir, I just booked my trip to St Maarten....on American. Here's why....we live where there are no hubs nearby (Atlanta is closest). US Air has decided to jack up the prices big time.
Example...USAir to St. Maarten round trip back of the bus coach...over $980. American Airlines...$1057.... First Class seats all the way and better flight connections.
So, is that loyalty thing working out for me? Not any more. As Kramer said.........
I've been called many things during my time working and playing but 'suave and sophisticated' has never been on that list! Thanks!
But, I must ask.....are you sure that you are not Rod Serling in disguise and your kind words have lulled me into that 'Twilight Zone' where no one is the true 'Master' of their Domain and I'm really now entering a new dimension???? If I am.........I hope I return to post again of my experience!
I figure that if you're using it, why not join the rewards program? If you didn't plan on it the first time, it just might happen again.
Husband was put in Wyndham when he was working here the first time for 5 years, but had to leave there when "Legionaires" was found to be in the air vents.
On vacations, we often stayed in IHG since it was the best thing in the area that was affordable to us, and then the time shares we had were bought by IHG - Orange Lake.
When living in the D-FW metro-plex, American was the airline. Living on the east coast, all routes pretty much took us to Atlanta as the hub for Delta.
We try not to let the rewards programs control us, but use them as best as we can.
But the HUGE devaluation of points this year was a big blow, but then so is the economy and inflation in general.
The points devaluation hasn't hurt nearly as much as the cost of gas and food, as well as everything else.
I agree, Eb. Since it costs nothing to join, may as well join 'em all (and I've got quite the spreadsheet). I've given up a lot of airline miles by not doing so in the past. Not anymore. In fact, every time I've purchased an airline ticket with a different carrier for one of the kids in the recent past, I've signed them up too. No miles or points that my dollars have earned will ever spin off into oblivion again. Well, at least not by my doing.
I just had a chance to read this article -- manipulated by fine print fits the way I feel lately. I agree with everyone that #4 really hits home. It's sad, but I'm sticking with Marriott for the time being. Going over to the dark side (Hilton) seems to get more and more attractive, but I am loyal and I do appreciate the clean rooms and personal service when I receive them. Safe travels!