This had actually slipped my feeble mind until I saw your Flyertalk post. No discussion yet on Insiders (we miss jasper and painedplatinum is trying to avoid pythons in Cameroon). The social media reps Marriott has contracted have been very responsive about digging up info; merb The specified item was not found. can you dig this up for us? Most likely this falls into the category of United/Marriott trade reciprocal perks program extension, "we'll tell you as soon as we hear" (which they do, but sadly, if past history is any barometer, it will be after someone on Flyertalk reads about it in a loyalty blog (No Snark Day has passed, I'm back to normal).
With the ongoing category increases, it's harder and harder to find Cat. 4s (20,000 pts.) that I want to stay at, that are priced beyond $200 (although I'm sure Marriott would gladly increase my price if I requested). So this year, I might gamble and wait until vaboywnder informs me of another Amtrak 10% bonus deal where $200 (of a $2,000 purchase) is more valuable to me than 20,000 points and take the $$ bonus instead (or perhaps,if I wait too long, go without).
I haven't and had thought about the same thing, wondering if it had been done away with along with all the other usual holiday offers.
One of the reward offers by Marriott for elites is 25,000 points for a 2 night stay at the Birmingham, AL golf resort. It would be at about $476 for the 2 nights since a $209 night is what's needed for the promo and it begins in Dec until sometime in Jan. (Sometimes pretty cold for golfing in those mountains / foothills.)
Sadly, the Amtrak one died around Labor Day
Here's a decent thread from FlyerTalk that pretty much shows it's quiet for now (they were disappointed over Marriott wiping out points bonus as well - found out from Insiders)
That's why it's good to keep Insiders alive - NathalieF has beefed up his team of communicators and has done a fine job (yeah, we beat him up occasionally, how's those Arne points winners doing Andy?), but overall, he and the millennial superstars merb and The specified item was not found. have really kicked it into high gear (no doubt because "our hair's not on fire" - a tribute to your previously mentioned Hall of Famer, michellel)
Here's my take:
The annual gift card bonus program was a great idea. Purchasing Marriott gift cards are an excellent way to give something to another adult. Most people don't really know what to give to adult siblings, adult children, and adult friends. By using the "hook" of bonus points, Marriott was using their most loyal members to get these other adults into their hotels. The overused win/win/win certainly applies here.
Now, maybe they didn't sell many and decided the demand wasn't there...BUT, maybe the issue was poor marketing, not poor acceptance. I never bought $1 of Marriott gift cards until I joined Insiders. Once I was made aware of this offer, I purchased every year they were available. Marriott benefited from over $4000 of stays that most likely never would have happened. From that seeding, some of these gift recipients have returned often to the brand. Getting new customers can cost a lot of marketing dollars. This was one way that Marriott was enhancing the brand with a modest investment. Too bad it's gone.
I agree, painedplatinum. And it was of such minimal cost to Marriott.
I usually buy the $25 gift cards from IHOP when $5 is offered for free. Otherwise, there's no reason for me to buy a gift card. The same thing for Texas Longhorn. Buy the $25 and get $5 free and gave them both to the recipient, whose birthday we were celebrating.
I also watch for the gas gift cards at Publix like they had this week. A $50 gas gift card for $40 when I bought more than $50 in groceries. I get the Shell gas cards for those deals.
That's why it's good to keep Insiders alive - communitymanager has beefed up his team of communicators and has done a fine job (yeah, we beat him up occasionally, how's those Arne points winners doing Andy?), but overall, he and the millennial superstars merb and joshm have really kicked it into high gear (no doubt because "our hair's not on fire" - a tribute to your previously mentioned Hall of Famer, michellel)
Thanks, we really appreciate that erc!!! We're not just here for you and your peers in the community, we've all really enjoyed the personal relationships we develop as we get to know everyone - you all rock! And to close the loop on your other two items, Michelle will have a new profile here very shortly and Don’t miss Arne’s next blog article which answers a suggestion directly from Insiders
I saw it (and replied - gently so). Once again demonstrating to me, why Insiders is invaluable - the straight scoop, a free exchange of attitudes (to you and your team's credit - no censoring of negative vibes or corporate criticisms - several, which have been mis-directed) and a terrific sharing of travel and activity ideas (that's why we need to grow it).
It seems once we go outside of the forum, we just re-enter the world of corporate speak. I don't begrudge Marriott for managing their message; but for pete's sake don't hype interaction and then wimp out. Here's an example of similar ill-fated communication attempts JPM Scraps The Ask JPM Hashtag - Business Insider Marriott Insiders had far more meaningful, insightful questions.
Thanks for your diligence in the management of the credibility of this forum - hats off to you and your team.