Apparently if you stay fewer times, they value you more and make the offers more lucrative. For instance 1 free night / 2 stays. If you stay a lot, then they devalue you by making you stay 20-25 times to get anything ... I have dramatically reduced my nights at Marriott from about 100 down to about 20 to see what "MegaBonus" plan I get next year. I suspect that they believe if you stay a large number of times, that you will continue to do so no matter how poorly they treat you.
Agreed that the Megabonus program can be perceived as unfair. I hate when the promo is on "number of stays" rather than "number of nights" as I have one stay every week for five nights. IMO all megabonus promos should be on number of nights - OR - allow me to check-in/check-out five times a week to earn five stays.
You may have it right. I typically have about 20-40 paid nights a year and right now, I'm sitting on 4 cat. 1-5 certs (just finished earning 2 from the fall bonus and still have 2 from spring/summer). In a few months, I'll get my free night for having the MR Premier Visa.
As a lower tier elite (Silver right now), my challenge is accruing enough nights to reach Gold. With all the free nights, it becomes even harder. Boy, what a problem to have, finding time to use up free nights before they expire. Everyone should be so lucky.
You may have noticed in other wall posts, but you have the ability to request a change in Mega Bonus reward. There are 4 different rewards for the program going on right now. The "lowest" tier is the 1 free category 1-5 night/ 2 stays. The higher one is something like 40k/50k when you stay 18/24 nights. I opted for the lower tier as I just became a Marriott rewards member since obtaining a job that travels frequently in September and I want a couple free nights for friends/family. In hindsight, I would have rathered the highest tier. I am already Gold, and would have easily hit the mark. Personally, I don't care to use my rewards nights at lower category hotels, I am saving for my vacations (Category 6-9). The points are much more valuable to me.
Plus category 5 is 50,000 points for 2 nights anyways, so if you reach the goal, you get the equivalent. If you have category 2's around you, you'd actually get more value out of the higher tier. If they are pointsavers or seasonal savings, you could get 2 category 6 nights for the 50k!
But do use the hotline, call them up and ask them to change you down to the lower 1 night/2 stays and they will take care of it for you. They try to tailor the reward to your lodging style, so if you frequently stay, you would get the higher tier. If your lodging pattern will change, be proactive about it and let them know and they will gladly switch your tier (3 minute phone call as reported from a different post). Don't overthink the process and then blame Marriott for trying to shape their reward to you.
I am a brand new Marriott Visa card member. I haven't used the promo system much and thought I would use the Marriott and the holiday Inn system for a 17 day trip to Florida. Marriott allowed me to jump through hoops on the Mega Bonus and I even took someone's advice and asked to be promoted to Gold status after 6 stays. Here is my dilemma. I could have easily switched different brands of Marriott hotels that were 2 blocks apart which meant I would be checking in one and next day checking in another....many of you probably know the scenario and feel comfortable doing it. By now some of you are probably rolling your eyes and wondering what my problem is. I guess it is an ethical problem. I stayed 4 nights in Kansas City at a Residence Inn and now stayed at a Springhill and the next 5 days at the same Residence Inn in Florida. Why did I not take advantage of the GOLD card and 2nd mega bonus? Because Holiday Inns gave me over 30,000 points after I signed up for many bonus opportunities and I stayed 9 nights in the same place! So If you are keeping track I spent 10 nights but am going to end up with not much but a lot of pride that I didn't push the system. I spend quite a bit of time traveling and can stay anywhere I want which seems like a better way to satisfy a loyal customer than with "promotions". So let me know who wants my money and I'll stay there. (BTW, I am a female traveling alone and prefer not to be hotel hopping. Perhaps Marriott can learn something from this?) Thanks for allowing a newbie to vent.
boopy04, you are correct in noting that many of the Marriott promotions are based on "stays" rather than nights which would encourage hotel jumping. Undoubtedly, Marriott is hoping that you won't do this, but stay 6 times (or whatever the number might be) for multiple nights at each place.
Some offers are based on nights rather than stays and therefore might be more beneficial to you, however most of them require somewhere in the range of 15-20 nights to complete.
There is no doubt that by using "stays" rather than "nights", travelers have an incentive to hotel hop. I've done it on occasion, but because of the nature of my travel, the majority of my stays are for just one night, it makes little difference to me.
Of course, you'll still earn elite night credits for all the nights you stay, but for these particular promotions, you are not rewarded for staying in one place.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and welcome to MR insiders.