8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 6, 2013 1:13 PM by anadyr RSS

Annual Review?

Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

Recently, I have been bugged by my accountant and my tax adviser and even my broker (and no I am not a one percent-er, yet) about reassessing my portfolio, tax situation, and other things.

 

So, how about (and I have asked this before) can you weigh in on what the state of Marriott and Marriott Rewards is at year's end?  You can choose any metric you want, but how about a year end look back: are you feeling better or worse about the program and why?


Thanks for considering this and hopefully for responding.


Anadyr.

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
  • Re: Annual Review?
    erc Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Well, look what I stumbled upon in the Forum Review. I was out last night for a dinner and a show at the lovely Reston Va. Town Center (man, I sure wish that was a Marriott, instead of a Hyatt!) and I completely missed this post (apparently so did a boatload of other Insiders - 28 views).  But those two events help guide my answer to your post. Starting with my oft repeated disclaimer that given the type of potential issues everyone can face in life, concern about the state of Marriott Rewards is a pleasant diversion that we're fortunate to have.

    Here comes erc non sequitor  #347 - To me the state of Marriott and Marriott Rewards is stasis, that being the stability of eroding benefits and relationships, but one that I have accepted as fait accompli. I felt the major pain/emotional loss (and I don't mean tears, I mean irritation-aggravation) around two years ago and am now hedged enough in my travel strategies that I am able to adapt as necessary. I am very empathetic to the road warrior traveler (as I once was) that does not have the time to invest in counter strategies and must play the hand dealt to them.
    Whereas I have disagreed with numerous Marriott customer relations tactics in the past couple of years, I never questioned their right nor their intellect in executing them; my bone of contention was always with their communication - often perceived by myself to be ham-handed at best or patronizing at worst. With the effective work of the social media team, Marriott has even addressed some of that 'stick in the eye' irritant.
    Back to the state of Rewards - well, I wasn't able to use a Cat. 4 last night to stay at my one of my local favorites, the Washington Dulles Suites since it moved to a Cat. 5, but that's just the way it's going to be. I have adjusted to Marriott's new trend of "pushing it down to the local level" by investing time in communicating with hotels I'm scheduling and have been very effective of securing whatever issue addressed, in the one where I couldn't - I didn't go, but once again, I have the luxury of time; a 50 nighter or more traveler can't mess with this 'schmoozing' technique. The side benefit for me of Marriott forcing me into personal contact booking, is that it has served me well when I have booked other chains; Hilton provided me a terrific room (please, don't tell dejamo) and the W in DC was a charm to work with (I'll post photos of the National Christmas tree from their POV lounge during the holidays). I have also been pleasantly surprised with the favorable impact of booking hotels through our Visa Concierge (United, but Marriott card also has it), properties seem to treat you differently with that process - so far, I'm 2 for 2 on getting great rooms. So in summary, I view the Rewards program as a declining asset that still has significant value, but must be properly managed, which brings me to my final point.
    I am a steadfast believer that the very best weapon for managing the Rewards program is the Insiders forum (with supplemental support from FlyerTalk and of course, skiadcock's wonderful administration of the weekend CLs). The fraying of Insiders through the bombardment of deleterious board eviscerating contests (baseball and reviews) coupled with the departure impact on veteran travelers of the eroding Rewards program, concerns me far more than the Rewards program itself. Your post, even as recent as a year ago, would have already had over a hundred views and lively replies, which by itself would lead to ever more productive ideas (the brainstorming/multiplier effect). Like I wrote earlier this week, a Bill Marriott article attracted 150 views here and over 1500 views on FlyerTalk.
    We have a terrific core of contributors, and now must attempt to rebuild the forum to regain the quantity to match the quality, because Marriott, as has been demonstrated, will be more aggressive toward aspects that enhance our travels but increase their costs. The prompt research by NathalieF's team and the effective answers given by Insiders, are some of our best marketing tools for building enrollment . Given that momentum, I'm confident the Insiders can become the "Go To" forum for program information, which will hopefully lead to larger membership, which definitely leads to higher value participation. Keep on, keepin' on Insiders.
    IMAG2092.jpg
    Reston Town Center Va. - Mon Ami Gabi dinner (with Lettuce Entertain You 25% gift card deal)
       Theatre w/Goldstar Bogo (yes, Virginia there is a BOGO !)

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Annual Review?
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Erc, I forgot when posting my latest bon mot to send in the usual fee so that it would flash as very important on everyone's MRI screen and obliterate the lesser posts  reminder to 'selfie'--next time!

       

      But Stasis for me indicates a steady state, as in when the Titanic is sailing along on its maiden voyage. Stasis is not in my view a downward trend, as in the one you describe. It is a state when opposing forces cancel each other out. But we have no opposing force, other than voting to stay elsewhere, but as we know, there can be no stasis.

       

      I do agree that the Marriott Rewards slope is downward, and the benefits over which we have no control are our iceberg (Titanic reference) in the path.  So, it is up to us to steer away  if we can.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Annual Review?
        erc Platinum
        Currently Being Moderated

        I agree - the stability of eroding = pre-warned non sequitur

        Where's that fee place?  Once again, highlighting the benefits of Insiders, learning and sharing

         

        But I smell what you're cooking and agree completely. The issue is where to steer, it's pretty much looking like all the same out there. Thus, the comforts of the known and the avoidance of "switching costs".

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Annual Review?
          Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          There are also other costs, which we all know from our macroeconomic studies, and this is the opportunity cost of a choice: which is the value of the best alternative forgone, in a situation in which a choice needs to be made between several mutually exclusive alternatives given limited resources.

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Annual Review?
          Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Fee is forfeiture of a million points, but what the heck?

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Annual Review?
    politicalman Gold 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I am a rookie compared to many of the posts I read.  I used to funnel most of my stays to Hilton then Hilton changed the points total needed and so I decided to move most of my stays to Marriott.  I have had mostly good experience and now Marriott has changed its points stays by changing the cat. of hotels.  For the most part I still can find most Residence Inns or the like where I want them on points so I will stay with Marriott but if they make too many hotels out of the points then I might change.  Right now I like the insiders and the help they provide.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Annual Review?
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      You sound like a veteran!  And thanks for that post

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Annual Review?
    madmax Gold 7 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Well most of my stays at Marriott are derived by my company so I am not looking elsewhere for my stays. When there is a Marriott near my destination and I can stay at a Marriott on points for leisure, I do so. I look at the Rewards program as a wonderful asset for whatever return I get as it is given to me by my company as a perk. They do not have to let me gain the points...they could use all the points for the stays for all employees themselves, but they choose to allow the buyers who travel for them to receive points personally.

    I have seen much change in the Rewards program over the years I have been travelling and staying at Marriott hotels. The program is not what it used to be as I once used 120,000 points for a 7 night island hopper vacation in Hawaii which is far from what I can get with 120,000 points nowadays. However, I cannot and will not complain because it is still a gift from which I am grateful to receive.

    I am sure if I was paying for all my travels and receiving the rewards that I would look at the program in a different light and expect more for my loyalty to the brand. But again I will say that I am so thankful for all the free stays I have been able to have because I am allowed to gain the points in the Rewards program in the first place. I appreciate the value still, even if it is not what I could have or did get in recent years.

    Marriott, Marriott what would I do

    If I didn't have points to stay with you?

    They may have diminished over the years

    But you won't catch me shedding tears

    It's all gravy for me you see

    So my next stay, Marriott will surely see me...

     

    and thanks to all the insiders who make this board what it is. I've gotten some fabulous ideas and suggestions from the posts and been able to give advice in cases as well. It has been and will continue to be a great tool for that

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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