I found this article in Loyalty Lobby this morning:
What are the thoughts of Insiders on this last day of 2013?
Happy New Year to all.
Like the guy who's being run out of town and jumps in front of the mob to look like he's leading the parade, I love me some Marriott Rewards. Sure I like the old days of BOGOs, great elite offers, and Marriott needing my business, but it is what it is and I've adjusted. Like the song, "you don't know what you've got till it's gone", I still appreciate internet, Concierge Lounge (which even the former Marriott employees I often travel with can't get), the upgraded (granted, redefined, but still a nice view is better than the HVAC vents) rooms, the MegaBonus Cat. 5 certificates and the 5 nights for 4 points.
I perhaps might take a less optimistic view if I was still booking 75 or more (actual butts in bed) nights, but being essentially forced to adjust with other alternatives (VRBO, friends' homes, cruises, non-point earning friends and family rates, travelzoo deals etc) has actually lead to a broader travel experience for me and allows me to cherry pick my Marriott events resulting in a better all around travel outcome. Go Marriott, go; pour me another glass of Kool Aid .
Off to the Washington Zoo capping off a very nice stay at the Wardman Park Marriott (in DC) and then on to the Ritz. Of course, all bets are off if those folks at the Ritz are mean to me.
Well to add to my statement above: I just experienced life without Marriott Rewards, it's called the Ritz (or at least this particular one). I like to stay at a Ritz (great price nights only, of course) every 4 or 5 years to see what, if anything I'm missing. Very friendly staff, nice rooms, competent and personable bellmen, and comfortable bed; but no recognition of my Marriott relationship at check in, no discussion of check in bonus, when I called down to get the internet code, I was given the code and informed it was $9.95, told them I was platinum, "oh yeah that's right, yours is free"; saw the internet charge on my bill next morning, went to front desk told them to remove it (they did), said "did you credit me with check in points"?, they said, "oh yeah, we'll do that". No "sorry for the internet mix up, nor a, "oh I see they didn't" (I wasn't, nor have never been interested in playing the $100 guarantee tug of war), just what I reported above. I'm not expecting anyone to kiss my boots (or any other part of my anatomy), but man, for the $50-100 increase in rate, I sure want to feel part of the 'gang'. Give me my full service JW's, Marriotts, Rens and the Concierge Lounges, this is what 'switching costs' is all about.
Marriott Rewards vs Ritz-Carlton Rewards
Marriott and Ritz-Carlton are effectively same, but you cannot have both account at the same time. You can call to Marriott Rewards and have them switch you back and forth between Marriott and Ritz-Carlton rewards as often as you wish. They must have deemed that the lower Marriott brands would have tainted the exclusively around the Ritz-Carlton and thus decided to keep them “separate” programs.
I didn't know this. That's what we need to do if staying at RC.
I knew about this and even toyed with the idea, however I had a Marriott stay the night before and others that month for my MegaBonus offer and I could just see 'stuff hitting the fan', so I passed. You would certainly want to match up your credit card with whatever program you were in.
Here's the elite chart (same as Marriott) Hotel Rewards Benefits | The Ritz-Carlton Elite Hotel Benefits and as a matter of fact, when you click on the Elite Membership Terms and Conditions it throws you to the Marriott description, so they certainly give you the impression they are treated the same (meaning if you earned Platinum through Marriott stays, switched to Ritz Rewards, theoretically they would treat you like a Ritz earned Platinum).
Here's the point system (they use Tiers; I haven't found a Category list yet for Ritz - so far, it's check the property web site, a pita); http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Rewards/RedeemingRewards/HotelStays.htm
My own suspicion (based only on feelings, not any info) is that somehow, Ritz would know how the stays are earned and would treat the Marriott Platinum transfer differently. Anyone had any experience with that? If by fluke, Ritz did treat the transfer like a 'true' Ritz Platinum, then yes, we should transfer to Ritz under the high probability that the Marriott properties would treat the Ritz Platinum royally. A good discussion point - any ideas Insiders?
THERE ARE NO CONS! The Marriott Rewards program is there for those that want to participate. The program, like anything else, has changed over the years. Some may feel that it is lost some value, but I feel it has gained value. There are so many more ways to earn and redem rewards today than there were 5, 10, 20 years ago. It is all good!
interesting report seems to lean to Hyatt and Hilton over Marriott. Its too late in my travel career to work loyalty with another hotel chain but as I said earlier - A loyalty program needs to be equal or better than competition and worthwhile. I assume Marriott looks at perks in their competitors to judge their changes If they don't they could be losing business
I am much more satisfied with Marriott Rewards than United MileagePlus. For the most part, the negatives with Marriott Rewards are understandable and really minor in my opinion. In terms of redemption / points and benefits, I think Marriott is competitive with other brands, but properties definitely need to be refreshed to compete with Starwood. However, if you look at Marriott's plans for the JW Marriott Austin and the Washington DC Marriott Marquis, I think things will improve...albeit slowly.
I do wish more benefits were extended at Ritz-Carlton properties, but since they have their own loyalty program, it is probably hard to justify.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all - hope we all have a HEALTHY, HAPPY AND SUCCESSFUL year ----
(old age has me the first out of bed this first day of the New Year)
I have commented frequently on the "program" - it is far from perfect but I still believe (in my humble opinion) that the program has been (and I hope will continue to be) a great value to me and my family.
That said, (again my opinion), there should be no "snobbery" and/or animosity between brands.
I began a discussion (last year !!) about Renaissance "trying harder" etc etc.....If we receive the benefits without ""incident" at all other Marriott brands there is no logical reason the Ritz should be put on a "pedestal".
When making reservations on line their (Ritz) properties are listed with all others whether it is an available Fairfield property or a "JW"
We experience constant deterioration of our program benefits. We should not sit back and experience what erc experienced at a "Ritz".
(DIDN'T EXPECT TO START "RANTING" ON JAN 1 - PLEASE FORGIVE)
Again, Happy New Year to all of us who have nothing better to do but complain (LOL)
RANT ON BRO !!!
Erccie is still passed out recovering from the "festivities" of last night ! (see above)
Me.....................just enjoying Sydney, AU at 2 AM (Thu) after a 48 hour party. (Of course I am at the Hilton).
Not much new going on in Marriottland I see.....................empty promises still..........
We can each compile a good and bad list, and this is as good as any, I suppose, For me, the program serves a need, the recognition sometimes given for being a lifer, the upgrades, the better breakfast options for elites, and the joy that finding a hotel that still makes service to guests its first priority.
Seems you have turned a page in 2014. Yes, Marriott Rewards has MANY positives, and while it is not perfect, it serves many of us very well, thank you. I, for one, readily accept and appreciate all of the FREE services offered by this program.
safe travels to all in 2014
TThere are beginning to be more cons than pros. When you are a rewards and you stay a good bit at certain hotels, the reward numbers to gain this and that are frustrating. Give everyone access to the Lounge if you are over 18! Those who stay a lot, give them gifts out of the booklet. But at time I have felt as if I was being held hostage by Marriott rewards. Having issues after issues. I am to the point of giving up. I love the Westin. In certain cities, I won't stay at a Marriott. Customer Service is horrible at more property, now. Everyone has new managers with new and improved ideas that don't work in that market city.
Two simple solutions that I have suggested on similar topics:
1. restrict the growth of access to the lounges
2. Marriott staff MUST take responsibility of the physical access (doorways) and noise control (within).
(as to physical access - how many times have you seen individuals (and sometimes entire families) waiting outside the "key safe" door to a lounge waiting for someone to enter or leave so they can get in???? Their comment usually is - "oh, I left my key in my room".................
I recommend that the Gold and Platinum card be used for access and no other key card. Every member of the two elite programs has an active card, and they should use it. Concierges could verify the card, or check the date of expiry with little hassle and in the future those cards could have a mag strip for entry.
As I mentioned in another thread, sign-in/verification (of some kind) should be required at all Concierge Lounges. In my opinion, how many accompanying guests allowed in should be up to the individual property.
When I first read this, I immediately thought using the Gold/Platinum card is too restrictive because I try to limit the number of cards I have when I'm traveling (and I'm always forgetting cards), but the Marriott app has that virtual card that you could easily access on your phone if you forgot the plastic card.
Marriott rewards has become a points driven program: period. There are now more opportunities than ever to earn points, but the value of the points is greatly diminishing on an annual basis. Most platinum benefits have disappeared (except earning additional points), and status recognition/loyalty appreciation at hotels is decreasing as more chains and non-Marriott owned properties are added to program. If your primary objective is to earn points, it is probably the best hotel program available because you have several opportunities to earn them. However, you better spend them now because they are becoming like Monopoly money or Italian currency.
The Pros and Cons turned out to be an interesting read. While I agree with some aspects, some of them were subjective. Personally, not having a property in the Maldive's or French Polynesia means nothing to me. And the personal dig to Ed French is unwarranted.
I do agree with some of the items discussed, such as the No Blackout comment, which no matter how you slice it is still absolutely true. Whether Marriott wants to admit it or not, blackout dates are alive and well and I've run into a few of them. Reward redemption continues to get more expensive and it's only a matter of time before we start seeing category 20 properties costing 150k points per night.
Ok Mr. Koan
Knowing you're a big consumer of WSJ, I figured your response to mikieg was related to South African Neighborhood Celebrates New Year by Chucking Furniture From Windows - WSJ.com granted, an unorthodox approach to both New Years and Marriott Rewards, but hey, you're the grand wizard of references, so I went along. Now with your tree post, I'm wondering if your spellcheck somehow kicked in and changed the word. What say you?
IAH - why so pessimistic? We all know, whether heard or not, Marriott values our input .