It's a new year and a new chance for change in Marriott Rewards program rules.
I recall that the categories are based, at least in part, on points redemption during the year past. With the flurry of folks (me included) trying to beat the increase, perhaps there will be another uptick in categories?
communitymanager. and the MR gang: Any words on this potential for change?
Unfortunately it is a fact of life about using points. Every attribute to earning eventually results in the advantage "leveled" by additional points required! (hope that makes sense).
I have seen ratings on favorite properties go from Cat 4 to Cat 6 in a 30 month period.
The dilution of point value is a constant that we all must endure.
What becomes more insignificant is a promotion offering certificate awards for Cat 1-4 or even 1-5 - the choices are becoming few.
I agree with pingreeman. A category 10 will make it's appearance this year. All loyalty programs will continue to see devaluations as the economy continues to improve (though that's debatable!). The only loyalty program that likely won't see any devaluation this year is AAdvantage as AA focuses on completing it's merger... and will wait to **** off it's loyal customers until all the kinks are worked out with the integration process.
No word as of yet. Whenever the annual hotel category adjustments are ready, you can be sure we'll let you know via Exclusive News & Promotions blog.
Three things you can be certain of; death, taxes, and Marriott informing you of the annual hotel category adjustments (except a few NY properties ). MegaBonus certificates should remain good in Cairo. With any luck, the Kiev Renaissance when opened in '15 could be a value .
Here's hoping that they maintain the three month window of reservations (and the booking of point reservations w/o the point balance), from notice to implementation. I appreciatively tip my hat to the gang for that one (which means it's at great risk of going the way of the BOGO).
The only good news was the implementation of the five nights for the cost of 4 nights (points). This helped recently when I travelled to London at 40g's a night - I received 5 nights for 160,000.
(for you English students I used the Oxford spelling of travelled instead of the Webster's traveled) (I've been this crazy for 60 years please forgive)
It would probably help all of us if we understood exactly what MR pay to each hotel for our "stay via points". Obviously there is a scale based on category. As hotel prices go up, or a specific area or property becomes more popular a higher category is inevitable!
There is no doubt in anyone's mind that a category is based on price of rooms - consequently the "sky is the limit" in category numbers (my guess),
When added to the "stew" the constant dilution of our points and status AND new ways to earn points more easily this all but guarantees a "10" is in the works if not contemplation already started for Cats 11-20.
I think that is proprietary information, best left to the bean counters to work with.
But I would assume that points are valued at far less than the RACK rate for a room in any season. Year's ago I got a bill under the door for a free night points stay, which totalled 32 dollars, and the RACK was 199.
Yes, we've been informed that it is (and understandably so) proprietary data, but every now and then we all share cases where it has slipped out here and there (like your example) and the reimbursement is quite low. The Marriott Waikiki gladly took my $109 instead of 30,000 points overriding my 3 day cancellation date ( win/win), again demonstrating that Cash is King when it comes to point redemption.
Let's hope that they DON'T continue the annual devaluation of Marriott Rewards Points by having more category increases than decreases -- and certainly not the addition of a category 10. But I do agree that whatever changes are made, they should continue the two-three month reservation window at the old category rate for those hotels whose category rating has been increased.
erc - you amaze me. Just where do you keep category announcements history? Excellent post.
This is a moving target for Marriott and others, in the world of competitive intelligence, this would be a no-brainer: watch and see what the points dedemption landscape looks like--the amount being used, the locations were they are used, etc--and see if the other chains are contemplating changes, giving Marriott some cover in making them.
I assume it will happen and as others have stated, hope that it is with a grace period for making reservations.
Start of the devaluation season, this is for Club Carlson:
A new Category 7 is launched, requiring 70,000 points. This replaces the current cap of 50,000 points for Category 6. Initially, only nine properties will be in Category 7:
Starwood announced their category changes today and did not add a new higher category. Marriott usually follows the others when announcing their category changes. With Hyatt's devaluation earlier this year, and Hilton's big devaluation last year, I am little worried about what may be coming out from MR in the next week or so.
I have also heard through several sources (some reliable; GMs, and not so reliable; FDCs, Concierge Lounge Attendants) that there are changes coming to MR benefits. Nobody would provide specifics, except to say some are good for elites, some are not good at all. As we all know, MR will spin any reduction in benefits to be a positive thing that MR members asked for. I guess we will find out when MR announces their category changes. Has anybody heard anything in regards to benefits reductions?
Not me but then I am not in the loop, or have never been I guess. I would assume that the calculations are beign done as we speak to determine where the most point redemptions occured, and then to adjust the categories accordingly. One move might be to move more hotels into the top two rungs, and not create a ten. Makes it seem less painful unless you wanted to be in a cat 7 that is now an 8 or 9.