Well there seems to be no end in sight for reviews of the cost/benefits of loyalty programs. Here's another one on the value of these programs to the provider. Worth a read I think.
But then again, maybe not
this is a good article. The trade of course is frequency vs dollars. Most hotels in Las Vegas look at dollars spent and give most rewards to those customers. Think a couple of years ago Southwest would give you a free ticket is you did 8 R/T from PHX to LAX but you could use to go to Boston . Now its fares. I bet by the end of year all big airlines will go the same route. So do we expect hotels to go the same path. For ex would Marriott rather have a person staying in NYC at full Marriott for 300-400 per night for 50 nights or someone staying at Fairfield in Podunk for $ 75 for 75 nights. should they get generally the same rewards. Also as I have said in other posts it depends on what people value. To me airlines I have two goals get on early( most now you can do with credit cards) and two getting upgraded which is getting more difficult. With hotels I do like the concierge . So I expect as algorithms get better hotels will chase revenue and will reward those that spend the most the best stuff
Here's hoping Marriott continues to track paid nights rather than refocus solely on revenues as part of their loyalty tiers: I may have a client in Podunk and have a choice of hotels - all well under the NYC hotel rates. Choosing a Marriott in Podunk versus Hilton, Starwood, etc. shows my loyalty to Marriott despite not spending hundreds more like the NYC traveler.