The latest BONUS OFFERS and/or SUMMER INCENTIVE programs that Elite Members have been offered seem to be universally "not motivating" to travel/stay more often.
I sat back and tried to think of what would motivate me to stay more often during the "bonus period" and, honestly, couldn't.
Does anyone out there have any opinions and/or comments on what they would find to be a valuable reward for meeting bonus period requirements.
Thanks in advance for your answers.
I know I'll get accused of being negative again, but it really doesn't matter to me anymore. For those who are regular stayers at Marriotts, I say I am all for it. But for me it means almost nothing since I have 1 stay year to date at the Venice Courtyard (and will have another free one in December) and may stay at the Rive Gauche in June. But very few of the incentives have helped me in one way or another. One just expired. I'll get a Cat 5 cert in June thanks to the MR Visa Premier card, but that usually expires too.
What I have found I liked about the independents (through travel sites) is that there is a different calculus:
When I stay at hotels.com for 10 nights, they average out the amount I have paid (in euros, pounds or dollars) and I get that credited toward my next stay. That REALLY works for me, because it is something I can always use. Expedia seems to think I have accumulated a whole lot of points too, but I have yet to investigate what their worth.
I am not at all denigrating the value of these certificates or promotions. I know that the real road warriors who live away from home much of the year can really use them. But if you're entirely or primarily an international traveler, I just don't see the long-term value. Yes, I could get a significant amount of points with my promotion (because European stays cost so much) but I'd be giving up the freedom of staying where I want and also not getting much of a return in that the only place I can use most points or (only sometimes) certs for is Venice before a 6am flight.
But by all means keep the promotions and certs going. My situation is certainly not the usual one.
What's a bit strange is the OP said in the other thread re: the topic that he didn't read all the posts so he wasn't certain if others agreed with him or not, so how he gets the 'majority of customers' (he probably should say 'some on Insiders', as he has no idea what the majority of Marriott customers think) I'm not quite sure.
From his post he travels a lot, gets points from nights, PAG & CC spend, so this isn't incentivising him to stay 'more' than he's already doing. Shrug. In that case he's just reaping the bennie of several thousand additional points being dropped into his account for stays he's already doing. #firstworldproblem
Every promo has some who will like it & some who won't, primarily depending on their stay pattern during the time of the promo & if they think they can hit it.
Something that Marriott has been good about (& evidently is allowing for this promo as well) is for those that might not be able to make the x points after x nights are being allowed to change to the get double points after 2nd stay.
I do agree with others, & have myself said for years, that Marriott's promos would be better if the elite was allowed to choose which of the 4 options they wanted to sign up for vs. being told by Marriott that this is the one they're going to get.
Since Hilton is running a double or triple points promo during the same time frame as Marriott - with no second stay required before it kicks in - I think those who are part of HHonors will probably switch their stays to Hilton for the summer promo.
TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT:
Subsequent to that posting I did read the entire thread and found that not a simple majority, but a large majority had the same opinion.
Most of us are hopeful that this site will be constructive rather than "a fact checking detective agency"!!!
I am unaware if there is a strict definition of "frequent customer or traveler".
In the last 12 months I've spent over 50 nights at a Marriott branded property. That said, the offer of a possible 25,000 bonus points, which will not even get me one night at a category 6 hotel does not "wet my appetite".
The insulting category 1-4 (which were elevated to 1-5 if you called and complained) earned after two stays was, at least, mildly attractive.
Welcome aboard - your question is really not on "topic" - But, to answer (my use of card) - It will be to your advantage to use only the Marriott Visa at Marriott properties as you maximize points received.
If you use the card often and are able to charge large amounts the Elite Nights you receive for every $3000 spent will get you to gold and platinum much faster.
Suggest you read the pamphlet accompanying the card to understand all the advantages and benefits.
I agree with shoeman1000. So far this year I have already been offered and earned 95k bonus points. Add in the normal stay points with 50% bonus for platinum members and I have a free 3-4 night stay at a nice hotel (New Year's in Vegas will be this year's choice).
Amen. I remember where my wife worked they used to give out gifts for good safety performance. Every member of the department or facility got the same gift if the performance was good. But for my wife most of them were of zero value. It would have been much more than just a token had she (and of course others) had had the opportunity to choose among several. Guess the company only saw it from its side, not the employees.
I agree. I prefer to acquire "free" nights vs "points" since much of my travel is booked using a corporate card and the points go with the card .
I also was surprised to note as as one commentor pointed out , the 40,000 of points offered for 20 nights don't equal the value of two nights per 4 stays.
I find that the promotions do little to influence my travel plans. Since much of my travel is not for business, I might shift dates a week or two to take advantage of a bonus period (though they have been reasonablly predictable over the last few years) but that's about it.
I made most of my summer plans before the current promotion was announced, but for once, I might book as many as 4 or 5 additional nights to achieve the bonus. Typically, I don't even try. My plans for the rest of the year are almost all in place, so I'll probably try to adjust the fall bonus to match my plans rather than change my plans to capture a bonus.
With different travel patterns at different times of the year, I'd love to be able to choose different bonuses in the Spring, Summer, and Fall based on my needs. What might be achievable during one promotion period could be completely out of reach during another.
I haven't been on Insiders long enough to know, but I wonder how closely Marriott monitor the comments on here.
If they do, I hope they take on board your suggestion, bejacob, that they let us choose the promotion we would individually prefer.
Who knows, as you are the first "Featured Insider" they may listen very carefully to your suggestions/comments. I do hope so!
The BEST incentive? Reduced-priced points spend. For all those categories that have gone up over the last few years, here's your chance to burn points at 2009 rates. ALL you have to do is stay xx nights in the next xx days and your points can be used at any property of your choice using 2009 criteria - including CERTS!
Brilliant! You win the internet today!
May I amend to include upgrades to suites at check-in (based on availability), using points/ awards to book suites, inclusion of breakfast at Courtyards, what's that no-defunct award - E905?... and.... let's see what other customer-popular horses that Marriott Rewards has left for dead have I failed to include?
Your idea is so good that it will be printed and put in the place where all great customer-generated ideas are put in the Marriott offices in Bethesday - the wastebasket. Nice try dude, but probably no cigar!
From what I have read is the ones that are upset with the promotions are the ones that aren't really traveling as much/often. Aren't these promotions intended to get folks to travel more or use Marriott more when they travel? I get that they aren't the same as previous ones but perhaps this is just Marriott's way to explore new enticing ideas.
For full disclosure (as posted previously) I'll max out the top end offer (that I've heard of anyway) of 45k points for 25 nights in early July. My summer is chock full of travel and if all keeps to pace I'll pass 200 paid nights this year. Not necessarily a badge of honor I would love for them to do the same offer as the spring, 55k points for the same nights. I maxed that one out too
At the end of the day our points value continues to be reduced. If its by additional categories or movement of popular hotels between categories, or just the way in which we earn the points changing (such as this) the value of what we earn continues to fall. It's not isolated to Marriott but doesn't make it suck any less for all of us looking to maximize the benefits for using services.
Several good points, zukracer. I'm looking at adding a few extra night to my planned schedule to meet my goal over the summer which is exactly what Marriott wants.
One thing that comes to my mind is that due to changes in the amount of travel, a bonus that is easy to reach during the summer, might be impossible to reach in the fall. I doubt anyone would opt for the lowest level bonus if their travel plans would allow them to achieve the top tier one.
Let folks pick the level they think they can achieve and be done with it. No need to call CS to make a change. I'm on pace to hit 75 nights this year (all leisure travel), but only 3 of those nights will fall into the normal time frame of the Fall MegaBonus. I do expect to stay around 15 night between June and August, so a higher level offer makes sense.
I love the bonuses, but having an offer that a traveler has no hope of achieving does nothing to encourage additional travel. Making the target just slightly out of reach might however have the desired effect. Just my thoughts.
People complaining about categories increasing fail to take into account the rising cost of hotel rooms and the increased opportunities to earn Marriott Points.
Hotels rates have increased 14% since 2010, which means we are earning 14% more points per stay. During that time, top tier Marriott properties have gone from 35k to 45k/night redemptions. That's a 20% increase. During that same period, Marriott has increased the Platinum bonus to 50% and the number of annual promotions where you could earn 45k to 50k points during each promotion. Given those numbers, the claims of vast devaluation seem to miss the target.
It's easy to gripe about a massive points devaluation, but if you work through the numbers, taking into account the increased opportunities to earn points, it's not what it appears at first glance. This is especially so for Plats and for those who redeem at higher tier hotels. As the number above show, our redemptions per stay have actually improved.
As I stated above, even though I may accrue tens of thousands of bonus points, I'm generally thriftier in the way I spend them. I still go to a Towneplace only having to redeem 7500 points/nt or a FI, whatever to conserve points. That gives me better value having a basic, clean & spacious room, instead of "wasting" it on a FS property, with a sometimes smaller room & prettier lobby!
My general complaints with the Mega Bonuses have been as follows:
1. they are often geared to number of stays, as opposed to number of nights. Thus if I spend for 3 one night stays, I can often get a free night or some other bonus. If I stay a week at one hotel, I get no bonus. This does not make sense, to me.
2. Often the mega bonus entitles me to one or two nights in a category 3 or 4 hotel, when what I want is in a higher category. Why not include the ability to upgrade to a higher category for cash or points?
1. You can switch to the bonus based on the number of nights. There are always number of nights based bonuses, requiring 15, 20, 25 or (sometimes) 30 nights.
2. The certs are the lowest level reward. You can switch to higher level awards and use the awards points towards higher tier hotels. You do realize those that stay 25 nights are only being given 45k points with the present bonus? What they have offered as the lowest award in the past, two free nights for as few as four stays, is very generous. If you want an even more generous award, all you have to do is stay more nights and request your offer be changed. Are you asking that one can stay four times at an FI along the highway should get a certs that can be used for two nights at a beach front hotel or a downtown Chicago hotel tower? Frankly, that would be expecting a little too much.
good points, all. I suppose some of the conspiracy theorists will have some issues with your reasoning, but it all makes some sense to me. It is always important to remember that everyone's situation is different, and Marriott will publicly claim that all situations are important to them. However, the vast majority of their target customers must be expense account employees that enjoy the increased points without suffering from the increased nightly costs. thanks for the evaluation.
Pick up the phone and call CS is you are not happy with your offer. I have never had/participated in an offer based on stays vs. nights. I have been offered certs (no thanks) and I have called, had them walk through the other offers, and had it changed. I even had CS change my option retroactively when the promo was almost over (somehow missed the communication).
MANY OF THE QUESTIONS AND/OR DISCUSSIONS ON THIS SITE GO OFF TO POINTS THAT ARE FAR OFF THE ORIGINAL QUESTION!
When posing this question/discussion I was asking for ideas and alternatives to incentive bonuses to members that accumulate large quantities of points AND frequent (due to availability and location) higher category properties than are offered as an incentive.
To GET BACK ON TRACK - what could be offered a frequent, high point earning traveler that would be meaningful.
Please post ideas! Not, will it be easier to change online etc.....
We are in a situation where Marriott is offering us incentives that are meaningless to a large part of this membership - properties have been raised one or two categories and the incentives and point awards offered have not "kept up" MAKING THESE INCENTIVES UN-ATTRACTIVE to those that are the most important customers to Marriott.
I started this discussion to get answers and there have been very few. I apologize for the tone of this "addendum" but sometimes I get the feeling that posts are made just so members can get credit to move to a higher level.
I still think it gets down to dollars vs nights and points. 200 nights for someone on a temporary assignment spends less that say someone staying 50 nights at full service Marriott's so maybe above some dollar spending threshold( which could include restaurants in Marriott) you get to choice a gift from the Marriott catalog the higher spending the higher the gift
You seem to be upset that some of us aren't willing to take your false assumptions and run with them. While you might be upset with the offers, how can you speak for the majority of Marriott members? Have you polled them? Can you see into their minds? Do you assume the majority post on message boards?
Perhaps you are overlooking some obvious reasons you aren't getting the replies you think you should be getting. You seem to think staying at a hotel four times in a quarter qualifies as "frequent, high point earning traveler" which is simply not the case. There are better offers made to "frequent, high point earning traveler" types, which aren't the certs or double points for stays. If you want the better offer, ask for the better offer and stay the required nights. If you aren't going to stay the required nights, stop calling yourself an important, frequent traveler. You're not.
Just to be clear, here is my suggestion: Ask for the better offer and stay the required nights.
Next, you act as though the double points are worthless. The double points are quite generous. If you stay twelve nights in hotels that are $200/night, you will receive an additional 20k points. Five nights at the Turnberry Isle Miami Autograph Hotel requires 140k Marriott points. A September or October night costs $500, so that redemption is equivalent to $2,500. The additional points are worth $357 towards that stay. That's very, very, very generous, isn't it? The base points you earn during that period (24k) plus extra if you are Plat (12k) and, let's say, six Welcome Gift points (3k) means you have 59k points after that period, and are well on your way to those Cat 7 five nights. How can that be defined as anything other than generous?
It's amazing that some people cannot see a generous offer for what it is, and are amazed when others won't join along asking for even more.
I believe you are little off base (and unfair ) with your comments - I asked a question based on what I have ascertained from postings here.
The majority of platinum members very rarely stay in category 1 - 5 properties (based on new 2014 rates). Additionally, the double points, in many member's situation, don't amount to much as the reward is limited to 25,000.
Consequently, I asked for ideas of other incentive possibilities.
Many of the comments did not have anything to do with the subject presented, and like you, decided to be critical of me for, whatever reason.
In my posting asking to "ger back on track" seemed to irritate you to the point of telling me my info is not only false but I was upset was those members not agreeing with me.
I never asked to be agreed with - I asked if those top elite and high point earners had any alternative ideas to bones. If you are not a frequent traveler, and do not accumulate a million points a year (the target of this question) this question wasn't meant for you.
I strongly suggest you begin a discussion on a separate posting to complain about people like me that you seem to think are making up false assumptions.
misterchk, I get that certificates that are difficult to use don't offer any incentive to travel. I'm not sure if you are also suggesting that the bonus points offer (usually in the range of 25k - 50k based on nights stayed) aren't useful? It would seem that anyone staying 15+ nights over the promo period would welcome bonus points.
Please correct me if I have it wrong, but it sounds like you are saying that bonus points don't encourage you to add even a few extra nights to hit the next threshold (15, 25, 25, or 30 nights) to earn them. If that's the case, you're looking for something other than bonus points as the reward for staying a certain number of nights.
This is probably a dumb question, but for the bonus point promo, is a stay one night or does it need to be multiple nights? I stay mostly single nights unless it is a vacation, so if it requires multiple nights for a stay it does not do me much good.
thanks for clarification anyone can provide!
Hey Jerry. I was out-of-pocket for a while, but I am back now. Some of the interest in Insiders has faded for me and I am being somewhat selective in my participation. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy our relationship, as well as some others, but have become weary of a few others as well. Anyway, I need to write up a review of the JW Marriott Essex House. Mrs Shoe and I spent a very long weekend over Memorial Day in the City and used a bunch of points to stay at this property. As a teaser to the review coming, we were placed in a rather large room on the 11 th floor over-looking Central Park. They treated us very, very, well…..
I am platinum and I did not receive any offer at all. I am disappointed that they did not offer the certificates this time around. From what I read, the promotions that were offered would only make a difference to frequent travelers. I used to travel a lot but I am now retired. I'd like to see some promotions for us poor, old retired folks. Bring back the free nite certificates and upgrade them all to category 1-5.
I had to email Marriott customer service and ask why I did not receive the bonus automatically like I have in the past. They added it almost immediately. This is the first time I've ever had to do that, so I wonder if there is something wrong, with what has to be an automated system, for getting that information into peoples accounts. It is less than what they've done in the past by way of points. Was always 50,000 in the past. The whole thing is interesting. If they want to give me an incentive to use points allow me to now choose gift card option for less than 255,000 points for $1000 worth of value. In other words, how about issuing a dollar value gift card after so many nights stay? Just an idea.
Maximum offers for the night based bonuses have varied between 40K and 55K for the three annual bonuses over the last few years.
There are always some people not enrolled automatically. Noone at Marriott seems to know or care why. Some of these peopel are plat, some gold, some silver, some no status. Totally random.
I Stay at class 5-9 Marriotte properties. During these promotions, I get vouchers for class 1-4 stay. Doesn't make sense to me. They won't let me exchange those promotional vouchers for points or pay a point difference to stay at a 5. I have never stayed at a 1-4 class property. They invented the hotel property rating system and makes it own rules. Those vouchers are like empty air, worthless. Big deal, I have useless vouchers. Give me 50,000 points instead of a silly & useless voucher.
Like you, I stay at Category 7 & up (although most Category 7 are now 8), so the voucher I receive for a Category 5 stay means nothing. Try to find a Category 5 hotel in New York City. It doesn't exist. I not only stay almost exclusively at Marriott and their extended family of hotel properties but I own several Marriott Timeshare properties and am a member of their Destination Program, owning points in that program. My loyalty to Marriott appears to be meaning less & less to Marriott.
I agree that the regular Marriott megabonus rounds are not exciting. Marriott doesn't seem to spend much time on exciting promos, but they can be worthwhile.
Take the oft-criticised cat4 certs, I've always used them when I've had them, they represent s free break away, but inflation has ate away at their usefulness. They should have been upgraded to cat5, after all most cat 4s from 2008 are now cat5+. We should remember that inflation effects the value of money but these certs are awarded on stays. One stay does not inflate against another, merely against money! To attain the cert the chances are more likely we've stayed in a cat5+ property now, with cats above 4 now being 5,6,7,8&9 as against the 2008 cats 5,6&7 only, and of course we now pay more for those stays than we did in 2009, hence each cert costs us more to acquire.
Now we have the new double points offer, that's popular with the other brands too, Hilton, SPG and IHG make an offer like that most years, but only Marriott makes it conditional after 2 stays. Double points can be very rewarding but having 2 fallow stays is discouraging. And a discouraging promo is an oxymoron!
Then there's the stay X get Y points promo. This is probably where Marriott scores best. With Marriott it's possible for the highest stayers to score 150,000+ bonus points a year, now that IS competitive with the opposition, but alas the nights needed each quarter are enormous, so few see the benefit. Here Marriott has done well to keep up (and surpass) inflation. Back when I started in 2006/7 the maximum achievable was 40,000 points per megabonus. I think the last one had a maximum of 55,000!
Marriotts megabonuses suit the highest stayers well, and when I was really clocking up the nights in 2008/9 I certainly diverted nights to Marriott to reach the top totals and score the maximum megabonus. Now I'm not staying in hotels so often and that's just not possible. And here's Marriotts problem, the lower end stayers, still elites but not those capable of doing 15+ nights in a quarter. A megabonus based on a heavily inflated (or should that be deflated) cat4, or double points only after 2 stays doesn't inspire... So for those of us who can't make 15 nights in a quarter, what might encourage us to get excited enough to divert a few more nights Marriotts way?
Well, obviously double points during the whole of the period is a good driver.
How about stay X, get Y points at lower levels so stay 5 nights, get 5k bonus, 9 nights 10k, 12 nights 15k.
An IHG promo that fired my stays was "big win". Stay 2 Saturdays get X points, stay 7 nights get Y points. Stay in a resort/country club, get Z points. Do the lot and get the big win of 20k/40k/60k points. I all but left Marriott during that promo!
How about 25% extra points for 1st and 2nd night, 50% for 3rd and 4th, 75% for 5th and 6th, 100% for 7th and 8th, 125% for 9th and 10th and 150% thereafter.
Or what about BOGOF, stay X nights get 1 BOGOF certificate, Y nights get 2 BOGOF.
And don't forget the old Bonus Bucks/ Premium Pounds, where did they go? I loved them! These too could be used on a stay X get $Y in bonus bucks.
Any other ideas for merb to take upstairs?
I don't travel as much so wouldn't earn status any where but have lifetime platinum the concierge keeps me coming back just as I would if USAir upgraded me to first which they don't so I have moved on to most of the time southwest. I still stay maybe 30 nights at Marriott and if they eliminated the concierge I would leave quickly
You must have traveled quite a bit in the past to be Platinum for life. I don't think I will ever get to that status. I certainly agree about the Concierge club. I wish the U.S. Clubs were open on the weekends like their counterparts in South America and Europe. I am often at Marriott properties over a weekend and not only are the clubs not open but most of the hotels don't even give a voucher for any kind of breakfast.
I would begin by saying bonuses are free. They are added value in whatever regular stays you are already doing, sometimes they motivate you to stay 1-2 more extra nights.
My issue is the free nights. I am never in an area (nor will go to an area that often) that has the category of the certs. This is too bad, the points bonuses help so much more.
I stay at Marriott because of the extra value of the service which for me has been far above and beyond just Hotel stays. Just in the last few stays for instance I have been given the same room 3 years in a row in San Antonio, a corner suite in Kansas City, the concierge lounge bringing out the food again late one night when I was ill in Denver just to name a few. I have about a million points which I like but I pay for my own room and the service is what it is all about for me and in that arena Marriott is the clear winner. PS taking care of my wife in KC when I was hospitalized.
Rather than serve as an incentive to stay at Marriott locations, this promotion makes me NOT want to reach the next level of membership. I had been striving to reach Platinum level. However, if that simply means I will receive reduced promotion incentives, there is no point to the effort. As with most reaching this level, a good number of nights/points are accrued by virtue of the Marriott credit card. There are, however, many credit cards providing competitive benefits if Marriott is going to reduce benefits on the back end with this systematic bias against its most loyal customers.
Exactly, dth61 Marriotts megabonuses work really well for the megastayers. Typically maxing out at 45k in the summer and 55k each Spring and Autumn means a great outcome. Alas, most Marriott Golds/Plats struggle to reach their annual quota, even carrying the card and getting the 10/15 nights credit.
Since I joined MR in 2006 I've only actually stayed the full 75 nights once in 2009, though 2014 will be my 2nd time, but such totals require an unusual work pattern emerging. I've only stayed 50 nights once in all those years! Most years stays are 35/40 nights, inc personal stays, but thanks to promos and C/C I made gold in 2008, plat in 2009 and have been plat ever since save for a 10 month period at Gold last year. As a matter of interest all my stays are European/Arabian and I've noticed no appreciable difference between the 2, I feel well looked after whether as a Gold or Plat. MR recognition is excellent and lounges, though sometimes a little busy at very peak periods for 20/30 mins always have a seat available.
Having spent most of my MR time as a relatively low stayer but sufficient to easily make Plat at Hilton and IHG, if I wished, the MR promos at this level are uninspiring...
Yeah, I am a megastayer, but I am pretty low maintenance too. I don't expect or need a lot of frills. I am happy with a clean room, good customer service and location convenience for work reasons. The extras I get during the stay are great, but I'd stick with Marriott even without them. Hell, I am just thrilled to work for a company that allows me to keep and use my points. I worked for another company that required us to use the company card and they kept all the perks. Think it is unfair not getting upgraded to a suite or a free water sucks as a welcome gift? Try spending 9 months out of the year out of town and watching the owner take fabulous vacations off of the miles/points your time away generated. Now that is worthy of a good complaint or two. Too bad I didn't have anywhere then to post & vent.
It would be nice to be able to choose your bonus offer. I like the ones that when you stay a certain number of stays you can earn the 2 free night certificates. They say I was always getting those so they always now give me the 20 nights a quarter one to earn 35,000 etc bonus points, which I still always hit. Kind of a devaluation in the award.
Technically, you can choose your bonus offer. When you see/receive your notification, call your level hotline and ask what the other offers are (points, certs, etc.). If you don't like the one that was offered, they will switch it for you. I have done this numerous times, no problem.
Now, would it be easier/nicer if you could make your selection without making a call? Oh yeah.....