Please excuse the topic of this post if it has already been discussed somewhere. I looked around, but didn't exactly know what category it might fit into and didn't see anything.
As is well known, to reach the next elite level, it's all about the number of nights. Nights are achieved as either nights stayed or one of various types of bonus nights. I don't know this for a fact, but it would seem that higher-priced properties generate more revenue in all departments and are thus more profitable. Therefore, it would seem beneficial to Marriott to incent nights stayed at the higher-priced properties. As it stands now, all paid nights are rewarded the same (1 night). Why not reward based on the amount paid for the night stayed? For instance:
$0 - $250 = 1 night
$251 - $500 = 2 nights
$500+ = 3 nights
(or something like this).
Does anyone know if this has been suggested to or already discussed by the powers that be?
Keep in mind that while nights are what earn elite status (no matter the price), points are earned based on dollars spent. In the long run, higher paid nights will lead to higher points which will turn into free nights considerably faster than lower priced stays.
So there is somewhat of a built-in incentive (by earning more points) to pay for higher priced rooms. You offer an interesting suggestion, though I suspect it will likely not be given much consideration.
Also keep in mind that if using the MR credit card, it would only take 6 nights at $500 to reach $3000 and for each $3k spent on the card, you earn an additional elite night (not to mention the 5x points on charges at Marriott).
Thanks for your reply. You're spot on that points are a very important part of the program to maximize, but they don't get you to the next elite level (unless you find yourself at the end of the year in need of buying your expiring level with points because it was not re-attained). And, fully utilizing the credit card is a must for some of us who will never get the nights needed simply by stays.
What I'm getting at with this post is whether or not it would be worth it for management to incentivize paid stays at higher-priced properties in a quest for the potential additional revenue/profit. For example, if I was looking at the choice of booking a certain property and the price/night was right on the cusp of a tiered reward program that would get me an additional night earned, might that be enough to make me (and tens of thousands of other rewards travelers) book an alternative, higher-priced property down the road?
Certainly, an enticing proposition for management to run some numbers and consider. Thanks again.
This question is a complex one. Marriott rewards us via points for higher spending and via nights for staying more. Both spending amounts and nights stayed should be encouraged for a variety of reasons and Marriott has achieved a good balance with the current approach.
One thing to remember is that young people who are on a budget are likely to look for cheaper alternatives, especially when traveling with their children. Encouraging them to stay at Marriott brand hotels can help get a customer for life.
When I was younger, I usually stayed at budget branded hotels. I now stgay more frequently at Marriott, and Renaissance. My long history with Marriott was nurtured by these years of staying with this company.
Having achieved lifetime Gold, I am now three or four years away from lifetime Platinum.
You might be on to something. We moved from the cheapest possible motels using coupons from those booklets you find at truck stops to Super 8s, to FFI, then to RI, Marriotts, JW, and now we're finally far enough in our careers to be able to afford the occasional RC at $500/night. I still have trouble paying JW and RC rates but sometimes we do it because we're finally at the stage of life where we can afford to once and awhile! And most of my travel is for work, so sometimes I am able to expense a nice JW. But usually my business trips are Marriotts or something more affordable. Or sometimes I can't control the brand and end up at a Loews, Hilton, or Hyatt all of which are great companies with nice hotels. I actually got started as a MR person when staying for a week at a convention at the World Center in Orlando, and I've been loyal to Marriott ever since! Sometimes I feel chained to it and wish I could be a Hyatt or Hilton person instead
Its definitely a balance, the program encourages both number of nights for status, and by awarding points on cost also rewards expense.
Whether the new Delta model should apply here, I'm less sure. I think Marriott takes the view its acheived a good balance but I'd guess if it wanted to award status based on money spent it could follow the IHG model, acheive X nights or Y BASE points for elite...
Ok, now that we've heard the 'official' response, thanks for tracking it down The specified item was not found. in your usual effective manner, I'll state the obvious; of course it was well received - this is exactly the format that the airlines went to that caused all of the brouhaha. I'm a lifetimer, so I've got no dog in this fight - but be careful what you wish for, can you say certificates?
I'd hate to be the 650 night decade long traveler scratching and clawing his/her way to Platinum with $100-$150 per night stays (which ain't cheap, especially out of pocket self-payers) and have this bomb dropped on me. And don't think Marriott would start with status quo and give extra credit for the expensive rooms - no way Jose, I'll bet a waffle any change would be to the detriment of the average traveler.
But once again, excellent Insider process - question asked and superbly researched. Go man, go.
Thanks for running it "upstairs" for their thoughts.
Since a goodly number of the more expensive properties are resorts and/or carry an asterisk (or any number of other superscripts) limiting the "normal" rewards, this could help offset that reduction and, at the same time, possibly move those higher-priced room occupancy levels a tad bit higher. Thanks again for everyone's insights!
My answer may seem controversial, so having said that, here I go - - >
I believe to earn status should be based on nights only - let the higher priced venues add more points to one's coffers, but not enhance the speed at which a person gains status. The Marriott Awards program is about LOYALTY and loyalty is best measured on nights stayed, not on dollars spent.
Reasoning is that almost all cities have multiple hotel chains at which to stay - so any revenue thrown Marriott's direction is a measure of loyalty and commitment to the brand, whether that be at a lower cost Residence Inn or a full-fledged Marriott. The fact that one could have stayed at a competitor meaning zero revenue for Marriott should be decisive in earning status. Also, one should not be penalized at earning status because a CY is closer to a client than the across-town MR.
Pay more? Earn more points. Spend a night? Earn status equally.
This approach is what most airlines are going to which of course rewards business travelers since companies will pay more and trips tend to be shorter notice. I think Marriott with many different staying options( full service to Fairfield inns) are rewarding also in different ways with both points and nights. I think they have the right balance
My 2 cents...
I think the current reward systems works fine. In a way, MR actually DOES reward people stay in more expensive properties. (Look at the life silver/gold/platinum status, where not only one has to reach a number of nights; but also a total number of points. The more points one earns, the quicker he/she will reach Life silve/gold/platinum status.)