Looking over the new rewards schedule, it seems that it would affect a 20% devaluation of one's current points balance.
I applaud Marriott for increasing the Platinum bonus from 30% to 50%, which, in my opinion, will make up for the change to the system, going forward; the problem comes with addressing current reward points balances.
The new schedule will require more points on shorter stays at every category of hotel and any stay over 5 nights at any Category 5-7 hotel. Taking away the incremental discounts that occurred depending on the length of your stay and going to a flat rate with each 5th night free is not an enhancement.
The enhancements are given on a category 1-3 hotel if staying more than 4 nights, and are virtually worthless. Who vacations at a category 1-3 hotel? Most stays at the lower category hotels are under 4 nights, I think.
I am suggesting that if Marriott wants to be 100% fair, they should consider adjusting whatever your current balance is by 20%. That would put you on a more level playing field for the revised schedule.
The "No Blackout - No Stay Anytime" is not truly helpful to a reward travler. Unless Mariott is going to force hotels to accept reward stays regardless of capacity rules, then the only thing that this rule does is let hotels simply say that it does not matter if you want to pay double or triple points, you still cannot have the room.
I think that as "Elite" members with Marriott, we have shown our loyalty, maybe it is okay for us to ask Marriott Rewards to adjust our point balances by 20%, so that the points can be brought into line with the new rewards schedule.
I am interested in feedback to my "Ask for 20% adjustment" idea.
I think that asking for a 20% adjustment to the current point balance seems to be an interesting idea. It would help soften the blow of MR changes. Rather than having points that have been accumulated over the past year be wasted now that the redemption categories needed are much higher- it seems to make sense to grandfather those points that were earned prior to this new policy at the prior rate of redemption by increasing our point balances by 20% at the time of the policy change.
I support this solution. It seems like a fair way for both Marriott and Marriott's loyal customers to have a win-win solution, instead of Marriott's loyal customers feeling punished.
good luck with this. I appreciate the need to adjust upward but find that is not likely to happen. Perhaps the double nights is a "give back" to Elites? Anyway, the program is going to change and change according to the vagaries of the economy--good times good rewards, bad times, some dimunition of the reward structure.
I myself find the new cat 8 to be bothersome since I typically use my points to stay at the Marquis in NYC--now a cat 8, so a week went from 150,000 points to 280,000 points! And to top it off the Lounge fare became less enticing and less valuable to me.
And so it goes.
Awards Redemption is most definitely a business challenge for Marriott in 2009. Both HiltonHonors and Starwood Preferred Guest trumped Marriott Rewards in the the Freddies. While I lament that fact and have stated so,* I do not agree that "grandfathering" or a "unilateral 20% point adjustment upwards" present viable solutions.
Grandfathering: As posted previously, there are lessons learned and Marriott does not need to relearn them.** Point Adjustment: I think adjusting point balances is misleading and creates a bigger problem because of the false expectation that it sets up.
Points do not appreciate in value, do not earn interest and are not inflation proof. The most advantageous way to maximize the benefit is to redeem points as they are earned. There is added complexity due to Marriott Vacation Club owners who elect to 'Trade for Points.' Owners give Marriott their usage option to rent their week in a manner that does not even come close to the principle of Fair Value Exchange.***
Marriott does have a viable solution: Pointsavers. The Global Rate Break [F5X] offered a 20% rate reduction for weekend nights, Thurs to Sunday. Why not create a Global Weekend Pointsaver award? The 3 for 2 Resort Redemption Offer **** was a great Pointsaver offer too, why not build upon it?
"you still cannot have the room"
Combining paid nights with points usually works. But, there are properties enforcing capacity control at the expense of, 'No Blackout Dates.' Rooms available for a paid stay are not available using points. While I do understand the need to make revenue, award redemption is actually getting harder.
Actually, I have to retract that statement. Looking over my experiences over the past 6-1/2 months, as stated in another post, I can only recall two instances where there was an issue redeeming points for a room and it was more of an upgrade issue rather than an availability issue. It is my expectation as a Platinum Elite that a request for a comp upgrade will be honored. Twice it was not, and so I cancelled the reservations and found other properties who gladly welcomed my points and honored my requests at no additional charge.