The program changes have significantly devalued the program and here was their response to my e-mail to platinum elite line:Thank you for contacting Marriott.
I understand that you are concerned about the upcoming increases in redemption requirements for hotel stays.
I can verify that the redemption requirements for award-type hotel stays will increase. The current award list has been available for just over seven and one-half years, from 31 July 2001 through 15 January 2009. Marriott Rewards would like to offer its most sincere apologies that from time to time it must revise its list of available awards and their redemption requirements.
The Marriott Rewards program feels that there are substantial new benefits to obtain from the new features that will be made available.
In the current pre-15 January 2009 award system, hotels are allowed to provide only ten percent of their available standard rooms for award-type usage and may blackout a limited number of nights each year entirely.
One aspect of the Marriott Rewards program that is not immediately visible to members is that for an increasingly large number of hotel stays over recent years, more and more members have been required to redeem Stay Anytime hotel awards to obtain award-type stays at the hotels where they want to stay the most on the most popular dates.
Stay Anytime hotel awards require one hundred percent more points to redeem than standard hotel awards, doubling the redemption requirements for many hotel stays over what is seen on the standard hotel award chart.
Because most of our hotels will no longer allow blackout dates once the award list has changed, this means that every standard room in a hotel may be provided on awards. There will be no more Stay Anytime hotel awards and no more double redemption requirements. There will also be more rooms available and more members will be able to obtain award-type stays that were previously unavailable.
Improving the various aspects of the rewards program is something Marriott constantly strives for. Therefore, comments and suggestions we receive are taken into consideration as our program continues to be developed through the insightful proposals of the people we serve. We always want to offer the most competitive plan to our valued guests, which is the reason for the "no blackout dates" program enhancement. This change was made due to the overwhelming feedback that was received from members wanting more flexibility to use their points at any Marriott brand hotel.
Please be advised that your comments have been documented and we truly do appreciate the information you share, as your feedback does allow us to discover our shortcomings and make improvements.
I apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.