After careful review of the new Rewards program, it unfortunately hurts Marriott's most loyal users who have accumulated points. After working hard with little vacations for more than 20 years as a Platinum, many points were accumulated. The new program which may be justified looking forward is punitive in that it now cause all points in your account to be worth less than they used to be when redeeming.
Several platinum memebers recently got together and derived that it is costing us 30% of our accumulated point value. For a member like me with 2,000,000 points, this is a 600,000 hit for points that were earned thorough alot of spending at marriott. Not even counting the fact I moved our corporation from Hyatt to Marriott 20 years ago and how much that has done for Marriott. Seems like changes for the future are justified but should not penalize those who have been the most loyal supporters of Marriott, through 9/11 and other tough times. Hard to feel good about remaining loyal after taking this kind of hit from them!
How unfortunate to feel this way after so many years!!
Marriott Rewards points don't appreciate over time, don't gain interest and are not inflation proof. Marriott could have done a better job rolling out the new rewards program in a way that conveyed the importance of spending points as they are earned. On Flyertalk.com, I read that Marriott analysed how Rewards members used points so they had to have known the percentage of people like yourself with million + point accounts earned prior to January 15.
The business challenge for Marriott is retention. Reading your post triggered an idea: A Marriott 30% 'Loyalty' Bonus whereby 30% of the points accumulated in a member's account prior to January 15th is banked into the account as a loyalty bonus. Would that take away the sting? If so, what terms & conditions would you consider as reasonable? Do the bonus points expire, i.e. use'em or lose'em?
2oyearplatinum's outcry is about standard rooms with a new price sticker. The basis for earning points has not changed. What has changed significantly is the value when you use points for a stay:
Effective January 15, 2009, Stay Anytime and Standard rewards will be
replaced by a new award structure including No Blackout Dates.*
Based on his analysis, 2oyearplatinum spent $200K with Marriott to earn 2 million+ points, but on January 15th lost value to the tune of 600,000 points or 30%. That hurts, bigtime.
Cynical or not, you're point is well taken. Two nights of "chicken strips" in the Concierge Lounge won't make up for it.
Wow--I feel that pain that you're expressing as well. I see the glass half-full on the other hand, and a Platinum (or equivalent) member with 4 chains can tell you that the business of hospitality is really in a funk! Not just Marriott but the rest of the group (Hyatt, Intercontinental, Sheraton, Fairmont) are all seeing steep declines in their revenues. Now what they may do is up to them, but I agree that seeing any dimunition in service is hard to take.
As someone with just under 3 million points I hope to make Platinum Emeritus, hopefully this year. And I hope the program is around in some form so that we can enjoy the perks that we've worked so hard to get all these years.