I was wondering about an issue concerning the downgrade logic of elite members when they didn't accumulate enough nights during a year:
Let's, for the example*, have a look at two platinum members:
1. Member A accumulated about 55 nights this year.
2. Member B accumulated no nights this year (0 nights).
* Ignore any promotional offers or challenges and assume none was offered in this case, since not all members get those.
The annoying fact is that both of them will be downgraded to a gold status the following year!
1. While member A has actually stayed loyal and accumulated a very decent number of nights during this year he's gaining absolutely nothing out of it in relation to his status!! He could have been a new member and still achieving the gold status this year anyhow - his platinum status means nothing!!!
2. Since he knew in advance he won't be able to stay 75 nights this year Member B decided not to stay at all (maybe moved to another program...), thus enjoying the simple fact he'll only be downgraded to gold next year - which is still a big plus (differences between gold to platinum aren't that significant).
To me it seems very unfair towards members who actually stayed loyal. Marriott treats all the same and ignores some very significant facts.
What do you think?
When he made platinum it was because of the previous year, not this year, so it really tells us nothing about this year. I could also give you 1000 possible reasons for why (eventually the idea is that he could have been platinum for a few years and then stopped staying for some reason), but that's completely out of the point!
Bottom line matters, why makes no difference.
Hi Fistuk - Somehow you've lost me. It seems to me as if person A is downgraded to Gold because he/she accumulated 50+ nights, but did not accumulate the 75 for Platinum. Those 50 nights qualify him to be Gold for the following year. My understanding is that Person A would also not earn five carryover nights even though he/she ends up with Gold status and 55 nights. Person B, on the other hand, with no nights, would lose elite status and, unless he/she had the Marriott Premier black credit card thus earning 15 nights automatically to become Silver Elite for example, would revert back to being a basic Rewards member with no elite status in light of having zero nights.
I have a good sense as to how the Elite system works, but your second example is, frankly, baffling to me. I'd greatly appreciate it if you could explain how you concluded that a person with no credited nights, either through stays or the credit card, would be Gold the following year.
As a further attempt at understanding your issue, as nights earned during a given year apply to your status for the next year, if Person B stayed 75 nights in year 1 while a Platinum, he/she would remain Platinum during year 2, based on her/his activity during the previous year. If, in year 2, while enjoying the benefits of Platinum based on his prior year's stay, he/she decides not to stay at all at Marriott properties, in year 3, membership would drop to basic rewards membership with no elite status, not even Silver Elite. Thus, what am I missing from your examples, or from the Marriott Rewards membership rules/regulations?
Message was edited by: nhtraveler
This is how the program works, as simple as that:
When a rewards member is being downgraded, he'll only be downgraded by 1 level, and not more than 1 level, regardless of the number of nights he accumulated (and I have confirmed this with MR customer care).
Therefore, your understanding of the program is incorrect: person B won't loose his elite status! As I indicated, he'll only be downgraded to gold.
If things were like you think they are than it might make more sense and eliminate the discrimination situation I've referred to... unfortunately, as I explained, they're not.
Hi Fistuk - Thank you for the clarification. I guess I have to read the program's details over again!
Now that I understand the issue, while I see your point, I must say that I fall on the side of phctourist and brightlybob on this. I think that an argument can be made that it speaks well of Marriott that they take into account the fact that, as phctourist indicated, there are numerous other reasons for a person to suddenly have zero nights. If a person, through no fault of their own, suddenly has to terminate their travel, it's nice to know that Marriott won't add insult to injury by saying, in effect, "It's been nice knowing you. Now enjoy "basic" (translation - no real benefits at all!) membership."
Or , perhaps, member B took ill or was unemployed and did not travel at all. Perhaps his job assignment changed to one that involved no business travel this year. I can think of many scenarios other than "he knew in advance he won't be able to stay 75 nights this year Member B decided not to stay at all." Remember, he got no advantage from his Platinum status if he accumulated 0 nights.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you here, fistuk. Marriotts policy is that no elite drops by more than 1 category each year. It's a concession by Marriott, since the T&Cs allow for the cuts right down from Plat to Blue in your nil stay case.
So yes, I guess the nil stayer gets the advantage of staying with a different program and not getting any of the Plat benefits at Marriott whilst reassured he'll only be busted to Gold, but since he hasn't stayed at the hotels I fail to see where I, or any other member have any "skin in the game" concerning this policy.
Put simply if A stayed 55 nights and gained all the benefits of plat for those nights. Having failed to meet the past requirements A drops down to Gold the next year.
B Having been plat for a year then makes no stays and gets no benefit during the year. At yearend Marriott "soft lands" B to Gold, a nice gesture and also one which no doubt marriott hopes will persuade B to again take up staying at Marriotts.
This thread is a great example of the maxim "let no good deed go unpunished"
The 0 nights is just an example. If member B had 15 nights - would that have made the difference?
Member A still invested more money in his 55 nights and even reached the gold status requirement. Why should he be downgraded? Maybe Marriott needs to automatically offer this kind of members (kind of member A) an option to extend their platinum status? There's a very good reason to allow them that.
Marriott does offer elite buyback for those that failed to make their criteria. It costs 40,000 for Plat (which is debatable whether the cost would be recovered), 25,000 for Gold (a total no-brainer for any FS stayer, in upgrades and breakfast/lounge access alone it would cover its "cost" in 10 nights) and 7,500 for silver (absolutely not worth it, unless youre planning to spend more than $3750 on only 10 nights stays). These are offered in February every year.
NOt that it helps my argument since it would be offered to both case A and case B!