I just found this interesting article in Loyalty Lobby regarding the Starwood/Marriott proposed merger. Even though it is more negative than good about Marriott Rewards it has good points.
The author is spot on with the "no blackout dates" as there are many resorts in particular where you can search for months to redeem points for a stay only to find the famous "not available for check-in" banner for the entire time.
The issue of Marriott soliciting votes for the Freddie Awards, isn't that interesting just a week or so after our very own Insiders NathalieF puts up You’re a Big Part of Our Success asking for us to vote for Marriott. Not sure the small number of Insiders would make a difference in the voting however!!
What are your thoughts on the article?
"Have you ever met anyone who would be enthusiastic about Marriott Rewards? Well. I have not. Then ask the same question about Starwood Preferred Guest. Most of my friends that are SPG members are enthusiastic about their program."
I disagree here... I am enthusiastic about Marriott Rewards and I am sure a few more here are too!
Award Night Cap - I can't really speak to much on this as I have never had an issue with redemption, and nor has my mom who is Lifetime Gold. Maybe we just don't travel at busy times.
I do wish Marriott would follow Amex with how they do points + cash. I love how Amex does it! I just put in how many points I want to spend and it shoots out a number for the remaining to be paid in cash. Even if I wanted to pay 123,456 in points, they will do it. I'm not stuck with "blocks" of point amounts.
"The current CEO keeps spinning how he doesn’t believe in program devaluation yet it keeps happening. This year 70% of the category changes were up and 30% down." Where is the like button??
As for Brand Cap - I am pretty content with the brands offered. It's a wide range for everyone's budget. Yesterday I was just having some fun so checked out a suite at the St. Regis in NY...over $2,400 a night. Sure it's fun to dream but even if I made millions a year, that is NOT what I am going to spend it on. For me, I am quite happy with what is offered by Marriott.
Good Morning IAHFLYR
Woke up to the posting of the article you mentioned ( with a convenient link).
Have read from top to bottom and assume that those of us that are "seasoned road warriors" would be in unanimous
agreement with the author.
Although all of us are concerned about the program that will emerge from the combining of the two companies it would be naive for any SPG member to think they are on "equal footing". To put it plainly, they will be treated as "step children" for a time and will find themselves in a Marriott program that will probably deliver what resembles closely of that in place now.
No more comments or projections etc are necessary as we have basically spent too much time discussing this "unknown" and short of taking anti-anxiety medicines the best behavior is stop worrying and tackle what is coming when it comes.
I do have a plan - a plan that I believe is the best approach to whatever carnation of the program that arises out of the tumult.
There is one talent that the experienced member has acquired. That is simply how to work the system to their benefit. You take what is there and do your best to make it work for you. This is a process that is part and parcel to survival with the constant changes/or disappearance of benefits. (utilization and earning of points).
In conclusion - take a few deep breaths, relax, and when the program is announced analyze it in detail and make it work for you! Any other exercise at this time is a waste of time.
agree chuck and in the end we will have two choices continue with Marriott or go to Hilton or another chain . I will stay with Marriott since lifetime status will not be replicated elsewhere . but as I have said many times with fewer large companies all the programs will be close in total benefits. Better in some areas and worse in others
A lot one-sided,
I carry both cards, and I would agree that there are some features of Starwood Preferred that are better, but....it really comes down to the property, the room, bed and the staff. Rewards programs are rewards programs, I have not had as good luck with Starwood properties.
I am looking forward to try a Hilton soon for a comparison.