I am a Chase Marriott Premium member. Each year I get a free room on my anniversary of opening this credit card. The problem I have is that it is for a Level 1-5 hotel. I mostly frequent higher level hotels (7-8), and cannot use this credit most years. In addition, Boston is where I spend a lot of time. There are no Level 1-5 hotels in Boston.
It would be great if they could credit the value of a 1-5 hotel, or a nominal value ($100), towards a higher level hotel. I don't think that is an unreasonable request. I have emailed Marriott a few times suggesting this. I hope they consider this.
Yes many Insiders have been asking for this a long time as it gets more difficult each year to use Category 5 certificates. Perhaps instead of certificates they could just award the amount of points equivalent to a Category 5 property and that would probably make many folks happy. Keep in mind that you can request a one year extension on your certificate if your not able to use the current one before expiration.
I agree. This is fair, reasonable, and offers some flexibility. Continue the current 1-5 Cat certificate policy, but, if the cert is not used prior to expiration, apply a pre-determined value of points to the certificate holder's account. Either you find the 1-5 Cat stay or you accept the points. Good suggestion, nice and clean!
I don't find it that hard to use the Cat 1 thru 5 anniversary certificate. We mostly use them spontaneously and find they are handy that way. For instance if we meet friends for a night out we would use them to stay close by and not worry about the drive home. I don't know about Boston but Cat 1 through 5 hotels aren't that hard for us to find in the Chicago area.
Well, it would be nice to cash in my annual free night (from credit card membership) at one of the JW Marriotts, but this just isn't going to happen! Neither are there many Marriott hotels listed under category 5, except one that we frequent here in the East - the Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, Augusta, GA, category 4 - Hotels in Augusta, GA | Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center
It's quite nice, with excellent restaurant and night-time river (canal) walk.
We're headed to SC beach first week in June and have booked our free night at the Residence Inn, Columbia, SC, and since we have two of our grandchildren with us, I called the hotel and reserved a two-bedroom suite, which is a fair return for my annual credit card membership fee.
I'm sure there are other < category 5 facilities that are available for some of your travel itineraries.
There have been many threads on this topic. Some very detailed analyses which don't need repeating here, but hopefully someone more adept at the search function can post links to. If you want to find a place to use the certificate, there is the possibility to search on marriott.com based on category. For all Cat 1-5 hotels, use this:
You can filter down to areas of interest from there. Since you mention Boston, I checked Massachusetts, and it appears there are 46 Cat 1-5 options in the state, and while none are in downtown Boston, there are quite a few (even a Marriott!) just outside the city. Maybe none of those work for you, but it's a free night, and using it somewhere a little out of the way is far better than letting it go to waste. Given the annual fee on the credit card, I very much doubt they would convert it to a monetary value even close to the annual fee, so this is probably a non-starter. Allowing adding points to upgrade to a higher Cat is more likely a possibility, and would be a very nice perk.
hassmh, peymanagement, and others, in considering the offering of equivalent options, I think converting to a monetary value (of say $85, equal to the annual fee) would be a downgrade for the many who find a use for the certificate.
At least in my experience, I have yet to use the certificate for a nightly rate of <=$85. When I do use the cert., it's generally for a night where the rate + taxes is somewhere in the range of $120-$200/night, so a cash equivalent option that is equal to the annual fee would be a downgrade. (Although with category increases, it's becoming significantly and increasingly more difficult to use, considering where I live and my options for travel - location and budget dependent.)
Of course for those who cannot find a use for the certificate at all in these times of high Marriott Rewards inflation, the cash equivalent would perhaps be welcome. But then, as there are likely a certain percentage of certificates that go unused, it would cost Marriott more to offer cash or points equivalents, which are much more "usable" as they provide the ultimate flexibility with usage. It would also cost Marriott significantly more to offer a points equivalent (to Cat. 5), as I'm sure that many also use the certs. for Cat. 4's or less, so on a balance sheet with the current scheme, Marriott (or Chase, however that works) comes out ahead.
I think we would all love to see a points equivalent opportunity here, or something similar. I don't see it happening, however. The day may come when Marriott/Chase will bump the annual cert. up to a Cat. 6, but by that time, Cat. 6 properties will be similarly diminished and the problem will remain.
Like wesleywc's sagacious insight into the fact that it's his dog's world and he just lives in it...
The specified item was not found.
Well likewise, it's Marriott's world... we can opine, but it's the program numbers (ROI) that speak the loudest. So long as the scheme continues to drive loyalty, I surmise it will remain unchanged.
I do think that from a customer satisfaction perspective, Marriott would be wise to look at these suggestions.
A few years back, I would use this certificate to stay at a hotel in Montreal that have stayed at many times. It was a 4 or 5 Category at the time. That same hotel is a Category 7 now.
Yep. Inflation creep has been a staple in the Marriott Rewards World since the economy began it's recovery, and along with it, member dissatisfaction.
Confucius say, "Study the past to divine the future."
Confucius also say, "When the wind blows, the grass bends." But who is the wind, and who the grass?
Thanks for this link, that is very helpful. Had been looking for a way to simplify a list like that. Like other poster's, being in SoCal, and traveling to SF and other high priced areas a lot for work, I can never really use the Cat1-5 cert, pretty useless in most major CA towns. I'm trying to look at weekend trips to Portland or PHX to use the 2 free nights I have.
I think the $95 CC fee vs. the Cat1-5 deal is a financial boon for Marriott and Chase. That's a lot of cash, similar to Costco making tens of millions on the membership fee and only a few margin points on the actual goods.
For Marriott they know a lot of people can never use the Cat1-5 because that list is so limited, so probably 25-50% of redemption's go unused (also factor in that many simply forget or are too busy in life to use it). So they profit $95 every time on that. Sometimes folks (like many on this board) get the better end of the deal finding $100-200 values for Cat1-5, but those are probably far minority to the norm. They probably break even on most of the redemption's, leaving a huge upside profit on all the non redeemed certs. For this reason I doubt they would ever alter the promotion to provide equivalent points or value to trading up. Which is a bummer. I would much rather use some credit towards staying at the SF Marriott Marquis for a weekend versus forcing a trip to Phoenix or some other less-desired locale "just to use my free nights" ... which always has a cost (flights, gas, food, parking, etc).
I use my 1-5 cert at the Marriott Stamford CT, gives me a nice staycation and my kids love it for the free breakfast, the indoor pool (don't underestimate this in the cold northeast) and its walkable to the metronorth/Amtrak station. Being slightly creative in the use is how I do this. The bonus cert I earned was used by my wife to go to Hartford CT for a girls weekend and the residence inn in downtown Hartford upgraded them on my cert to a 2 BR, which made the wife a hero to her friends. In short, Marriott wont make the cert good for the high demand in city hotels (NYC, LA, SF, Chicago, Miami, etc).. So think outside the box, see what is near the city but not to far and the options open up. Remember the economics lesson, there is no such thing as a free lunch? Well apply that here.Would it be nice to get a partial credit for use in a higher category property - you bet. I doubt it will happen, but we can dream...