I've been thinking over the recent announcement from NathalieF about the upcoming MegaBonus - Insiders, First Time Ever! Pick Your MegaBonus® – up to 50,000 Points. I must admit, I have mixed feelings. Based on the info we have so far, here are my musings.
I'm thrilled that Marriott listened to us and finally gave us a choice. That's excellent. I'm also pleased that the announcement was made to Insiders first (exactly as is should be). The only real letdown is that this bonus is far less beneficial than any in recent memory. I'll still sign up and earn my 10,000 points, 20,000 if I can add a few additional nights. Having become accustomed to earning nearly twice as much for the same number of night, it is in the end a bit of letdown.
Well, Marriott. You got it half right. You gave us a choice. Unfortunately, the choice isn't really worthy of being called a MegaBonus.
bejacob, as usual, I think you've summed this up rather nicely on both the pros and the cons sides. Well done!
I would love to have been in the room when these decisions were being made to review the financial drivers. As it currently appears, the folks who make up the bulk of their (our) elite population get squeezed. They have taken care of the very top (kind of) and the bottom, but the bulk of the bell curve will earn less than what they are accustomed to. Perhaps that's exactly what is intended....they do have a lot of acquisition-related expenses coming up.
And, as I postulated on the other thread, this may drive those who can't realistically achieve another 10 night block to experiment with the Hilton or IHG promotions. That's no bueno for business, right?
I will be anxious to see if there are some more favorable details in the actual roll-out. If this is it, as we currently understand things, I am disappointed.
Message was edited by: nationwide
As usual you make a lot of sense. Something like incrementing the 10K stays, i.e., 10K points for first 10K stays, 20K for next 10K stays, 30K for next, etc., would be more of a MEGA-Bonus,
On the one hand, I fully agree with all the points you have made bejacob, including the "bad" ones.
On the other hand, I'm plain happy with this promotion (if my understanding of the conditions is correct, of course).
Here's why: In the past, we often had different "flavors" of MegaBonus promotions - with a different maximum number of extra points for different members.
For some reason, I mostly found myself at the lower end, with sometimes no more than 15k or 20k extra points.
Same thing with the Spring MegaBonus where I only got two (not three) goals.
Based on this, and with plenty of upcoming stays later this year, this could easily become the promotion with the highest number of extra points I have ever achieved.
Looking forward to it!
I'm pleased to have something achievable as well. In most previous promos, I've hit somewhere between 12 and 20 nights, once going as high as 25. When the bar is set at 15 or 20 nights just to qualify, that was often a stretch for me. Being able to earn points after 10 nights is great. I also agree that for someone only making two stays, the option of earning something is wonderful. I would have prefered to see a cat 1-5 certificate instead of 5,000 points though.
Where I feel somewhat let down is the potential points earned. I would love something similar to what bpelican suggested such as (I've chosen different numbers than he did, but I give him credit for the idea).
I'd have a hard time reaching 30 night regardless, but it makes reaching the next tier meaningful and would put it in line with past bonuses as far as earning potential. The idea of essentially 1,000 points per night is not really much of a bonus (in my opinion).
Good or bad, I am looking forward to earning perhaps 20,000 points. I will need to add a few nights to get there, but with nothing currently on the calendar after October, it's pretty likely I'll reach 20 nights once I make my late fall travel plans.
ditto everything bejacob says except the certificate. I'm happy with points. I need them if I am to ever achieve lifetime anything.
THis is is the first year I feel like I'll get some megabonus points and they have done exactly as intended. 20 is a hard push for me but I'll probably add a few nights to hit the bonus.
It's also interesting in that it lasts over Christmas break. I feel that they often stop before then but maybe I'm remembering incorrectly.
Let us face it folks, this bonus is high on achievability, and low on return. Many folks complain about meeting the threshold on previous mega bonus'. I have been able to get there on sometimes and got nothing on others. What do not see this time is incentive once one achieves the threshold. But that is what we asked for.
I chalk this up to beware what we ask for. "Category 1 - 5 Cert is useless" was a prominent post in the spring bonus, Well 5000 points plus another 20000 of your points will get you the same. Find a hotel in a major city that you get a room for 5000 points Just saying...
1) I opined that the certs were increasingly more difficult to use with each ensuing year, due to category creep. I only ever wanted the certificates to keep pace with the annual category creep.
2) I wrote about a preference for incremental thresholds (such as we were offered in the recent Summer promotion), where the increments were much closer together, and nothing like this, where the increments are spaced so far apart and with little incentive to move beyond a given rung, since the stakes are all (if you hit the next increment) or nothing (if you fall just short of the next increment). It's designed to maximize the rewards for the highest stayers (think Platinum Premiers, they'll get their 50K points as in past promotions), just as the Summer promotion gratified less frequent stayers like myself.
So no, that is actually not what I asked for.
I think Marriott has over complicated their promotions. Hilton is offering double points, which is more appealing to me with my unpredictable travel expectations. Our corporate guidelines often prevent me from staying at my preferred FS Marriotts, so my choices are CY, SHS, FI, RI, HGI, Homewood Suites, or similar competitor properties. Rooms are always at least $100 per night, so 10 nights will get me at least 10k bonus points, and I would rather stay at HGI than CY..
agree with nationwide and bejacob big time.. this is a let down... for all the build up..
"The idea of essentially 1,000 points per night is not really much of a bonus (in my opinion)."
To say the least. For business travelers that pay $200-400 per night for a room sometimes, 1000 bonus points is a joke. I mean, 6 mos ago they were offering 500 pts a night just to reject room service and conserve water, towels etc. So this "megabonus" is only worth 2x a room service-rejection bonus? Come on man.
And in an era where top hotel reward/redemption nights cost 40-50,000 points... getting 5000 or 10000 bonus points from a "megabonus" is laughable, doesn't even equate to 1/4th of 1 reward night. For real?
Free points are free points... but calling this a megabonus with the build up... disappointing indeed...
pluto77 I was not picking on you or anyone. I am not sure what the string that I am thinking of was called, but I remember one that went on for pages. In response Brian and Bob put up a "where one can use Cat 5 certs", one in USA and one in UK. My point is we asked for choice, well we got it. In the spring we got t keep our cake (points) and ate it (cat 5 cert) and complained so this time we got the choice of a lump of coal or a turnip in our stocking. What Marriott heard was complaints, so shat do we expect?
I've said much the same thing peymanagement. The trouble is that Marriott hears the complaint but when a suggestion as to how to address the issue is added, that is ignored.
We asked for a choice which we got. The certificates have been an issue for a while. We used to get cat 1-4 certs, which were finally bumped up to cat 1-5, but they still haven't kept up with the category creep at most properties.
Listening to complaints is one thing. Ignoring reasonable suggestions is something else. I'll have to dig up some of those old discussions for reference.
Here's just one from a couple years ago MegaBonus - Promo Certs or Points? Part of what I suggested back then in now in place. We do now have a choice. What's wrong is that this promo is that it's so watered down. It used to be that if you stayed 25 to 30 nights, you'd earn 45k-60k points. Now it takes 50 nights to earn 50k. Talk about devaluation.
Yay, we have a choice. Would like a stick of gum or a candy bar? That's about the value of these offers.
I applaud Marriott for listening, even if they only got half the story. It is a start. I still offer my previous discussion as an example of what could work. If Marriott wants to earn the business of SPGs, they're going to have to step up on the MegaBonuses. Otherwise, those folks will be looking elsewhere.
We're heading in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go.