I Know this subject has been discussed at length but I do have a question. i stay almost 200 nights per year at Marriott properties and have sometimes gone out of my way to stay brand loyal. In the past, I have been able to use my accrued points to take my family on a nice vacation as a type of reward for me being gone so much. My company recently switched to Egencia and now loyalty points are few and far between. In my experience, the prices on Marriott.com have been very close in range to those on Egencia. But here is my case in point: When I worked for the government I could get a room at the Marriott for usually $100 off the normal price. This discount STILL allowed me to obtain Marriott rewards point and credits for nights stayed. Now, I pay the full room rate but because I went through Egencia I am penalized and receive nothing.
Marriott does not not seem to care about brand loyalty. I wish someone would end this little pissing match Marriott has going with the TPB agencies and focus on their loyal customers.
Marriott does care about brand loyalty.
But your issue is with your employer, who for whatever financial reason decided to work through this corporate travel management tool-- and some benefit is accruing to your employer and not to you. If I had to be on the road 200 nights a year (which I will hit this year) and received no material benefit for that being 'part of my job', and the inconvenience and extra time away it represents, I'd be unhappy too.
Marriott pays hefty commissions to travel agents and seeks to encourage use of its own platforms via the loyalty scheme. As insertcoffee has pointed out, the employer here is almost certainly receiving an (entirely legal) kickback from the agent in return for using their services to reserve hotels at ordinary prices...
Your employer has chosen a deal with more benefit to them, as the party *paying* for those rooms, than benefit to you, the person *staying* in those rooms. Obviously there is material benefit to them.
Government rates and contracts are not even comparable to nearly any private employer and their contracts.
What contracts do you refer to? when you book Marriott at the government rate you simply show ID and get the room. There is no "contract". Marriott gets less from a government stay than they do at my Egencia rate I can guarantee you that. It doesnt make sense and does not provide any incentive for a business traveler to stay loyal to Marriott to not offer reward benefits regardless of how its booked.
That's true, but not all properties offer the gov't rate. Many do to entice gov't folks to stay at Marriott instead of the competition. Marriott doesn't set the rate. That's done by GSA http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/142071. Hotels can choose to offer the gov't rate or not. Marriott could also choose not to award points or elite night credits for such a discounted rate (like they do with some other rates) but would likely lose business to other chains. From a business standpoint, their position makes a lot of sense despite the fact that the revenue earned on a per night basis may be lower (in some areas the gov't rate can be higher that the regular rate - D.C. for example).
As for your situation, as others have suggested, you company is likely getting some benefit from using this travel booking company. I don't envision Marriott changing their policy on third party bookings. I'd go so far to say that the rate you pay is irrelevant. That essentially gives you two options. 1) continue to stay with Marriott without earning the nights and points, or 2) try to find another chain that will award points and nights despite using a third party site.
GSA sets the per diem rate. Virtually all hotels that offer a gov't rate will use this rate. I currently work for the Federal Government. Occasionally I have seen a "non-per diem" gov't rate which is often higher than the per diem rate. It is clearly spelled out in the rate details.
Perhaps Marriott does "set" their gov't rate, but in my estimation, 99% of the time, that rate is identical to the rate specified by GSA. I'd love to find a gov't rate (not a state gov't rate) that is lower than the GSA published rate. So far, I've never seen one.
I think you have your answer here, and I'm sorry you dont like it. But it's the answer all the same. Marriott won't be paying points out on stays where it's paying big commissions to your employers choice of TA.
The only thing I can add is that I do seem to remember reading several years ago that Choice and Best Western both offer points when booked via any channel, with the exception of a few specified online travel agents (OLTA). I think theyre the only ones of the major chains (Accor, Best Western, Choice, Hilton, Hyatt, Intercontinental, Marriott, Starwood, Wyndham) that offer points on such a wide basis. Before moving over I would suggest you read the T&Cs for both schemes *very* carefully, much can change over the years - I hope this helps...
insertcoffee You are absolutely correct. The issue is with the employer. Marriott's primary customer is the booking service and not the guest, unfortunately. The guest still can use the CL and get some benefit for their "loyalty".
Perhaps your employer is not being loyal to you in making this choice. Again, as has been stated here multiple times by multiple posters, the issue is with your employer and not with Marriott.
Unless your company also pays for the rooms with master billing or you are mandated to use a company credit card, perhaps you could use a Marriott card and at least get points that way.
BTW, since you didn't say your employer just recently switched to this booking agent, I'm guessing they were using it when you took the job. I always ask about travel policies while we are in the negotiating phase for a new role, and if you travel as much as you say you do, I'm surprised you didn't ask about this before you started your job. You might have been able to leverage something to make it more of a win, or at least, less painful.