I was surprised to see that the member rates are not only higher than other rates, but they are all advance purchase without the ability to cancel. So...I booked it under a senior rate. It was $12 cheaper and I can cancel if needed. I was under the impression Member Rates are the best rate!
I agree with this and not only is it cheaper, you can typically cancel your reservation within 24 hours of your stay. I also go out and check my reservations starting at about 30 days from my stay and look to see if the rate has gone down. More often than not, it goes down and I save even more money!!!
It's definitely a mixed bag. I do sometimes find great member rates. When I do, I grab them. I've got one coming up where the "exclusive member" rate is $2 less than the "members' advanced purchase" rate (with no advance purchase necessary), $5 less than the AAA rate, and $10 less than the regular "member" rate, and $20 less than the regular rate. Certainly a confusion of options.
I always check any discounts I might use to find the best deal. It would be nice not to have to spend quite so much time to find the best price. It is certainly true that the member rate is not always the lowest priced option.
I've found them a few times. Because I can, I usually book the gov't rate. Often it better than anything else available. I've found the AAA rate works sometimes. The member rate should be the best of the bunch, but rarely is. I used it on a stay in Denver earlier this year and I have a reservation in Atlanta in November where it came out best.
One thing I rarely do is book the advanced purchase rate. My plans change frequently enough that I need the flexibility. What confused me is when there is an advanced purchase member rate or an advanced purchase AAA rate. Those should go away. Have one advanced purchase rate, one AAA rate, one member rate. At least that way it's easier to compare.
I rarely feel comfortable booking the advanced purchase. I'd rather have the flexibility without penalty, even if it cost a bit more. I'm with you. And often by the time you click through everything to see what the total is, the pay in advance rate is not much different than the pay when you show up rate, depending on location etc.
The member rates are definitely all over the place.
I'm more often than not seeing mainly advance purchase member rates, which is a tad disheartening. I tend to change hotel bookings more often than I actually travel. If I find a cheaper room at another comparable hotel, I'll almost always change my reservation, so advance purchase rates aren't really an option for me
I either use senior rates or govt. rates. Always better than the special member rates. A $2 discount is an insult.
So-I consider it another marketing flub along with the guaranteed 4 p m check out. We are not stupid. The only actual enhancement that they introduced this year that was of any value to me is being able to transfer to spouse or family member.
My advice-get rid of all the marketing whiz kids and just focus on customers.
I agree the Senior Rate is always lower and you are able to cancel up to the day before.
But here in the UK, I mostly do not use it, as I have to contact MR every time to sort out point shorting.
I think I've used the rate some 11 or 12 times this summer, at 4 different UK Marriotts. Not one stay has resulted in correct points being awarded, in fact the room cost is always omitted, points just for food or parking.
MR have previously told me they have a problem with this particular rate, why this can be so is beyond me.
Quite frankly, I find the 'member only' rates to be one of the worst 'gimmicks' I have experienced with Marriott. I have NEVER found a members only rate that has been better than another rate I can find (senior, AAA) and the 'Pay in Advance and unable to cancel one day after booking' is an insult. They must be marketing this to 'newbies' who have traveled none to very little. If a better rate becomes available after I book...I want it.
For Marriott to say that I can't change and re-book because I signed up for their 'member only' rate that was only as good as the day I booked....well, that's disingenuous to a customer who has given a 'lifetime' of business to their brand. Marriott should change that 'too bad we gotcha at the higher rate' to....we value you as a Lifetime Platinum (or ANY other member distinction) and if a better rate becomes available you can change your booking for it! THAT'S a 'member rate' that works and shows that Marriott truly 'values' your loyalty!!
I have to add to my post above because, as the saying goes....you can't make this stuff up......
I looked up a Spring Hill Suites property and noticed the following under the rates:
STANDARD RATE: $124
MARRIOTT MEMBER RATE: $124
MARRIOTT EXCLUSIVE RATE: $137 includes free breakfast for 2 adults and 2 children!
Now, we all know that SHS has free breakfast for anyone staying there. So, WHAT is the point of this rate? I truly believe that this rate would get an inexperienced traveler (who doesn't know breakfast is included) to become a Rewards member and grab this 'deal' thinking that this is a GREAT price. You can't make this stuff up.......
Oh, did I mention that my Senior rate is $107?
I would like to add, that the MFF..Marriott Friends and Family rate is even worse...sometimes 20% higher than the standard rate. And, they make you jump through hoops, needing a special certificate, signed by the person that is allowing you to use the MFF code. So far, our senior discount is the best.
I have to wonder if Marriott trolls these message boards. They should be embarrassed by this marketing gimmick.
Message was edited by: riki53