The Marriott Rewards Member Newsletter & Account Summary arrived announcing Instant Redemption another first-of-its-kind benefit for Marriott Rewards Elite. Starting this spring 2010, Elite members can check-in to a hotel and,
"use your points on the spot for all or part of your room nights, food and beverage, plus spa, gold and more - anything you can charge to your guest room."
We will now be able to use our Marriott charge card anniversary free night stay (cat. 5) at locations like The Kauai Beach Club etc. It also makes it more attractive to trade our timeshares in for Marriott rewards points. This was really needed and I'm glad to see Marriott step up.
"It also makes it more attractive to trade our timeshares in for Marriott rewards points. This was really needed and I'm glad to see Marriott step up."
There is an added benefit for MVCI owners who elect to trade for points and choose to use them at a property where an MVC brand shares the site with a Marriott or Ritz hotel. But, that's a topic for a whole other thread! Thanks for bringing it up.
I am still confused by this new feature and I am hoping someone can shed some light. It sounds to me that this instant redemption is only for points toward reward checks that have cash value, not for room nights. Is this correct?
For example, If I book a cat 3 room that costs $100/night, when I use the instant redemption, I can only redeem points for a $100 check (which is 25k points) and not 1 night for a cat 3 (which is 15k points). Am I understanding this correctly?
"not for room nights. Is this correct?"
Wow - it would really be a disconnect if room nights are not included. Quoting the Newsletter, "Now we've made redeeming points faster and more flexible than ever. Use your points on the spot for all or part of your room nights..."
We'll just have to wait it out, "Details about Instant Redemption will be available online this spring."
Here's the T&C's from the link sent today in an email. Red highlight is mine. It sure seems like the redemption must be for a reward cheque.........
Terms & Conditions
During their stay, Members may use Marriott Rewards Points to redeem an Instant Redemption Award, which they may apply as a credit against their folio upon check-out. Instant Redemption Awards must be ordered at the hotel during the hotel stay to which they will be applied; when a Member requests an Instant Redemption Reward for a specific dollar amount or "up to" a specific dollar amount, Marriott Rewards will deduct those points from the Member's Account. See a listing of the Awards required to redeem specific dollar values
1. A request for an Instant Redemption Award may only be made by an individual customer who is a Member in good standing of the Marriott Rewards Program. As proof of eligibility, a membership number is required when redeeming an Instant Redemption Award.
2. Instant Redemption Awards must be ordered at the hotel during the hotel stay to which they will be applied; they cannot be booked in advance of the stay. Instant Redemption Awards must be applied to the Member's folio upon check-out. Any portion of the Instant Redemption Award not applied to the folio will be forfeited; if the amount requested for the Instant Redemption Award is more than the folio balance, cash will not be returned to the member.
3. Instant Redemption Awards are valid only when used toward the expenses charged to the Member's guest room, including but not limited to room charges, food and beverage, golf, spa services and incidental expenses. Awards cannot be redeemed for cash or gift cards. Awards are valid only for individual travel, and are not applicable to group travel, package tours, or conventions that have been charged to and/or paid by a third party. Award credits may be used by the Member only and may not be gifted, although if requested at the time of redemption, Awards may be credited against a third party’s room folio if the room was booked under the Member’s Marriott Rewards number.
4. The Member requesting the Award must have the total point value required to purchase the Award requested available in his or her Account at time of ordering. Once accrued points in the Member’s Account have been redeemed for an Award, the points cannot be returned to the Member’s Account.
5. Redeemed Awards are not refundable, exchangeable, replaceable or transferable for cash or credit.
6. Instant Redemption Awards are offered at participating hotels in the United States (except Hawaii) and Canada only, including Marriott® Hotels Resorts and Suites, Renaissance® Hotels, JW Marriott® Hotels, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Courtyard and Fairfield Inn and Suites. Instant Redemption Awards are not available at Marriott® Vacation Club International and The Ritz-Carlton.
DOH'......Thanks TJ, didnt even see that link there.
SO it looks to me that the instant redemption rates are really terrible when you compare them with the pre-planned redemption rates for nights. I know several insiders have millions of points, so it might not be an issue for them. Personally I like to make optimal use of my points so I probably wont be using this Instant feature any time soon.
Like Instant Redemption as it allows for greater flexibility in your personal travels. I would use it carefully, but I know of a particular sales rep that has over 18 million points, so doing something like this won't cause a dent at all.
Use your points on the spot for all or part of your room, food, drinks, spa, golf and more. This is needed and a welcome change.
For me, I wouldn't use this all the time, but I have a trip scheduled in the early summer and this might come in handy.
"Just when you think MR is offering a great new concept - you end up reading the fine print only to find out the program is a faster way of emptying members' point balances."
To that point, Instant Redemption impacts the guest experience. All guests deserve and Elite expect a positive Check-in and Check-out experience. To reduce the learning curve, Marriott must be proactive. Rollout requires training. It's an ideal opportunity to fill-in gaps.
March 22nd is around the corner, we shall see... Receipts, e-folios and Account Balances will require increased scrutiny.
Did you attach your Marriott Rewards number to your reservation when you made it or provide the front desk with it when you checked in? If so, you should have received credit for the stay.
You'll need to fax a copy of your receipt to Marriott requesting the missing stay be credited. See the website for details.
According to columnist, Michelle Higgins at the New York Times, "depending on the going rate, your points might be better spent on a room instead." See, "Use Marriott Points for Anything"
Update 3/30: Any thoughts about the commentary on LoyaltyTraveler?
In my opinion, this one is treading on the line of deception and robbery. Marriott, make a fair deal and keep it on the up and up. Everytime you develop a program that you market as "a great deal", but turns out to be a point grab, I feel like you don't want to honor your program. Don't forget, we also put up with criticism for paying over $100 or $150 per night on rooms when Hampton's are typically 10% or more less expensive. Now you cut the points value from approximately 10% of spend to 5% of spend. You are losing ground with me. I would rather you just say, if you want to use points for cash on the spot, we will give you the opportunity but it will be expensive. I always look at ponts in terms of how much spend it takes and how many nights on the road will I have to spend to make up the points. At 5%, I don't think it is worth 20 nights on the road at a Fairfield to make up the point value of 1 instant reward night.