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Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the lack of programs/bonuses by Marriott this year?
I am a Platinum Member and already surpassed the Platinum requirement for next year. However, I felt as though there were not as many promotional offers this year as in past:
Does that mean Marriott is trying to make the elite levels more elite by those that earn them or is it a trend that they are cutting back on the program as a whole?
Marriott Rewards is alive and well, IMHO. As a positive measure of the expansion of Marriott Rewards benefits for Elite during 2010, let's not forget the introduction of complimentary Internet followed by the partnering/integration of stays at Ritz-Carlton for Elite Qualifying Nights as well as earning opportunities for Marriott Rewards. They say, imitation is a form of flaterry so that may be the case since Ritz-Carlton established a new loyalty program cloning Marriott Rewards tiers, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Let's also not forget the expansion of Marriott's portfolio where Marriott Rewards can be earned and redeemed at the Autograph Collection among others launched this year.
Connecting-the-dots is only as good as the dots that are visible. The creation of a new points-based program, Marriott Vacation Club Destination Club separate from Marriott Rewards might herald an 'opposite trend'. For thoughts on what the future impact of points-based vacation ownership might have on Marriott Rewards, see Marriott Rewards | A New Frontier?
I do recall that quarterly mailing that contained BOGO nights, a free entree, etc. They've disappeared, and that's too bad. Perhaps the megabonus is the only real incentive, though the Chase card promotion (one EQN per $3K spent ) seems to be working nicely for me at least.
We'll have to see what 2011 brings. Like you I have passed the required EQNs for Platinum renewal, but as a Lifetimer that is a theoretical bonus for me.
I agree with Columbus. I don't consider bringing the Ritz or the Autograph collection into the fold is an Elite Benefit. while I am happy to see both, I don't see either as "added value". also, the megabonus is attached to the Visa card, and the extra points with the Chase card is only good if you're not locked into a corporate card.
I think that Marriott no longer mails the BOGO certificates, but they still are usually available on the website. It is difficult to find them, since they are buried in the special offers. I plan to use one for dinner on our upcoming trip to Singer Island at Solu in the new Marriott Palm Beach resort.
Quoting a recent segment on CNBC with guest host Marriott president and chief operating officer Arne Sorenson, as corporate travel and group travel comes back, there is "less need" for specials, offers and promotions. Columbussig, your perception of an opposite trend (as a traveller) is on-point.
Above: Site Challenges Redux
"has anyone else noticed the lack of programs/bonuses by Marriott this year?"
A recent Marriott Rewards mailer, INTRODUCING Your Newest Destinations features:
To Columbssig's point, where are the promotions/bonuses? Where is Marriott Rewards Insiders mentioned? Usually outbound marketing communications that hit the mailbox or the inbox, it's very evident - Insiders activity spikes. Was the recent mailer a dud or lack of promotions to stimulate questions about unfamiliar brands?
Prehaps reaction to the April 1st launch and subsequent decline in posting activity uncovered a multimillion dollar liability? Did the powers-that-be listen to and focus on the wrong measures?
Bottom line, w/o marketing support, will a Requiem vs. a Stimulus Plan for Insiders be more likely? Anybody else get the mailer and notice the lack of promotions and the absence of any mention of Insiders?