Andrew just posted the good news --Rollover is back for another year according to his post today!
To paraphrase Southwest, "feel free to stay around the country," (or world) knowing that many of you will start the year with a EQN balance! Nice.
Call me controversial, but I do not believe rollover nights are a good policy. This program creates more elite members competing for the same number of upgrades. SteppingStones recently posted Ten Percent Solutions "the hotel typically contains 30% Platinum guests and of those, 10% who are at the Platinum Premier level. . . Thus, the chance that a Platinum or Platinum Premier member might be upgraded depends on many factors." The most significant factor is the number of Platinums or Platinum Premiers vying for the upgrades. With rollover nights creating Ps and PPs in greater numbers than before the rollover nights, when I consider that I have maintained this status over the years despite the promotion, I feel slighted in that my benefits have been reduced (less chance of an upgrade).
A better approach IMO is to guarantee that a member's status never declines more than one level year-over-year. This protects those members who have faced a tough economy and are not paying for as many nights as in "good years." In posts that give KUDOs to the rollover nights, "protecting status in a down economy" was one of the strongest arguments for the program.
For those of us NOT affected by the economy, rollover nights does us no favors - just increases competition. Even though Marriott continues to add more properties and more rooms and theoretically makes more upgrades available, if the number of top-tier members grows exponentially faster than the number of new rooms, there is an imbalance and the odds of getting an upgrade is greatly diminished.
One more disparity is that Platinum Premier members rollover nights in excess of 100 whereas Platinum >75. Is this one more reason for me to support the rollover night promotion? I say, "NOT."
FYI - I will have 186 PAID nights by the end of 2010. This is my third lowest number of paid nights in the last 7 years.
OK, you are controversial! (you asked) but a program that costs nothing to join is one that works for me as any loyalty program would: it provides a modicum of bennies on the road, a recongition of status most times, and little treats when they are least expected. I lead an uncomplicated life as you can tell.
I will always acknowledge the fact that there are many folks ahead of me in the top tier (a fact of life) and they may indeed get more perks (or not) than me.
But I do not feel slighted by changes like Rollover nights, which one of us (me) suggested way back when.
Happy Holidays anyway.
Pingreeman, I have to take issue with you on this point, because Marriott's threshold levels are significantly higher than those of its competitors, especially Hilton. Rollover is a huge benefit to Marriott's loyalty program and I think its members. Only once have I made Platinum purely on number of nights, but on amount of money spent (because the places I stay are in Europe with higher hotel costs, VAT taxes and currency exchanges), I feel I have earned it. I once calculated the difference between staying at a 'nice' Marriott in Paris for five nights and a Fairfield Inn in Portland, Maine. I could have stayed 25-30 nights at the Fairfield Inn for what it cost me in Paris.
So Rollovers (or buybacks) are great for someone like me, because I earn lots and lots of points (for the reasons above -- and use them), but getting 75 nights in Europe would destitute me for the rest of my life (not to mention my family getting rid of me).
So unless Marriott is prepared to use a multilevel system of Rewards (like Delta, where you use segments [perhaps dollar equivalents spent at Marriott] or actual mileage -- though Delta too has rollovers), I think this is the most fair way to make money and build loyalty for Marriott and be truly fair to its members. Otherwise, unfortunately, they could lose people like me to HiltonHonors.
I agree completely, and was not trying to be contrarian. But I do think there are levels of stay that we both agree should count toward rollover nights, whether it be through cost or numbers of stays. I think (just like with Delta) it is a great way to get people to stay at Marriott rather than at other hotel rewards programs.
Personally like the rollover night promotion. I think it is a great marketing tool. I usually get upgrades, although they are usually in the form of conceriege floor, better view, larger room. I know others are concerned with suites, but as I am usually traveling on business I'm not in the room enough to need a suite. Then again, I may not frequent the the locations with 30% Platinum guests in attendance.
I can understand Pingreeman's disatisfaction with the disparity for PP if there really isn't any significant benefit above what is already provided to Platinum members. To other comments about the disparity in $ spent between properties... just remember some of us who spend a lot of nights may not get as many points if the best Marriott options where we visit is a Residence Inn.
Well said all! If we all agreed with each other this would be a boring interchange, actually more of a chorus!
The Rewards program belongs to Marriott, as has often been said, and is always one that can be discontinued for any reason at any time. Why it exists at all is most likely a mix of competition and inertia--the company likely feel that loyalty programs make excellent sense from a business standpoint and to discontinue it is risky.
So that being said, we have a rewards program that rewards us in small and large ways, sometimes both. Do I wish rewards were more tangible? Of course, but realistically I know that there are a limited number of perks that can go around, often gone in an instant at high demand properites.
Could it be better done to recognize the very top tier of stayers and payers? Of course it could. Do we need another level to do this above Platinum Premier? I think so. Will this anger those at the PP level who are not selected? Yep! Can everyone be pleased no matter what happens? Nope.
SteppingStones - great summary. I agree that one size does not fit all. Having said that, I do believe there is one inequity that is hard to argue:
Platinum Premier members roll over nights in excess of 100 whereas Platinum rolls over at 75. So if a PP and P both have 150 nights on 12/31/2010, without staying another night in 2011, the P retains his/her P-status having rolled 75 nights whereas the PP drops to Gold having rolled only 50 nights.
Is this fair to the top-tiered members?
Well put and PP status is (at least in my understanding) granted on an invitation-only basis for the top 3% of all MR members based on annual nights stayed and/or dollars spent. If Marriott only rolls over every night above 100 for PP members, they have essentially quantified what it means to be a PP vs. Platinum member; however, quantifying PP status at 100 nights is completely faulty logic because I doubt 100 night members earn such status. Perhaps it would be best to really put a hard and fast nights number on PP level, provide a set of truly inspiring benefits that are codified in writing and do away with the "ethereal" invitations that may or may not materialize.
All that said, as a former PP (only Platinum this year, perhaps PP again in 2011), I did not recognize a significant difference. A small number of properties went 'above and beyond' to provide an arrival gift that far exceeded the norm, but that's about it.