Being a self-employed consultant and a PP member (7 years now), I can only plan vacations when I am between clients (usually a 2-3 week window, max). My current gig completed on June 17 and I have until July 11 before my next gig.
My 19th anniversary is on July 4 (Independence Day, can you believe it?) and I wanted a very nice stay in Las Vegas (we eloped there). I tried booking the Cosmopoliton using points for 6/26 - 7/05, but only the 3rd-5th allow reward points.
Once again, I cannot use points despite "No Blackout dates" or having over 967 PAID nights from 2005 through 2010 (90 PAID in 2011). Here's my points:
Balance: 2,026,754 points
Marriott - are you listening? Is a PLUTONIUM status the only way to provide real value to uber-Platinums?
That is so disappointing to here about the "No black out dates" program.
I do have one question though, 2MM+ points??? Are you saving it for another wife or another life?
But seriously, have you tried talking with someone at Marriott reservations explaining your situation and the fact that it's your anniversary, etc??
I have commented to Marriott about this and IF ANY thing to change for the better it would be this one indeed. NO blackout dates ANYWHERE, ANYTIME that should be the 100% truth at ALL marriott brands, INCLUDING the new AC brands, etc.
No excuse Marriott or else your elites will leave for good. In fact, I get SPG calling me to come "over" and they will match my PP status as well as my points.
Give Ping some much needed ONE on ONE time with this wife AND go one step further, comp his stay.
Seriously Marriott, you had better listen.
I feel your frustration! I've tried using my points several times and couldn't as well as tried booking a hotel using one of the promotions and haven't been able to . Whenever I call they come up with some lame excuse of why they won't honor their promotions or allow me to use my points that falls under the blanket statement "other restrictions may apply". Marriott has shown such a lack of business ethic and taken complete advantage of their customers buy offering these perks, we then stay and pay thousands of dollars over years and years, but when we expect to get our perks there is often some excuse why we can't or they up a Fairfield Inn to a catagory 5 hotel so they can take more points for a stay. Hopefully Marriott doesn't just take it for granted that they can keep pulling this stuff just because they are such a huge hotel chain. Hopefully they will decide to start showing their loyal customers some more respect.
Why use points to stay in Vegas especially in the summer? You can Priceline many of the top hotels there for $100 a night including the Wynn or go to Time share Users group and pick up a cheap timeshare rental. I usually save my points for good conversions; however, its becoming more and more difficult to use points these days.
Hi Pingreeman, I hope you enjoy your trip to Vegas! I'm sure you're already aware, but for anyone else, I wanted to highlight a few additional options for redeeming points.
First of all, gift cheques work just like cash and are not subject to availability like hotel rewards. So someone could book a paid rate then cover some or all of the cost with the gift cheques. This would be a good option for someone with a couple million points who can't find reward rate availability for a specific hotel on specific dates.
Another option would be to use points for SkyMall merchandise at https://www.skymall.com/mr/homepage.htm. This obviously won't help with redeeming a hotel stay, but there are no issues of availability and plenty of merchandise to choose from like golf clubs, TV's, jewelry, ergonomically designed dog food bowls, or any number of other pieces of merchandise through that link. SkyMall also has Marriott gift cards available, which have a dollar value and can be used for any charges on the hotel bill. So this can be another avenue for utilizing points to get a free or at least discounted hotel stay when there's no availability.
In the same boat 1.6mm points and when I wanted to use some in Chicago during Jazz Fest. Marriot would not accept the points. It is frustrating I wasted couple hours of work looking for a hotel. I felt foolish and unprofessional staying with a friend for a 3 hour meeting. I just didnt want to spend 450.00 after taxes and parking at a SpringHill Suites.
Same here, 1.6m
I saw the No Blackout Date thing for what it was and wrote a lot about it here in the early days. What I found most amazing back then was how Marriott heavily promoted it as a great new feature of the program. What wasn't mentioned was there was still capacity controls on the free nights.
So what this means is that the New York Marquis removed December 31st as a blackout date but capacity control remained enforce.
Other than this, I still love the program and Marriott itself.