I just recieved $100.00 Bonus Bucks, (or are they Bogus Bucks!)Am I not understanding the object of the gift from Marriott or is this just a ruse to get you to NOT use your reward points. So,in order to use the Bonus Bucks you have to stay two nights and pay cash. You cannot use your reward points of which I have over 500,000 of them. Am I missing the point here? Why would anyone try to save $100.00 with the Bonus Bucks and spend much more than that paying for a two night stay with cash instead of using points for the entire stay? Any ideas here?
I am also a Hilton Honors member for the last 19 years. This is the way rewards should be administered. I am a diamond member now with fantastic benefits that are never undermined, insulted, restricted or otherwise frustrating. I have their american express card that if I charge over $40,000. per year which I do through my business then I automatically become a diamond member. I have yet to be denied my free upgrade, breakfast, and fast service. And the American express support far surpasses that of the Visa Card Support. And their properites are usually excellent in value and decor. But not every business I trade with uses the American Express Card, So since I have been a member of the Marriott Rewards program for over 25 years I just have a habit of buiding points. The only good properties they have are the Ritz Carltons and the J.W. MARRIOTTS. But at the silver elite status( even though I spend over 30,000 with their card) I get no benefits such as upgrades, breakfast, concierge, etc. like I do with Hilton. I think I am talking myself into dropping Marriott and going with another chain.
While I think the "bonus bucks" are a nice way the thank the client for spending tons of money on the Chase Visa card. (whereby both Chase and Marriott get their "fee income") Chase sends it with a 6 month expiration date and they usually send it after I have already planned my next years vacations-either at my home resort (MVCI) or via MR points vacation packages. With our jobs, we have to really plan ahead.
We have "wasted" 4 $100 bonus bucks over the last few years.
My though is whether we pay with cold hard cash for a room or MR points...somewhere money was spent to earn those points.
I decided to call the customer service number on the back of my Marriott Chase Visa card and talked to a representative of the rewards program. Talk about a car salesman... this agent topped them all. I asked him about this Bonus Dollar thing and he said it made perfectly good sense to not use your reward points but use the bonus points and then charge the hotel charges to your business!! What?!! I am the business, I told him, and under no uncertain terms is it good business to use the "Bucks" instead of using points. His slick reply was "we cater to businesses and not so much to private individuals" I hope the conversation was recorded. Who are these PR people? Maybe the Marriott consumer needs to find other reward programs that cater to all its long term loyal clientele.
I think we have a few interesting threads going here that show our loyalty is being taken for granted. I've gotten quite a few solicitations from Hilton lately, so if these kinds of strange business practices (essentially insulting some of the most loyal customers) continue, I may go there.
I had a different yet similar situation using bonus bucks. I was in Canada several months ago and apparently the certificate had a 'new look' compared to what they had seen before. At first they were going to charge it at THE HOTEL EXCHANGE RATE! Since the loonie (I say that fondly, as one who has many Canadian friends and lives almost next door to Canada) is now worth more than the dollar, we were talking a difference of about $20 instead of $5 per $100 bonus bucks used.
Fortunately after several associates spoke to several people on the phone (about 25 minutes in all) they got it down to the exact exchange rate, not what they offered you if you just wanted to change money.
A wild world out there...
I've been told before that I am a figment of people's imagination, so I will take that as a compliment :).
Yes, it seems quite a few negative things have been happening recently. Hopefully the high comment level on several issues will get attention.
Yeah, I don't think anyone is imagining anything. The negative experiences seem to have been incresing lately (or at least the discussions of them have). Not good timing either as many frequent travelers are probably hitting their nights stayed milestones around this time. Not exactly the time you want to give people reasons to question their loyalty...not that you ever want to.
Not every traveler has as many points as the majority of posters on this site - yet everyone can earn a bonus buck. So if you are an average traveler, do not have points, but can save $100 on your next weekend away, you would be loving Marriott.
And perhaps I am an anomaly, but there are certainly times a rate - especially with a bonus buck - seems a better "spend" than using points.
On a recent weekend stay, the FS Marriott cost 20K per nite - so a weekend would have cost 40K in points. I was able to book S4B rate of $119 per night. Minus the $100BB, my cost was about $140....far less than 40K points are worth to me! Plus I earned points, the Plat arrival points, the 50% Plat bonus, 2 nights towards status, and additional points as I used my Marriott card to pay. PLUS I got breakfast...won't happen on a weekend stay with points at a FS!
Even if you are already Plat this year, remember that night stays count towards Lifetime Status...
No one part of a program fits everyone. If a Bonus Buck doesn't work for you, share it with a friend or family member for whom it might, and use your points.
I just received two $100 certs from the JW in Las Vgeas. So I called the Waliela Marriott where I am staying in August. I am paying cash plus points. Nope, they do not accept them, so I call the JW back since I am staying there in two weeks. Front desk was not sure if they acepet them even though they gave them to me.... Are these worthless?
I read the terms mainly high end hotels, JW, Marriott, Autograph, etc.. It is a spring promo for a two night stay. The issue seems to be NO training at the hotels, they have NO clue what these are. In Hawaii the desk was clueless, they transfered me to reservations, the placed me on hold for 3+ minutes, said they are not a cat 4 or lower.. So clearly she never listened to me, first sign of brainless. Then I repeated my self, on hold again, then the easy answer, no we do not accept them.
On the JW, the desk was again clueless on these even though the front desk GAVE THEM TO ME 5 DAYS AGO! In the end she said, "well if we gave them to you I would think we would accept them"..................................... OK.?#%?
Basically they can be used one $110 cert every two days on a paid stay, minimum two day stay, not good for food, etc. In may I will be at the San Diego Marquis, so may they will accept these funny money certs them, maybe.
boatpi, you might consider phoning the platinum customer service/reservations desk and tell them what you have and want to do. If it's possible to use the certs, they can make a note on your reservation in Hawaii or whereever which hopefully will make for a smooth check in/check out when you do use them. Good luck.
Like shoeman and nuhusker were suggesting, since you already have them, don't throw the baby out with the bath water (yes stelzer's right, they're often not worth trying to earn - but you already have them). The terms are pretty specific - quick expiration date, no I.D. rates (like AAA, point rewards etc), specific props are excluded, and often staff fumble and bumble with them, but since you're a Plat and travel so much, there might just be an upcoming trip where you have consecutive nights where the $100 reduction is worth it. I've done as nuhusker suggested and after reading the terms of the cert, identified and booked an eligible property thru the plat line (where although the eligible nightly rate was higher than my I.D. rate, the $100 savings netted me about $60 bucks over the two nights) and had the plat line place on the reservation "using Bonus Bucks certificate" (as a heads up, it actually helps reduce the B.S. factor at the front desk). Yes, now and then I get a befuddled look at the front desk, but so far, I'm about 4-4 in capturing the savings (even overseas). If too much of a headache, give them away to someone at the office who thinks they can use them, the savings could pay for parking or a meal. Good luck
FWIW, I dont bother with any of the bonus buck promos. Why? - They offer, as noted, $100 off a rate Marriott determines (you need to call a special # and Marriott tells you what the rate is that you then have the privledge of paying). If you plan ahead (like Mom and Dad taught me to do), then you can almost always find a MUCH better rate on the website, whether it be advance purchase, AAA, promo, etc. If you are the last minute type of booker, then these certs can have value, as you will be paying thru the nose anyway, so getting $100 off the nosebleed rates may then be a good deal (possibly, maybe, in a glaxy far, far away). So sorry for being so down on the "bonus" bucks, but they may have a time and place for some, but in my world, I see no value and dont even bother to try for them. Oh, and for Feelinglucky, the original poster, I do really hear you, I have lots o'points, so my advice to you is unless you are getting some super fabulous rate using the bonus bucks, then I would humbly suggest they go into the recycling bin and dont worry about them. No company gives things away for free, not if they want to stay in business for long, and Marriott is in the revenue game, so the bonus bucks are only a ploy to increase thier Revenue, not to really give you somehting for nuthin'