I am going to revive this dead little pony of a post - and add my own singular voice - and agree with the original poster. I have to travel a great deal for my work. More than some - less than others - but I do get out there about a hundred+ nights a year ... This year I'll end up with 155 nights at Marriott - with a few scattered at hotels where Marriott was not available.
When I first started traveling, I was influenced by my co-workers to choose Marriott. They liked it - so fine, I can go with the crowd. They would make my arrangements for me - they get some benefit they called 'points' ... hey, great arrangement. Then - much later, I found out about the Marriott Rewards program for myself - it was nice to be welcomed at the counter as a valued member ... to wake up a few feet away from breakfast on the concierge level. I could get used to this ...
Then the points started accumulating. I had to think twice before I realized the point-balance wasn't something I owed - rather something I was getting just for being a member who traveled. Nice. Hey look - here comes a promotion, wow look at the points I can accumulate! Hey - if I stay 3 personal days here and and extra day or two there in conjuction with business travel I can get 40 or 50K points ... what is this - they call a megabonus ? I like it!
Thank you for being a valued member.
Wait - this winter promotion isn't for your kind of valued member ... it's only for the kind that carries a different brand of plastic in their pants. Wait .. Wait! I'm sure this is a misunderstanding ... remember ? I'm 'in' : D ... I'm a valued member : D ... you seek ME out and thank me with points upon checkin and ... and bring me orange juice when I wake up in the morning .... with a smile. What do you mean not this time ? This is the same 50K promotion for max stays right ? yep .... offered to ALL valued members during all the other megabonus promotions right ? The difference is what ? that you offset the cost by discriminating based on plastic ?
I love it. Well, I didn't love it when I got sideswiped by it this year. Like - no longer being allowed in the clubhouse. We don't want your kind here ... mastercard moron. So yes. It bothered me - a lot. It bothered me enough to complain to the Marriott help desk - which told me everybody loves the Visa Promotion. It's very succesful for us! ... Great for you. During the year - I do go out of my way to ensure I travel and stay at/near Marriott properties ... even adding a rental car to my travel so that I can stay at a Marriott property that is slightly further than I would enjoy walking ... hey, that's ME going the extra mile ... even paying the extra dollars to stay with the IN crowd at Marriott.
Now I am out. I took a break from staying with Marriott the past couple of months and stayed with Hilton and Starwood properties. I found out that it's ok to step off the merry-go-round. I don't need Marriott ... I simply wanted Marriott for a nice comfortable room and nice friendly points. I was a little Marriott 'clingy'. Now, at the end of 2011 I find myself sitting on a little nearly 800K points and looking to blow it all on Black Friday discounted merchandise from Marriott Mall to break the final ties. Next year I'll pick up with the thrilling whirlwind tour of travel associated with my work - but this time Brand Loyalty can take a back seat - as it should.
I'm just one 'valued member' - so my contribution won't be missed ... but in response to the original poster of this excellent question from one year ago - yes, I felt very negative toward Marriott when I learned this promo was for Visa peeps only - because they excluded me from the promotion based on a plastic card. I started out feeling Negative - But I'm not negative now - I'm thankful on this thanksgiving day 2011 Marriott is doing what is best for it's bottom line. Like all good hotel chains will need to do in order to remain competitive. It is a competition after all - for the consumer dollar. And even though Marriott loses me - there will be more visa toting people to back-fill behind me. I can hear Elton John singing 'Circle of life' ... can you ?
Some have said that this type of promotion is acceptable - because it is subsidized by Visa. I answer that with what I believe to be a simple truth. If Visa did not subsidize the promotion - Marriott would still have a Megabonus promotion. It might be less profitable for the chain - but these Megabonus promotions still drive loyal travelers to their doors.
I will still stay with Marriott - when the conditions are right - but won't go out of my way to ensure I get booked into a Marriott for future travel. IMHO - The visa megabonus promotion is a real turkey and should be stuffed.
Excellently put. I'm in the "use the corporate AMEX or get a nastygram from Accounting" club. Hell, I feel fortunate that I can "get away" with booking directly with Marriott instead of using the drone-approved booking engine.
The MegaBonus for points (or free nights) based simply on stays was great, but admittedly a little too easy to achieve for some of us. I generally hit the requisite number of nights in three weeks.
Que sera, sera…
It is my understanding that it does not have to be a Marriott Visa.....just Visa. I use visa corporate card and get my bonus.
My little pet peeve concerning the bonus is that I would like to choose what bonus works for me for that particular quarter. Instead of them choosing it for me give me a choice prior to the start date. Hilton does it this way and it seems to work out just fine.
I, no longer have a business credit card, so this is not an issue for me. Nevertheless, we all need to recognize the purpose of these bonuses.
Everyone would like to be rewarded for their business. Marriott, however, seems to use these promotions to generate more business. They reward certain kinds of business but not others. The rules can seem quite arbitrary.
I always feel positive when I get a significant benefit from a promotion but feel negative when the promotion does not benefit me.
Often, these promotions seem arbitrary to me and turn me off, but I assume there is a method to Marriott's madness.
Sometimes a promotion requires 21 nights to benefit and I have planned 15 nights for the period. On two occasions, I increased my travel to benefit from the bonus and both Marriott and I gained.
Another time I had plans for a trip and the Megabonus was for a certain number of stays, as opposed to nights. I changed my plans and moved from one hotel (a FSM) to another (a FI) so that the visit to that area counted as two stays instead of one. Thus I qualified for the bonus even though I spent less money with Marriott, than I would otherwise have.
My point is that we need to play the game and get the maximum benefit that we can get.