Have heard from 2 different CS agents that the Marriott Gift Cheques are ending as of 12-31-2011, and will be replaced with a Marriott Gift Card. I don't particularly care for that idea, but could live with it. However, they also said that the points cost of 135,000 for Plat and Gold will also be ending, and will now be 190K for all members, regardless of status.
Three major issues with this: (if true)
1) another Platinum benefit lost
2) another instance where Marriott is making a change in the program without announcement
3) this represents a 40% increase in this "cost"!
I always order a set of these at the end of each year, and have previously been incorrectly advised that the program was "ending" on 12-31. I hope this is the case again, but sadly, based on MR's recent treatment of the program, have concerns.
Has anyone else heard this, or seen it confirmed anywhere?
I have heard the same thing, and that the dinner for 2 award is also being eliminated. It appears that Marriott is eliminating all of the awards for platinum members, and no longer cares about membership loyalty. I hope this isn't a sign of the 'new Marriott' now that Bill Marriott is retiring.
It is very disappointing that Marriott did not provide any warning of the elimination of these benefits. In the past, members were always informed regarding program changes and at least had a chance to take advantage before the changes were implemented. If not for Flyertalk, I would never have known until it was too late.
Thanks for the information..I just bought a $1000 certificate to benefit from this special offer that appears to be eliminated 12/31/11.
For those unfamiliar with this:
1) you get (20) $50 checks, NOT a $1000 check
2) you will not get change back. (so if your bill is $87, you would give them 1 check and pay $37. If you gave them 2 checks, you would not get the $13 in change)
3) they are good for one year from issuance. They will not be extended, nor will they be replaced if lost or stolen.
4) there have been reports of difficulty in use on AAA or other discount rates, but I have never experienced this, and I am always on one of those rates. YMMV.
5) unlike award stays, you WILL earn points and stay credit, as they are treated like a cash payment. However, check your points total when you get home- many hotels apply them incorrectly. If so, MR Customer Care can easily correct. Not a long term problem.
6) you can use them to dine at a Marriott owned/operated restaurant, even if you are not staying there. Be sure the restaurant IS owned and operated before you order!
7) be prepared. It takes the front desk a few minutes to apply each one. Do not cut yourself short of time at checkout...and try not to hit the desk at the busiest time! I tend to have them applied the night before check-out- easier, less busy, and if there is a problem or issue I have time to correct.
I am not happy about the possible change to (1) gift card, as I order these and always give some away. I will be unable to do that with one card.
And I am certainly not happy about the possible point increase, 40%!!! Seriously?
After the elimination of so many other bennies, this may be the one that finally moves Marriott out of my first choice for lodging...and I am a 20+ year member, now LT Plat.
Here is the link if you would like to purchase Marriott Gift Checks before the rumored elimination of this benefit effective 12/31/2011. (for 135,000 points)
Greetings, This doesn't sound familiar but I will get you some information. The Dinner-for-Two and Spa Experience rewards are not being eliminated, they're being replaced with the Dining GiftCard and the Spa GiftCard beginning in 2012. These new cards will be available in denominations of $100 and $200, and have no expiration date, so they will maintain their balance until depleted.
I would consider these to be major downgrades to the program. The 'dinner for 2' award was usually worth an avg of over $150 per meal for 20,000 points. The gift cards will cost 20,000 for $100 credit. I guess I will no longer be eating at the overpriced Marriott resort/ hotel restaurants.
Are there no longer going to be any 'special' rewards for platinum members? All of the valuable ones have been eliminated and I have yet to see any good additions.
Since none of the recent changes were communicated to members, I would not be surprised if Marriott significantly increases the hotel point award requirements on Jan 1 without warning. Thank you Marriott!
It would be great it you could definitively CONFIRM either/or about the gift checks....this is the answer that was received by a friend:
"Thank you for contacting Marriott Rewards regarding our Elite only Marriott Gift Cheques.
It appears you are currently a Platinum Elite member. Thank you for your valued loyalty and continued patronage.
Marriott Rewards will no longer offer our Elite only Marriott Gift Cheques for point redemption or the Marriott Dinner for Two. They will be discontinued as of January 1, 2012.
Any Elite only Marriott Gift Cheques or Marriott Dinner for Two certificates ordered prior to this date will be valid for one year from the date of issue. Both of these certificates are transferrable as there is no name attached to them.
The Marriott Dinner for Two certificates will be valid at participating JW Marriott, MHRS, RHRS and International Courtyards until the final expiration date. Please see terms and conditions of certificate for non-participating restaurants and dates.
We appreciate your understanding in this matter and thank you for choosing Marriott.'
Please note that it mentions nothing about a replacement program...so if there is one, it is important to get that spelled out IMO! ALSO, your answer does not indicate what the points cost will be- that would be helpful to know, too.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this, as all will need to be ordered in less than 48 hours if current promotions are to be used.
CONFIRMED! Cheques will end 12-31, no info on replacement. Unfortunately, I beleive no info means no replacement.
I strongly believe that Marriott can run the Rewards program anyway it sees fit. (as I can choose hotel lodging as I see fit.). The program is not guaranteed, nor are the benefits in it.
However, I think it disgraceful to change/alter current benefits without any indication or communication. Poor business practice!
I also find it odd that they (evidently) do not tell the community manager of changes...or they do, but require that he does not communicate to the community in an accurate or timely manner. The fact that I am able to track down the answer before the community manager responds to me as promised is nuts.
Marriott, open and transparent communication is critical. Your arrogance in not communicating benefit changes is deplorable, and reduces you to "just another hotel chain". Your guests deserve better!
Hey imagrits - I've confirmed the Elite-only $100 Marriott Gift Cheque and $1000 in Marriott Cheques have been extended for 2012. The Choice Golf - Peak Season, Choice Golf - Value Season, Select Golf - Peak Season, and Select Golf - Value Season awards have also been extended, while the Elite only Spa Experience award will retire on the 12/31/11.
Happy New Year everyone!
Andrew, thanks for the information. Unfortunately, I have already ordered certs, although I do not need them.
And I stand by my previous comments - in the space of one week, I have been told twice they were going away, twice that no one knew, once that they absolutely were, and now twice that they absolutely are not.
I realize you (and Marie over on flyertalk) can only share what you are told, but when your job is communicating to us, one would think the powers that be would insure you have correct and timely info to communicate!
We hear you and we're sorry for the confusion especially around the holidays. That was obviously not our intention. Although on the positive side, you've helped uncover details that were otherwise unclear, which makes this is a good learning opportunity us. Thanks and all the best!
I agree fully! I just did another post about these cheques and the difficulty in associates knowing first..what they are and second...how to input them. I got them last December and still have $200 of them left. I hope I can clean them out on my west coast trip upcoming.....
They ARE a great deal. Marriott just needs to get associates trained in what they are and how to apply them to the bill when we are there on the property. It shouldn't be up to the customer to have to figure out, demand or plead with an associate how to apply these cheques!
Just about to head out on a trip to Hawaii to a Marriott hotel. I am a lifetime Platinum Elite member and just found out the E195 program ($1000 in Marriott dollars for 135,000 has been discontinued). I want to voice my comments to Marriott that this is a bad decision and make a recommendation to other members here:
I'd ask Marriott to reconsider because:
- As a loyal Marriott Platinume Lifetime member, I expect to be able to stay at Marriott properties with my family where I want to, when I want to, using points.
- I can not use Marriott points at many properties during vacation time (when kids are off of school). Marriott blocks out point useage, even to Platinum Elites.
- I would use the 135,000 $1000 in points certificates now to get the free room when the points were blacked out. It is now 202,000 points for a gift certificate, ridiculous.
Marriott, please treat your best customers better than this.
As a suggestion to all the Marriott folks out there:
- Cancel your Marriott credit card in favor of an AMEX card. Amex let's you stay at any hotel property using their Membership Rewards program. There are two ways to use points: 1) use the points as cash and check into any hotel. or get this 2) use your AMEX points to get a Marriott Gift Card. $500 gift card is 60,000 points and the card does NOT expire!. So $1000 in Marriott dollars for 120,000 AMEX points. Guess what? I will be cancelling my Marriott Visa cards and putting all my spend with AMEX.
- as another option, switch to Hilton. They have a credit card deal where after a certain spend you automatically get Diamond Status.
So AMEX offers a better Marriott gift card program than Marriott does. Really? Can you believe it...I can't. I can't post the link but I copied the fine print below.
Marriott $50 TravelCard
Marriott $100 TravelCard
Marriott $250 TravelCard
Marriott $500 TravelCard
Marriott $50 eTravelCard
Marriott $100 eTravelCard
Marriott $250 eTravelCard
Marriott $500 eTravelCard
The Marriott eTravelCard can be used for room accommodations, golf, dining, spa and more and is accepted at over 3700 locations worldwide, including JW Marriott® Hotels, Autograph Collection®, Renaissance® Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott, Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, SpringHill Suites®, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®, Gaylord® Hotels, Marriott Vacations Worldwide®.
NEW! Gaylord(R) Hotels have joined the Marriott portfolio of brands to offer you breathtaking family vacation resorts and convention center options. Experience live music, dining, dancing, sporting activities, shopping, golf, movies and more - all in one place. Gaylord Hotels are located in Orlando, Nashville, Dallas, Washington, DC.
Certificates are generally valid for 6 months from the date of issuance. Certificates may be valid for longer than 6 months in accordance with applicable state law.