the economy has affected a lot of travel patterns ....both corporate and personal. If you are one of those who travelled less in 2011, and think you may have lost your status level as a result...you may be interested to know:
1) many times Marriott will look at a 3 year pattern in determining stays. If you have been Plat for several years, and just barely missed this year.....Marriott may reward you for continuing loyalty by "gifting" you Plat status for another year.
2) I have never seen Marriott drop travelers with history of loyalty more than one level. Been Plat for years, but your travel pattern changed so much in 2011 that you only earned Silver? Chances are you will only drop to Gold, again a "gift" from Marriott for your long term loyalty.
Are these published, permanent policies? NO. Will it happen all the time to everyone - NO. If you have only a one year history with Marriott, will it happen to you - probably NOT. There does not seem to be a hard rule on this, it seems to be taken more on a case by case basis.
A close friend was certain he missed GOLD by a few nights....and called Customer Service yesterday on another issue. They told him he had been renewed at Gold through 2013...so for some customers, it appears records have already been updated. (new levels generally aren't posted on line till Feb).
Think you lost status? Can't hurt to call and ask...
Thanks for noticing something good! ;-) We just hate that 'divorced' feeling that some programs dish out -- and losing 'brat' status (my friend Lewie's term) really cuts to the bone..."you mean, I have to sit back there with the amateurs???". Leaves a bad taste. We do everything we can to take care of our MR family - logically and fairly - always.
Over the holidays I get a letter from Marriott about maintaining my platinum status even though I only had 42 nights. I was just hoping to be gold for 2012 and had no hopes of platinum. It was a nice and welcome surprise as I have a week long trip for work coming up and was hoping for the free internet.
I didn't make enough nights to renew my gold status because my company temporarily cut back our travel in the last qtr. I fell short by just 9 nights. I just called and asked if there was anything that could be done to extend my status but was offered nothing. I was told my gold status will expire at the end of Jan.
I travel every week for business, and attend weeklong conferences several times a year. I have elite status at several other chains and found it is much easier to acheive with chiains such as Hilton and SPG. With Marriott you have to stay there virtually every week just to acheive gold status. I can usually choose where I stay, so will be taking my loyalty elsewhere.
Your situation is one of those gray area's IMO...9 nights certainly doesn't sound like a lot....until one realizes it is almost 20% of what is needed to maintain GOLD. Your point about Marriott being the most difficult chain in which to gain significant status is valid, so it may make more sense for you to focus on HH or SPG, where the thresholds are much lower.
SPG has a great program, but I dislike their properties. (except for very high end), so I have given up all status there, Hilton has some decent properties, but they have continually devalued their program to the point it no longer provides much reward for my family, but I keep it as my 3rd choice because there are a couple specific properties that work well for me.
And while I beleive that Marriott has devalued their program in the las few years, it still offers me the largest # number of locations, highest consistency of product...and lifetime status.
It all comes done to choices and best fit. If you really like Marriott, then I would call again, use points to regain status, OR ask for a challenge....
Gray areas for sure.
I wish that there were no loyalty programs with points accumulation since they tend to skew our decision making, and force us into choices we might not make in hotels or airlines.
As an infrequent flier I have given up all but one of my FF programs and they have given up on me--even though I has accumulated over a million miles with them combined. The lack of service and the cattle car mentality on airlines is bad enough without the frantic requirement to earn and keep points.
If there were no points but merely a validated and consistent system of recognition that I am a valued customer at the hotel that would just fine with me. A gift of upgrades and perhaps a free night or week in place of points would work for me. I hope that this can be an option someday, but doubt that it will.
As you stated the points system is changing in that the points themselves are constantly devalued, the program changed to our detriment, It will be that way in the future, I fear.
In 2011 I was Platinum but only accumulated 58 total nights this year. Yesterday received a letter from Marriott stating that they appreciated my loyalty and that although I didn't attain enough nights to maintain Platinum, they were extending and renewing my Platinum status for 2012. I don't have to pay anything to maintain. My new card was also with the letter. I was only expecting Gold with 8 rollover nights but will be just as happy with Platinum for the upcoming year.
Warning: Full Rant Below*
*at least until this post gets deleted by the moderators
This actually really disappointments me. A few years ago I would have thought it was a good idea, but today I feel like Marriott either can't or won't take care of their super-loyal customers so I can't understand making an effort to maintain loyalty from currently somewhat-loyal customers. I had previously theorized that Marriott was moving away from soliciting customers that would drive those extra miles to stay at their properties over other hotels and moving towards selling rooms to brand-agnostic business and leisure travelers. Based on that speculation why on earth would Marriott set expectations for a platinum with a down year? Why invest that money?
I'm PP and closing in on 3,000 nights. Over the last couple years Marriott's hotels and, to a lesser extent, Marriott and MR corporate have gone from what I consider to be overly accommodating to something that borders on antagonistic. I know that Marriott doesn't control many of the hotels but I've come to the conclusion that as a consumer going out of my way to give my money to a company I'm loyal to it doesn't matter who owns what so long as the name "Marriott" is on the door. At that point it becomes their responsibility.
I've been a Marriott rewards member (I think) for about 13 years. Staying 3,000 nights over that time means I've spent around 8 or those 13 years in Marriott hotels. Out of all of those nights I think I've complained to Marriott 5 total times (so I've complained about 0.16% of my stays - I've had issues during a much higher number of those nights but decided not to complain). Distressingly, 3 of those times were in 2011. The final straw for me wasn't the just the 2 complaints that were completely ignored or the one that was responded to by someone that wouldn't invest 5 seconds in researching my issue, but it was being told Marriott had no reason to incentivize me to stay more nights since I'd already spent almost every night year-to-date (at that point in 2011) in Marriott hotels. Talk about just pure arrogance. I did have a fourth communication in 2011 - essentially a summary of reasons why we were moving corporate contracts away from MI hotels - that also didn't warrant a response in Marriott's estimation.
In my opinion Marriott has the best brand portfolio, service consistency, footprint, hotel count, and solutions for business travelers. I will always be the most comfortable in familiar Marriott rooms and I will always recommend a Marriott hotel without even thinking. It really makes me sad to be looking at the possibility of getting used to new rooms, new brands, new rules, etc. We took the step in late 2011 of moving some of our crews to Hilton and SPG hotels and to date I've turned in expense reports for about 3k room nights. I haven't made the jump yet myself....yet....
Might be a 4th option besides just being angeled back in.
I was the victim of missing Platinum by 3 nights in 2010. I might have even had the nights but failed to watch the accounting. My niece had me call MR. They put me in something like an MB program, where if I stayed 25 nights in 2 months my status would be upgraded. I did and I was.
I can't say I have ever been aware of an upgrade in room, but the constant free wifi, concierge access, sometimes even free parking, are well worth the little trouble it takes to keep a watchful eye on the nights posting to my account.
Is it worth it? I saved over $3000 in fees and meals in 2011, as I'm not on anyone's expense but my own, that paid for a month of my kids being in school. Thanks MR, I'm happy to be P through 2013, and already logged 4 nights towards the next year.
I wish it where charm. I have found that when Offered arrival bonus points or gift to always ask if they will waive parking. Then if there is anything wrong, lounge closed, no breakfast, whatever, lean on them about parking. After room rate it is the number one offender to my pocket book in staying full service. The $10/$30 a night can really add up. And I know the free wifi is worth $1200 a year to most of us that forgo an aircard. I know now that come the end of the year and I'm 3 nights short, I'll book it at my local Fairfield for $50 a night, well worth it.
Fitzit, great post. There were several years I had to do a "mattress run" (pay for a room and not stay in it) just to maintain a certain status. Friends would laugh....until a couple times when they had to pay for wi-FI or breakfast or.... As you state, just a few of those will more than offset a cheap room!
Oh Pained, you should have heard my husband. A couple years ago in Dec, we were in ATL visiting friends...( IMO ATL is the mattress run Mecca, outdistanced only by DC! ) and so I hit ALL 3 of my programs (Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt!) in 1 night...but actually stayed with friends! Cost me less than $150 in total...and once he was enjoying some of those free bennies, has never said another word!
My wife and I love staying at Marriott hotels, especially the Residence Inn type with a full kitchen. I recently relocated and stayed in a Marriott hotel for the duration of my relocation period (60 days) and racked up Plat. status quickly - however this was in June of 2011, and I hope I will be offered Plat status for the rest of 2012. I have not traveled for work as much since the holidays, but have already completed 1 trip and have 2 more planned. The perks are nice, but I have found that most hotels I stay at offer free breakfast and free internet to everyone, so the big draw for me is the points, and maintaing Plat status for stays at higher end hotels like Cosmo in Vegas where the perks are much more substantial (room upgrades, buffet for 2, preferred check in). I also signed up for the Marriott credit card so I earn some status nights through that.
I will probably be staying at Marriott hotels regardless, just not at the frequent rate as before, so maintaining Plat status might be more difficult - how many points does it cost to upgrade to the next level? Is there a way to get to lifetime Plat status? That would be awesome.
my understanding is that you will go into next year and have platinum for a full year after your partial year. Now the next year, you will be evaluated to see if you made platinum the full year, to see if you get it the following. As far as buying it back if you don't make it, I saw that they had it on sale for 40,000 points (it said that it was normally 60,000 points) this year, to buy back your Platinum Level, if you didn't make it from last year. Who knows what it will be from year to year. Hope this helps!
step and tryt - thanks for the great info! Itd be awesome to be platnimum for a full year in 2012! I think I will be able to reach Plat. in a full year so that I will continue to be Plat in 2013...40,000 points to bump up to Plat is actually a pretty good deal.
So for lifetime Plat member, I would need to be a member for 12 years, accrue 2MM points, and stay and pay for 1000 nights. The 2MM points is total points right, any points I spent already count towards that total?
Razor, that is also Block Island. I put a "guess where this is" thing on here a few weeks ago. It went unsolved. Block Island is between Long Island and Nantucket/Martha's Vineyard. It reachable by ferry from Conn. and Rhode Island. Very peaceful, reminds me of a long ago Scotland.
Thanks again, since I already hit Plat, I should be able to "bump up" if I need to...hopefully my new Plat card arrives soon. Is there a way to see a cumulative number of points earned? On the account activity page I see cumulative nights stayed, but not points. Also, cumulative nights stayed isnt broken up into paid and promo nights is it?