Why won't Marriott allow us to use our category 1-4 free night certificates plus points or cash to stay in a higher category hotel? I have free nights that I'll never use because zi don't stay in category 1-4 hotels. I can't even give these free nights to family members. I quit! Marriott can have my nights.They can also have my Marriott Chase Visa. What Marriott can't have is anymore of my business!
Really? I can make a reservation in a family members name using free nights? You would think that a CS rep would know that wouldn't you?The CS rep really didn't give a s**t that Marriott was losing a Platinum Level member. As you can tell, I travel too much to put up with poorly informed employees of any hospitality vendor.
There are some very nice Cat 4 hotels. Depends on what you are looking for ..... World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine in Florida, Westchester Marriott in New York, and JW Marriott Houston.
Search from the Dream Rewards Tracker page to list hotels by category. There many options from the higher brand hotels that Cat 4... it just requires searching.
Points can always be booked in a family member's name. Certificates sometimes have restrictions limiting use to account holder. (i..e the Visa CC cert)
I haven't been inside the Ren. there, but we stayed at a resort on the same property last week and the Ren. is gorgeous from the outside. I'm sure it would be super inside. St. Augustine is the oldest city in the U.S. having been settled by the Spanish when Ponce de Leon was looking for the fountain of youth and cities of gold. There are 2 outlet malls down I 95 just 4 miles away. There's an IMAX theater on the property, probably some good golf deals at this time of year, a Caddy Shack on the property not far from Ren. Beautiful area just south of Jacksonville and only about 5 miles from the ocean. Cool at night, warm in the day, and rainy lately.
I think some certificates are non-transferable, but I don't know specific details. I just know that when a friend tried to give us two certificates that were about to expire at the end of the year, I called to make reservations at a New Orleans hotel and Customer Service told me that they have to be used by the member (a family member could not even use them).
I agree, there are some lovely cat 4 and 5 hotels out there. I'm thinking Long Beach also (Marriott and Rennaisance), LA (Beverly Hills, actually it's a courtyard, but very nice) also Newport Beach Marriott is a cat 5, as well as some nice ones in La Jolla (San Diego area), also Seattle! Oh ya, Sydney and Surfers Paradise. Yep. There are lots. I'll bet you can find some perfectly nice ones in Boston, NY, DC, even SF and Texas (San Antonio) too, cat 4-5. Don't let the numbers fool ya. I think I've had issues with booking a night with a free night certificate for a family member (my kids). Like I had to be there to check-in or something. Ya, disappointing, but no worries. I'll always find ways to use those certs, especially with so many perfectly nice hotels out there. But that's just me. Everyone has their own standards, I guess. I don't put anything on the Visa that I can't pay right away, and if I do find - on occasion - that I have to carry a balance short term, well, at least I'm getting something in return (points for the purchase), so I feel it's a fair deal. And I guess that's the bottom line: How you feel about the value of what the program gives you. I think it's a fair program, and I recommend it to my friends. Nothing in life is free, except the love of God (oops, in my opinion).
From my experience....
You can find decent CAT 4's around the country in many metro areas. The CAT 5+ tend to be the resorts or the higher echelon places.
I do agree there should be a way to say use a free night voucer +n 5,000/10,000 points to stay a free night at a CAT 5 hotel. More points to stay at a CAT 6 and so on.
I think if you dont use these vouchers you should be given say a point option of say 10,000 or 12,500, or 15,000 point options to use for unused vouchers. Maybe this is something that could be restricted for members in status rewards levels.
The free night space per hotel per night is very limited. In some hotels virtually non existant. One example is San Francisco (downtown hotels).
I live in the west coast and I am traveling to one of the Hawaian islands where part of my stay are using free night vouchers I have accumilated.
I just saw they are going to open a lower level Marriott hotel (I think fairfield) on Maui which means I should be able to use free nights there too. That would mean each of the islands has at least one Marriott hotel you would be able to use free night vouchers.
Thanks Allyson! I've earned Platinum level and nearly all of my points and free nights traveling for business. Marriott has been my choice of hotels and I have been loyal to the brand. I 've never cashed a free night until recently. Currently I have four free nights. Imagine my surprise when I tried to book Key West and was told my free nights were not eligible there. I was willing to add cash, points or cash four nights for two nights lodging. No deal. I don't need the hassle. I cashed all of my points and booked Key West. Marriot is no longer my hotel of choice. I'll now stay at the top rated hotel in whatever city I'm in. Although I always pay off my credit card each month, I'll also discontinue use of my Marriott rewards Visa at almost 16% interest. I'll use other cards I have with interest rates below 10%. These measures are the only ways I know to send a message to Marriott that I'm dissatisfied with their rewards program. I did call the Marriott Rewards phone line and recieved a "canned" response to my concerns. Rather than helping me, they allowed a Platinum Level to walk away from their brand.
I 100% with that. Last year I lost 3 free nights. Currently i have another 4 free nights. All the places that i travel to for pleasure never have a cat 1-4 hotel. I have tried numerous times talking to the Marriott rewards team to ask them if i could pay the difference to upgrade to a CAT 5 location. Same canned answer basically no they cant. This is very disappointing instead of them getting me to stay there i usually book another nice hotel in that city. Whats even worse is made a reserveration for this year and now the hotel has been upgraded to a CAT5 when last year it was a CAT 4 so i cant use the certs there also. PLEASE MARRIOTT ALLOW SOME OPTIONS FOR LOYAL MEMBERS !!!
@chicagotravel The Marriott Milwaukee West (I believe it is actually Waukesha) was a pretty good cat 4 hotel. We have stayed there twice now. The only downside is that a train is close by and you hear the thing in the middle of the night if you are on the wrong side of the hotel. Staff was very friendly.
Just poor customer service to not allow LOYAL customers the option to combine points and CAT 1-4 certificate. Not a question of how many fine Cat1-4 properties exist. Just a matter of personal choice. I have stayed in over 20 different Marriott properties in my travels and arranged group travel for hundreds. I am really disappointed that I can not combine points/certificate.
AND in my case next weekend I have to choose paying for a Category 6 where I can walk to my meeting versus driving 30-40 miles to stay in the CAT 1-4.
Can't blame the phone rep. Phone rep probably has been asked hundreds of time and has been told hundreds of times to follow Company policy.
Did you see where Marriott was offering triple points if an event is booked by Mar. 31, 2012 up to 170,000 or 17,000 point? I think it was 170,000 points, though. That might be useful for someone in your circumstances. The booking can be made for an event through most of the year, but it starts on the 2nd booking of an event.
Some of the nights do have limitations, but that's why they're offered for free. I don't understand that anyone would expect to use a free hot dog coupon towards the purchase of a steak dinner, for instance.
I know this will make me very unpopular with some, but I really don't understand.
Alright. With BlueGreen Timeshares, we get 3 weeks free, but they have to be in the white or blue seasons. Some of the resorts don't even have white or blue seasons, but only red or high red, so we can't go to those. White and blue are the least desirable seasons to visit in, but they're free. I'm not going to complain about getting a free week in Myrtle beach in January and February. I'll go where the restrictions allow me to go with my free weeks. We missed out on 2 weeks last year. We still have a week to use in the next month or we lose it.
To me, that's more like your complaint since you see no similarity with coupons.
I always try and stay at my favorite Marriott when I take my family to Disneyland about 7 times a year and I stay at others even more. Only because when I stay at my favorite and earn free nights I have to move to a different category to use them. I do not understand this at all. So when I earn free nights I cant stay at the hotel where I earned the free nights. I have to move to the nearest category 1-4 which there aren't any close by Disneyland. They are all category 5 and above. So I have to go further away and stay at a category 3 to use my free nights. Doesn't seem fair. So I have to pay again to use our favorite hotel and not use my free nights. I have even wasted 2 nights at the end of the year because they expired.
I thought most hotels category class change by the season or due to special events. I recall seeing this a few times. The other option other than changing category is to eliminate free night award availability on certain nights.
Did you play around to see what category the hotel was at different times and on different nights?
Ray, I have several timeshares, none of them Marriott. You can buy a timeshare on Ebay for $1.00, never buy from a developer. Pick one with low maintenance fees. Then join Interval International. You can almost always trade into a Marriott Vacation Club villa in the Orlando area for a trade fee of $149. For this year we have booked two weeks at the Marriott Vacation Club in Branson. We plan to trade into the Marriott Disney Paris, France in the fall. Also with Interval International, you can buy "getaways". Last year we were able to buy a getaway to Sheraton Vistana Resort in Orlando and it was a lovely property. The two bedroom there cost us $157 for the WEEK. We also traded last year into the Marriott Newport, CA, and the Four Seasons in Carlsbad, CA. We just spent 7 weeks in Vail, Co using timeshares. Timeshares will work for you if you buy on the aftermarket for a greatly reduced price. If you dont trust ebay, try myresortnetwork.com or redweek.com. I hope that this method will help you get a nice resort in Orlando. I try to use my megabonus nights for a weekend visit nearby. I am platinum and still stay at the Marriott enough nights to maintain status. Oh, and by the way, if you are platinum,l the nights you stay in Marriott Vacation Club, even if you trade in via Interval, will count toward your status.
I am willing to pay extra or use miles so I can use my free nights (megabonus, visa etc) at higher end hotels. Since I would be getting a "free" night the chances of spending more money at property would increase dramtically. It would help build client loyalty for Marriott's best customers. Is there a reason its not done?
I never used to stay at 1 - 4 either. Since I had a free night certificate, I stayed at a fairfield inn and was pleasantly surprised.
You may be surprised at some properties that are considered a 4. When you are booking, narrow your search using the category level and look at 4's where you want to go. You may find that you have some unexpected choices!
Just sharing a few tips that worked for me when I was originally disappointed with the level stopping at 4 (instead of 5)
Hope that helps
I have no problem staying in a Cat 4 or lower, but there are a number of places that just don't have them, and they are not special resort type places either.
The two most likely places for me to be able to use my certs are downtown Seattle and Vancouver BC, neither of which has anything less than a category 5.
So, the fact that there are a lot of nice cat 4 places around the world is not necessariy relavent if I don't happen to be going to those places!
i totally agree with you!!! they should learn from Holiday Inn. have Visa card for both, both give certificate. Holiday Inn is unlimited(!!), any hotel you want, treat yourself to the best hotel in Manhattan and with these guys, you are kicked out of the Island to Brooklyn or NJ. Really BAD move. we should all vote with our feet and show them this is not the way to treat hard earned certificates!