Old Sep 12, 18, 10:55 am
  #388  
MSPeconomist
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Originally Posted by phltraveler View Post
If anyone has proof to the contrary (I've never had a meeting at Marriott thus I've never had contract text) please let me know, but my understanding is that the contracts for meetings did not explicitly promise the ten nights, but instead to award for the meeting under rewarding events terms.

In turn, the pre-08/18 MR T&C did not explicitly reference rewarding events benefits. It was just on the FAQ on the Rewarding Events page of Marriott.com (old FAQ page still on Marriott.com here, archived copy if they remove it here). When you add that to the 7-10 business day for processing the meeting as a Rewarding Event, language terms that points/miles (without explicit reference of nights) are awarded under the T&C at time of award, and that the other poster (mingzie) had the meetings less than 10 business days before the 08/18 program changes - it doesn't necessarily bode well for getting awarded the nights. Especially when pre and post 08/18 MR T&Cs give Marriott wide latitude to close accounts for what they consider abusive/fraudulent behavior (which MR might consider no-show meetings for nights to be). For the record, I'm in favor of the other poster getting the 10 EQN per meeting for the pre-08/18 events - I'm just not sure I would advise the poster to make a big stink about it to Marriott when it could have unintended consequences. (Archived copy of the old MR T&C here).



I think they do care about giving away status, hence the new program making it harder to earn status in several ways:
  1. The addition of the "years at X level or higher" requirement for the lifetime years, making very high activity years (100+ nights) not offset lower activity years (less than 10/25/50 nights)
  2. Elimination of the 1 EQN per $3,000 spent on the new Chase MR Visa, and the devaluation of the cert on the old MR visa to encourage people to upgrade
  3. Capping the credit card nights earned to 15 EQNs per year from either the Chase or Amex visas (no double dipping if you have both)
  4. The apparent credit of 10 EQNs per meeting being reduced to 10 EQNs for the first meeting (unknown if first ever or first per program year; disputed language by some who think it is still 10 EQNs per contract and this behavior is an IT bug)
  5. Elimination of stay based qualification (SPG had, MR did not)
  6. Elimination of EQN credit for multiple rooms (SPG permitted EQN credit for up to three rooms at once, MR policy of only the one room member was staying in prevailed)
  7. Reducing the value of status matched via credit card (e.g. Amex Plat) of SPG Gold down to Gold tier which no longer gives free breakfast, lounge access. Same for airline status match (UA Gold used to Map to MR Gold with lounge access and breakfast, the 50 night level; now UA Gold and higher will map to the new MR Gold [25 night level] which provides neither of these.
  8. Elimination of rollover nights, which allowed elites to double dip nights by counting them once in the year they were earned, and a second time in the year they were rolled over to.
These changes reflect a merged Marriott that wants it to be harder to get (and "buy") status outright.



It was a loophole like some of the others that was long open and not often used. Before the 08/18 program changes, there was less of an urge to buy up to current status (no 50/75 night milestone awards) and Rewarding Events meeting nights were largely unattractive for lifetime status (because of the 1.2m/1.6m/2.0m lifetime points requirements, and the fact that meetings generally awarded Marriott points at a poor rate compared to stays (3pts per dollar spent vs. 10-20 points [10 points for most brands + 50% old MR plat bonus + 5 points per dollar from old Chase card, plus the fact that each meeting gave 10 nights]), requiring higher average rates for rooms to hit the points if you bought nights via Rewarding Events).

Marriott closed many of these loopholes thoughtfully throughout the merger process. Particularly for lifetime, a busier elite could start the year with more than 75 nights via rollover, and then stay 100+ nights. Then those 100+ nights in excess of the first 75 would rollover again and count a second time. MR realized after starting the merger with starwood (announcing it, but still running MR & SPG programs separately) that this was unusually generous and killed rollover nights.

MR does not want the cheap buy-up of status anymore, hence the raising of lounge/breakfast access (50 night level) from UA elite/credit card (Amex plat) status match being reduced to the 25 night level. In particular, cheap meetings purchasing the EQNs could in fact cost Marriott money, particularly if the member took the SNAs and got cheaper meetings. This changed the equation.

Now to outright "buy" status at 50 night level (lounge/breakfast) without actual stay actiivty under the post 08/18 program(for people eligible for the credit card) would be
1) Ritz Carlton Visa ($450 annual fee), move $75K spending across it to get Platinum (50 night)
2) Have the old Chase visa (no longer available for new signups, $95), get the 15 nights for having the card, use the award night (1 EQN), buy a Rewarding event (nominally $100 for the first meeting), and then "buy" status by moving remaining 24 nights at $3,000 credit card spend each = $72,000 in spend (about $72,195 adding up AF, meeting cost, and spend)

Still "buying" status, but a far cry from the old status quo of the pre 08/18 FT thread 8 meetings and $800 for platinum, no stays required.



My understanding is contracts even pre-08/18 did not mention the nights or points, just that the meeting would post under Rewarding Events. The dicier part is that the terms on Marriott.com pre-08/18 said meetings took 7-10 business days to post (requiring members to hold meetings before August 4th to fall under the old terms of up to 10 business days, to post by 08/17) and generally reference awards under the loyalty program as being whatever is in effect the time the award is made.



Marriott had a lot of "loophole" practices for years, including the fact that rollover nights counted twice (once in the year they were earned, and a second time in the year they were rolled over to. They reduced a lot of other avenues for cheap/free nights (see earlier in this very post in my reply to geminidreams). Them waiting to close the Rewarding Events on 08/18 is likely correlated to the required IT changes to the GPT/rewards program, along with the new lifetime criteria eliminating points (meaning any night, regardless of method or cost of acquisition, is now equal for qualification), which made free/cheap nights a lot more appealing to rack up (also, addiiton of 50/75 night choice awards for current status).



I feel like you may be taking some of the replies a tad personally. I don't think other posters are "out to get you", and my references to potential account termination are not because I want another elite out of the pool. On the contrary, I have sympathy for your plight, but I'm not sure that advancing this point to Marriott as someone with no stay activity and, as other posters have pointed out, your low revenue/high effort purchased nights is necessarily a great idea. You are better off waiting to see if MR fixes this as an IT issue in a sweep, or if there is precedent of someone else with higher revenue meetings or actual butt-in-bed activity in addition to meeting bookings getting pre-08/18 events corrected.

A point that other posters have asked, and I may have missed the point, is that the Rewarding Events language awards you for holding a meeting. A meeting defined is an assembly of people. If you paid for the meeting room, and the property provided a clean, empty room available for use, Marriott may interpret your bookings as ineligible or your activity as potentially fraudulent/abusive if they were no-shows. Did you actually show up to the meetings? Some posters may take issue of whether or not you "deserve" the nights if they were no-show meetings (personally I think as long as you paid, you should get credited), but the language of the MR T&C both pre-08/18 and post-08/18 gives them pretty wide latitude in closing accounts. And I could very easily see Marriott deeming holding 8 no-show meetings (if they were indeed no-show meetings) to buy the nights as an "abuse" of the loyalty program.

We're not trying to take anything away from you. We aren't Marriott employees. We can't control whether or not Marriott decides to award you the EQNs for your pre-08/18 meetings. We're just warning you that trying to escalate the issue among Marriott management may indeed backfire worse than just going to "wait and see".
You're wrong about rollover. If someone starts with 75 nights rollover, as in your example, and then stays 100 nights, the rollover going into the next year is only 25 nights, not 100, since the original rollover of 75 nights is irrelevant in the calculation of future rollover. To get rollover for the second year, we take the 100 actual nights earned that year, subtract the 75 that were "used" to get MR Plat for the following year, and get 100 - 75 = 25 nights for rollover. IIRC in some earlier years, people who were given PP had 100 rather than 75 nights subtracted for their earned status before there could be any rollover.
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