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Justification for Residence Inn only earning 5 points per dollar?

Justification for Residence Inn only earning 5 points per dollar?

Old Jul 20, 19, 7:51 am
  #1  
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Justification for Residence Inn only earning 5 points per dollar?

Iíve been booking more Residence Inn properties lately for quick one or two night stays. Often they are in suburban / small town areas near leisure activities, and many times they are newer and nicer than comparable properties (Hilton Garden Inn, Courtyard, Best Western, etc). They are also usually more expensive by about $10-20. I just booked a $300+ Residence Inn when the comparable Courtyard was $295, Hampton Inn was $285, etc. In these areas, usually the choices are boutiques or various limited service brands.

The issue is that there stays earn half as many points as standard. Why does the Residence Inn earn 5 points per dollar when the less expensive Courtyard across the street or parking lot earns 10 points? Does the free breakfast cost that much? Why does Residence Inn earn less than Fairfield (which is a lower price brand)? Given how expensive Residence Inn is becoming, Marriott should revisit this
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Old Jul 20, 19, 8:09 am
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It's not about the price - as you note, RI is often priced the same or more as other brands.

And it's not about the breakfast - other free breakfast brands like fairfield earn 10x.

The three 5x brands - Residence Inn, Townplace, and Element - are the ones that Marriott views in the Extended Stay category. Maybe they feel that on a weeks-long stay you'll earn plenty even at 5x. Or maybe they think extended stay folks are less motivated by points.

And they may be right. I've had two stays in my life of over two months. In both cases, I opted for RI, even knowing the points were half, because for that long a stay, having the extra space and the kitchen was pretty important to me.
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Old Jul 20, 19, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
Why does the Residence Inn earn 5 points per dollar when the less expensive Courtyard across the street or parking lot earns 10 points? Does the free breakfast cost that much? Why does Residence Inn earn less than Fairfield (which is a lower price brand)? Given how expensive Residence Inn is becoming, Marriott should revisit this
Given the number of families staying on weekends they don't need to provide any more incentive.
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Old Jul 20, 19, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by escapefromphl View Post
Given the number of families staying on weekends they don't need to provide any more incentive.
Good point.

The reality is Marriott doesn't need to "justify" anything. If they decided to take a benefit away from the OP, I could understand wanting some explanation. But this is just the way the program works. Marriott has whatever business reasons they have for offering fewer points, and we customers have choices of where to stay. If you want more points, stay at the Courtyard. If you want a kitchen, stay at the RI. If you want to pay less, with room for your family, and have a kitchen, but no points, stay at the AirBnb.

I hope, along with everyone else, they do increase the points for RI's, and I'd choose them over CY's and SHS sometimes. But I wouldn't expect it any time soon.
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Old Jul 20, 19, 11:07 am
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Just an FYI that under Starwood one earned full room and incidentals credit at Element, but half the elite amenity points.
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Old Jul 20, 19, 11:47 am
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I usually have one long term stay of 3-4 months each year for contract work and have always stayed at RI. The Marriott Megabonuses for each stay was always substantially more than the base points and elite bonus at RI; which made Marriott Rewards work for me. Now bonvOY has reined in the promotions to the point where it does matter where I go for extended stays. This year "Endless Earning" bonus would yield a grand total of 1500 points for a 15 week stay (or about a dime per week).

I've moved to Homewood Suites which awards 10 full Honors points per dollar, and adds real Hilton bonuses too.
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Old Jul 20, 19, 1:31 pm
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Originally Posted by swag View Post
It's not about the price - as you note, RI is often priced the same or more as other brands.

The three 5x brands - Residence Inn, Townplace, and Element - are the ones that Marriott views in the Extended Stay category. Maybe they feel that on a weeks-long stay you'll earn plenty even at 5x. Or maybe they think extended stay folks are less motivated by points.
I can't remember do Townplace and Element have Kitchen/Kitchenette? Close to where I work they have two Residence, and as noted pricing seems to be set by location/demand ( close/high ). I'd likely choose either due to proximity even though the condition of the property and food/breakfast are less than my current further choices. The swing factor in the end was points, I stay often enough that the delta does quickly add up ( stay further, better breakfast, equal to better unit, cheaper, and a lot more points ).

At least in my case the Marriott's would get another 30-50/night from me if they matched on the points/$, instead I drive another 15-20' spend less and get more points and better breakfast and even some dinner snacks.
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Old Jul 20, 19, 2:12 pm
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IME for element, the kitchen depends on the room category you book, with the smallest rooms not really having kitchens and higher category rooms having bigger and better equipped kitchens than RI. TPS tend to have smaller kitchens with smaller (and obviously cheaper) major appliances unless it's a two bedroom unit.
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Old Jul 20, 19, 3:24 pm
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Always wondered this -- I actively book away from RI as a result unless no other option (especially with the increasing number of CY/RI combos where location is the same and I don't need the extra RI "benefits")
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Old Jul 20, 19, 6:51 pm
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It's important to realize that despite what some people here think, Marriott's core business is being a hotel franchiser. While they do have a side business that provides hotel management services, the main "customer" for Marriott is the hotel owner.

The points that hotel guests receive are paid by the individual hotel. Complete speculation, but I'd imagine the 5 points/dollar anomaly can into existence due to way things were at the birth of the extended-stay market segment. Perhaps back in the days of yore when the rewards program was conceived, the profit margin at the extended stay brand (only Residence Inn at that point, I believe) was slim enough to warrant fewer points. (That assumes some brands always had a lower earning. I don't know my frequent guest history enough to know exactly when the anomaly started.)

Anyway, my point is that you'd need to look at market conditions back then and not today for the reason why these brands offer fewer points per dollar. I don't think these brands are significantly different today to justify the lower point earnings. But, once something that benefits a franchise is part of a franchise agreement, it's hard to remove it. If neither the franchises nor Marriott see a compelling business reason to switch from 5 to 10 points/dollar, expect the status quo to be maintained.
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Old Jul 20, 19, 7:01 pm
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I have to say that the number of points offered does not even qualify as the last item on my checklist for hotels.
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Old Jul 20, 19, 7:34 pm
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OP - it is a mystery how a hotel chain makes up its own stuffs.

To make this even more simple - why are some RIs Cat. 6 but some are Cat. 1?

The only thing that I can say is try to make this simple. If you want more points, go to a CY. If you enjoy space, then RI.

There are always some trade-offs.
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Old Jul 20, 19, 8:26 pm
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Originally Posted by swag View Post
It's not about the price - as you note, RI is often priced the same or more as other brands.

And it's not about the breakfast - other free breakfast brands like fairfield earn 10x.

The three 5x brands - Residence Inn, Townplace, and Element - are the ones that Marriott views in the Extended Stay category. Maybe they feel that on a weeks-long stay you'll earn plenty even at 5x. Or maybe they think extended stay folks are less motivated by points.

And they may be right. I've had two stays in my life of over two months. In both cases, I opted for RI, even knowing the points were half, because for that long a stay, having the extra space and the kitchen was pretty important to me.
Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
I have to say that the number of points offered does not even qualify as the last item on my checklist for hotels.
I currently stay at a RI/SpringHillSuites pair, 1/2 is Residence the other half not, same price, gym is shared, breakfast menu exactly the same on two different sides of the ground floor, shared parking. I never book RI, why should I, even if they were a block apart or more. The RI kitchen regardless of size, brand appliance isn't an amenity I use so pretty much ignore the brand if any other alternative is available.
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Old Jul 20, 19, 11:50 pm
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Originally Posted by writerguyfl View Post
It's important to realize that despite what some people here think, Marriott's core business is being a hotel franchiser. While they do have a side business that provides hotel management services, the main "customer" for Marriott is the hotel owner.

The points that hotel guests receive are paid by the individual hotel. Complete speculation, but I'd imagine the 5 points/dollar anomaly can into existence due to way things were at the birth of the extended-stay market segment. Perhaps back in the days of yore when the rewards program was conceived, the profit margin at the extended stay brand (only Residence Inn at that point, I believe) was slim enough to warrant fewer points. (That assumes some brands always had a lower earning. I don't know my frequent guest history enough to know exactly when the anomaly started.)

Anyway, my point is that you'd need to look at market conditions back then and not today for the reason why these brands offer fewer points per dollar. I don't think these brands are significantly different today to justify the lower point earnings. But, once something that benefits a franchise is part of a franchise agreement, it's hard to remove it. If neither the franchises nor Marriott see a compelling business reason to switch from 5 to 10 points/dollar, expect the status quo to be maintained.
This. Because RI is a long-stay brand its properties probably have a different franchising fee structure, where properties pay Marriott less than other brands. Thus, because Marriott gets less on each dollar spent, the member gets fewer points.
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Old Jul 21, 19, 12:50 am
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Originally Posted by MePlatPremier View Post
This. Because RI is a long-stay brand its properties probably have a different franchising fee structure, where properties pay Marriott less than other brands. Thus, because Marriott gets less on each dollar spent, the member gets fewer points.
Indeed, and this makes sense when you think about it. When you have long stays you have less customer turnover and therefore less customer acquisition which is basically Marriottís value proposition to hotel owners. It provides less value to the hotel and so thereís not as much available as kick-backs to the guests.
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