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False Rumor: Marriott Rewards Insiders Speculating About Changes Coming

False Rumor: Marriott Rewards Insiders Speculating About Changes Coming

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Old Mar 12, 14, 9:21 pm
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False Rumor: Marriott Rewards Insiders Speculating About Changes Coming

This thread (http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/thread/15140 starting at post #15 or so) on MR Insiders is abuzz with speculation about major changes coming to MR. Changes being discussed include addition of a category 10 and another devaluation of points; gold access to CL being discontinued; formal announcement of PP requirements and additional PP benefits; and retooling the elite qualification model to include hotel spend instead of or in additional to nights stayed.

Hopefully, most of this is just speculation. But MR has not announced any category changes for 2014 yet. The last time they waited this long was 2009 where they announced right after the Freddies and we saw a major devaluation then. So I am a little worried....

Regards,

RIP...
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Old Mar 13, 14, 6:17 am
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Interesting read! I'm thinking that Marriott, Hilton and IHG will hold out to announce changes until after the Freddies for a reason. Luckily I do most of my stays with SPG and their devaluation was mild to say the least.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 6:44 am
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Oh F...

Timing makes sense although I have to laugh that anyone takes the Freddie awards seriously, including the nominees. Sort of like free elections in the banana republics, what does it really mean whoever wins. They'll do want they want to do irregardless.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 7:09 am
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I can see some movement to eliminate gold access to lounges. With the tie-up with United and 15 elite nights available with credit card, gold just doesn't seem that difficult to obtain.

CL access would seem to be a fairly expensive perk to provide at that level, and having only plats/PP enter may allow for better CLs...or at least hold steady instead of devalue
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Old Mar 13, 14, 7:23 am
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From the Insiders thread:

"I recently spoke with someone who works at Marriott and he said there may be radical changes coming to MR that will be announced later this Spring and take effect in 2015.

The changes being discussed include:

* The points required for award stays will be increased by at least 5,000 points per night across all levels and the 5th night free will disappear. Category 10 will be added and require 60,000 points per night (read mass devaluation),

* a new level will be announced above Platinum and the requirements will be formally revealed. (i.e. everyone will know how to achieve PP, if that is what it is called)

* New benefits for Gold, Plat, and the new PP will be announced. These will include things like confirmed suite upgrades (for the new PP), instant upgrades using online check-in, free breakfast (including resorts for the new PP ), free parking, and free "lifestyle events," at the hotels during your stay,

* The offerings in the concierge lounges in NA will be enhanced and will include free beer, wine and spirits where local laws permit.

* However, Concierge lounge access will be eliminated for Golds and Plats unless upgraded to the concierge level rooms. (Gold and Plats will continue to receive free continental breakfast in the restaurant or points.)

* MR is looking at different models for awarding elite status including annual hotel spend, instead of nights stayed (similar to Delta's and United FF requirements for elite status). Spend in bars and restaurants will be included. Deeply discounted rates, such as Government Rates, group and convention rates, and special promotion rates will not count towards the spend requirement."


Bolding mine. Have to say that as a LT Plat, if some of the above happens, I probably will start looking elsewhere. Geesh, first UA started me looking at other pastures & now Marriott might as well.

BTW - I think Marriott following the Delta thing might not happen at least short term. Marriott tends to follow & not innovate. Unless the other hotel chains do something like that, it would cause more to leave Marriott than stay.

Cheers.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 9:02 am
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Overall, a big

I think many would agree that Marriott Gold status is relatively difficult to achieve compared to other hotel programs. The potential changes to Gold status are disappointing.

But I'm fairly fluid. Off to Starwood I would go.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 9:05 am
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Kinda figures they'd go and make changes to PP so there are actual benefits, when I almost certainly won't re qualify for it next year.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 9:18 am
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Why is anyone giving this credence at all? I'm sure I recall a similar sky is falling thread last year if not the year before as well?
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Old Mar 13, 14, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by VickiSoCal View Post
Why is anyone giving this credence at all? I'm sure I recall a similar sky is falling thread last year if not the year before as well?
Because we will all feel better when it's not as bad as we thought.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 9:28 am
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Call me crazy but....

I'm guessing that they're leaking the things above (universally pretty horrible, right?) so that when they announce a pretty bad devaluation, it ends up seeming not so bad. Marriott gets a big devaluation and guests are conned into believing it all could have been worse.

Maybe I just need a tin foil hat.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 9:43 am
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Wouldn't it be easier to get rid of (or make more difficult) all the Challenges, Taste of Gold/Platinums and Megaboni?
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Old Mar 13, 14, 9:48 am
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And the Untied partnership.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 10:07 am
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But what would their marketing department do with no promotions?
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Old Mar 13, 14, 10:36 am
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Originally Posted by fireworksboy View Post
Call me crazy but....

I'm guessing that they're leaking the things above (universally pretty horrible, right?) so that when they announce a pretty bad devaluation, it ends up seeming not so bad. Marriott gets a big devaluation and guests are conned into believing it all could have been worse.

Maybe I just need a tin foil hat.
Tin foil hats are for P/R. I think this could be a possibility. Either to soften the blow or to gauge feedback.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 10:37 am
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As a current Gold, nearly all of these changes would be very bad, not the least of which the points de-valuation on top of what happened last year, when nearly every desirable city property went up a level. Glad I just blew some points at a Miami Beach property, although now it means I'm rather far away from getting anywhere close to a 5th night free. If that benefit goes, it would be very bad!
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