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2009 Program Changes -- the good, the bad and the ugly

2009 Program Changes -- the good, the bad and the ugly

 
Old Oct 20, 08, 4:29 pm
  #1  
Company Representative - Marriott Concierge
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 1,083
2009 Program Changes -- the good, the bad and the ugly

Based on feedback from our members, I am excited to announce a number of program changes being made effective January 15, 2009 and we are announcing it here first. The official announcement will be made tomorrow on Marriott.com and by email.

Blackout dates will be eliminated. Starting on January 15, 2009, every hotel will have standard rooms available for redemptions every day. While this does not mean you will never again have difficulty booking a redemption stay, it does mean these difficulties will be rare. Hotels will only be able to limit the number of rooms available for redemption on a very limited number of nights.

Platinum Elite Bonus will increase from 30% to 50%. In order to strengthen our elite program and recognize our most valuable members, the platinum bonus will increase from thirty to fifty percent of the base points earned.

Redeem for 4 nights and get the 5th redemption free. You will also see changes in the way hotel rewards are priced. We will migrate to a one night award structure with redeem for 4 nights, receive the 5th night free award option.

We are very excited about these program changes. I encourage all of you who are interested in knowing more to look over the information that has been posted online at: http://www.marriott.com/marriott.mi?...tRoomAvailable and let us know what questions you have. It is our goal to make this program upgrade as simple and rewarding as possible.

Regards,

Ira

Last edited by Marriott Concierge; Oct 21, 08 at 4:38 pm Reason: reader feedback
Marriott Concierge is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 4:36 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Programs: UA PM, DL PM, Bonvoy Titanium, HH Gold
Posts: 1,243
Wow. This is fantastic news. Thanks for the update!
DawgmanOH is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 4:52 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: THEN - BASKING RIDGE,NJ / NOW - SCOTTSDALE,AZ
Posts: 290
Quick Question

If you book a travel package for 7 nights does the book 4 nights get one free still apply ? Will you get 8 nights in the 7 night travel package ?

Thanks

Scott
TYMIKE1@OPTONLINE.NET is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 5:03 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MSP
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Titanium, UA Silver, Hertz 5*
Posts: 725
Does this mean that the 7 night stays and the travel packages are gone?

I usually use marriott only to redeem them for the 7 night stays. Rarely ever for less. While the overall enhancements like std award availability and 50% plat bonus are fantastic, not having 7 night stays or the travel packages will make me very sad indeed.
crazyhorse is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 5:15 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MSP
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Titanium, UA Silver, Hertz 5*
Posts: 725
I just read the FAQs. This is a huge bummer!

Ok I read through the FAQs and I dont like what I see.

I have always redeemed 7 night stays at the standard award availability level and gotten Cat6 for 130K points and Cat7 for 150K points.

Now, I will have to pay 210K points for Cat6 and 245K for Cat7. Also some of the places I have redeemed (or planned to redeem someday) are a new Cat8.

Why couldnt MR just stay with its sweet spot of 7 night awards and packages rather than try and mimick SPG's 5th night free. If this is the number of points I have to use, I'd rather switch to SPG. The properties are much better and are in locations I always wanted to visit.

Time to cash out of MR.
crazyhorse is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 5:28 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Platinum (former PP), Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Gold, UA Silver, AS Member, Hertz 5*
Posts: 3,876
Originally Posted by crazyhorse View Post
Ok I read through the FAQs and I dont like what I see.

I have always redeemed 7 night stays at the standard award availability level and gotten Cat6 for 130K points and Cat7 for 150K points.

Now, I will have to pay 210K points for Cat6 and 245K for Cat7. Also some of the places I have redeemed (or planned to redeem someday) are a new Cat8.

Why couldnt MR just stay with its sweet spot of 7 night awards and packages rather than try and mimick SPG's 5th night free. If this is the number of points I have to use, I'd rather switch to SPG. The properties are much better and are in locations I always wanted to visit.

Time to cash out of MR.
The bold part is not correct. For a 7 night stay, you will get the fifth night free. So it will cost, 180K points for 7 nights at category 6 and 210K points for 7 nights at category 7.

Everyone should look at the FAQs area for the changes in detail. It looks like a devaluation because:

1. There will be a new category 8 for 14 properties. These properties will require 40,000 points per night.
2. The current system of reduced points per night for longer stays is replaced by a system where every 5 night redemption gets one free night. You will not get any discount for a 2 or 3 night stay at one property.
3. Travel packages will continue to be 7 night stays where most miles require one point. However, the new pricing of a 7 night stay will make them more expensive. Currently, a 7 night package for a category 6 hotel with 120K miles on AA costs 250,000 points. Under the new system, it will cost 300,000 points.

It is time to cash out some points. I plan to redeem at least 2 travel packages before the end of the year.
VA1379 is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 5:41 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Programs: AA EXP, DL Plat, US Chairman, SPG Plat, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, IC RA
Posts: 1,430
Wow. This is a big . I could care less about blackout dates. The devaluation of the miles is a big problem for me...
stratofortress is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 5:55 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Platinum (former PP), Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Gold, UA Silver, AS Member, Hertz 5*
Posts: 3,876
It is more the devaluation of the nights. The miles are still one to one, but the nights cost more for the travel packages. This devaluation is not even in nature. It hits the higher categories harder because the current reward schedule gives greater discounts for multi-night stays (especially 5-7) for category 5-7. The current marginal cost of a 6th or 7th night at a category 5-7 property is only 10,000 points.
VA1379 is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 5:59 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: AA Gold, UA Silver, Marriott Platinum, Hertz PC
Posts: 319
Huge disappointment

These changes are a huge disappointment. One of the few reasons I choose Marriott over SPG is the great value of the 7 night packages. As I price it out now, this huge increase in cost for these packages makes them much less valuable. For Hotels moving up to Cat. 8 this is a 33% increase in price. I don't view that as an enhancement.

Might have to consider spending less time at the Marriott and more time at the Sheraton and Westin.
maizenblue07 is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 6:01 pm
  #10  
Moderator, Marriott Bonvoy & FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: McKinney, TX, USA
Programs: SouthWest A-List; AA Plat/2MM; Marriott LT Titanium; IHG Plat; Hilton Diamond; Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 11,398
Looks like what they have done is to go along with what SPG and Hilton are doing by saying there will be no blackout dates and few capacity controls on reward rooms, but to compensate they have "averaged" the points needed for awards to somewhere between the Standard and Anytime awards. I definitely agree that the next couple of months is the time to "cash out" those points. Fortunately, I already spent most of my points over the last year (over 1 million points). So I really only have points for one more award which I will make sure to order before Jan. 15th.
hhoope01 is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 6:10 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: St. Paul, MN
Programs: DL DM 4.4 MM MQM Marriott Ambassador Lifetime Titanium
Posts: 2,577
I like it

There are good and bad parts of this but overall for me when I am trying to get a room in BTV next Oct. and they tell me it is Parents weekend for 2 weekends and there are no rooms the might be leverage to make them do the right thing.
hnewman is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 6:16 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: AA Gold, UA Silver, Marriott Platinum, Hertz PC
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Originally Posted by hnewman View Post
There are good and bad parts of this but overall for me when I am trying to get a room in BTV next Oct. and they tell me it is Parents weekend for 2 weekends and there are no rooms the might be leverage to make them do the right thing.
Hotels will only be able to limit the number of rooms available for redemption on a very limited number of nights.

One man's limited is another man's many. The hotel in BTV could still limit the number of rooms available on the night you want to stay.
maizenblue07 is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 6:17 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Central New Jersey (EWR, ABE, PHL)
Programs: Marriott LT Plat,SW, Hertz #1 Gold, Amtrak SP, jetBlue, et al
Posts: 953
Hmmm....so, shall we look up the definition of "enhancement"????

MR makes it SOUND great, but in reality it is not! I guess I will have to convert points to airmiles before Jan so I dont have to spend more!! Blech!

Seems that the only true improvement is the extra Plat bonus......



and my other question is....(i didn't see this...)are the points to airmiles levels changing???? if i missed it, sorry, but i didn't see it......
megtravels is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 6:18 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: St. Paul, MN
Programs: DL DM 4.4 MM MQM Marriott Ambassador Lifetime Titanium
Posts: 2,577
1 is better than 0

Originally Posted by maizenblue07 View Post
Hotels will only be able to limit the number of rooms available for redemption on a very limited number of nights.

One man's limited is another man's many. The hotel in BTV could still limit the number of rooms available on the night you want to stay.

Right now it is 0
hnewman is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 6:28 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: ATL
Programs: DL SkyMiles, MR, HH, ICH/PC, Avis Pref., Hertz Gold
Posts: 2,897
For my travel habits, this is really bad news.

My most frequent use of points is to tag on a two or three night weekend stay when I get a business trip to a good location. The category 8 properties in London and New York will be particularly painful. It wasn't that long ago when the Marriott East Side was just a category 6 property!

With the elimination of the Stay Anytime awards, does that mean fewer rooms will ultimately be available? Does this affect the reimbursement by Marriott to the hotel for award stays? It was my understanding that Stay Anytime awards were reimbursed at a much higher rate than Standard Awards (which was practically nothing).

I wonder how the properties feel about this news.
keeton is offline  

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