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Major Changes In Marriott Rewards

Armada

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These changes will appear tomorrow on Marriott's web site and we should be getting e-mail. Effective 1/15/09:

1. No black outs for awards (in general)
2. There will be a new Category 8 for 14 hotels. These include the most popular properties in New York, London and Paris.
3. Stay Anytime awards will go away.
4. For award stays, you will pay the same number of points for each night, but receive the fifth night 'free'. This means for a category 7 hotel, the cost will be 140,000 points for 5 nights; 210,000 points for 7 nights and 280,000 points for 10 nights. No more 7 nights for 150,000 points!
5. Travel packages will still award 1 airline mile for 1 MR point.

For more information, check http://www.marriott.com/rewards/lra-faq.mi#question16
 

LAX Mom

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I was just reading this info on flyertalk and came back to TUG to post about these changes. This is a significant de-valuation of points!

It will take lots more points to book a travel package, 360,000 points for 120,000 air miles and a 7 night stay in a category 8 hotel. That is 90,000 more points than it currently takes.

It also seems to make purchasing timeshares from Marriott much less attractive. The sales reps can't dangle those world trips every two years with these new travel packages.

I've read the info on the Marriott site and I don't like the changes. I think I'll try to use most of my points up next year with reservations made prior to Jan. 15.

Very disappointing!!
 

steve1000

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Interesting - it will be very similar to the Starwood points program.

LAX - good point - I'm sorry to see that the category 8 travel package will be so much more costly.
 
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LAX Mom

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http://www.marriott.com/Images/Rewards/LRA Images/LRA_FAQ_TravelPackages.gif

This is the new tables for the travel packages. The category 1-5, with 120,000 miles has increased from 235,000 to 270,000. The most popular hotels in London, Paris & New York will now cost 360,000 for a 7 night stay and 120,000 mile!

I'm glad I haven't purchased any more points this year. With these changes, and a price of .0125 per point it's not worth it to me!
 

SDKath

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Oh no! This info is coming at a perfect time for me. I just asked for info on buying direct from the developer. I guess I don't need to bother to ask for more info.

Katherine
 

LAX Mom

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Katherine-
I definitely would not buy from Marriott with the intent to trade for points now. This program is not an enhancement!
 

labguides

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I'm glad we have used lots of our Marriott points this year. We decided that saving them was not wise.. better to use them.
I expect United FF and AX points to de-value their points also. We have used most of our United FF, but have lots of AX points. The AX points seem harder to use.
 

Dave M

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Big changes to Marriott Rewards program coming January 15....

[This post was originally in its own thread.]

Good News
Blackout dates will be eliminated, meaning that every hotel (except as noted below) will have some standard awards available for every night. You still might not be able to get what you want if someone else beats you to the few standard awards you want for the dates/hotel you want. There are some exceptions. MVCI properties, three Marriotts (Rome Grand Flora, Waikoloa Beach and Wailea Beach) and two JWs (Camelback and Capri) will still have blackout dates. The higher cost Stay Anytime awards are being eliminated.

The points bonus for Platinum members will be increased from 30% to 50%.

Marriott will change the way hotel awards are priced. One change will make the fifth redemption night free if you pay points for four nights.

Bad News
As you might expect, many/most of the changes are not good for us....

A new Category 8 will be created with 14 hotels moving up to that category.

Our favorite and most lucrative awards – the Hotel/Air Travel Packages - are going up in cost - significantly!! Samples for seven nights and 120,000 FF miles:
  • Category 1-5: From the current 235,000 points to 270,000 points
  • Category 6: From 250,000 points to 300,000 points
  • Category 7: From 270,000 points to 330,000 points
  • New category 8: 360,000 points

Other than the “fifth night free”, the current discount for ordering a hotel award for multiple nights is being eliminated. Thus, a three-night stay in a category 7 hotel, which currently costs 90,000 points, will now cost 105,000 points. A seven-night stay in a Category 7 hotel, which currently costs 150,000 points, will now cost 210,000 points (six nights @ 35,0000 points per night + one night – the fifth night – free).

Note that, as stated in the title of this thread, all changes are effective January 15, 2009. That means that any Reward reservations booked by January 14 will be honored under the current point structure.

Here is a link to the forthcoming changes to Marriott Rewards. Marriott Rewards members with a valid e-mail address in their profiles should receive an e-mail message about the changes soon. (I don’t have a definition for “soon”!)

Devaluation is to be expected
The adverse changes are not at unexpected. It has been several years since Marriott has made a major devaluation overhaul to the program. So it was time. And, as demonstrated in my Ridiculous "Devaluation Example" in this past post it's essential that Marriott make such devaluations from time to time.
 
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LAX Mom

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What are AX points?
 

LAX Mom

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I know Marriott must devalue the points over time to compensate for inflation. However, there were things about the old program I preferred.

I liked the travel packages, especially the Europe sampler package. I suspect this may no longer be available, or will cost considerably more. It has been 150,000 points, but will likely increase to 240,000 (6 nights at 40,000, one free) if they still offer it. That is a big jump!

I liked being able to reduce your points per night by increasing your stay to a 7 night stay. Now you only get that benefit with a 5 or 10 night stay. Anything else and you pay a preminum per night.

I'm gold, not platinum with Marriott so the 50% bonus on points doesn't help me.

I've never used the "stay anytime" awards, they were too expensive for me. So that "enhancement" doesn't help me either.

I don't like the new program and will probably switch from my Marriott VISA to a card that has a cash rebate.
 

Latravel

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As was posted, this was expected. I was looking for airfare next summer to Paris and the lowest coach was $1600. Therefore, I expected that the number of points needed for the airfare would consequently increase. It would be unreasonable to think that everything around us is increasing in price, except the number of points needed to "purchase" a travel package. Unfortunately, it is the sign of the times as much as I really dislike it.

Marriott is not the only company who is devaluating points - so is American Airlines. Does that mean you won't use any frequent flyer programs? Your other option is paying inflated airfare for even coach. This is just a new reality for travelers, unfortunately.
 

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I see it as a positive change, well somewhat

HI
I have enough points often enough to book a hotel stay but I generally seem to be selecting hotels that do not accept the reward points for those stays. So for me, I see this as a good thing. Of course there is the issue with it costing a lot more points but it didnt help when I couldnt use the points so I do see a positive side. Cant wait to book my next vacation week just hope I still have enough points.

Thanks for this post:banana:
 

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Okay -here goes. Posted these thoughts on the Starwood forum following their most recent devaluation and as a Marriott owner, it applies here too.

Fine, they need to devalue their points. But there was a sense when we bought our timeshares from the developer that we were also getting the chance to get a certain number of hotel nights for free in lieu of using our timeshare. It is inexcusable, to me, for Marriott not to adjust the points value of our timeshare when they have this valuation. My 100,000 points gets worth less all the time and they don't seem to see the connection or feel responsibility to their stakeholders.
 

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I am very unhappy with these changes. This December we will be using our fourth travel package to stay at the Marco Island Resort. I am going to do some serious thinking about continuing in the rewards program. We have used our Monarch week for points every year, but it may not be worth it anymore. I would like to see how the hotels will be reclassified. The Marco Island Resort was a class 6. Will it and other 6's be moved up to 7? If so, the new travel package(with 120,000 ff miles) to go there would be a more then 30% cost increase(250,000 points to 330,000).
 

Big Matt

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I know people are really upset about this, but I personally have been so very frustated with the blackout dates and stay anytime rewards, that I've not used the points as much as I could have.

I'm very happy about having a more even playing field regarding the availability of standard rewards across the properties.

Also, even with the point increase for travel packages, the deal is still the best, and with airline prices up so high, I think the "value" per point is still there.
 

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I agree with Stevens
If they're going to change the travel package, the points for our timeshares should go up. Why don't they? That seems beyond wrong. But maybe I'm wrong. Why would it be okay? It basicall devalues our timeshares. And do you think Marriott may up the exchange amount for future customers only?
 

dioxide45

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I agree with Stevens
If they're going to change the travel package, the points for our timeshares should go up. Why don't they? That seems beyond wrong. But maybe I'm wrong. Why would it be okay? It basicall devalues our timeshares. And do you think Marriott may up the exchange amount for future customers only?
Marriott only sees the exchanging for points option as a sales tool. Nothing more, nothing less. I do think their sales tactics are misleading.
 

Armada

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One area that was not covered in the information released so far is what the new 'cost' will be for stays at MVCI properties. I'm very interested in that.
 

tombo

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I guess since so many here feel that it is OK for Marriott to devalue the points agreement that was sold when they bought a week from the developer, then I guess it will also be fine for Marriott to devalue the week you purchased. If you bought platinum you now have gold. If you bought gold you now own bronze. After all, the economy has changed, and the dollar you paid with years ago is worth less. That scenario wouldn't be fair, just as what they are currently doing isn't right. They should sell all new weeks and new points under the new rules, but they should grandfather previous points owners under the rules that existed when they purchased. Marriott will not do this of course because they already have your money and a signed contract saying they can change anything they want to change, but guaranteeing owners that they would continue to receive what they were sold would be the right thing to do.

PS I know that Marriott can't control the air line prices so that obviously would have to be adjusted. However Marriott controls 100% of what the motels charge and they should not change the number of nights you can stay at a category x resort from the number of nights you could stay when you bought. If they want to increase the number of points to stay in a resort, then they should increse the number of point you get annually to equal the value of the points when you originally purchased IMO.
 
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Pens_Fan

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And the stock market should never go down.

And the price of oil should never go up.

And my truck shouldn't depreciate.
 

kjd

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I don't like these changes either but there has to be some expected devaluation due to inflation and the cost of doing business. It has been stated here on TUG for several months. Marriott can eliminate any negative effect on their sales simply by increasing the purchase incentives.

Additionally, all plat card members receive an increase in bonus points to 50% from 30%. This is a help in offsetting the devaluation. As I see it the big losers are the cardholders that accumulated a lot of Marriott points but didn't use them. In accounting terms, this has potentially created a large unfunded liability for Marriott and maybe that also entered into their decision to change the program. Time will tell if it is smart business for making these changes. I personally don't intend on making any changes in the selection of Marriott Rewards as my major credit card program.
 

tombo

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And the stock market should never go down.

And the price of oil should never go up.

And my truck shouldn't depreciate.
You still would own the same amount of stock that you bought, they couldn't decrease the number of shares. If a company increases their number of shares, they have to increase the number of shares owned by all current owners. Companies have no control over the stock market, Marriott has 100% control over how they honor the values of the points packages they sold.

If you bought a contract giving you 1000 gallons of oil a year, you would still receive 1000 gallons of oil annually regardless of the economy.

You would still own the truck which got older just like the Mariott resorts are getting older. Are they charging less for rooms at 20 year old resorts since they are no longer new? No, the only thing valued less at older Marriott resorts are the points they sold there.

The difference in their devaluation is that they said you will get x number of points a year with your purchase which will get you 21 nights a year in a class x motel. They are changing what you purchased by reducing the number of nights at a class x motel from 21 to 15 annually (for example). You no longer have what you purchased and it is by Marriott's own choice that they reduced the value of what you purchased. They and they alone decide what a point at their hotels are worth. It is simply a rip-off of owners to benefit Marriott.
 
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Dave M

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Additionally, all plat card members receive an increase in bonus points to 50% from 30%.
That change in bonus points is for elite Platinum members of the Marriott Rewards program - those who stay at least 75 nights per year at Marriotts. There is no relationship between the change and Marriott credit card holders.
 
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