Not my words, the words of a reader of this article on View from the Wing regarding the new Marriott SPG Bonvoy reward scheme. I quote: “This makes the World of Hyatt branding seem like less of a dumpster fire. This must make them smile at Hyatt HQ in Chicago.”
Why The Hatred?
Well, according to Gary from View from the Wing, Marriott is planning a massive marketing campaign to launch the new program… paid for by rewards members, ultimately by devaluing their rewards.
It’s like printing money, really. Need cash for an ad campaign? Take value out of the rewards by devaluing them, and voila, you have just raised millions of dollars in cash (as the redemption value of these points has gone down).
This has already happened. I booked 5 nights at the JW Marriott in Venice last summer before the devaluation of summer 2018. The price was 180,000 Marriott rewards for 5 nights (for the price of 4). Now, these 5 nights cost 200,000 for my dates, and there is no availability left at all for my dates. Next year, I imagine this 5-night stay will be closer to 220,000 very soon, maybe even more.
Make hay while the sun shines! Book any stays as far in advance as possible and take advantage of the lower reward redemptions before they go up.
And yes, maybe consider focusing on another reward scheme. I like ihg.com as the InterContinental London gives free Club Lounge access when you book via our luxury travel concierge, I think it is one of the best deals in town, and many InterContinental hotels honor this free Club Lounge access including the London and New York properties if you book with us.
While Marriott Says Bonvoy-age to SPG and Marriott Rewards, many will say goodbye to this loyalty program, too. My advice to Marriott is that most of your members are looking for value. Please don’t continue these heavy devaluations, or you will lose your biggest fans.
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