Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Marriott Devaluation Hits MegaBonus and Credit Card Users Hard

I got an email from Marriott Rewards earlier today:

marriott rewards category change email
The email I received from Marriott Rewards

All hotel programs make annual changes to their category classifications, but this one hits hard in a few important ways:
  • Marriott's dull... I mean boring... I mean predictable MegaBonus promotion is famous for offering free Category 1-4 night certificates as one of the options. As a result of this round of category changes, 370 hotels will no longer be eligible as they are moving up to Category 5.
  • Chase's Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature card (now there's a mouthful) offers a free Category 1-5 night certificate every year after paying the annual fee (currently $85). I've already found it somewhat difficult to find an opportunity to make use of these certificates (they expire in 6mos), and as a result of this round of category changes, 191 hotels will no longer be eligible as they are moving up to Category 6 (1 is actually jumping all the from 5 to 7). Unless they expand eligibility to Category 6 hotels, I see a cancellation in my future when the annual fee comes around again.

There's still time to make new reservations before the changes go into effect. I happen to have an upcoming stay at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas - and I'm relieved that I've already booked it, because it's moving up from Category 7 to Category 8!

the cosmopolitan of las vegas
Looking forward to my stay at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas

For more information be sure to check out the FAQ, as well as the less-than-thrilled reactions on FlyerTalk.

This just reinforces for me why Marriott will never be my #1 hotel program, and it's instances like these that remind us all that EARNING points / miles is only half the equation... you gotta remember to BURN them regularly too!

Any Marriott loyalists out there? How are you feeling about these changes?


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