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All People > brightlybob > BrightlyBob's Blab > 2018 > July
2018

Yeah. It’s good to be back folks!

 

 

It’s time for my summer holiday, but this time it’s not 3 hotels in 3 cities plus a sleeper train in China. Nor is it 12 hotels in 4 weeks around East Canada and USA. Nor is it 3 hotels in 10 days in Florida, and definitely not 13 hotels in 17 days (inc original TIPPLE-The-First) combined civil war and research trip. It’s not even 3 hotels in 4 nights for DoubleTIPPLE.

 

Nope, this is simply one hotel for 2 weeks. Namely the Sharaton Dolphin at Walt Disney World.

 

 

Just me and MrsBrightlyBob. And it’s our wedding anniversary too! Our first ever fortnight holiday together, just the two of us - well plus a mystery guest on Friday!

 

So, what’s my plan? Lots of Pandora, lots of Epcot, Magic Kingdom and a bit of Toy Story Land with a hefty side of pool time and plenty of good eats

 

Oh, and enjoying my utterly terrific $150 BRG to Premium Studio Suite upgrade! Loads of space, and two wardrobes, which I’m really needing for my Hawaiian Shirt Collection. Yup, it’s going to be a bright vacation! Seriously fab upgrade, SPG is taking its Platinum recognition ethos up to the finishing line here! Aaah, the spglife

Well, MRI has become a depressing lot as of late. And that’s not surprising, the final changes to the new scheme have been announced in the form of the redemption table and it’s been crushing on the Travel Packages, gateway-city properties and Beach hotels and resorts. And that has unleashed a loud chorus of teeth gnashing and complaining by those who have lost on the changes. That’s always the way, people are much more likely to hand out the brickbats than the bouquets. All the same, I’m putting my head above the parapet. This merger has added one after another of small improvements - each one a little Winner-Winner-Chicken-Dinner! And you know what it all adds up to a lot, lots of chicken dinners add up to a really big improvement from where I’m sat as a decade long Marriotteer and recently qualified Lifetime Platinum this merger has been hugely beneficial and I’m delighted it happened! 

 

Get me another - I’m celebrating!

 

So, this merger has been hugely beneficial - for me! All good improvements and no downsides at all, not one! Now that might sound selfish, but all the complainers expressing how rotten it is and how they’ve been hosed could equally be said to be selfish. They’re not of course, they’re just complaining how bad it’s been for them. And this is me from the viewpoint of a British Lifetime Marriott Platinum member - all great chicken, no bull!

 

Positives since merger:

 

01. 4pm guaranteed late checkout - WWCD!

02. Suite upgrades return to the Platinum benefits - WWCD!

03. Free breakfasts added at Protea and, very significantly, Resort properties - WWCD!

04. Addition of 1,500+ new hotels to earn and get elite benefits, inc many aspirational properties - WWCD!

05. $10pppn F&B voucher at AC, Moxys and most significantly, Courtyards - WWCD!

06. Welcome Points at Select Service properties double from 250 to 500 points - WWCD!

07. Welcome Points at Full Service properties double from 500 to 1,000 points - WWCD!

08. Here in the UK, SPG AMEX doubles general earnings compared to the Marriott MasterCard - WWCD!

09. Here in the UK, SPG AMEX triples Marriott earnings compared to the Marriott MasterCard - WWCD!!

10. Addition of choice benefits at 50 nights introduces 5 SNAs - WWCD!

11. Grandfathered to Lifetime Titanium, point-earning increases by 17% - WWCD!

12. New redemption table cuts points at thousands of properties I’d use around the world - WWCD!

13. Earn points on F&B Spending across all brands - WWCD!

14. Addition of 75-night choice benefit brings a free night certificate - WWCD!

 

That’s 2 weeks of Chicken Dinners from one merger! That’s a lot of chicken! Added together its a big win for me, a very big win! For me personally as a Marriotteer against what we had prior to the merger Marriott Rewards has become considerably more rewarding both on in-stay benefits and, as a “road less travelled” kinda guy, redemptions too! Here’s what it means in Pounds and Points on a low travel 40-night year. Some years are much higher.

 

IN-STAY BENEFITS

Personally I reckon I’m up £100pa on the new breakfast and CY F&B benefit (I don’t stay at select service properties very often) and another £100 on resort breakfasts (this year I’m £250pa up, most years it’s nothing though), plus the suite upgrades, SNAs, and 4pm checkouts.

POINT-EARNING

Under the pre-merger program my minimum annual 40 paid nights brought in 100,000 points inc Plat bonus, 10,000 checkin amenity, and 20,000 on the credit card. Now my 40 nights at the same annual cost see’s me receive 115,000 points inc Titanium bonus, 20,000 points on the checkin amenity and 55,000 extra points on the AMEX (after deducting 10k points for the annual fee). So my annual pointearning has increased from 130,000 to 190,000, a 50% increase!

POINT-BURNING

My road less travelled redeeming methodogy will not necessarily see me gain any greater value than my 1UScent valuation. But it will be far easier to redeem with so many properties I’d redeem at reducing in points. And of course all those lovely Starwood choices too. Mmmmmm...

 

So, wow. Yes. Way better than expected, a downside-free zone. It’s a thumbs-up from me, Marriott.

 

Let the flaming commence!