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.
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.
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!
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!