Just getting some insight as to what we all would rather have - points or certs - and why?
I voted "certs," which works out well since that's been my offer for the last 4 mega-bonuses. Because I teach, my travel opportunities 10 months out of the year are severely limited. So it's easier for me to just schedule 2 or 3 stays during the winter holidays or summer, collect the certificate(s), and look forward to the next trip. However, if travel were a big part of my job, I might vote differently.
Gimme' points any time. Certs are hard to use in the Caribbean (or other resorts) if I want to take my family on a nice vacation.
Good reasoning on both parts! I hope to get more comments like this.
Points for me as they will start to disappear from my account faster than they will be going into my account.
For me, "certs" are more motivating, I use them to discover cities I haven't visited. I enjoy a lot the choice and planning of every trip!
I didn't vote because it varies & also because I don't believe in giving Marriott ideas on how to screw one segment of its travelers. Also it doesn't really matter - Marriott picks what it wants the promo to be. They say it's based on historical, but I know that's not the case with me.
Then you should call and change... Looks like in other threads several have done this with success. As for giving Marriott ideas on how to "screw one segment of its travelers..." well, there are much easier ways for them to do that without reading this forum.
Well that's interesting. The only times I've received any certificates has been for my Marriott Rewards Visa card, never for any of the countless Mega Bonus promotions I've completed over the years. Am I missing something here?
You may be texasvoyager, like ski above says, it varies. If you have a spot where you can use the Cat. 5 certificates, then you can secure two $250-$350 midweek night rooms for only four stays vs. 50,000 points for 25 nights. I've been able to use the certificates to knock off very expensive weeknights and then paid for my weekend stays at <$100 rates (often Thurs/Fri/Sat) making for very nice family trips. I've also used the previous Cat. 4 certificates for airport stays that allowed me to fly on days where I could use airline points to secure free flights. Again, the potential value is really based on what your possible uses are - many have no use for the lowly certificates and can also easily obtain the max points (which provide more flex), others like myself, who are winding down the mad dash crazy travel days, are thankful for the ability to secure certificates (Marriott may be basing the promos on historical travel patterns, but in many of our cases, it's a long past history).
Hey there, captbigguy, thanks for creating the poll - I'm a big fan of this utility. But you might consider adding a third option: "Depends, see comment below."
As a general rule, I strongly prefer points, because - when we do burn them - we tend to burn points in huge chunks - typically our family vacations (on points) entail high-end hotels in expensive cities - our last four family vacations on points were Chicago (the Renaissance on the river), Barcelona (the Ritz Carlton Hotel Arts), Berlin (the Marriott at Potsdamer Platz), and London (at the Renaissance Chancery Court, which, alas, is no longer in the inventory) - all combined, that's about a million points. Having said that, the certificates come in handy for road trips, and we tend to burn them in smaller towns, and typically in Residence Inns, Spring Hill Suites, and - if no other options exist - Courtyards. Sometimes - OK, rarely - I've used certificates for more interesting stays (like the London Heathrow Renaissance, which is a Category 5). So, I feel like I get good value out of both.
I voted for points because I thought that Certs were round breath mints. I have enough of those. ; )
LOL! I had just same thought but decided to save our community the groans. I prefer Breath Savers though.
I prefer points, easy to use, over certs. Tried to use a cert that was set to expire...called in on my status phone number, explained the property (1-4) I was interested in, and was told "no, not available!" However, it IS going to expire in a week, and I ended up RELUCTANTLY paying cash for a stay with Marriott. I'm more loyal to Marriott than the terms and conditions of the certificates are to me. POINTS are better to leverage. And yes, I'm disappointed.
Given I don't travel too often, I'm liking the certs so far. I've had great opportunities to both earn and use them over the past year, and I've found the process generally quite straightforward. It doesn't hurt that I got bumped to the cat 5 version of the bonuses starting with the Unexpected Bonus; I have a few cat 4s set to expire in the winter I have to carefully plan to use now, but I have a couple of options that are worth it.
Points for me. Travel 4 days a week. I use points for kick-*** vacations. Those don't include staying at category 1-5 properties. Usually Category 8
I think the only choice can be points, especially since the 30%+ property categories were raised a level. It took me quite awhile to find Cat 4 properties to use the certificates at, and now they are all Cat 5, so I do not know where I would use the certificates.
The problem with the points is that they are not equivalent to the certificates, not even close.
It use to be 3 stays for 1 certificate that was only good at Cat 1-4, so limiting if most the properties you stay at were higher than Cat 4.
But the points deal I was offered is 15 stays for 25K points, which is good for one Cat 1-5 stays, and won't get me a property higher than Cat 5.
The 2nd offer is 20 stays for 35d, which still doesn't get me 1 nite properties like St. Pancras (London) or Essex House (NYC) which are properties I needed to use.
I am glad we switched over to ponts, as they are more flexible than the certificates, as I can add other points to them.
But there is no equivalence between the two promotions,and it is highly weighted in Marriott's favor!
erc, totally agree with your analysis (and ssindc's). I really think it varies. There have been times when I needed points to be able to redeem an award at high-end int'l property & was able to hit the nights needed to get the points. There have been other times where my travel during the megabonus wasn't going to get me to the nights needed & thus the free night certs (yes, even at Cat 1-4) came in handy for some miscellaneous stays. That's why the poll needs the 3rd option - it depends.
And I agree that Marriott certainly isn't basing my promos on recent activity. It's actually irritating to get a megabonus that you know you're not going to hit - talk about disincentive. I had the spring one changed from points to stays/free certs & have just realized that the cert isn't in my account (my bad for not noticing it sooner). I want to use that cert for a FT event in October, so now have to call & see if I'll be able to get them to issue it or if I'm SOL.
I'd rather Marriott said here are the 3 options. Pick the one you want but once you pick you can't change. We can pick one that makes the most sense to us & they don't have to do the manual changes. But of course that would customer-oriented & Marriott stacks it to their benefit.
I like points because you can save them and use them at any property ... being limited to Level 4 or 5 means that many destinations are out of reach.
I prefer the points too.
Only problem with points is the moving goal post. Last promotion it was 15 nites, which I barely qualified.
This promotion is for 20 nites which I know I will not be able to do.
I just like piling up the points for future use. They don't expire as do the certificates.
I prefer the points, as I can always use them for a stay and they don't expire (and the certs are often limited as well).
I Made the switch to certificates today. I won't make the nights req to hit the points offer. So, I earned (2) 1-5 cert vs zero pts. Made sense for me
That's exactly what I did, sure glad they are willing to work with us on things like this.
Points work better for me. Certs seemed to be limited to lower tier hotels and you can apply points to any hotel in the system
You'll never get to lifetime platinum on certs. Points are the way to go.
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