I find it interesting that the recent thread titled: "2013 Category Upgrades are a Major Devalue to the Whole Program" http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/thread/12054, was locked "in lieu of merging duplicate conversations," and thus pointed to this thread.
While it's true that both threads are discussing similar aspects of the same topic, I find it interesting that of the two discussion threads, the discussion thread whose title had the most negative connotation towards Marriott was the one that was closed. It seems a lot like damage control on the part of Marriott to me, and is disappointing. Please keep the input coming regarding the fact that the 2013 category upgrades are a major devaluation to the Marriott Rewards program as a whole.
The addition of a ninth category which costs an extra 5,000 points/night, and then bumping the best hotels up to the next category was one thing. It was a hard enough pill to swallow, and I might've just hissed and grumbled a bit, went ahead and swallowed it, crankily moved on, and kept trying to stay in the game and drink the koolaid... But no... Marriott had to go and add insult to injury by not increasing the megabonus night award certificates to maintain parity, which amounts to being done dirty twice over.
We love you!
Nah, just kidding.
I'm still in shock.
It reminds me of how it felt when across-the-board permanent pay cuts were executed in my work organization two years ago.
A good feeling.
Time will tell how it will all shake out. For Marriott. For you. For me. I will be thinking on this and observing Marriott's behavior for quite a while to come. In the meantime, I'll be working on spending down my Marriott investments in the most advantageous ways possible (before their value is further diminished), while thinking hard about whether or not to make future investments of loyalty into the Marriott brand.