In recent years, Marriott has been doing promotions that provide certificates for free stays at Marriott Hotel properties (Level 1-5 category hotels). While this appears to be a generous reward for loyally staying at Marriott Hotel properties when I travel, I'm finding the certificates to be highly restrictive.
- Tried to use them during a visit to a Marriott Residence Inn in January, but the room I needed for my family to stay in was ineligible for using the certificate. I was told by the Marriott reservation agent when I tried to use it for the room I needed that "I could make a reservation for a smaller room at the property using the certificate and hope that the hotel might upgrade me," but they were essentially asking me to take a risk that I might not get upgraded and then the four members of my family would be forced to share one queen sized bed. Not really a viable option, but thank you for suggesting that anyway Marriott.
- Certificates can't be used for Marriott branded properties--only your lower end properties--Fairfield Inn, Courtyard, Residence Inn, Springhill Suites, etc.
- Tried to allow a family member to use the certificate since it was going to expire before I could use it, but the certificates are non-transferable. Only the Marriott Rewards member can use the certificates.
My strong suggestion to Marriott is rather than providing restrictive certificates as the ONLY option for rewarding loyalty for staying extra hotel nights at your properties, give Rewards members the option to receive extra points in their account which don't expire and can be used at the Reward members discretion AND can be transferable to family or friends. Let your Rewards members choose how to be rewarded. It's all about choice, right? This is what Marriott used to do, but Marriott has changed their program in recent years. This represents a downgrade to the program and not a real incentive that makes me want to be a loyal member.
So please pass this feedback along to your SVP over your Marriott Rewards Program. Give members a choice. Hotel stay certificates or points. Thanks for the consideration.
I invite other Marriott Rewards customers to provide their feedback on this suggestion if they agree.