I've recently received a survey from a company working upon Marriotts behalf. I have a thing about surveys, they can be a useful way to influence the route taken by a brand, or, alas it seems more frequently, a waste of my time. Consequently my approach to clicking on surveys is rather haphazard, and probably mean-spirited… I mostly don't bother.
But Im pleased I bothered this time, for as it turned out the survey concerned one of my pet peeves, the lack of a worthwhile UK Marriott credit card. Make no mistake, I carry the UK Marriott free credit card, the only one on offer. Its better than nothing, but not that much better. Our United Kingdom free card garners a 10,000 point signup bonus, the USA premium card, 70,000. The United Kingdom card awards 1 point per £ normal spend, 2 points per £ at Marriotts and double points on non-United Kingdom spending. The USA card, whilst costing $85(£50) is so much more rewarding.
The best means I can use to show the difference is comparing the points I actually received from my £30,000 ($45,000) credit card spending last year:
My UK credit card 45,000MR points
The USA credit card would on the same spending have awarded 150,000MR points
On top of that the USA card also awards night credit for every $3,000 spent (I'd have been credited 15 nights for that) and a free category 1-5 certificate every anniversary, against the United Kingdom card which awards only 2,000 additional MR points every anniversary.
It would seem that Marriott (or rather its credit card partner) are considering a United Kingdom premium card at the £5pcm region offering 5 from the following menu of benefits:
Free Annual Cat1-5 cert
10,000 points signup (eh, same as free card?)
Annual 5,000 anniversary points
Instant MR Gold status for obtaining and retaining the card
2 points per £ spending
Double points at Marriott/supermarket/select partners
0% on transfers for 12 months, purchases for 6 months (eh, whats this doing on a loyalty card?)
Free travel insurance (excesses on the non-emergency cover mean credit card TI is pretty useless)
Free breakdown insurance (usually the most basic, those with new cars have it, those with older cars need more comprehensive cover)
24 hour foreign emergency assist (????)
Special reduced rate foreign exchange (yeah, right)
Special reduced rate car hire (yeah, right)
I can see the instant Gold status incurring the ire of some as it will be seen as increasing the numbers entitled to lounge access, although in all my stays at EU properties I've never come across an overcrowded lounge, although the Heathrow ones have been packed for the first hour of evening service on a few occasions.
The purpose of this post, apart from its newsworthiness is to make fellow United Kingdom Insiders aware that this survey is happening and if you receive an email from PCP Market Research (Peter Pickersgill) to respond, this really is a real opportunity to have a say on something that could greatly improve our credit card offering here in the UK. Just to give readers an idea, if my 5 choices were accepted as the benefits I'd have received at least 95,000 points on my last years spending and the free night certificate!