I was again thinking about the difficulties MR members face when it comes to choice with regards to the MegaBonus promotions.
Since the Marriott IT and marketing folks have been showing a lack of creativity lately, I offer this possible "solution" to mitigate several of the most common complaints surrounding promotions.
Offer MR members a choice between earning promo certificates and points.
Some Insiders find promo certs useless; others love them. So, rather than pre-selecting our MegaBonus offers, give us the option to choose one or the other. I won't delve into the category 1-4 versus1-5 debate here. That's been discussed elsewhere. Nor will I reccomend changing the earning criteria for certificates -- earn one cert after every 2nd paid stay up to a maximum of 2 certs (I could envision something similar based on paid nights, but that's a different discussion too). Bring back the certificates for those of us who liked/used them. For everyone else, there is the points option. I can imagine choosing different offers in the spring and fall based on my varying travel plans.
For bonus points offers, rather than have 3 or 4 different schemes based on staying a certain number of nights, create just one offer with a tiered earning scale. I propose something like this (based roughly on what has been offered in the past):
Stay 10 nights -- earn 15,000 bonus points
Stay 5 more nights (15 total) -- earn an additional 10,000 points (25,000 total)
Stay 5 more nights (20 total) -- earn an additional 15,000 points (40,000 total)
Stay 5 more nights (25 total) -- earn and additional 10,000 or 15,000 points (50,000 or 55,000 total)
There could even be additional points for 30 nights. Most past bonuses have topped out around 25-30 nights and at 50,000 (some have gone as high as 55,000 or even 60,000).
These levels are just guides. All I am attempting to show is that a single tiered offer could replace the confusing array currently out there. I hope Marriott will see how this could work.
So, if certificates are useless to you because you never stay at properties below category 6, choose points. If you don't expect to travel 10 nights during the promo period and you like promo certs, choose that option.
This would solve a couple issues, Insiders have been complaining that their travels never seem to match up with the offer Marriott selects for them. The way, we get to choose. People who like certificates can once again earn them. People who don't can choose points. It could also prevent unnecessary call to CS requesting a different offer.
Most of us will be happier. Only the folks how hate certificates but have fewer than 10 paid nights during the promotion will be left out. I'll admit I don't know how large a group this might be, though I hope most of us would be covered by the two options.
I'm suggesting two modest changes. First let us choose between certificates and points. Second, if we choose points, make it one offer with tiered earning opportunities. Whether it has the 5 night thresholds I mentioned or a base level plus additional points for every night (or every 2 nights) doesn't matter. Just make it the same for everyone who selects the points option.
Is this something that could make a difference or have I crossed over to the realm of wishful thinking?