I've been a loyal Marriott guy since I started travelling at 22.. I'm 27, and not far off from Lifetime Platinum (about 9 months if I keep it up), however I've been less than impressed with my experience and having been considering looking at other options for my travel. (my company offers us apartments if we don't want to stay in hotels). I wanted to post on here to get other opinions and see if there were any perks or perspectives I might be missing.
Here is my take:
Platinum Elite is decent for a heavy personal traveler, or medium business traveler- but for those of us who are true "road warriors", it's a total joke. I typically renew my platinum status around May each year. It's not an accomplishment, and the benefits kind of support that.
Upgrades: I've only been upgraded once in 5 five years, and you can tell there is no expectation that you will get an upgrade without asking for one. I feel like this should be a standard- airlines have a pretty seamless system to manage this, and in a pretty clear way. It's just weird to make people continually ask - who wouldn't want an upgrade if it was available?
Megabonus/promotions: I can't figure out how Marriott determines what promotions to give customers, and from reading this site it makes me even more confused. I used to get quarterly MB promotions for 30-50k points, but now I seem to get a lot of smaller bonuses mixed in with promotions that (from my travel history) are pretty clear I would never utilize.
Nearly unusable night vouchers: The free nights I get on occasion have become more difficult to use than they are worth my time. Every time I look to redeem one, searching for a category 1-5 hotel in any desirable area is pretty much a joke. It ends up being a bit of a fail, because the times I have used it, I'm annoyed with where I am staying and it actually ended up reflecting poorly on Marriott.
Trivial, almost insulting bonuses: Things like the "elite night credit" on your birthday, or the "badges" are really lame attempts at rewarding customers. First off- the "elite night credit" for someone who already renewed platinum status is a total joke. And the badges- the fact that they "reward" you with 50-100 points... cool, so I only need 75 badges for one night at a decent hotel? Ultimately, I find many of Marriott's smaller initiatives like these to be almost insulting.
At this point, I'm already Lifetime Gold, which guarantees me some of the most basic perks (breakfast, internet). At this point, I don't see the value in continuing to maintain Platinum.. Looking for other members experiences before I decide. Thanks!