I have been with Marriott Rewards since I purchased our Hawaii timeshare 14 years ago. When I joined, we received a "free world trip" or the equal points..about 220K.. That, at the time, we were told, covered air and 7 night stay at any marriott.. OH how the program evolved. It is now so difficult to add enough points for a stay..and read the fine print..the 10 for 1 points, I just found out AFTER my week at Gaylord Marriott, doesn't count for hotel purchases at most brands.. I spent over 1200 inside the resort on top of my hotel rate, and get nada. They have even raised the lifetime points needed and the night stays needed for Gold or higher to literally impossible levels for anyone other than corporate big wigs and those who travel a TON for business. How can the "Average Joe" who likes Marriott stay 50 nights a year, or gain 1.6 MILLION Points? That is my biggest gripe with this program. It is being marketed to average people as something we can all attain, but once you are hooked, you see that there is simply no way to reach the levels they set. They even raised all the nice hotel categories, added a bunch more, and make it so the free one night stay isn't valued much more than the 85 dollar annual fee for the card..
Ok,so, Marriott, how about offering something for real people who CHOOSE to spend their OWN money rather than their companies money in your resorts? I like your brand and the hotels..but the program is becoming less and less attractive for those who committed to you..the one's who made you what you are.