Here's an observation on how points are likely worth less, especially after the August 18th, 2018 merger of Marriott Rewards and SPG.
First an historical example.
Marriott Rewards had Points-Savers rates. However, without regard for the location, property brand, time of year, I was always told the Points Savers rate was "unavailable". When I asked for additional details, I was told the property determines if/when Points Savers redemption rates are available; and Marriott Rewards has no control over what the properties are willing to accept.
Of course, I never bought that argument. The Marriott Rewards program determines the number of points for the property based on the property's category.
When I recently spoke with a Marriott Ambassador about this point, I was advised Marriott will take a more active role in what rules the properties must comply with, after considering customer feedback. Well, here’s the feedback.
I've been rewarded with "Platinum Elite Lifetime" status for my loyalty; for which I'm very appreciative.
Now for what's coming.
There’s the introduction of Peak and Off-Peak rewards points. In all fairness, some of the required Rewards points were reduced, while others were raised. However, I can see Off-Peak rates not being available at all, if not nearly all, properties; just like the phantom Points Savers.
August 18, 2018 is a magic date for Marriott Rewards and SPG. At that time, SPG points will be merged into Marriott Rewards points. The conversion rate is, (and has been since the Marriott/SPG merger), one SPG point for three Marriott Rewards Points.
I did a little arithmetic with the scales of the two programs, (how many points it costs for a night at a specific category property), My calculations yielded a result equating, (on average), roughly 7-8 Marriott Rewards points for each SPG point.
It's like currency conversion, where the SPG points are worth about half (or less than half) as the Marriott points.
By the way, I've been traveling nearly weekly (typically around 45 weeks per year) for 40+ years, almost exclusively choosing Marriott. As a matter of fact, the Ambassador advised me I've been with the Rewards program since its inception, some 30+ years ago.
So, I sincerely hope someone in Marriott's management is "listening" to this message.
Having said all this, I'm fully aware that Marriott can change the rules anytime they wish, and at their discretion. However, I'm hoping there's an awareness that changes can (and will highly likely) affect loyalty, one way or another.
My ask is twofold:
Make sure there are specifically defined Off-Peak and Peak periods with which properties are required to comply; and
Create an even parity between SPG and Marriott Rewards points.
Your constructive input is welcome.