Remember when Arne Sorenson said the Marriott/SPG integration wouldn't be about devaluation? Did anyone believe it? Yeah, me neither.
Somewhere along the way my annual credit card certificate was devalued from category 5 to just 25K points. Fine, Marriott finds a way to devalue something every single year. Nothing I can do but give my business to the other chains (which, with lifetime status, is easy) so I accept that. So I go to book a property that my wife and I are particularly fond of. Even though it's a category 5, they want 35K points. No biggie, I assume: I'll apply the value of my certificate and either pay the difference or pull the extra 10K from my cache of points. The website has never been terribly accommodating with certificate redemption so I call the platinum line and wait twenty minutes (crazy!) to speak with someone who keeps quoting it can't be done (system limitations) and "it's in the terms and conditions" to me. I asked to file a formal complaint but was rebuffed with "read the terms." What the heck happened to the elite line SLA and quality?
I understand that Marriott's "thing" is to squeeze rewards more and more each year. But can we at least ensure the IT systems are accommodating for folks to use what they leave us with?
Since unlocking the top level of lifetime benefits I just don't feel compelled to give Marriott my love anymore. I don't "have" to, to get what few bens remain, and to be frank, the other guys treat us a lot better for much less achievement on the loyalty meter. There was a time that I was die-hard Marriott guy. Nowadays the only influence over my booking is the property itself. What a shame.