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Beware of Marriott Bonvoy Program (Formerly SPG)

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Apropos to the conversation...
Earlier this month, the District of Columbia attorney general filed a lawsuit against Marriott, accusing the hotel giant of deceptive fee practices. The suit accuses Marriott of employing “an unlawful trade practice called ‘drip pricing’ in advertising its hotel rooms, whereby Marriott initially hides a portion of a hotel room’s daily rate from consumers.” This is commonly labeled as a resort fee. Per the suit, Marriott has “reaped hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decade from this deceptive drip pricing.”
 

BrianLo

Well-Known Member
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This has nothing to do with 2012, as I said numerous times. This has to do with an upcoming booking. Please read.
You actually should have never received points on any of the stays. On either iteration of the program (SPG had the same rules). So you are lucky that they did at all last year.

From the sounds of things you complained last year (received the points), then proceeded to do the same thing this year and weren’t afforded something you knew you weren’t entitled to.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
You actually should have never received points on any of the stays. On either iteration of the program (SPG had the same rules). So you are lucky that they did at all last year.

From the sounds of things you complained last year (received the points), then proceeded to do the same thing this year and weren’t afforded something you knew you weren’t entitled to.
LOL... They offered me the program in 2012 when I checked in. But thanks for your valuable input. 🤣
 

unmitigated disaster

Well-Known Member
The hotel I work at- not a Marriott - has never given points for third party stays. We have been known to (very very rarely) give points for major issues, but those are usually for things out of our control, like the time a lightning strike hit an electrical pole and there was no power for 6 hours.

That said, brand loyalty can really rack up the points.
 

scorp16

Well-Known Member
Going back to SPG for a moment. Yes. The accumulation of points was slower, but I remember 10,000 would get you a room night. And in most cases you just had to talk to the right person at the front desk and they would waive the resort fee. Parking was relatively affordable at $15 a night. So 30,000 points and $45 for a 3 day weekend seemed to good to be true. Alas, it was.

You can still get points on a "free stay" or via a third party stay. Provided you are spending at the resort. If you are staying free on points or through a third party - and rack up say $1k at Shula's, Kimono, Bluezoo and/or at the pool bar (It's not as hard to do that as it seems over the course of 3 nights) - you'll get points for that if you charge it to the room - and still more points if you use the SPG card (I don't like "Bonvoy" so I'll still call it SPG)
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Going back to SPG for a moment. Yes. The accumulation of points was slower, but I remember 10,000 would get you a room night. And in most cases you just had to talk to the right person at the front desk and they would waive the resort fee. Parking was relatively affordable at $15 a night. So 30,000 points and $45 for a 3 day weekend seemed to good to be true. Alas, it was.
From others I know, there seems to be a generally consensus that Marriott Bonvoy is not just a really stupid name, but worse than Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards. A decline in the level of service also seems to be a common perception. The reasons it is worse are not because of the reasons given here: points expiring after seven years and not repeating a generosity previously provided regarding a third party booking for a member with three stays over nearly a decade.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
...a member with three stays over nearly a decade.
Oooh, snarky. 🤣

That's three stays in seven years totaling 21 days and over $6k, not including food and drinks. That's about $860+/year (about a 3-4 night stay). I'm not expecting anything (as I stated multiple times) but a few measly points here and there wouldn't kill them. I have loyalty to the hotel, regardless of who owns it or whatever program they're pitching, which, as I also said - has yet to net me a damned thing.
 

unmitigated disaster

Well-Known Member
Oooh, snarky. 🤣

That's three stays in seven years totaling 21 days and over $6k, not including food and drinks. That's about $860+/year (about a 3-4 night stay). I'm not expecting anything (as I stated multiple times) but a few measly points here and there wouldn't kill them. I have loyalty to the hotel, regardless of who owns it or whatever program they're pitching, which, as I also said - has yet to net me a damned thing.
Yeah, but that's just not that much. We have business guests we see every three weeks or so who stay for 3-5 days and they rack up points like crazy. We have regulars during Gem Show who stay for 3 weeks straight. I have never asked but I'm sure they only stay in hotels under our umbrella as much as possible. Especially as this year one of the three week guests was on points the entire stay.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Yeah, but that's just not that much. We have business guests we see every three weeks or so who stay for 3-5 days and they rack up points like crazy. We have regulars during Gem Show who stay for 3 weeks straight. I have never asked but I'm sure they only stay in hotels under our umbrella as much as possible. Especially as this year one of the three week guests was on points the entire stay.
Oh sure. Regular business travelers alone put my stays to shame. It's like frequent flier mileage, it just accrues. I guess at my rate, every point helps, LOL. In another ten years I might get that cup of coffee. 😛
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Oooh, snarky. 🤣

That's three stays in seven years totaling 21 days and over $6k, not including food and drinks. That's about $860+/year (about a 3-4 night stay). I'm not expecting anything (as I stated multiple times) but a few measly points here and there wouldn't kill them. I have loyalty to the hotel, regardless of who owns it or whatever program they're pitching, which, as I also said - has yet to net me a damned thing.
That’s really not that much. You want points you are not owed. If you want the points then rebook the reservation through Marriott and your problem is solved. The program has not provided you anything because you haven’t earned anything. You have one non-qualifying stay they were nice to recognize and now you’re mad that they won’t again recognize another single non-qualifying stay.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
That’s really not that much. You want points you are not owed. If you want the points then rebook the reservation through Marriott and your problem is solved. The program has not provided you anything because you haven’t earned anything. You have one non-qualifying stay they were nice to recognize and now you’re mad that they won’t again recognize another single non-qualifying stay.
You assume much, grasshopper. If I can get the points, sure - I'll try. Will I lose any sleep whatsoever if I don't? Nope.

I also cannot change my reservation, let alone cancel and rebook. But thanks for the help. 😉
 

BrianLo

Well-Known Member
LOL... They offered me the program in 2012 when I checked in. But thanks for your valuable input. 🤣
Of course. They offer the program to everyone at check in.

In 2012 however SPG would not have not awarded stay credit or points credit to third party stays. I truly believe it doesn't appear in your account because you never got anything, one doesn't need to stay to open an account. They just get you to open an account in hopes you actually will book direct in the future.

Which by the way point expiry in SPG was 12 months of no activity at the time (it is now 24 months with Marriott)... So it's all a bit moot even if you did somehow get points that first stay.

Your points from 2018 will also soon expire.
 
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lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
You assume much, grasshopper. If I can get the points, sure - I'll try. Will I lose any sleep whatsoever if I don't? Nope.

I also cannot change my reservation, let alone cancel and rebook. But thanks for the help. 😉
What did I assume? That you don’t have enough points to earn anything? That comes from you. Even the Silver status for which you do not qualify would only be bestowed after your stay and it too would expire without additional qualifying stays.

You say you don’t care but you are the one who started the thread to complain about not getting the points and have now repeatedly stated your intention to bother additional employees with the matter, despite knowing you do not qualify for the points.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
...In 2012 however SPG would not have not awarded stay credit or points credit to third party stays. If you were afforded it then you got something you shouldn't have.

The rules have always existed, your issue seems to be that you should be above the rules?

Which by the way point expiry in SPG was 12 months of no activity at the time... So it's all a bit moot even if you did somehow get points out of them.
🙄

In 2012 I booked direct and was entitled. Perhaps the expiry was 12 months, I don't recall. It was 2012 - and SPG.

As for rules always existing, yes - but they're two different programs with two different sets of rules. Marriott Bonvoy points have a different expiration policy:
...If a Member is not active for 24 consecutive months, that Member will forfeit all accumulated Points. Members can remain active by earning Points or Miles or redeeming Points at least once every 24 months. Points never expire with Lifetime Elite Status...

...You say you don’t care but you are the one who started the thread to complain about not getting the points and have now repeatedly stated your intention to bother additional employees with the matter, despite knowing you do not qualify for the points.
I didn't start this thread to complain. Again, you assume I care at all about these points. I merely posted to inform others that there's fine print to be read; namely that third-party bookings do not qualify. Since I'm not a point-slaying convention goer, I know I was certainly unaware. Lighten up, Francis. 🤷‍♂️
 

BrianLo

Well-Known Member
🙄

In 2012 I booked direct and was entitled. Perhaps the expiry was 12 months, I don't recall. It was 2012.

As for rules always existing, yes - but they're two different programs with two different sets of rules. Marriott Bonvoy points have a different expiration policy:
I had actually edited my post to reflect that. Also to be less snarky on my behalf.

Fair warning your 2018 points will expire shortly and you won't have much success with your new stay.

However... You can charge a meal during your stay though to generate account activity. Or really anything charged to your room can qualify.

You won't find success with getting full points though, they are usually sticklers for third party bookings.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I had actually edited my post to reflect that. Also to be less snarky on my behalf.

Fair warning your 2018 points will expire shortly and you won't have much success with your new stay.

However... You can charge a meal during your stay though to generate account activity. Or really anything charged to your room can qualify.
👍

I have one more year before the existing points expire as per their Terms & Conditions; if by some grace of a front desk person in a good mood adds the points for me, I'm good for another two years (or charge something as you mentioned). Either way, the next time we hit WDW I'll probably want to stay at a Disney resort proper - it's been too long. We love the Swan/Dolphin because of the location (and cost/value ratio) but... It's not the same. So really, the points are largely irrelevant. I just didn't want them to either expire - or not accrue if I could help it.
 

FullSailDan

Well-Known Member
As a consultant I travel at least 4 days a week almost every week out of the year. I had the highest level of status with both Marriott and SPG before the merger, and I have the highest level of status now in Bon Voy. While I don't have top tier with Hilton and Hyatt, its still up there. So a few notes as a travel "pro":

1. Bon Voy is fine. The point values and night awards have seen some adjustments, but there were issues booking free rooms at a number of these resorts already and combining the programs was going to make it worse. SPG points "leveled up" to Marriott's inflated scale and some SPG properties had their rates adjusted.

2. All the points programs usually do not honor budget rate bookings. Airlines have similar rules for miles when you book the newly created "budget" fares, the difference is in airlines you continue to get miles based on dollars spent, but you get drastically lowered "status qualifying miles". You'll be hard pressed to get to a point where you can use those budget fare earned miles because you wont have status.

3. Points expiration - You realize you don't have to stay at the Swan and Dolphin to keep your points alive, right? One night a year in any Marriott or SPG property across the globe basically extends their lifetime indefinitely. Again any Marriott, Ritz Carlon, Sheraton, Westin, Renaissance, Le Meridien, Gaylord, Couryard, Fairfield, Four Points, Springhill Suites, etc. ANY of them. Like, take a weekend away from home, stay at a cheap $80 a night Fairfield Inn and boom you're good.

4. Nothing has changed at the Swolphin since the merger. They have the same offerings as ever, and it's infinitely a better value than the Disney owned properties. (And I say that having worked at the Yacht and Beach many years ago.)

5. The Disney deluxe hotels are "good" but very pricey, and you get ZERO points for staying at them. The service and quality of rooms has declined significantly at the Disney hotels in FL. Their moderate resorts are suffering from an identity crisis right now. The hotel industry has radically modernized their mid-tier offerings with brands like Aloft providing nice modern rooms, for a relatively low price. At the Disney hotels, they used to indicate a certain quality, right now you're only you're paying for "brand and theme". I'm not knocking Disney, it's not easy to maintain the number of properties they have.
 

Janir

Well-Known Member
Not cool - you're punishing an agent who has to live by the rules of Marriott by responding negatively to those surveys. Just because you dislike their answers, doesn't mean they deserve to be rated poorly.

As others have stated, NO hotel program gives credit for stays booked with third parties. This is VERY clearly stated in their terms. Why? Because they lose out on commission from the booking. Thats why orbitz/hotels.com/expedia etc all have their own points scheme to compensate and entice customers to use their booking engine instead. And retroactive credit for a stay from years ago? Nobody does that...not the airlines, not the hotels, not car rental companies. This is VERY standard and done for a very good reason. Adding points to somebody's account years later can negatively skew a companies liabilities in their financials. You're right though - they should've had your first stay credited if you opened it up upon checkin, but its ultimately the guests responsibility to catch that within a 6 month time frame to make any corrections if necessary.

Also - resort fees (while highly unreasonable and questionably unethical) are standard, not sure why this is a surprise to you. Wifi is just one of the "many" features in that resort fee (gym, transportation, business center, etc). You still got free WIFI...you just unfortunately were at a hotel that charges a resort fee to get extra revenue.

I know your intentions are good in warning us all about the program, but rather than posting here about your frustrations... spend that time learning about the Bonvoy program. . Based on your travel patterns, It sounds like you'd be better off booking through hotels.com or orbitz and using their frequent guest hotel schemes instead.
I've never been able to get Marriott points booked thru a 3rd party like Orbitz etc. The one exception is the GenCon hotel booking system. As the con's booking system is done to facilitate con reservations, and the rates are negotiated with the booking system and the convention itself, they've recorded and passed my Marriott number each year. So a 3rd party generally won't accrue points with unless its for some sort or convention setup.
Maybe its just me, but I've found most of the time now if I book directly with Marriott I get nearly the same prices as the 3rd party. I only see Marriott properties but generally that works out ok.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I've never been able to get Marriott points booked thru a 3rd party like Orbitz etc. The one exception is the GenCon hotel booking system. As the con's booking system is done to facilitate con reservations, and the rates are negotiated with the booking system and the convention itself, they've recorded and passed my Marriott number each year. So a 3rd party generally won't accrue points with unless its for some sort or convention setup.
Maybe its just me, but I've found most of the time now if I book directly with Marriott I get nearly the same prices as the 3rd party. I only see Marriott properties but generally that works out ok.
I actually did almost book with the Dolphin directly, but in researching the best price, I was able to knock off "$385" (more like $110 in reality) by combining the flight and room through Priceline. Last year's stay at the Swan was no contest; a third-party deal was a steal that I couldn't get directly.
 

Lensman

Premium Member
One trick I use to keep hotel points from expiring is to sign up for their credit card, if they have one that does not charge an annual fee. Then you just have to charge one thing a year to the card, or use it for autopay for some trivial bill.
 
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