Marriott Rewards - Partner Agreements useless

Mar 23rd, 2007, 07:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,091
Marriott Rewards - Partner Agreements useless

I had a great trip planned for this summer to Barcelona, planning to stay at the Hotel Arts Barcelona. I was planning to use my well earned Marriott Rewards, earned by being loyal to that chain on each of my business trips.

However, I find that when using the Partner Rewards (Ritz Carlton) that the hotels are basically free to choose whether or not they even want to have any rooms with this program or not. There aren't even designated dates.

My recommendation is to ditch Marriott Rewards and go with another chain.

I hope some Marriott execs see this and rectify this situation immediately, or my business will be going elsewhere immediately, for all future business trips.

What's the poing of having rewards if you can never use them?
bkluvsNola is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 07:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 923
I do feel for you and I hope you feel better having had a chance to rant a little. I found out years ago I could not plan a trip and count on using my points with any program. Some of the hotels are privately owned etc.

Same goes for airline rewards. I don't depend on them. If I am able to use my points I do, and count it as a bonus.
LilyLace is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226
I've had great luck with Hilton Points.
GREAT vacations at great hotels.
starrsville is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 08:01 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 757
Same problems with airline Dividend Miles.
LvSun is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 08:12 AM
Posts: n/a
bk, I'm not trying to defend Marriott because I can understand your frustration but there is another side to this.

Not all Marriotts are company owned. Many are private franchises who fly the Marriott flag.

Also, often times hotels only provide a certain number or percentage of rooms for point stays and when they are gone, the hotel will not provide any more.

I'm guessing the reason is that you picked peak travel time to cash in your points.

I would certainly call Marriott corporate and talk with someone in customer service and keep going up the food chain until you get some results.

I honestly believe they will see the light and work with you.
Mar 23rd, 2007, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 487
I, on the other hand have had great success using my marriott points in hawaii, aruba, the USVI, Washington DC, etc. The trick is to plan far in advance if you are trying to stay in a much desired location. I plan my trip to St. Thomas a year in advance (online) and you can always canel up to a week in advance if you change your mind.
dolciani is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,961
There are very very few hotels in any chain, be it Marriott or Hyatt or whomever, where the chain actually owns the hotel. Of the 6 hotels my husband has worked at with his chain, only one was actually owned by Hyatt. Most have some other ownership group and the chain has a management contract to run it. Hyatt owns a handful and some Hyatt hotels are actually owned by the real estate division of Marriott! It's a confusing picture. But that should have nothing to do with redeeming rewards. Any chain's rewards are limited to a percentage of that hotel's rooms and the percentage might be very small, especially in high season. Think of the popular hotels in Maui or Kauai for instance, and their bottom line, if there were no limit, if everyone who had points could cash them in on that hotel at the same time if they wanted!! Popular months you might have a 50/50 split of paying and non paying guests!! Not gonna happen. So bkluysNola, it really doesn't matter what chain your rewards are with, all will have similar policies.
OO is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 09:33 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,498
We found that peak travel season, of popular locations require about a year advance planning. We reserved our hotel in Costa Rica as soon as the time period opened up.
angethereader is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
That's why it's great to have top status.

Hilton HHonors program will "force" a room even in a sold out hotel for their Diamond members. There are few exceptions, such as an extraordinary event going on in the area, i.e. Super Bowl, Daytona 500, etc., but other than that I can always get an award room. I "forced" a room once during Christmas and New Year at a sold out Waikiki Hilton.

As a AA Executive Platinum I can not force an award ticket although the status does have an expanded award inventory, but I can be guaranteed a seat on a sold out flight as long as I call AA 24 hours before and I'm willing to pay full fare. Never needed this perk.

Reporting from Budapest Hilton Castle.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
"I hope some Marriott execs see this..."

Sorrry, but oh, please....get the keyboard working and send them a letter/email.

Plan ahead next time.
Dukey is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 10:12 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226
I agree. If you had "a great trip planned for this summer" you should have started trying to get the hotel on points LAST summer. Keep trying, in case something opens up, but probably not...
starrsville is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 04:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,091
I tried getting the hotel back in January and kept trying until now.

So it's my fault that hotels make their redemption policies so archaic that it's virtually impossible to redeem rewards????

That's just not right...
bkluvsNola is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 05:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,068
Psychologically I treat frequent flier and frequent sleeper points the same way as hoping to win the lottery or finding money on the ground - it sure would be nice but I don't count on it. We have lots of hard-earned airline miles - earned by my husband sometimes on impossible business trips.

At one time I thought of them as almost salary increases, until I realized that the ability to use them for a specifically planned trip was uncertain at best.

So my strategy is to plan a trip and then if I am then able to use free points, it is a nice bonus. Although at times I have planned a trip based on where my points can take me, rather than the other way around.

Hope you can still find a way to have either this or another great summer trip.
gail is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 07:35 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,091
The thing that gets me is that when I first called a few months ago they said "Oh, the booking calendar is only open until April. Call back in a few months when they've had a chance to open up the booking calendar into the summer." So I did this, and now they say there are no rooms until November.

This is part of a much larger trip where the airfare has already been booked, so my choice at this point is either to escalate up the Marriott Rewards management chain or find another hotel.

By the way, I've never had problems in the past redeeming Marriott Rewards at Marriott properties in the US, but this is the first time that I've tried to redeem (a) Ritz Carlton (b) in Europe.

bkluvsNola is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 08:23 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,961
1. Ritz Carlton
2. Europe in summer
3. Rewards points

Save yourself, please...fess up. You're a troll? Say yes.
OO is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 08:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,091
Guess what?

I was able to get in. After making numerous calls, and about to escalate but not having to, the gracious agent on the phone was able to make my dates for one day earlier.

The only thing I'll have to change is a flight from Switzerland (that's the previous country on our European trip) to be one day earlier. It's funny, because the other agents said nothing was available until November, and for this agent, I asked her, please tell me all the dates available from now until November and she came up with a list and one of the dates happened to start one day earlier.

So now I have to change an intra-Europe flight which will be a pittance compared to the cost of the hotel that we're staying at.

The great thing about it is that I didn't have to raise my voice nor did I have to play the "let me please speak to your manager" card. I just made it known that I was being given conflicting information and I think she got the picture that she *was* going to get me into that hotel either the easy polite way or if it came to it, the hard way! She chose to do it the easy way and just grant my wish!

I love Marriott again!

Now I'll be staying at their hotels for every business trip.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 07:14 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 5
I learned the hard way that from my experience most, ot all of the "clubs", partners, dividends etc. all play a semantic game when enticing us to sign
up. For about 8 months after I joined
a 50% off hotel stays and never having been able to book a room ( always no rooms available ) even 3 months in advance I finally got a room at a hotel. When I arrived I found out I was only paying $10 less than the other guests. When I questioned the manager she said the 50% off is deducted from the "rack
rate". So don't automatically assume you will be getting 50% off the posted
rate. It really both sorrows me and infuriates me that we are becoming a country of sleaze.
wolfwoman636 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 06:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,073
I spend 2 - 4 nites each week at a Marriott property for business and have been doing so for about 6 years.
I have to say that I find their program excellent and I think that they are quite nice to loyal customers.
I have used free points at both Ritz Carlton and Marriott properties all over including Europe. The key is that you need to plan way ahead....just like with frequent flyer programs
EmilyC is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:41 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 210
I have gotten very good at playing the points/rewards game and have a lot of "free" vacations because of it. We stay as loyal to our HHonors program as possible.

Our trip to Montreal/Quebec City seemed like it would be a breeze until I started looking for rooms when I thought was really in advance...the Hilton Bon was booked solid but fortunately DH has status and we got a room. The Hilton in QC said no reward stays available but it had plenty of rooms the Honors special services group is going to pay cash to the hotel for the 2 nights ($330 we have reserved!!) So no out of pocket costs there either!! It pays to be persistent and speak to people directly.

SO there are always ways around...
alise007 is offline  

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