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Marriott Bonvoy® is the loyalty program for Marriott International and most of the 8,700 hotels in its portfolio. Generally, earning status is pretty straightforward with each eligible night stayed (whether paid with cash, points, or a combination) earns one credit towards status. This does not matter if you’re staying at a St. Regis or Residence Inn. But, in a troubling turn, Marriott is awarding half-night credits at two of its brands.
Back in February, I wrote about changes Marriott made to earning in the program. At the time, it changed earnings at its Protea Hotels brand to the following for stays with check-out dates on or after March 1, 2023:
- You’ll earn 5x points per dollar spent, half of the previous 10x points
- You’ll earn one elite night credit for every two qualifying nights, which is also half of what is currently earned where each night counts as one stay
While many might not be familiar with the brand in the US, Protea Hotels are found across 10 countries in Africa.
Now, Lucky at One Mile at a Time is reporting that Marriott is adding this structure to one of its newest brands: Four Points Express by Sheraton.
As I shared in September, Four Points Express by Sheraton “will offer value-conscious consumers a seamless hotel experience in a convenient location, with principles of reliability, simplicity and value in both the design and guest experience.” The brand will offer clean, comfortable rooms, breakfast, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Three locations in Türkiye and the UK are opening in the near term.
Like Protea, benefits include:
- You’ll earn 5x points per dollar spent
- You’ll earn one elite night credit for every two qualifying nights
This is Not Good
I guess this can be equated to earning reduced credit when flying Basic Economy with an airline, but it’s a troubling trend. If you stay one night, you should get credit for one night. Marriott has not made ay of its other budget hotels earn at this rate (yet) and if it were to shift this way, many members who earn by staying at extended stay and more affordable hotels would suddenly need double the nights to earn elite status. That’s not fair and not something that will make members stay loyal.
Anthony’s Take: While this is currently only impacting two brands in Marriott’s portfolio of over 30, I could see this creeping to others that it classifies as Budget or Extended Stay. This is not a good look, Marriott, and one that I hope does not impact any other brands’ earnings.
(Featured Image Credit: Amazon.)
(Image Credits: Marriott.)
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