Marriott change to retaining Gold Elite Status for seniors and less frequent travelers

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Feb 23, 2018
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#1
I retired a few years ago. I used to travel a fair amount for work and was able to get a Marriott Gold Elite Rewards account. I also have the Marriott Rewards Credit Card, so clearly I have been (I thought) a valued Marriott customer for a long time.. The first couple of years after retiring, Marriott automatically upgraded me to Gold status without the required nights. Then they stopped, but by using 25,000 points, I could renew for the year. I did this the last two years, and now Marriott has announced that they will no longer allow that option starting in 2018. Almost every time I travel, I stay at a Marriott property. But I may only spend at most 20 nights in hotels. As a senior, it seems unfair that they essentially exclude us from attaining or remaining Gold. I have sent emails to the Customer Care at Marriott and the response from Customer Care basically was that was their new policy. I also sent an Email to Arne Sorenson, but have received no response. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can get this issue raised within Marriott? Who else could I contact? I really enjoyed being Gold... I told them that, bottom line, the incentive to stay at Marriott was going away, and I would now be most likely to use the lowest price for any decent hotel rather than specifically seeking out a Marriott property. I tried to convince them that the cost for a long time customer to remain Gold was much less than losing me as a customer, but to no avail. I even suggested coming up with an upgrade program like the airlines, where I could use my points to "upgrade" to Gold status for a particular stay, which I think is a great idea. Suggestions, anyone on how to get through to Marriott?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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#2
Unfortunately, Marriott has shareholders to report to and their bottom line is profits. These programs are meant for folks who travel on business that spend months traveling. 20 days is simply not a big enough spend. They have given you a gift the last few years but it didn’t bring them more nights from you.

We have company contacts on top of our pages but if you’ve already written to Arne Sorenson, not sure that our contacts will do you any good.
 
Dec 12, 2014
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#3
Understand your quandary, but not sure what you can do to convince Marriott to change the policy.

That said, since you use to travel a lot for work ,how close are you to lifetime gold status (500 nights & 1.6M points)? Depending on how close you are, you may end up with the status forever.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,379
13,047
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
The point is that Marriott is rewarding their highest booking customers. This is not very different than airlines that constantly change their frequent flyer programs and also falls in line with changes other hotel chains are making with travel rewards.

There is really little you can do about it if you can't meet the criteria. And Marriott is so arrogant that they just don't care. Travel agents are at war with them about cutting commissions. The only thing we can do is to book our clients at other hotels that are more agent friendly. You can give your business to a chain that values folks more as well. Money talks and if everyone that is losing these benefits moves their business - then Marriott profits will fall and then they might rethink their policy.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#6
Bob, loyalty programs are aimed at frequent travellers, as you know. Many members who previously travelled for work find themselves without the perks they have been used to. And of course nobody likes that.

When loyalty programs first appeared, nobody ever thought that billions of miles/points would be generated, so now airlines and hotel chains are desperate to extricate themselves from the liability. While you certainly can pursue this with Marriott, it's important to keep in mind that they no longer consider you a valued member. I wish I had more positive advice for you, but that's the reality. And don't feel like the Lone Ranger ... travellers are being hit with fewer or no perks once they stop generating lots of revenue ... from hotels and airlines, everything is tightening up.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#7
Now that Marriott and Starwoods are one, I think that there is an attempt to thin the number of elites -- and make the two programs have the same benefits. There are just too many, and the point of elites is someone that pays and stays a lot. I do not think you are going to be able to get Marriott to change their minds; if it is that important, how about looking in credit cards that give the gold status -- Amex platinum gives the Starwood gold status which is honored by Marriott. Of course the annual fee for Amex Plat is not insignificant but if the status matters, then it may be worth looking into it.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,856
6,781
113
San Francisco
#8
Good point about status thru a CC, Christina. I'm a Hilton person and they just introduced a new HH AmEx card ... for me the benefits are supremo. The annual fee is $450 but you can negate that with credits at Hilton Resorts and miscellaneous fees on a domestic airline of your choice. Might be worth checking out, Bob.