Marriott has gone through a lot of changes in the past year. Some of those changes good, and many of those changes negative. The acquisition of SPG was a huge move for Marriott, but along with the data breach, and people having issues with points not showing up on their accounts for months after the acquisition, and reward program benefits not being honored at hotels, many people that were heavily invested in the Marriott brand have been looking elsewhere. It’s gotten extreme, that Hilton recently released a report that they added over 18 million people to their reward program in 2018 alone. That may be why Marriott is taking action in this way…
Do you happen to have a higher tier of status at Marriott? Check those inboxes! Marriott has been sending out gift cards to its elite members. These gift cards are in increments of either $30, $50, or in very rare form, $100. These gift cards can be used for the hotel itself, or retailers inside the hotel including golf courses and hotel spas.
Marriott did not officially give a reason for giving these gift cards away, but I think it’s pretty clear what they’re doing here. While Marriott is the biggest hotel chain the in world, and their CEO acts like he isn’t concerned about all of the negative press they’re receiving, the simple truth is that they are forcing their best customers away. These are the guests that spend a huge amount of the year in their hotels.
With IT problems not completely clear just yet, and the blocking of reward program benefits, it seems clear to me that people are going to Marriott’s competitors. While a $30 gift card is a nice gesture, i wouldn’t think it would fix the real reason why people are switching over or at least venturing outside of Marriott’s hotel program. Instead of spending money on gift cards, I think Marriott would have done betting using that money to make sure all of the hotels in the portfolio are following Marriott’s rules.
Does a Marriott gift card convince you to give Marriott another chance? Let us know below!