There are endless posts about Marriott Bonvoy and how it’s a terrible hotel loyalty program. Even the most loyal members don’t get the benefits they’re promised. The number of points required for a free night at almost every property in the US has increased dramatically over the past decade. Individual hotels regularly ignore the rules and Marriott’s corporate office does little to keep them in line.
Then why does Marriott Bonvoy seem to win virtually every audience award for the best loyalty program?
The easiest answer is that Marriott has a massive membership base and even if 1/20th of its members vote, every World of Hyatt member would need to vote, even to make it close.
That’s ignoring the fact that Marriott members wouldn’t take the time to vote if they were unhappy. Many people out there think Marriott Bonvoy is just fine. Ignorance is bliss.
We think those people are crazy but understand we’re the outliers. Programs aren’t designed to make us happy. In fact, I don’t think they could if they tried.
I have a different viewpoint from most because I knew almost nothing about hotel loyalty programs except for the past decade. I picked hotels by which one was closest to my destination with a reasonable price. IHG Rewards Club was my program of choice and I’ve been a member for over 30 years. I don’t need suite upgrades, club access, full menu breakfasts, or early/late arrival times to enjoy my stay.
For those who spend months out of a year staying in hotels, their status levels are earned. If you stay 50, 75 or even 100 nights at a hotel brand, it’s understandable to expect to get treated differently from the average guest. When you don’t get a suite upgrade even if the hotel is selling them when you arrive, or if the hotel lounge is closed for no other reason than they don’t want to open it, don’t get frustrated.
Take this hint from me. You can’t get upset about not getting a benefit if you don’t expect to get it. Maybe this is why so many Marriott Bonvoy members vote for the program every year. If they stay that much with the hotel, they know the program and set expectations appropriately.
Don’t expect Hyatt-level treatment from a Marriott. You’re probably not going to get that suite upgrade at check-in but you might get better than the worst room in the hotel. Your Suite Night Upgrades probably won’t clear at the hotels you want them to but you can get a room with a balcony for your pre-cruise hotel.
If you’re expecting a complimentary breakfast, the rules are so complicated that sites have compiled pages to help you understand what to expect, depending on where you’re going and what brand of hotel you’re staying at. Unless you’re somewhere that provides free breakfast for anyone, nothing’s guaranteed.
The smaller benefits like getting the fastest internet speed are honored if you can connect to the network.
By not expecting anything, you’ll be happily surprised for the nights when you get upgraded to a suite. You’ll feel like royalty when the hotel restaurant serves hot breakfast and you can pick anything you want from the menu.
The lower you set the bar when dealing with Marriott Bonvoy, the better. Less chance you’ll end up feeling #Bonvoyed.
Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.
Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary