A Year Of Retention Offers

When I’m charged the annual fee for a credit card, I take time to think if I want to keep, downgrade or cancel the card. For me to keep the card and pay the fee, without having any guilt, the benefits I receive have to be worth more than I’m paying for the card. Those benefits may come in the ability to earn points that allow Sharon and I to go on amazing trips around the world. A card might also provide certain savings on travel like getting a free checked bag with an airline or free WiFi when staying at a hotel. There also also cards that make our travel more comfortable by giving us access to airport lounges or room and car upgrades, like the SUV we received when we rented a base sedan from Sixt.

I’m not a computer programmer, but the equation is a simple one

  • If card benefits > cost, then keep card
  • If card benefits < cost, then cancel card

But what happens if when I go to cancel a card, the bank does something to alter the calculations? That’s how retention offers work.

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Marriott Broke Their Own Website When Trying To Fix Their “29 Ways to Stay” Contest

I guess I wasn’t the only one to feel that Marriott managed to create the least interesting contest ever with their 29 Ways to Stay promotion. If you remember my post from the other day, this is the 29 day promotion where once you won an instant prize, you could no longer win another instant prize for the rest of the contest. Since the chances to win were greater than 50% each day, it wouldn’t take long for you win a prize and lose interest in the contest. If you played every day, your chance of never winning an instant prize until the last day were 1 in 268,435,456. Imagine flipping a coin and calling heads 28 times and losing every time.

The rules clearly stated you could only win an instant prize once:

Limit one (1) Instant Win Prize per person

That was, until today.

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Marriott Created A Contest You Don’t Want To Win

The whole point of running a contest is to make people happy when they win. But what if you manage to design a contest where most entrants are actually disappointed when they win? How can you do that? Well, the folks at Marriott have apparently figured that out with their current “29 Ways To Stay” promotion.

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I’d like to win a four night stay at the Goldener Hirsch in Salzburg, Austria

The contest was announced the same time as the currently running MegaBonus promotion. While the MegaBonus offer this time was rather lackluster, the contest was a mystery. No details were announced besides the contest would be starting on October 4th and offered a chance to wins points or free hotel nights.

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Hotel Review: Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel – Elizabeth, NJ

I’ve already shared the story of how I was able to fly to New Jersey for the night so I could attend my elementary school reunion. I also shared how I ended up picking a hotel so I could use the free night from Sharon’s Marriott Business credit card.

How was the hotel I booked with my free night certificate and would the room have been worth the $300 price they were charging for a night when I was staying there?

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I Paid Less Than $100 To Travel 1000 Miles For My Class Reunion – It Was My Best Use of Miles & Points Ever!

Do you remember that Nike slogan from forever ago? Just Do It! I guess you could substitute YOLO or Living My Best Life, as the young people say, in its place. It’s a phrase for the times where you forget all the reasons NOT to do something and, well just do it. We all have those things we wish we could do but think of reasons why we can’t. This was the scenario presented when I was invited to a get together of my grammar school class of 1986.

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If any of you youngsters out there are wondering, this is a Polaroid picture (and you were not supposed to shake it).

I went to a parochial (Catholic) school in New Jersey, and the school ran from Kindergarten to 8th grade. So I truly grew up with the people in my class, some of them for nine years and I hadn’t seen most of them for more than 30 years.

When they picked a date for the reunion, I was supposed to be working so I gave up on any chance of attending. But less than a month ago, my work schedule changed.

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