Marriott Is Still In No Rush When It Comes To Delivering Bad News

Marriott has trudged through the merger between themselves and Starwood by going from one poorly handled situation to the next. However one of the biggest blunders and PR nightmare was when, in November 2018, they announced the discovery of a huge data breach in their systems that may have affected up to 500 MILLION guests. In January 2019, they clarified some details and said the breach only affected about 383 million guests, including the unencrypted passport numbers for 5.25 million guests.

Marriott seemed to be in no hurry to notify people about this hack. As per their website “Marriott began sending emails on a rolling basis on November 30, 2018, to affected guests whose email addresses are in the Starwood guest reservation database.”

I didn’t receive an email until December 6th. At this point, Marriott still didn’t know what information was stolen for each guest but they did provide a link to enroll in the WebWatcher credit monitoring service. It took until February 16, 2019 for Marriott to provide a way to find out the types of your personal information that were released in the hack.


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Why You Need To Diversify Your Miles and Points Portfolio

As you may have read, we had a blowout trip through the American Southwest in 2017. For us, a fifteen night trip is an amazingly long time to be away from home. We could have stayed at the same hotel chain properties and worked our way towards some low level of status. However, it was much better for us to pick the best hotel for us in each location and use the most sensible form of payment, be it paying cash or using points. The same thing went for the flights, which were booked with a combination of cash and airline miles.


This was possible because I had a stash of points in several hotel programs as well as had transferrable credit card points. Some of the rooms I paid for because the hotels either weren’t part of any point program or there was a promotion that made paying with cash a much better value than using points.

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Merge Your Marriott And Starwood Accounts Now, Before The Launch Of Bonvoy

I know, yet another article about the merger of Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz Carlton Rewards into the single Marriott Bonvoy program. The official date of the conversion is February 13th. Much of the discussion had been focused on the Marriott and SPG credit cards from Chase and AMEX and whether you should sign up for one card or another before they are no longer available.  However, I received a message from a reader about our post on merging accounts asking a question I didn’t know the answer to: If you haven’t done so by now, is it mandatory to merge your accounts?

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Should You Keep The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business Card?

As of February 12, 2019, another of our credit cards will join the ranks of our discontinued cards. On that date, Marriott will be consolidating their credit card portfolio under the Bonvoy name and eliminating overlapping cards issued by both Chase and American Express. One of the cards going away to new applicants is the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business card from Chase. American Express has the rights to issue the Marriott Bonvoy Business card from here on, but since we’re current cardholders we can keep our card and the current benefits if we choose.

The question is, should we?


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Why Do Banks Make Everything So Difficult? (Part 2)

I previously wrote about my not-so-pleasant experiences with three different banks over the course of a single week. The lengths I was forced to go through to complete what were seemingly simple transactions led me to think that I was the problem and not the bank. However, the difficulty I experienced this week trying to figure out the answer to a single question has led me to believe the banks make things overwhelmingly difficult on purpose. What event led me to this conclusion? The combination of the Marriott Bonvoy credit card portfolio under the combined umbrella of American Express and Chase.

All the confusion started when Marriott announced they were acquiring Starwood, way back in November 2015 (can you believe it was that long ago?). The points world almost immediately started to wonder what would happen with the credit card portfolio of the two companies, since Starwood had an agreement with American Express and Marriott’s co-brand card portfolio was with Chase. There was much speculation of what would happen, with the odds leaning towards Chase keeping the combined cards.

In December of 2017, an announcement about an ongoing agreement between Marriott, American Express and Chase took almost everyone by surprise. American Express was keeping the right to issue some cards, Chase was going to issue other cards but both banks would be able to continue to offer competing products. That is, until now.

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