Marriott strikes back: Bonvoy cuts status for many and posts incorrect points

Last weekend, the troubles of Marriott’s integration with Starwood started to reach its peak. To give you a timeline, in December 2018, Marriott was able to transition the Starwood reservations to their own Marriott reservation platform, and that is where the trouble started. For instance, the Al Maha resort started to be able to make full-board redemptions into bare basic reservations, till they got pushback from members. Marriott has magically removed the expiry date of your status from all over the website, so you never find out when your status expires as well.

In the USA, many folks who got a Ritz Carlton card, and were supposed to be Platinum Elite through March 2020, are now overnight just Gold Elite members. But it does not seem to be trouble with just them. It seems the SPG legacy requirements have been overlooked. Last year, during the merger process, Starwood legacy members were given one last opportunity to qualify with the ability to make 25 stays at legacy Starwood brands and qualify for Platinum Elite one more year.

While I had a reasonable amount of business with Marriott/SPG last year, I figured this was the way I wanted to go with Marriott to qualify for status for the year. I also wrote in to Marriott to check on the number of stays they already saw in their systems, and then in my December 2018 end of the year holiday, accordingly allocated them so that I would hit Platinum Elite through 2020.

Given the membership expiry was removed, I figured it was not required anymore for me to check with Marriott again, and my Platinum status was reinstated already.

Just this morning, I woke up to notice this.

a white and brown website

There is so much wrong with this screenshot. I remember being a member since 2009 onwards, so I don’t know where they get the Member since 2014 onwards part. Not just that, Gold Elite. Meh.

Another thing happened where Marriott IT failed to deliver the goods this weekend. The Marriott Fall Megabonus promotion for 2018, which was valid between September 26, 2018, through January 29, had the following offers:

With MegaBonus® in More Places, you’ll earn:

  • 2,000 bonus points on all stays of two or more nights
  • 1,000 bonus points per brand, starting with your second brand

NEW! Now get even more. Earn:

  • 10,000 bonus points when you stay at 10 brands.
  • 29,000 bonus points when you stay at 29 brands.

Now, as per my count, I stayed at the following brands since September 26, 2018, onwards:

  • Sheraton
  • Luxury Collection
  • Le Meridien
  • Four Points
  • Aloft

So, logically, I was supposed to get 4,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. But… when on February 28, 2019, they posted the points, all I got was…

a white rectangular object with a black border

While I don’t doubt the intelligence of the good folks running Marriott Bonvoy, I am pretty angry with the way their IT team is churning out code, which makes sure wrong stuff happens, and then people have to be hanging on to the phone for hours to get their problems resolved. I just don’t have that kind of time, and out of respect for our time, Marriott IT got to do their job properly!

I’d love to know who else got to see these problems over the weekend with Marriott?

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Would someone please confirm if the Marriott Fall Megabonus 2018 promotion was valid for reward stays as well or only for paid stays?

  2. Yep, here in AUS/NZ/S.Pacific/Asia we were also completely ‘knee capped’ – our (SPG) membership since 1999 was ‘removed’ and changed to 2017 (!!) – virtually all our SPG nights for the past 20 years were removed from the records and we currently do NOT even have any physical membership card anymore – because are there are NO Marrriott cards available here ! Marriott does not even see the necessity to let us know about all this or tell us what future ‘card’ -if any- those suffering Lifetime Gold Members receive …?

  3. Pretty dismal, this discovery of being suddenly downgraded from Platinum Elite to Gold. This, after spending a bomb last weekend at an upscale W Resort!

  4. Not many blogs are reporting this change. I guess the ritz card is no longer, thus bring in no revenue!!!

  5. The same thing happened to me. I am now GOLD when I should be Platinum. I paid $450 for the Ritz card just for the platinum status. I thought I’d have Platinum for another year. I hate Marriott. They never should have bought Starwood. So I guess I’ll have to move my loyalty to Hilton. Marriott has too many issues and keeps on changing the rules and midstream with little or no notice. I think they made too many promises and tried to keep all of their members but then saw that it cost them way too much with hotel owners so they keep on changing the rules.
    Marriott “You’ve lost another customer”.

  6. Ajay, something similar happened to me as well. I have lost ~70 lifetime nights. The only reasons Marriott stands above Hyatt for me is the ability to transfer MR points from AMEX. Else, I would pick Hyatt for my travels over Marriott everyday.

  7. Honestly, I’ve shifted my loyalty to Hilton since late 2017 and haven’t looked back. You’re simply more valued as an elite, they fix whenever something doesn’t work as expected, I get upgraded like 9 times out of 10, and their hotels are much better priced. Even for everyday business travel, there is no sense paying more for Courtyard when Hilton is better priced. With CRM 3X promotion, I’m getting 38 points per dollar spent as a Gold elite. I’ve had 2 hiccups since and Hilton was so proactive to fix it!

    I just stay with Marriott to burn MR points on Cat 1/2 hotels. For higher end, I stick to Conrad whenever possible.

    • @Amex Guy my chief hiccup with Hilton is the shifting target in terms of the reward chart. And I am in Marriott because of SPG, so I will continue to hold them to the same standard, till I can’t

    • Amex guy,

      I read your comments everywhere in different forums. You have some solid experience and knowledge. Think you should start a blog! Or somewhere where we can follow you

  8. In case of mega bonus, seems only 2 night stays we’re eligible for additional 1k points. I stayed at 10 brands (2 nights each) and for 19k points posted.

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