Marriott Bonvoy Still Failing At Basics

Filed Under: Marriott

Marriott has spent a lot of money coming up with a new name for a loyalty program, rather than using what they have. Since it’s an imaginary word, they’re also spending a lot of money marketing it.

But dear Marriott, when will you get the basics right? I just don’t get it. For all practical purposes Marriott created a single loyalty program in August 2018 (the only thing that changed this month was the branding), and over six months later it’s still not functioning as it should. And I don’t think this is getting enough attention.

I’m not saying any other sites are in bed with Marriott (just sharing limos to the Oscars), but one has to wonder if it’s a coincidence that a negative post about Marriott disappeared on a certain other site.

(Kudos to Richard for having the integrity to step back from that site when his post was pulled)

So I’ll balance that out and share my continued frustrations with the program. This post isn’t about anything in particular, but…

What happened to the data hack?

Marriott had a huge data breach, and 10 days ago (months after the breach was announced), they finally set up a third party site that lets you check if you were impacted.

The only thing is that you can’t actually check. Instead you fill out a form, and they say they’ll contact you, with no timeframe.

It has been 10 days, and I haven’t been contacted. Talk about adding insult to injury…

“This property is not taking redemption bookings”

All Marriott hotels have been on a single reservations system for over two months now. How is it that I’m still constantly getting messages saying “this property is not taking redemption bookings at this time?”

Deposits without disclosure

As Steph recently noted, Marriott has quietly added into their terms that they’re charging cash deposits for making award stays at many hotels. This is outrageous:

  • If this is intentional, how does anyone think it’s okay to do this without making an announcement about this, and without disclosing it more clearly?
  • If it’s a glitch, how has it not been fixed?

Who is responsible for sending our promo flyers?

This is so minor, but to me further underscores just how broken of a program this is. Registration for Marriott’s next promotion opens on March 5. The way we’ve found out about this is that some members have received flyers in the mail already encouraging them to “register now,” over a week before registration even opens.

If you’re going to send out flyers (which seems sorta dumb to me in 2019, but…), is it that hard to time it so that the flyers don’t arrive over a week before you can take action on them, even though the flyers say “register now?”

What exactly has been reimagined?

Could someone — anyone — explain to me how Marriott is going with the tagline “Rewards Reimagined” for their program? Like, actually (especially for SPG members), what exactly has been reimagined? Or are they referring to their unimaginably bad IT?

If they were being honest, the tagline should be “Marriott Bonvoy: Because We’re Bigger.”

Bottom line

The above is literally just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a countless number of other issues I could talk about, but I feel like this addresses some of the basic failures.

Some of these are minor things (like the flyer situation), while others are major things (like the horrible handling of the data breach — don’t ask me for even more personal information on a third party website, only to not even get back to me in a reasonable timeframe).

But they all come together to make me wonder if anyone is actually awake at Marriott Bonvoy. We’ve heard Marriott’s CEO refer to issues with the program as “noise around the edges,” but all I can say is that the user experience isn’t where it should be.

I understand that creating the world’s largest hotel program is a huge task and there will be problems. I was expecting there would be issues during the transition. But it has now been over six months since Marriott really formed a single loyalty program (in August 2018), yet I still feel like we’re dealing with a “soft opening.”

When will we see the finished product?

I’m curious — is anyone pleased with the current situation with Marriott Bonvoy? I’m not talking about the value proposition of the program as such, but rather I’m talking about the current execution of things, and things being the way they should?

  1. We had a Ritz 50k free night certificate booking that I had to cancel 2 days ago to use it at a different hotel. I cancelled online and now the free night certificate is nowhere to be found. Emailed them two days ago. Said I would get a response in 24 hours. Still no answer. Tweeted them yesterday and they responded asking for my Marriott number. After that no answer, and still missing my free night certificate. What a cluster%&#@ of a merger.

  2. Hey, they finally put the 15 days for the credit card in my account. 2 whole days before the final deadline and only 57 days into the year.

  3. Unfortunately you have only touched at the surface of what they are failing at
    What about horrible communication even to their best customers?
    Such as Titanium and Ambassador.Heaven help the plebeians in the program
    Non existent customer service
    Finding a reasonably friendly trained Res /CS agent
    A Guest Relations line for hotel failures (none)
    And no number for Marriott Rewards customer service line or Bonjovi or whatever that crap is
    There is no brand assurance
    Welcome to the American Airlines of hotel companies when bigger is certainly not better
    SPG ruined what was once Marriott Worldwide and they may or may not ever recover
    I’m at Hilton and Hyatt as a lifetime Bondestroy TIT level member

  4. So many other issues that could be added, including:
    –Previous Megabonus closed almost a month ago with no sign of the brand bonus points
    –Points from stays post incredibly slowly — 2 weeks seems to be standard posting time from legacy SPG properties outside the US
    –Many people have not seen “years of elite status” counters incremented based on 2018 activity yet, with lots of different answers for when the counter will increment
    –Manual posting of missing stays defaults to credit for room rate only, never gives points for any ancillary spend unless customer battles back, which is very hard to do because…
    –Customer service channels completely clueless and unempowered to help with anything

  5. I just finished a two hour phone call with Bonvoy to get four stays this month credited as, not only did I receive no credit but all the stays vanished from my past stay folios. Each location, the agent, who was awesome I should say, had to contact the hotel directly. The most difficult being the Kenoa Resort in Brazil. That took an hour and a half alone to straighten things out.

    Her words to me: “Since early February I have spend the entire day, every day, getting stays credited for members. Hardly anything is going through on its own. Tech is aware but it seems low on their priority list.”

  6. I’ve also seen on a lot of rates, they are taking a night deposit, charged on the spot, I don’t recall that in 99% of the old SPG rates. I see a lot of 14 day notice to cancel too.

  7. Just try booking a hotel today. Site is “temporarily unable to process requests” … again.

    What an embarrassment.

  8. There’s a load of new promotions and since the merger I haven’t been eligible for any. Already given up. I miss Starwood.

  9. My last stay at a Marriott property was in November. Since then, I’ve been booking with Hilton properties. Is Hilton better? Probably not. But the only way to get past “noise around the edges” is to book away.

  10. Can shady Ben write more posts? The third paragraph has a distinct Tiffany Pollard-reading-Gemma Collins-on-Big Brother vibe and I’m here for it.

  11. Marriott has become so full of themselves that they seem to think that they’re doing you a favor by letting you stay at one of their properties! As for the “Bonvoy” launch (stupidest name ever), it has been all flash, no substance and a totally unnecessary waste of resources that could be better spent elsewhere. I have platinum status with Marriott, but have moved over to IHG properties for most work trips. IHG properties certainly aren’t better; but they do seem to treat you with more respect.

  12. The biggest issues in my mind are ignored here:

    1) Marriott has changed the award chart and adjusted hotels in categories at least 3 times since November 2017, maybe 4 times if my math is right.

    2) Marriott is not cracking down on the endless number of properties, especially resorts, that refuse to provide a legit breakfast. How many more cases of a muffin and coffee do we need documented before Marriott acknowledges there is a problem?

  13. May not be appropriate to post here, but I have completely shunned that “other site” – the reviews are too long as they combine booking, ground service, lounge, flight, seat, meals, etc… even the established writers don’t have much of a unique voice in their reviews (the couple with the cat who fly economy a lot is maybe the exception)… there’s not much consistency in terms of what they’re looking for in the products they review… they’re obviously too close to some of the subjects they cover and they’ve (literally, now, it seems) gone Hollywood with their silly awards ceremonies and whatnot… honestly, OMAAT is enough for me (don’t change much, please, and only in good ways, thanks)…

  14. I have said this on FT – Marriott is now an insanely terrible combination of incompetent and unethical.

    Change the rules for your best/most frequent travelers to spend $20K in addition to 100 nights for top tier (and in theory, better service)? Sure, go for it.

    Refuse to actually show what is being spent until you pass 50 nights? Go f**k yourself Marriott.

  15. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I stayed at the Hilton at O’Hare last night. At the end of the day, they met my needs (clean room, clean hotel, breakfast, functional and well equipped workout room, the basics I want from a hotel stay) in a way that Marriott continues to get wrong.

  16. Problems abound with Bonvoy IT that I have nearly zero faith in the program.

    Also love the shade at TPG. “TPG Himself” has become such a wannabe celebrity that it is starting to turn me off of the site. They clearly hired a consulting firm to say they need to be a lifestyle brand and use him as the luxury idol.

  17. Lucky, I’m grateful for your unbiased reviews.

    I don’t travel much on business, but I do like to travel personally, and chose Marriott as my hotel brand of choice about 2-3 years ago.
    I signed up for a Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card, and completed a Platinum Challenge from my Gold status, and now I am a Titanium Elite (with less than 30 nights in the past 3 years, which I think is awesome!).

    However, with my status expiring at the end of this month COMBINED with the multiple negative experiences I have had with the loyalty program, I am planning on transitioning to Amex FHR / World of Hyatt.

    I’ve had some great experiences at certain properties (St. Regis Florence, St. Regis Rome), but the overall experience has been lackluster.

  18. It’s simple really, just boycott Marriott until they get their crap together. However long that takes. Stop giving them money and helping their number look good. Go with a competitor.

  19. I got an email about the free night certificate for my Rewards Visa on Oct 31st, but it still hasn’t actually hit my account. I’ve called them several times, and most recently they said they’d escalated it to their marketing department (who is apparently in charge of this), and that I’d get verification in 10-14 business days. It’s been 14 days, and I’m not holding out much hope.

    I’d already relegated my SPG Amex and Marriott Visa to the drawer until I could see how all this played out. I figured at least I’d get a free night per card (SPG hit within 24hrs btw), but they can even get that straight.

    The bar was already low, but somehow they’ve managed to be unable to clear it.

  20. Try doing a points reservation with 3 people (say 2 adults and 1 kid) and enjoy the hidden “extra guest” fee at dozens of North American properties who normally allow 4 guests per room. E.G. Westin Cayman Islands.

  21. I haven’t stayed in a Marriott property in many years (so long ago, in fact, that I couldn’t have been affected by the data breach because my address, phone number, passport number and nearly everything else are all different since that last stay) so haven’t been collecting their points at all. Nearly all of my hotel stays this decade have been in the Hilton, Hyatt, or IHG families. Because of this ongoing debacle, however, I decided that it was the perfect time to start collecting Marriott points. Not only are the various cards offering increased sign-up bonuses (or last-time-ever bonuses in the case of the recently extinct cards), but I assume my ability to use these points will improve in the near future. All these problems will likely scare away customers in droves to other brands, meaning good Hilton/Hyatt/IHG reward opportunities may become harder to come by but will be more plentiful at the increasingly vacant Marriotts. I’m not planning to stay at any Marriott anytime soon, but I’m thinking longer term. In order to atone for this ongoing fiasco, Marriott will have to offer quite a few promos and incentives to lure disaffected customers back into their facilities. And when they do, I’ll be there will my freshly-acquired points to take advantage.

  22. Lucky, you’re on fire with the TPG lines. You can’t be bitter because they just stole your up and coming star writer, could you? That flew under the radar unless you followed James’ Instagram!

  23. I actually have had a decent experience with Marriott. I have platinum status. I was upgraded during my 6 night stay at the Wailea beach resort to a garden suite for the first three nights and spend the last three in an oceanfront room. After I complained (excessively) to Marriott that a coffee at starbucks was not breakfast at the restaurant, they gave us two free breakfasts each morning at the hotel restaurant.

    Also booked 5 nights at the St Regis Bora Bora just following the merger. Due to issues with the points bookings, they converted my cash bookings to points bookings and then ended up gifting me about 120,000 points when there was no longer reefside available for one night, and then they ended up upgrading me to the beachside villa for another two nights (instead of reefside) for free. It took at least 15 hours on the phone, but they did make it happen.

  24. I’ve been trying to book 2 weeks in Japan on points. It was available to book on points late last year and now it’s not available for points redemptions from now to Nov.

    No one gives a straight answer. I was told the hotel themselves has to book my points stay after a ton of back and forth. The reps on the phone were incredibly nice though.

  25. Ben, thank you for this post and the continued coverage of this debacle. Please continue to give it the coverage it deserves and put pressure on them!

  26. Thank you for calling out “that other site”. I don’t even value them as a reliable source of information. I get that you market for affiliates to keep the lights on…but explain to me what the Oscars has to with miles and points? Just seem very out of touch.

    As for Marriott, they’re definitely a frustrating brand at the moment. Haven’t had to deal too much with them recently but when I have, it hasn’t been pleasant. Long wait times, stays not posting…etc. Since the SPG was killed, i almost never spend on Marriott cards. I don’t get to be too loyal thanks to work…so I’ll wait it out until I can stack a good chunk of miles and then transfer to Alaska or JAL or some other hard to earn currency. Frustrating, but not the end of the world in my humble opinion.

  27. TPG is really ridiculous… I guess its still valuable for beginners in the hobby but its basically just a PR office for brands now. Its quite astonishing they have a staff of dozens of people and they summarize industry changes that were found 6-12 hours earlier on OMAAT (and elsewhere on boarding area). Props to him for creating and selling the site a while back but that content went way downhill.

  28. Huh, I just recently switched out VFW with TPG as he seemed so insufferable over the last year. I guess I’ll dump TPG now. Not being impartial is a deal killer for news.

    Keep throwing that shade Lucky and keep pressing Marriott.

  29. I stayed at a Moxy hotel in november and had major problems (room wouldnt lock when we went out) and some other stuff…
    Last i heard from marriot support/hotel was in december.. they promised to get back to me within 5 days… thats 2 months ago 🙂
    Sorry to say that Marriot has been a great disapointment…
    I guess i have my plat elite status the rest of the year.. after that i will find somewhere else

  30. I’m calling it now: Bonvoy is designed to be a scapegoat.

    Marriott knows that it’s a shit show right now, so designed a marketing tactic they knew the fanbase would hate while they iron out the kinks. Once everything is working smoothly towards the end of 2019, they will scrap Bonvoy and either create a new name or go back to Rewards while publicly apologizing and saying “we heard your voice”. Thus, the masses won’t associate Marriott with this shit show, it will all be Bonvoy’s fault.

  31. You know lucky, maybe the reason you haven’t been contacted by Mariott is that u weren’t impacted by the hack? Just food for thought.

  32. I don’t go to TPG anymore. They have been infected by “Product Managers” whose sole KPI… err.. .purpose in life is to drive CC signup conversion. Forget long term metrics… the damn place is one big content marketing bonanza.

    Also, it’s like they’re trying to be a points blog, lifestyle blog, ____ blog, but establish their own “RouteHappy”-type product and ultimately get spun off like an investment and sold.

  33. Thank you for calling out TPG and Marriott’s many continuing shortcomings! I really hope you continue to call out the BS!

  34. What took the cake for me was a TPG review of a Hilton in which the person pays for breakfast and books on hotels dot com to sell more CapitalOne cards… uh WHAT?

  35. I’ve always liked Marriott, and it takes a lot to sway me, but I am so, so disappointed. It’s a shame, because they have a large footprint and hotels I actually want to stay at (i.e. the more interesting and unique properties in the Luxury and Tribute portfolios) but booking those hotels and getting stays credited is just not going to happen. On the bright side, I appear to have my Silver status even though it should’ve expired at the end of 2018. I ain’t complaining..

  36. I had no idea Richard Kerr left TPG. He was literally the only writer on that site whose opinions I valued, and I thought of him as the “real” points guy because his posts were always about how to maximize redemptions. No doubt TPG pulled his article about the Marriott CEO for commerical reasons. Every other article on TPG these days is about how great Marriott is and how you should sign up for their credit cards NOW.

  37. Lucky, why are you so surprised? You’re experienced enough to understand it’s all about money and marketing. Quality is only an afterthought (same with a “certain other points/miles site”). I just wish people would wake up and look for alternatives instead of being stuck in the same circles.

  38. None of my stays since the merger have posted automatically…have had to file a missing stay request for all of them.

  39. This Richard Kerr stuff is news to me. It should be its own post here, and not burried under this Marriot one.

    I stopped following TPG on Twitter when they started spamming 6+ month old posts as news. If theyre impartial, then its time to block the entire website.

  40. @Lucky – spot on. Marriott’s tech is abysmal – I’ve been unable to search for properties on the site the last two mornings, even after their fancy Oscars commercial. The “new” app/site was nothing more than a relain.

    Also, as an Ambassador Elite, I find that I’m rarely recognized at check-in or given upgrades. When I had ambassador with SPG, I was almost always upgraded, and most of the time given a welcome gift (food/drink) in my room.

    Things are definitely going the wrong direction, and if it weren’t for the aspirational (legacy SPG) redemptions, I probably would’ve taken my business elsewhere by now.

  41. @Lukcy – also, can you find out why it takes a week for most stays to post now? That’s a huge change for the worse.

  42. Doesnt even mention the Suite Night Awards that so many people lost on 31st December 2018 because due to Marriott IT you could not apply them to prepaid reservations or some points reservations! This meant that stays people planned to use (inlcuding me) for special occasions didn’t have SNA’s attached and ended up getting rooms when there would have been a chance of a suite. N

    Marriott reeponse to this is to ignore the issue and hope members forget! As someone who was a loyal SPG Ambassador guest it tells me pretty much all I need to know about Marriott, they are looking after the owners of hotels and couldnt care about their guests!

  43. They can’t seem to get anything right. I spent the better part of the third quarter last year trying to get 5,002 KrisFlyer miles credited to my account, after missing out on an SQ award due to the points not having cleared in time.

    Now, I enter 2019 remaining at Silver because they failed to take my SPG credit card spend into account.

  44. This is the best post i’ve read in a while. Love the calling out of TPG for what he has become.

    Other funny thing is that video clip of the Arne Sorenson interview – the mispronunciations of Maldives and Arne are comical.

  45. Shockingly, my 15 SPG (er, Bonvoy) Amex night credits just posted sometime this afternoon (I check each morning at least). Surprised it happened already, even though they said by March 1st.

  46. When I read stuff like this, I am so glad I left Marriott in 2017. Still have 90,000 miles to redeem somewhere in the next year. I’m happy with Hilton.

  47. @FunTraveler – posting the nights a few days early likely caused the non-functionality of the Marriott site over the past day as a result. BONVOY!!!

  48. How about the fraud that Marriott is committing on a daily basis with their “look no further” guarantee. They routinely pretend they cannot find the rates quoted on other sites and will not allow any screenshots to prove rates. It is a farce and the people responding to the cases are trained to deny valid claims. They should be ashamed of themselves. I even offered to do a Go To Meeting to share my screen so they could see exactly what I see. I filed a complaint with the Attorney General in Utah just to cause some trouble. If you are going to have a guarantee shop screwing your most loyal customers (Titanium here).

  49. As soon as SPG started going the way of Marriott I switched to Hilton and Hyatt. This just shows I made the right move, though I still have a bunch of points with Marriott and it leaves me wondering what I can do with those points if they are going to act like this. Keep in mind this is how they are treating loyal customers… since I’m not loyal anymore I wonder what they’d do if I set foot on property?!?

    I all seriousness though this is terrible and Marriott should be ashamed.

  50. Thank you for being thorough, un-biased, detailed and generally everything TPG is not. Sure, you might not have billboards in New York or pretending your a celebrity sitting at the furthest away seats at the Oscars but at least you still have respect… probably why your the Number 1 travel blog‍♂️

  51. @ Geoff — Honestly, there’s no cat fight on our end. It’s a good opportunity for James, we care about him as a friend and colleague, and are of course excited for him. End of story there.

    Except, there’s this situation where the biggest site in this space is having their news and editorial content influenced by under-the-table deals and personal favors. It’s one thing to have advertiser agreements — and we certainly do, though aim to be transparent about what they are — and another to throw your team under the bus because their honest reporting is potentially cramping your social aspirations. That approach is not only gross in general, it does a complete disservice to the travel community and to the actual writers on that site (many of whom, including James, we know and respect personally).

    One of the (many) nice things about being an independently-owned site is having the ability to say the things others can’t/won’t, so we’re going to try and be better about using that option in general.

  52. Stepping back, I think a lot of people are too emotional about this. I’ve had excellent stays at Marriott, Hilton, Intercontinental, and Hyatt in recent months and will continue to use all of these programs. Loyalty is overrated in the hotel space.

  53. Am I the only one whose lifetime status years at Marriott completely disappeared? I only have 2 years of status (from SPG). How ridiculous is that? How do they think I have 500 nights but only 2 years of status? I’ve tried twitter and calling and I either get 1. the IT people need to look into it, or 2. I’m told it’s a new program and prior years don’t count. WHAT?! They are screwed up and my loyalty is going elsewhere.

  54. “Except, there’s this situation where the biggest site in this space is having their news and editorial content influenced by under-the-table deals and personal favors. It’s one thing to have advertiser agreements — and we certainly do, though aim to be transparent about what they are — and another to throw your team under the bus because their honest reporting is potentially cramping your social aspirations.”

    @Tiffany – When you put it that way, it makes me wonder if James is making the right choice by joining a site/team that won’t respect opinions that run counter to maximizing prestige or profit. Don’t get me wrong, James is awesome (however you still set the bar the highest here when it comes to writing), and I’ll miss him, but not enough to get me over to TPG. That place hurts my eyes.

    OMAAT is still the best blog I’ve found.

  55. I wanna know why no one is writing about the huge devaluation in point worth that has taken place. SPG points used to have value. Now, at the 3 to 1 transfer ratio, they are a joke, The 100,000 point bonus is mediocre at best. It’s actually worth 33,000 when you compare it to points in other programs, and what they’re redeemable for. Devaluing Marriott redemptions is the icing on the cake. Plus “Bonvoy” is the worst name ever. Someone prob got paid 1 mil for thinking up that campaign…and the laughable Oscars ad to boot. The suits trying to engineer a grassroots campaign.
    I don’t see how anyone can recommend this program now. Give it a year to see what it does, but they blew it. Shoulda just folded everything into SPG…what WAS the most powerful brand in this universe.

  56. Wow, I had no idea about TPG and all of this. I was wondering where James went as I really loved his articles here. I must be living under a blog rock.

  57. Speaking of TPG is there ever going to be a post about how James left and went to TPG (UK I think?) even though he probably shouldn’t be acknowledged for such a traitorous act and the fact TPG is not the best

  58. Very amused by all the readers *just now* being turned off by the drivel over at the “biggest” travel blog in the business. The last useful tip I got from there was about the AA reverse herringbone seats back in 2015.

  59. If James has gone this can only improve this site. The guy was no better than a wanna be tabloid journo. Good riddance.

  60. It’s very clear that Marriott is not listening to their customers concerns. It’s almost as if they are hoping to ride out the storm. THE COMPANY NEEDS CHANGE, AND IT SHOULD START AT THE TOP w/ ARNE SORENSON!

  61. From all the negative merger comments, it appears that most are coming from former SPG’ers, upset with both the transfer of their status and point and also with their perception of an inferior product. I’d like to hear from the Marriott loyalists to get their opinion on the merger and how it has affected their experience. My own personal datapoint as a 10+ year Marriott Plat and now ‘Ti lifetime’, is that I haven’t been negatively affected, other than the slow march of points devaluation (which is happening to pretty much all travel loyalty programs). I did have an issue with a transfer of points to ANA which took a couple of phone calls to both Marriott and ANA to fix, however my stay quality hasn’t suffered, that I can tell. My points and stays post within 3 days, points are re-credited to my account instantly after a cancellation and I’m able to find plenty of award space at most properties I search for. I’m not an aspirational hotel seeker, just happy to find award space for my family travels when needed, so I’m not missing any lost suite-upgrade benefits or lamenting a cat 8 award increase. That being said, I do stay at Hilton properties from time to time and have been impressed on several occasions. Their properties seemed more modern and well-appointed. With my recent Ti lifetime status, I’m more inclined to venture out and try other brands, and see if the grass really is much greener.

  62. Tiffany, since youre reading this thread, I think the most useful content on this website was your trip in Jordan. Love to see more like that!

    Yes, reading about expensive resorts in Tahiti is nice, but your post actually helped me plan an entire trip.

  63. I suspect Lucky won’t be getting free tickets to the auto-fellatio extravaganza that is the 2019 TPG awards.

  64. “The Oscars has nothing to do with miles & points, the Oscars has everything to do with “TPG Himself” living his D-list celebrity fantasy…”

    OMG! That might be the best thing I’ve read this year! Bravo!!

  65. I am sticking with Hilton for now. I like the Aspire card and have not had any problem booking award night reservations in the US or abroad. I was going to accept the upgrade offer from AX for the former SPG luxury card. I am refusing to use the new name. I may get it just for the 100k points, but doubt it is a keeper.

    PS: Debit Eff off as you like to say this is a travel blog not a political forum!

  66. @ JJJ — I read all the comments, and thanks 🙂 We’re trying to change things up around here so that I can write more stuff like that; I enjoy it more too.

  67. Ben – so glad to see this kind of article. A couple readers have given you crap lately about the site going downhill with lack of reviews and losing James – see this past week’s weekly review.

    I say the heck with them. Keep doing what you’re doing and calling out Marriott, AA, etc. i’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you deserve a senior role play travel related organization, though I’m sure you’d hate the lost autonomy. You’re one of the smartest and most insightful person in the business.

  68. Loyal SPG customer, Marriott has been a disaster for me and they do not seem to care. Should be LT Platinum. I have proof I made it, they keep changing the story as to why they wont qualify me. They say I have one more year to go and I don’t, I am there. Last response was sorry you were turned down three times. Me- but all for contradictory different reason. They told me I have to call corporate and complain, I have called and left messages twice now. I will hit the next year from stays anyway . I will begin canceling stays and moving them to Hyatt and Hilton. Unless there is an apology and a turn around they have succeeded in loosing me as a loyal customer. I assume I may be considered fringe.

  69. my spg points (like 100k pre-merger) have been MIA for weeks. I need to call them and figure it out, but I’ve put in multiple requests online….

    also: i have so much respect for OMAAT as a whole for calling out both marriott and the TPG situation. i knew TPG wasn’t trustworthy, but didn’t realize how just how shady/under the table some of his reporting is. i also especially appreciate “shady ben” as another commenter put it. i think we are all here for shady ben, and, as a long time reader, definitely encourage that type of honesty. just comparing the OMAAT review of st regis bora bora vs the TPG one (from around the same time) speaks volumes.

    ben and tiffany: keep doing you please and speaking truth to power and maintaining a critical distance from your subjects!! i don’t know where i would be without you guys, but definitely not sitting at the st regis aspen right now :p wishing james the best of luck over there.

  70. I don’t know about the Oscars… but you can’t be interviewing Oscar Munoz, Alex Cruz, doing a podcast with the CMO of Chase, and then criticize these companies…. so any unbiased content was out the window a while ago. TPG is a commercial site – who knows what they need to do – but I don’t recall reading anything really useful there. Regarding James, I’m sure he’s a lovely fella but I won’t miss his posts.. I didn’t really care about his content – bus ride in Egypt and other stuff… On the other hand, Tiffany’s Jordan trip is how you want to cover travel. Maybe it’s a just a personality thing that comes from the writing. Anyway, wish all the best to OMAAT…

    I do think the points world has changed dramatically in the last few years – it’s not as easy to redeem anymore – given devaluations, no charts, surcharges galore, less award availability (most people don’t plan a week in advance), etc. it’s much more complicated. For example, I saw today that BA surcharges are half from Middle East to JFK, vs. the other way around. I think more coverage of points and products would be very welcomed.


  71. I’m one of the rare people that has not had a problem with Marriott yet. No IT issues during the point conversion and I’ve been able to book hotels without any issue. My move from SPG to Marriott went perfectly fine. Even with that, I’m aware of their issues and the issues other people are having with them.

    And while I am Platinum, I’m not a business traveler so most of the posters here probably deal with Marriott on almost a daily or weekly basis whereas I only deal with them usually once a month.

  72. @ Morgan – Why would anyone want/need an article about James leaving for his new job? It’s not like Tiffany or another longtime contributor flew the coop. What could be newsworthy would be something like James returning to OMAAT after his new site inevitably flounders. Sorry, but I just don’t think the metrics support a UK-focused points and miles blog.

  73. I’m a Marriott Titanium, I’ve had mega issues post merger although I still find enough value to keep me loyal. That said, I have plenty of Marriott points and have been contemplating a swap to Hyatt… Reminds me of what SPG was once upon a time. Time will tell, articles like this keep me thinking.

    Also, thank you for calling out TPG for what he is, a FRAUD out to enrich himself at the expense of his readers. When the new Amex Gold came out they were only offering 25k points when everyone else had 50k points links, what a scum bag. The guy is completely bought…

  74. I think the Marriott points are over-valued at 0.9 cents per point. The real value to make a good portion of their properties economical to book with points is around 0.4 to 0.5.

    With the current valuation, it is better to book majority, over 90%, of their properties with cash.

  75. TPG is like Fox News or MSNBC. You need to understand the bias and read through that lens. I find most of their articles not to be worth it. I do follow Zacks coverage of United.

  76. Excellent post, Lucky! I am Titanium and the IT missteps are really starting to bother me. Notable examples include:

    *Points for past stays are taking a LONG time to post. Last year it was a 3 day lag. This has turned into 2+ weeks.
    *The reservation system is not accurate. I book all travel on the app. Today I checked into the EWR Marriott for a 3 night stay. At check in they insisted I only had a one night stay. The front desk agent resorted to using my BonVoy app to correct their reservation details.
    *Public promotions somehow are never available to me…I always have to call the Platinum line. I am sure this will happen for the upcoming double points promo.
    *Mobile check-in seems worthless. In the past I would get notified in mid morning or early afternoon that my room was ready. Today I was notified my room was ready…three hours after I checked in. This has happened several times this year.

    One question for you Lucky: are the “Deposits without Disclosure” true deposits, or are they fees, or somewhere in between? I cannot tell based on the current (lack of) disclosure?? I view this as a major point devaluation regardless.

  77. I only book through which gives me great flexibility to book whatever hotel meets my needs of the moment. Don’t have to go through the madness of hotel status… already have enough with airlines 😉

  78. @Chris. I am both Titanium and Globalist and I really think you will be a lot happier in the end with Hyatt. That is if the properties and footprint fits your travel. The service from Hyatt as a Globalist is leaps and bounds. Upgrades are almost a given, breakfast even at Park Hyatt (even with room service breakfast they just charge a delivery fee), and the best part is my personal concierge who is AMAZING at calling ahead and assuring that I am taken care of. She even emails me with new promos and to let me know she went ahead and enrolled me. I actually have her reading OMAAT now as she is curious how I know so many tricks!

    With that the Hyatt footprint is not Marriott. But if you can make it work go for it. My basic rule is that if there is an available Hyatt, Grand, or Park anywhere I am going I book it over anyone else.

  79. As others have indicated, you read TPG and others, that are now part of larger corporate cultures, with a grain of salt.
    As with the airlines and hotels, mergers/acquisitions are happening with travel blogs as well such as TPG and Million Mile secrets.
    Their parent company, Red Ventures, is a multi-billion-dollar portfolio of digital companies. According to them, they bring through technology, integrated digital commerce and sales, distinguished partnerships, data science and original content from the company’s proprietary brands and marketplaces, Red Ventures has more than 3,600 employees globally.
    Some of their brands include Bankrate, The Points Guy,, & MillionMileSecrets,

    Another example of major corporate ownership is Internet Brands with more than 5,000 employees and who owns the brands in just their travel vertical of Frugal Travel Guy, Flyertalk, Fodor’s Travel, & Wiki Travel

    The fact that OMAAT has been able to remain independent shows Lucky’s commitment.

  80. Here’s my beef: reprehensible time to transfer points to airline partner. My god. Weeks!!! Shockingly slow. Watching airline award seats disappear while waiting for Bovine transfer points to hit…simply unbelievable it takes so long, not to mention transfer ratio is ridiculous. Also, such distrust in upgrade policies, forced to book more expensive rooms just to make sure I get feature I want. Upgrade fu+&*ery with elite status guests just poor business. I should NOT have to plan for your failure. Yuck.

  81. I agree it’s one big clucterF! If it wasn’t for my amazing ambassador Brandi I am sure I’d be much more pissed and sad than I am. It’s such a dirty rotten Shame that such an amazing , groundbreaking program like SPG was simply RUINED ! I was glad with all the “talk” marriott has been doing but actions speak louder and we all know what the actions are.

  82. One of the best articles I’ve read in a long time, and the comments on here are just . I love the fact that everyone here tells it like it is and doesn’t sugar coat reviews to appease the major brands. Hands down my favorite blog/daily digest of all things travel/points/rewards. Keep up the great work Lucky!

  83. This post is so great and reflects whats corrupted TPG spot on…

    I only wish I head read it before I applied for a Citi card today, now I wish I’d used your referal link.

  84. OMG Richard left TPG? I loved his posts and interviews on the podcast, he is brilliant. Can you bring him over? Also enjoy JT Genter’s updates on AA and Zach Honig on United. I appreciate TPG for getting me started years ago in this game but his archives are better than anything recent 🙁 I appreciate you Lucky and Tiffany and your continued good work!

  85. THE SHAAAAAADEEEEEEE hahahaahhahaahahahahaha deceased.

    Also, WTF? James left OMAAT for TPG himself? r u serious???????
    im sorry but…TRAITOR! such a shame, i really liked his articles.

    oh well…….

  86. Love this article lucky doing God’s work with TPG thank you for finally some major blogger calling him out other than just those more in the know at FlyerTalk. Keep doing what you do the readers love it.

  87. I’m trying to do God’s work over at TPG pointing this out but they have been removing comments, I’m going to try to come up with a script to make it work on all articles.

  88. what! Richard left tpg?! that’s a shame! I usually read and looked forward to his articles because he provided really good insight into the points and miles programs, including ones that I overlook (like wells fargo go far rewards and saving money on gas). in fact, I am planning a trip with my family with united miles and the excursionist perk, based on his article of how the perk works. that’s unfortunate but he will be a great asset where ever he goes.

  89. Can’t find the article, anyone “save” it somewhere before they pulled it?

    Agree regarding that other so-called points website, commercial and political bias, big ego and even bigger self-promotion…. puhleez!

    IT issues at Marriott? Annoying customer service emails that throw their IT people under the bus? check and check!

    Someone posted above that they went from liking you to loving you…. I agree 🙂

  90. Yep, I’m on the road about half the year and previously I always put SPG at the top of list for hotel stays. Had both the SPG Amex cards, now cancelled. Now it’s basically Hyatt first, then Hilton, followed by IHG, and finally Marriott if nothing else is available. I burned the last of my Marriott points on an award stay for this summer and I’m out on Marriott until they fix their shi…stuff.

  91. @TouringTony sez: “It’s such a dirty rotten Shame that such an amazing , groundbreaking program like SPG was simply RUINED !”

    Alright, let’s get real. Marriott did not ‘RUIN’ SPG. It’s like accusing someone of sinking the Titanic AFTER the oceanliner had already hit the iceberg. Moreover, a “amazing , groundbreaking program” that goes belly up suggests a concept that can be called “demise of the fittest” or “reverse Darwinism”. However, there is no such thing, which means that your beloved SPG was never the stellar program that you were conned into believing it was by self-anointed travel ‘gurus’.

    Starwood went on the auction block because it was grossly under-performing at a time when there was a tremendous boom in the hospitality industry. That is where Marriott found it and then ‘rescued’ it through a bidding process that was not without some drama. Many do not seem to realize it, but the minute Starwood went onto the auction block, SPG was forever gone as the program that was so feverishly loved and hated…at the same time by the same members!

    Marriott or any other suitor/bidder had to obligation to sustain SPG after purchasing Starwood. My own view was that Marriott should have completely assimilated SPG into Marriott Rewards — at the time a decent and stable program not unlike Hilton Honors — without trying to appease or make SPG loyalists happy, a feat that even SPG could not manage. Instead, Marriott tried the impossible and, as a result, has ended up with BONVoY, arguably, the worst of both worlds.


  92. I love this site the most when Ben throws shade on TPG. I can barely contain my dislike of the guy, and his desperation to be a Z-list celebrity.

    I didn’t know James had moved on, he was a competent writer but I agree with Nick above, he was hardly this site’s “up and coming star writer.” Ben must be annoyed that he gave James his big break, only for him to barely stay a year and dump him for a rival.

    I used to read TPG but there guys they brought in for TPG UK have turned me off, they are such douches they make the reviews unbearable. One of them in particular doesn’t seem to understand the reviews aren’t all about him.

  93. Just discovered something pretty outrageous – the JW Marriot Los Cabos is trying to charge a $30 per night “Service charge” for all Bonvoy redemptions. I can’t imagine that is allowed under the terms and conditions…right?

  94. Slay Ben, SLAY! TPG is the National Enquirer of the travel blog world and “The Points Guy Himself” is the Kim Kardashian.

  95. YAAAAS Ben!!! Call them out. I used to be a blind TPG sheep and it took me a while to realize how full of bs everything about the site is.

    So glad you realize it to, and I’m glad I can count on you never selling out ❤️.

  96. I’ve recently been reading TPG more in addition to Boardingarea blogs, spurred I guess by boardingarea’s loss of some writers. I know TPG has at least SOME good writers, including one of my favorites who left boardingarea. I guess TPG must be paying a lot of money? But I’ve been appalled at some of the content on the site, some things that are just downright wrong, with readers pointing out the mistakes. Although I get mildly frustrated by some of the credit card promotions on OMAAT, I try to take it with a grain of salt as just the way the world works. I do find the overall content on OMAAT so helpful and reliable. Absolutely love Tiffany’s contributions also, and wonder if you don’t need more writers?

  97. I’m now just reading this blog article after a friend told me to do so (I don’t read hotel loyalty posts since I’m not loyal to any and prefer boutique-style or aman hotels or even airbnb depending on the places I visit.)
    First off, yes thank you Ben for that comment! Loved it and made me like your blog even more!
    Secondly, thanks Tiffany for acknowledging James’s departure. I do miss his posts but I’m glad there’s no ill will between you guys (I did wonder a week ago about that since in the corporate world, coworkers who just disappear tend to either have been fired or laid off. Coworkers who give a 2 weeks notice normally have a goodbye/farewell email sent to colleagues.)

  98. Wow, from reading these comments, I should make a beeline to the nearest casino. About the only thing I can complain about is the hotels where the a/c blows right onto the desk. These complaints seem to be disproportionately from people who stay at high-end properties. Confession: I have stayed at SPG properties less than five times in my life.

  99. This Bonvoy thing has been a terrible experience, cant use the App, Cant book online, I’m actually on the phone with an agent and she cant even book my rooms. I’m currently still on the phone with an agent and have wasted 45 minutes just trying to book my hotel rooms. So far they have disconnected me and double booked the rooms twice, what a mess, as a Titanium Elite for Life member I expect a much better experience. Of for the Starwood days to come back! Starwood had this down and knew what they were doing, Marriott has completely destroyed the exceptional Starwood experience. You would think Marriott would have the basics down before they roll out a global program. This rollout is a debacle.

  100. @ Kate — Yeah, we wish those other BoardingArea bloggers were still writing on their own sites instead too, but understand that the economics make it very complicated. Appreciate the kind feedback as well — we are evaluating whether or not other writers are the right approach for us, or what else we can do here, but the goal is very much to keep the tone and content authentic to OMAAT.

  101. Lucky- keep up the good work. I stopped reading TPG a long time ago. Everyone keeps coming back here because you are honest, have good content and don’t sell out.

  102. TPG’s bio on his website is “I am founder and CEO of TPG, need I say more?”. I think that speaks for itself.

    In any case, Honig and Genter are good. But their credit card posts are a little bit on the nose. You can tell who’s paying them higher referral bonuses week to week (the reserve a few weeks ago, Marriot right now).

  103. “Nice to see that some DCS trolling, mis-information, and outright lies never change”

    So, which statements in my comment do you consider as “trolling, mis-information, and outright lies”? Inquiring minds wanna know…

  104. Tiffany – Lucky: this reader really appreciates what you both do, and do it for free.

    Those that criticize need to stop and think about all the excellent information received….for free. The fact that you push cards is to me an added value. In a few paragraphs I better understand terms/conditions that would take me hours to receive. And your disclosure is always up front and prominent.

    Keep up the good work. I bet you could monetize this blog behind a pay wall and many of us would pay and follow.

  105. Finally someone has the courage to post an article about Bonvoy that’s on point. TPG pulling their article basically was a terrible decision – it was totally on point with my experiences… and frankly, just pulling it with no explanation was a disservice to their readers, given the majority of comments at the time it was pulled were in total agreement with Richard Kerr’s view (myself included).

    Arne Sorensen can try to put lipstick on the cluster this has been, but just look at Hilton’s most recent financial results and huge increase in loyalty program members to see the drain of SPG loyalists to other programs.

    I qualified for SPG Ambassador last year thru to the end of this year. My ambassador is the same as I’ve had in prior years… and at least she gives me the true view of how everyone at Marriott feels this has gone. Put simply, the former SPG staff are in the position of trying to defend the indefensible. They totally understand why their most loyal guests are in a state of thinking the SPG magic has gone because it’s a reality – it has most definitely gone.

    And in doing so, there’s a complete lack of understanding from Marriott leadership over what a customer experience should be. Apologize to those who have been loyal to SPG / Marriott for many, many years? They don’t have the humility to do so. Compensate for the atrocious customer experience members have week after week? Why would they do such a thing.

    It’s no wonder that Hyatt, Hilton etc. are seeing great results. What shocks me is the lack of effort any of these other programs have put in to poach from a ‘willing to jump; just give me some incentive’ pool of disenchanted Marriott Bonvoy program members

  106. @ Dan

    I think JT Genter is the best writer they have, and I find his reviews pretty good.

    Zach Honig is generally ok, a bit prissy sometimes but bearable.

  107. Marriott needs 10x more ambassadors for Titanium + Ambassador people. Already decided to move next 6 months of stays away from my Residence Inn to a private apartment due to complete lack of timely communication from ambassador…unsure if overworked or poor CRM system that they’re lost in.

  108. Ben and all readers,

    Put on some music on for a listen, it may heal some of your wounds. Not just the sound but the lyrics. Pretty cool.
    And hope Marriott will listen to its members.

    Thunderclap Newman – Something in the air. The bass player is Pete Townsend before the Who.

    “Call out the instigators
    Because there’s something in the air
    We’ve got to get together sooner or later
    Because the revolution’s here, and you know it’s right
    And you know that it’s right
    We have got to get it together
    We have got to get it together now
    Lock up the streets and houses
    Because there’s something in the air
    We’ve got to get together sooner or later
    Because the revolution’s here, and you know it’s right
    And you know that it’s right
    We have got to get it together
    We have got to get it together now”


  109. Since we’re piling on TPG, the top item there yesterday was a smug, recycled, two-year-old “Mommy Points” screed about how parents shouldn’t apologize for their children on airplanes.

    They’re forever re-posting old content.

  110. Wow, all recent comments on the Instagram post that Lucky linked to above (TPG with Marriott marketing head Karen Timpone at the Oscars) which called out TPG’s possible kickbacks from Marriott now appear to have been removed / deleted. There are now only positive comments visible.

    Sad to see this occuring after Richard’s post was so blatantly removed the other day.

  111. It makes me happy that others hate TPG as much as I do. Everything about that guy and his site is beyond ridiculous now. I feel like I need a shower every time I accidently access that site.

  112. Kent, that is Pete Townsend on bass but it is not before The Who.

    Regarding this blog: most of the content is not applicable to my travel needs, but I consistently check in because it’s not full of sh**. And it seems to be one of the few that is actually proofread. Some blogs are so sloppy with typos it drives me nuts (not a reference to LALF or a dig on Matthew, I appreciate his blog, too.) Ric Garrido matches my travel style best, and he never slings bullsh**.
    Keep it up folks.

  113. @Tiffany: while I can see the rationale behind not actively mentioning James’ exit from the blog, I wonder why Steph (and to a lesser degree Spencer) are not mentioned as ” contributors” on the “About”-page, even though recently they “contributed” far more frequently than Mike, Nick and Ford…
    And while you obviously changed your photo, your short “bio” seems somewhat outdated (at least as far as your place of residence ist concerned). Same is true at least for Ford…

  114. @ Frank — Hmmm, Steph should be on the About page, let me look into that. Updating bios is probably a good idea, but since I’m rarely home as it is…

  115. Agreed with most here, TPG Himself (I didn’t realize so many people had noticed this, hah) has turned into an incredibly sad person, who keeps bragging about his lifestyle and the pseudo celebrities he’s hanging out with. It’s crazy what money does to someone. And I’m not even talking about the unbelievable amount of crap content they post just to post. I didn’t know about Richard Kerr, but I’m glad he left the boat in these circumstances. Thank you guys for shedding light on the whole situation.
    TPGH also changed the caption of his IG post (at first he was congratulating Marriott on their ad campaign at length, but that’s all gone).

    And to the topic, I am currently staying this whole week at a Marriott that has been messing up almost every day (forgot my laundry, refuses me access to the executive lounge while my reservation specifically mentions that I’m entitled to it, a lot of charges and fees that were not mentioned initially, etc). I’m in dire need of Marriott points for airline transfer, but I don’t think it’s worth it until they figure their ish out. I’m bracing for the hypothetical post of points for my current stay…

  116. @Frank I’m pretty sure Spencer is gone too. However, he is teaming up with God Save the Points. That is what I heard on the Miles to Go podcast by Ed Pizza.

  117. @Jack, Spencer? You mean the guy who writes at his own blog, Straight to the Points? Or the one that blogs on Upgraded Points? Or is a partner at God Save The Points? Or is the Editor in Chief of 10xTravel?

    The one thing he is not anymore, per his LinkedIn, is a writer at OMaaT. I don’t see how he’d have time, frankly.

  118. Finally I received yesterday an answer about my privacy-related request. At least my credit card details and passport information was not included…
    This is the message:
    “We are in receipt of your inquiry regarding whether your personal data was involved in the recent Starwood Guest Reservation Database security incident.
    Based on the information you provided to us, we believe that your information was involved. Following our analysis, we believe that the following information about you was involved in the incident:
    · Name
    · Address Information
    · Primary Email Address
    · Primary Phone Number
    · Other Phone Information
    · Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Number
    · Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Loyalty Status and Balances
    · Starwood Executive Traveler Number
    · Guest Opt-In Preferences
    · Email Communication Preferences
    · Central Starwood Unique Record Locator
    · Employed at Starwood (Y/N)
    · Record History Information
    Where available in your country/region, Marriott is offering affected guests the opportunity to enroll in a personal information monitoring service free of charge for one year. More information about this service can be found at
    If you have further questions or requests regarding this information, please contact us through this portal. You will continue to have access to this request for the next 30 days.”

  119. What about the one where Marriott didn’t have an agreement anymore with that hotel but weren’t letting guests know their points reservation wouldn’t be valid?

  120. Very late to comment here but in addition to what you said, one of the most face-slappingly bad choices has been their email communications!

    While I had previously accepted news/promotions from Ritz Carlton Rewards only, I have just recently found my inbox innundated with every kind of Bonvoy promotional and news crap – in despair I finally went to their website to tailor my preferences and they don’t even allow you to tailor email promotions based on type of property or category of brand?!?!? At least I couldn’t find an option, and with this many categories and brands that is almost unreal. Essentially receive all Bonvoy nonsense or none.

    How thick can you be to have hundreds of millions of (unwilling) members and not allow them to even receive tailored promotions to the brand or category they want? I have shut off all emails although I don’t expect that to do anything given their appalling IT in general.

    You have members who would be happy to see targeted, specific offers and ads and you drive them away – amazing.

  121. I agree with Frank, I tried to find a section on OMAAT where the contributors are listed along with their bio but cant find anything 🙁

    Also I know that Mike, Nick, and whoever else are your friends but they write what, 1 blog post a year? Would love to see an updated section with current contributors that actually write for this site.

    just a thought, love yallll

  122. My last two reservations or stays haven’t even shown on the app. Meaning no ez check in or points, although they do recognize my status….so I know they are up to date, if the app doesn’t show my reservations what’s the point?

  123. I am a current Marriott Elite Titanium. I’ve stayed at Marriott’s all over the world and had
    many of my friends and family switch to Marriott and their respective credit cards for points
    towards travel and hotel stays. A lot has changed in the last few months and unfortunately
    in a very negative way. I am so happy to find this article as I’ve gone through the worst experience with Marriott’s new customer service team in Utah. I was spoken so abusively by a rep. I asked to speak to her supervisor and was told “you can’t get anyone higher than her”. When I complained to Marriott Corporate; I got a call back from the same center from another rep who told me basically the same thing. All complaints go through them and there’s nothing
    I can do about it. Well there is…. I will take my money, business and dignity elsewhere!

  124. I had to call 3 times to get a rewards certificate that went missing after I had to cancel a trip amended back to my account in time for my upcoming rescheduled trip. The second guy I spoke to was dismissive and apparently was terribly bothered to have to help me (and I use that term, “help”, very loosely.) Previous to the dumb “Bonvoy” makeover I never had anything but good things to say about the Marriott Rewards Program.

    I just called this morning after still not having any credit back to my account a week after speaking to Mr. So-Not-Helpful and was so happy to get the kind of rep to whom I’m used to speaking- calm, smooth, and had the issue fixed in less than 5 minutes.

    If you are missing points or credit or free nights, just keep calling til you get the golden rep.

  125. Was long time starwood member. Bonvoy is horrible. Lost most starwood points. Bought points months ago for stay but notified day before trip I now dont have enough points 4 Westin. Will be staying at Hilton and Hyatt hereafter. Complaints need to be made with state atty generals and bbb.

  126. Just wanted to add my own extreme disappointment with Bonvoy. Latest example was a $200 stay at a Marriott that netted me a whopping 6 points in my account. If I understand the Bonvoy explanations, I should be getting something like 15 points per dollar. This prompted me to go back and notice other recent stays that were credited with far less than they should have been. But I guess it doesn’t matter because I’m never actually able to redeem points anymore. Man I miss SPG.

  127. Just found this site after googling “Bonvoy” and following the trail of articles describing how poorly things are still going with the program. Just curious – have any of you heard about

  128. I followed their instructions and submitted my info to their breach reporting site but, instead of responding to my request, they added me to their promotional efforts for their new loyalty program, with no way to unsubscribe online. Unbelievable.
    Perhaps the FTC will impose some discipline.

  129. NO Kidding! Marriott Bonvoy is a complete and utter joke! Abysmal customer service!

    I just spent an hour on the “Elite” customer service line and was transferred to 4 separate agents (including 2 supervisors) who did NOTHING to help me make an award night reservation. At the end of the hour-long call, I was livid and worse off than before I made the call. If his is how Bonvoy treats their Elite members, I can’t imagine the mess that non-elite members have to deal with! Time to quit SPG/Marriott forever!

  130. I was long time SPG member, this time was the first I used Marriot Bonvoy after they bought SPG.
    After booking, I have no way to send an email to the hotels, Bonvoy just provide telephone numbers. What if I am a mute, cannot speak, and I need email to communicate? I feel annoyed and angry about Marriot Bonvoy, even before my upcoming stays. SPG was much much better.
    I will not care about any points of Bonvoy, I will never use it again, so it doesn’t matter.

  131. I’m so glad to find this article and all the comments. Marriott Bonvoy eliminated my 7 years platinum status by simply moving the goals posts regarding nights and stays 7 years of loyalty…gone…just like that. How does a normal non business person stay 50 nights a year!? And customer service? And booking online ? I miss SPG….fantastic compared to what we have now. I’m already moving my money and loyalty to those less flashy but more appreciative..such as Hilton/IHG.

  132. Just a disappointment-

    My msg to them:

    Thank you for the quick reply-

    My Bonvoy # is cx. I spoke to a representative last night- xxxx i believe- she told me that i will not be recognized as an titanium member since i booked this reservation via a 3rd party.

    I totally understand how booking via a 3rd will not allow me to earn status, suite nights, nor points. However, I am brand loyal, and have the the Marriott chase credit card.

    I have one reservation in Maui, which i booked via My points, and then i have this. Reservation #xxxx in Honolulu, which i booked 3rd party via my citi bank thank you points-

    This trip is for my honeymoon, a very special and once in a lifetime trip to Hawaii-

    Marriott: Hi John, thanks for following up with our team. We would be unable to extend Member benefits to be attached to a third-party reservation as per the Marriott Bonvoy terms and conditions. Please let us know if there are any other requests you may have for this upcoming stay that we may assist you with.

    Not even a congratulations on my nuptials..

    I then asked….
    Marriott, in light of my status not being honored, I am 35k points short for my up coming reservations. Is there any chance of getting bonus points to cover this? This is my honeymoon trip, a trip of a lifetime- Please

    Their reply:
    Hi John, although we cannot gift you 35,000 Points, you can purchase them online here:

    Again no congratulations-

    I am a titanium member and earned 200k points with them. No respect or loyalty! A shame!!

  133. My Marriott Bonvoy account is generating ‘phantom bookings’ which I’m actually being credited points for. I’ve removed my credit card details. Good hotels, but their IT/Loyalty system is totally dysfunctional.

  134. Everything is a mess with the new site. In the last few weeks I have had several phantom reservations appear, and 300K points used for travel (that I did not use). I got the points back, but just today I booked a reservation for Detriot and the confirmation appeared on the screen for somebody named David (My name is Jennifer) and a reservation for another date, in another city. Incredibly scary, account information does not appear to be safe since the update of Marriott’s Bonvoy site. I am lifetime Titanium, but considering jumping ship to avoid all the calls I have to make to straighten this weird sh*t up.

  135. I booked few rooms in March. But all the rooms’ booking disappeared from app so I have to call Marriott and they could not find them either and rebooked for me. Then when we arrived hotel, I was told all the rooms double booked. Such a nightmare with new-and-crazy-and-disfunctional Bonvoy. Even don’t know why they got this ugly name!

  136. I love it when they send out no notice they “cancelled” your SPG credit card to replace it Bonvoy when there is no sign of that new Bonvoy card
    What a cluster?&@#

    I think ill be paying more attention to Hilton

  137. I’m glad somebody has taken notice of this. For reference, I’ve been a top tier Marriott Rewards member for a long time. I have over a million points, have loved them for many years. What’s happened in the past couple of years is heartbreaking. They have a management team that’s decided to spend all their money on commercials telling the world how hip and cool they are and completely ignoring basic operations. Their website looks like an 11 year old with ADD designed it. It’s awful beyond words. Properties lost that old Marriott spirit. They have gotten very sneaky at including rates with penalties, etc…Whoever is running the show at Marriott is brain dead Maybe they will see some short term pick-up because advertising does work to bring people in once and most people are sheep anyhow. But long-term they are doomed. I’ve started staying at Hilton’s and the experience is night and day. Sorry Marriott, that solid metal rewards card you sent me didn’t help. Nice try.


    I have spent more time trying to unsubscribe from the Bonvoy promotional emails that flood my inbox — all have been wasted time. There is an “unsubscribe” link on the emails, and it takes you to a URL where you are prompted to spend time entering information including your email address. And then when you click “submit,” rather than confirmation that you’re unsubscribed, you’re instead greeted with

    “We’re sorry, but it’s not possible to unsubscribe from Marriott email subscriptions on-line at this time. Please submit your request using the Contact Us form.”

    To fail yet even further, there is no “contact us” link on that web page. Instead, I have to click/search around the Bonvoy web pages to finally find a “contact us” page. And to rub salt in the wound, there is no subcategory for unsubscribe. Other categories from which to choose are unrelated, and so one is left choosing the “Email us” button. But even then, you’re stuck having to choose a topic from a dropdown menu. And guess what? Not surprisingly, “unsubscribe” is not one of the choices. None of the choices are applicable. So I chose an unrelated category, write your message, (e.g. “please unsubscribe”), and after several days I received an email that I’ll be unsubscribed, but that it will take 3 months. In the meantime, I continue to receive 3 – 4 Bonvoy emails per week.

    Awful way to reward me for being a loyal member.

  139. I got this scary e-mail:

    This message is being sent from the Rewards Pre-Arrival Department in an effort to help prevent delays or concerns at check-in time.

    Unfortunately, we need to inform you that the certificate(s) to pay for your upcoming Rewards redemption reservation cannot be issued at this time due to insufficient points.

    Points may be purchased for the amount you are short at $12.50 USD per 1,000 points online @ There is a yearly maximum purchase of 50,000 points per eligible account. Once points have been purchased or gifted, no refunds will be permitted and may take up to 48 hours for the transaction to be completed.

    If a purchase of Points is not an option, or if a Member does not have sufficient Points to pay for an Award Redemption with Points fourteen (14) days or less from Member’s arrival date, a Member will forfeit the Award Redemption part of the reservation. The Award Redemption may be canceled by the Loyalty Program or the Participating Property and the reservation will be converted to a paid reservation at the best available rate.

    The amount of Points required to finalize the Award Redemption reservation may change between the time of booking and the time that Points are deducted and the Award Redemption certificate is ordered and/or the member’s Free Night Award certificate(s) are assigned and attached to the reservation.

    To discuss your upcoming reservation please contact (888) 236-2427.

    A list of phone numbers for international locations can be found at:

    Thank you for your timely attention to this matter.

    This communication contains information from Marriott International, Inc. that may be confidential. Except for personal use by the intended recipient, or as expressly authorized by the sender, any person who receives this information is prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, and/or using it. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately delete it and all copies, and promptly notify the sender. Nothing in this communication is intended to operate as an electronic signature under applicable law.

  140. Have been corresponding with Marriott regarding their Ambassador program being inherently biased towards USA customers.

    If you attain 100 nights (in fact 120 in my case) but not US$20,000….. no Ambassador status.

    That’s right C$20,000 will not cut it.

    Totally unfair.

    I could also cite the credit card “offers” boldly advertised when we open the webpage but guess what…. not available to Canadians!!!

    The responses from Marriott have been dismissive – almost rude.

    Time for a) Marriott to rethink and respond or b) Canadian customers to join together and continue raising this issue!

  141. I can’t even create a an account because it won’t recognize my APO zip code…… like I’m forced to stay in your crap hotel because of the military. I can’t help I live overseas. Never had an issue with any website ever accepting my APO zip code……..

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *