Just got this email, effective Jan 15th,2009, Marriott rewards program will do following changes
1 eliminating blackout date like SPG and hilton currently doing(not exactly, still have blackout)
2 5th nights free when u redeem 4 nights
3 50% bonus for Platinum member instead of 30%
Looking good? after I read the term more closely and have to say "the change is actually to WORSE, not BETTER."
1 Under new redemption term, no blackout date, BUT "Hotels may limit the number of standard rooms available for redemption on a limited number of days"
2 The current system of reduced points per night for longer stays is replaced by a system where every 5 night redemption gets one free night. You will not get any discount for a 2 or 3 night stay at one property. e.g currently, you can redeem 5 nights at Cat 7 for 130,000, but with the new system, you will need 140,000
3 Create a new Cat 8 level, so 14 Cat 7 Hotels move to here.
4 Increase Travel package award level. Currently 7 nights at Cat 1-5 + 120K miles is priced at 235,000 points, but after the change, it will become 270,000
Unbelievable, with other big names changing their program to better, Marriott is making the Program even worse, No wonder I keep telling people they are the worst for past few years and will be in the future too.