I’ve not spent very much money to maintain hotel status over the past several years. Since I switched my travel to all personal from a mix of personal and business my total hotel spend has decreased significantly while the number of nights I’m in hotels has stayed the same or increased. That raises a tough issue: Is it worthwhile to pay extra to have the status that loyalty programs bring?
The question has been brought to the forefront for me this week with an email I received from Marriott. They are offering the opportunity to buy back elite status for their Marriott Rewards members and they’re discounting the number of points required for that renewal right now. As Gary has reported, Gold buy-back can be had for 25,000 points, a discount of 15,000 points off the regular price. In my case, the offer is to buy back Silver status for 7,500 points, a 12,500-point savings.
And I still think that both offers are a pretty cruddy deal. The 7,500 points for Silver is the equivalent of one night in a Category 1 level hotel. That’s not all that much money in spend but the value for the spend is pretty much nothing. The value for Gold status is somewhat higher but it still doesn’t make much sense to me. If you’re not actually staying enough to use the benefits why pay extra to have them? Maybe if the interruption in travel was a one-time thing due to a change in travel patterns or something like that, but for me it makes no sense at all. I’m not going to get the value and I know it. No need to spend extra for it.
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