I was rather excited when I saw the headline that Marriott is introducing “Cash and Points.” Hilton, Priority Club and Starwood already offer this, and it’s one of the most popular redemption options, so I figured Marriott was just “catching up.”
Check out the banner for the new feature:
Flexibility and choices like never before? This must be good.
The text below the banner reads as follows:
Coming Soon: Cash + Points
Get ready for Marriott Rewards Cash + Points, a new way to book a stay that lets you combine redemption nights and cash nights within a single reservation of two nights or more. Along with this new flexibility, you’ll still earn points and Elite night credits for your nights paid with cash. So add a few days of relaxation onto a business trip or redeem just a portion of your points for a vacation.
Convenience, flexibility and rewards. It all adds up to a better way to book your stay.
Wait a second, so you’re not introducing cash and points, but rather just giving members the option to book a paid night and award night on the same reservation? And the benefit of that is what, exactly? I’ve never had an issue just having the hotel link reservations that were booked through different channels, so this is a solution to a non-existent problem, in my opinion.
I think the fact that Marriott considers this to be “flexibility and choices like never before” says a lot about their program. Either their marketers are the sleaziest people on earth, or Marriott seriously misunderstood how other hotels do “cash and points.”
(Tip of the hat to Loyalty Traveler)