Leaked Marriott Memo: The End of Annual 10 Elite Nights For Meetings

Several days ago I flagged the possibility that Marriott would be eliminating the great annual offer of 10 elite nights for booking a meeting at a hotel. Before the Marriott and Starwood programs were combined Marriott used to let you earn 10 elite nights per meeting with no annual cap.

Word on the street was that this offer would be going away entirely. And indeed a leaked internal communication from Marriott bears this out.

US Credit Card Guide has Marriott’s internal screen shot confirming that starting January 1 Marriott Bonvoy will no longer offer 10 elite nights for the first meeting booked each year.

Beginning January 1, 2020:

Members will no longer earn ten (10) Elite Night Credits for the first event of the calendar year with Marriott Bonvoy Events. This change does not affect the current points/miles earn structure. Members who hold qualifying events at participating properties will continue to earn (1) Elite Night Credit for every twenty (20) room nights actualized up to a maximum of twenty (20) Elite Night Credits per contract.

This update will be included in a Weekly Update and on MGS to share internally. The Program Terms & Conditions will be updated before the end of the year, until then this change has not been publicly shared.

This is a sad loss for members taking advantage, especially, of a cheap ($20 – $100) conference room for an hour at a limited service Marriott property. It was a great way to get elite credits, paired with 15 each year from a Marriott co-brand card.

What’s most striking to me is that:

  1. It is December 19 and Marriott still has not informed members of a change going into effect January 1.
  2. They appear to consider a buried change to the program terms and conditions to be ‘notifying members’

Marriott’s statement on Monday – a mere three days ago – is especially vexing, “We have no updates regarding the benefit at this time. If that should ever change, we would communicate it to our members.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This is a sad loss for members taking advantage of the program? That’s why I lose respect for these blogs. You should share good deals and opportunities but saying it’s sad that a company no longer wants to be taken advantage of is just ridiculous. Yes SAD. It’s sad when someone gets hurt , it’s not sad when you can no longer take advantage of a company and it’s customers. You know very well the program wasn’t put into place to give everyone Titanium status for $800

  2. No, it’s not a “sad loss”…far from it, it’s the end of a monumental scam perpetrated by con artists and tricksters ( hotels and members).
    I’d prefer a loyalty program focusing on hotel stays, not fake meetings and credit card nights.

  3. Good riddance to the last vestige of Marriott handing status nights out like candy (meetings, rollover, CC nights, promo nights, etc.) and making LT status beyond easy to earn…amazing that they initially tried to make SPG loyals with actual BiB nights second class citizens.

  4. Bonvoy Events was a much abused promotion. Paying as little as $100 for 10 nights credit was neither the intent or even the spirit of the program. Its termination benefits those who actually stay at Marriott hotels.

  5. I achieved lifetime titanium exclusively and only over meetings
    It was great and now I have status to go with my million points

  6. Its sad another low hanging fruit is gone, but don’t worry, they will come back in a different form some other time. Its a business, pure supply and demand, dont be naive to think any ‘system’ is set up to do “justice” or be “fair”.

    When hotel/airlines fleece customers in the form of ‘enhancements’, I hope those people who talked about “monumental scam” or “abused promotion” embrace these enhancements with both arms.

  7. Excuse me. I’m a professional meetings and events planner. Marriott has taken away all incentives:

    1) 99% of properties will NOT give planners the customary 10% commission on nightly room rates. If they do quote you a commissionable rate you need to be a IATA travel agent to get the commission, which is absurd because most meetings and event planners are not IATA travel agents.

    2) Meeting and event spending does NOT count toward the ambassador status threshold of $20,000. I do $50,000, $75,000 and even $100,000 events. Marriott could easily apply say 10% of the spending toward the ambassador status threshold.

    3) Many meetings and events, especially banquets, do NOT have a rooming component, which is a devaluation since originally Marriott before the SPG merger gave 10 nights per contract, with or without a rooming component. Now a formula is used to allocate nights but ONLY if you have a meeting or event with a rooming component.

    Of course, sadly, NONE of this matters because Marriott has a HUGE MONOPOLY in all the destinations that most people or businesses want to hold their meeting or event.

  8. Did any of the bashers in this comment section stop to consider the Bonvoy members who hold legitimate meetings at Marriott properties, spending tens of thousands of dollars?? Are these members not worthy of some elite nights? This is sad. Every meeting isn’t a scam.

  9. Did any of the bashers in this comment section consider the Bonvoy members who hold legitimate events/meetings at Marriott properties and spend tens of thousands of dollars?? Are these members not worthy of some elite nights? This is sad. Every meeting isn’t a scam. I know this first-hand.

  10. Yeah this is a big let down by Marriott.
    They are effectively screwing people who already booked meetings for 2020 by making this last minute change at the end of the year.
    They should honor the 10 QN credits for meetings already booked…that’s the least they can do.

  11. Marriott sees the customer as the enemy. I find this to be a strange way to view the people who keep you in business, but it’s their company.

  12. Bonyoy is a trash program so this doesn’t surprise me. Status with Marriott? Sounds like a punishment.

  13. @JL Marriott did honor 10 per night when they changed it in the summer of 2018. I had to fight tooth and nail but emailing arne.sorenson@marriott.com and david.flueck@marriott.com got them to honor the terms of the contract. Of course, some event planners are dumb and don’t get a contract that specifically states the Rewarding Events benefits. I would encourage anyone with a legit meeting or event signed and contracted to contact Marriott and insist that they honor the benefits as signed at the time of contract.

  14. Please Gary, don’t be so dramatic. Hotel’s primary function is to provide accomodations. Not scam their reward program.

    if this were a change of “you must stay 2 nights for one night credit”, then yes. your “SAD” view is certainly validated.

  15. @Kevin programs are based on nights stayed. I can agree that the spend component should contribute towards ambassador, but not nights. If you book those rooms for people staying under your name, you get the nights(obviously not feasible for large events, but that’s kind of the point).

  16. My sales person at Marriott has confirmed that Bonvoy Events will no longer offer 10 elite night credits for a first meeting starting in 2020.

    I had reached out to her (prior to the internal memo leaking) to arrange a meeting for January 2, 2020 and she advised me of the program change today (12/20/2019.)

  17. “We have no updates regarding the benefit at this time. If that should ever change, we would communicate it to our members.”

    We members are Bonvoyed yet again

  18. Obviously, Marriott didn’t want to publicly communicate this change because it feared there would be a rush of scam meetings. But to me that demonstrates the company’s bad actions and ill-intent.

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