During the NFL season, Marriott often held a Twitter promotion called “Extra Points Sundays”, as detailed in this post from The Points Guy prior to the Super Bowl. They held this promotion almost every week during the 17-week regular season for 1,000 points each, and 3 times during the Super Bowl for 500 points each. Simply link your Marriott Rewards number to your Twitter account, and if you answered every question correctly, you’d get more than 14,000 free Marriott points, worth close to $140.
Being an ardent sports fan and traveler, I followed this closely and answered all of the questions correctly. However, when checking my Marriott account in late January, no points had posted from the promotion. I reached out to Marriott on Twitter, who replied quickly. Initially they told me to ensure my account was connected. It was, as when I tried again, I got a message noting as much. I also knew this was the case, as I had remembered previously connecting my Marriott Rewards number across all social media during a promotion giving 500 points for each media to which you connect your account.
I replied to Marriott again and, and they then sent me a link to disconnect and re-connect my Marriott Rewards number to ensure that everything would work properly. I did this, got another confirmation, and wrote back to Marriott asking when I can expect the points to be credited. Marriott’s response was as terse as it can be:
We do not retroactively add points and we do apologize for this, but please stay tuned for our next Marriott Rewards promotional offer.
Wow. As if their yearly destruction of our point values isn’t enough, their customer service also fails miserably. Many messages over a few weeks, and I never got a single acknowledgement of this being an issue in their system, and only a cursory boilerplate “apology.” This is yet another reason why the singular value in Marriott points is in transferring them to Starwood Preferred Guest. If we thought their constant devaluations were bad, they pale in comparison to their putrid customer service and complete lack of bedside manner.
Speaking of, if you’d like join me in avoiding Marriott like the plague, this is a great time to get started on SPG points! There’s currently a targeted increased offer of 30,000 Starpoints on the SPG credit card from American Express upon spending $3,000 in your first three months as a card member. (I got this while logged in, but not when using an incognito window, so remember that Your Mileage May Vary.) If you can get this, it is a 20% increase over the standard 25,000 point offer, and a great way to get going with the single most valuable and flexible point currency!
Michael Prodanovich is a contributor to Point Me to the Plane, and author of The Ultimate Guide to Free Travel