Badges? Badges? We Definitely Don’t Need Marriott’s Stinking Badges!

Marriott has been trying to get ramped up and invest in social. They rolled out Plus Points in May which they then quickly devalued.

Now they’re out with social media badges that earn points. Very, very few points that it’s almost silly.

You have to log into your Marriott account and then register.

You get your first badge which is your elite status. This gets you nothing.

When you stay twice at a given brand you earn 25 points. Marriott points are an inflated currency…

Staying at a bunch of brands earns points — 5 brands for 50 points, 10 brands another 75 points, and all of 250 points if you stay at all of Marriott’s participating brands.

The more nights you stay the more points you earn. Big whoop.

25 points for 100 nights (that’s a whopping quarter point per night bonus), 125 points for 500 nights (another quarter point per night), and 250 points after 1000 points.

I guess that’s better than being spit on for 1000 nights of loyalty.

If you participate in Points Plus, you get a badge (nothing). If you refer people you get a badge (nothing). And a qualifying donation gets you 25 points (might as well be nothing).

Understand — 25 points is one onethousandth of a med-tier category 5 redemption night.

I registered only to see what happened after pressing the button. For most I’d adise not registering on the theory that there’s a non-zero chance Marriott could provide a bonus for doing so later.

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, 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. Wow sorry to be harsh but this is the dumbest promotion I’ve seen in a while. Whoever came up with it needs to have their job reviewed.

  2. Just because you can do stuff with social media doesn’t mean you should. This is a 3rd grade level promotion.

  3. “Bragging rights?” Really? I’m going to “brag” that I got a freakin’ badge???
    Do these hotel chains actually pay people to come up with this garbage???

  4. This is comical. Last year, at Comic-Con in San Diego, I had a four-night stay at the Marquis Marina next door to the convention center, for which I was gouged — I mean charged $569 per night. Upon checking in as a Plat, I was told the concierge lounge would be closed on Saturday and Sunday, but that I’d be getting a 1000 point per day bonus instead. No breakfast, no drinks, nothing else. Irked, I asked the CSR how the hotel valued 1000 points and she replied (in which I suspect was an unauthorized disclosure) “six dollars.” So the answer to Kimmie’s question is “1000 nights equals $7.50 worth of rewards.”

  5. The mistake here (other than the typos 😉 ) is believing that the points are supposed to be the motivation for the behavior. They are not.

    People chase badges all the time without any points to earn for their efforts. JetBlue’s similar badges program has similar small earning potential (though the points are worth a bit more) but it is getting great traction and their return on it has been better than expected. The word-of-mouth/viral marketing nature of the badges is such that the investment to operate the program is minimal but the gains to the company are great.

    Sure, you’ll earn more points signing up for a 70k point CC, but that’s a different game to play. And plenty of people play the badges games instead.

  6. This really is the stupidest promotion I’ve ever seen. So I get 250 points for staying 1,000 nights, or I get 70,000 points for signing up for a credit card. Let’s see – 280,000 nights (about 767 years) 70,000 points or one credit card app? I probably won’t live 767 years, and even if I do, I’ll be too old to enjoy the bonus points.

  7. Likely one of their marketing staff attended a conference with an entry level gamification session and assumed that game theory on badges would be a good idea on their website. I am betting they are wrong. The motivation for completing these badges is severely lacking from my point of view.

  8. Lighten up! You are already earning points for your stay. This is just something to keep things a bit interesting. It is done on sites like Yelp and Foursquare, so what is the harm here? Obviously, you aren’t going to earn a ton of points this way. It is clearly not the intention of the program. If having a badge on your profile isn’t for you, don’t Opt-In. It is that simple.

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