Fact: I was given an incentive by my credit card company to use their card for a pre-determined amount in exchange for a free nights lodging at a Marriott establishment. I did my part and then the bank did their part - per theor arrangement and sent me a certificate to redeem. That seemed failry straight-forward.
Then comes the fun - trying to work out the details of one measly night. Well, first there were way too many of the Marriot inns that did not participate and then I had to select a date and hotel. Next I needed to wait from SI to get back to me with the details of my trip. I waited several weeks for a return email. With this email came number to call (m-f, 9-5 est). With this info came the note that the dates cannot be changed and that if the hotel I selected was not available, that they would make me an offer for another hotel. AND... if I decide to decline that new offer that no other offer would be given... end of story. Well they could offer a night's lodging in almost anywhere, I could imagine, and why would I travel across country, let's say, for one "free" night?
There's more... When I called, the automated phone response was "offers so popular that we can't take your call right now... leave a number and we will call you back." I suppose that by now you have figured out that that has not happened. That was more than 2 weeks ago. Additionally, they request that I have a credit card ready when I call. Now everything in the material says that this is a totally free night - including all taxes. So why do they need my credit card? The materials say quite clearly that a credit card is necessary at check-in - and that makes sense to handle any incidentals that would be given to the hotel. Why would SI need the credit card. Your guess is as good as mine - I have not been able to speak with them. Today I called at 5:00 and by the time the call got connected it was 5:01 and they were already closed for the day.
Glad that I am not one of the many that appeared to have been stung by this scampony. Some out there are out thousands. Me - it was simply a freebie for using my credit card for which I got services!
Their real business is: let people think they are getting a deal and then wear them out trying to cash-in. Some have reported getting what they paid for but only after very diligent attention. I don't know about everyone else out there, but my busy day (9-5) can't be consumed by chasing these idiots. I guess they know that, too!