Why I Quit Hotel Loyalty Programs

in my years as the Nomad capitalist I've

spent thousands of nights in hotels and

since I left my home in the United

States for good

in 2013 I have spent well over a

thousand nights including many of those

at Marriott is a member of their bon voy

program I'm gonna tell you in this video

why I'm giving up on hotel loyalty

programs and why I'm giving up on

Marriott bond voy


hey I'm Andrew Henderson and if you want

to work with my team and I to develop

your own Nomad capitalist strategy you

can go to Nomad capitalist calm to learn

how now let's talk about hotels

if you've read some of my stuff from the

beginning you would have seen me where

some years I spent practically every day

in a hotel I was traveling all around

the world sometimes in dozens of

countries in a year and because I didn't

own homes or many homes for many of

those years I was staying in hotels I've

never been much of an Airbnb guy I like

the services of hotels and what I've

done over those thousands of nights that

I've stayed in hotels is I've learned a

lot about how hotels operate especially

how corporate hotels up right now you

know if you're a road warrior for IBM if

you work for delight you probably won't

like or agree with what I'm gonna say in

this video but I'm gonna give kind of a

7 and 8-figure entrepreneurs approach

someone who doesn't like the corporate

mentality and tell you why I've given up

on Marriott born voice so I've spent a

lot of years staying in Marriott

properties and when the merger came they

had star wood and Marriott merged a

couple years ago they have a huge

portfolio of properties 29 different

brands of hotels you can find a hotel

pretty much anywhere in the world and so

I decided to hitch my wagon to them

spent a lot of time over the last couple

years at properties like the st. Regis

the Ritz Carlton the luxury collections

hotels that you think would be really

great and I worked my way up to

ambassador level status this is where

you stay 100 or more nights a year they

recently added a twenty thousand dollar

annual spend requirement which I think I

pretty easily met I have the the

Marriott bon voyage reddit card I've

been like the the Starwood and have the

Marriott bond void I and what's very

intriguing to me is you know corporate

hotels by the way I don't know that

Hilton or Hyatt or any of those chains

are any different and hotels are

increasingly becoming corporatized a lot

of boutique hotels are gaining scale by

by getting in a different corporate

program so I'm not sure that any of

those other ones are already better but

what I found is the marketing for bond

voice ample is you know experienced an

exclusive world of exotic privileges

where we we dote on your every request

on demand

I mean literally you can cone their

website you can see a picture of you

know overwater villas in the Maldives

and and this you know beautiful copy

that they put together of what you can

expect when you become an elite member

and so a number of years ago I dutifully

started staying at Marriott properties

paying more than I would at a local

property because I wanted to have a

central database I wanted to have you

know one chain that I could just be a

part of and I could really enjoy and a

couple years ago I breached this

ambassador status and I said wow you

know finally I've made it right except I

really hadn't made it so I worked my way

up for the ranks through gold through

platinum now they have titanium I was

never that and then all the way up to

this ambassador level 100 nights in 2017

I think I spent about a hundred and

fifty nights that was the peak but I've

qualified in other years and I've spent

hundreds of nights a year at these

Marriott hotels and so I finally reached

into the pinnacle of status and so the

reason they call the top level status

ambassador is you get an actual

ambassador you get a person who's

supposed to be your your point person

for arranging all of your stays and

making sure that everything is very nice

and really how that works in in my

opinion is more of the marketing puffery

that these hotel loyalty programs are

all about because here's the secret

there is no loyalty

the loyalty is one way you're loyal to

them your loyalty must be concrete

because obviously if you stay 97 nights

or if you spend $19,000 a year you don't

become an ambassador member if you spend

48 nights you don't become a platinum

member you've got to hit the exact

targets you're loyal to that to them as

concrete their loyalty to you is pretty

hit-or-miss quite frankly so I became an

ambassador member I was assigned an

ambassador now you think a hotel chain

will be able to figure out that someone

who stays at hotels 150 nights a year

would be someone who's traveling and

they're in different time zones you can

look at my profile and see I'm I'm all

over the place so I get to this hotel in

Japan that I'm staying at it's one of

the nicer ones there six or seven

hundred dollars a night and nobody

speaks English at least very well very

nice hotel but nobody speaks English and

I go and they just can't really handle

it in my request so I called my

ambassador oh your ambassadors gone

why oh we gave you an ambassador in the

United States I said well you know none

of my stays are in the United States I

rarely stay in Latin America can you

give me another ambassador sure they

find someone and you know really nothing

gets solved am i got i got pretty

frustrated honestly I think that you

know I'm a pretty nice person to deal

with but honestly for a while when I was

staying in all these hotels I felt like

I must be the world's worst human being

because I was constantly getting

frustrated that I had worked so hard I

had put in the effort I stayed at

Marriott hotels when there were other

options available and here I reached you

know okay okay maybe I figured maybe

platinum okay maybe that's just like an

entree you know maybe that's just the

appetizer let me get to the top status

that'll be like that's when the benefits

really kick in and almost immediately

you know I had an ambassador who

couldn't be found then I said hey you

know can you get me an ambassador of my

timezone sure three weeks goodbye I

don't hear from anybody hey what's going


oh we gave you someone in Ireland I said

I'm in Asia can you can you give me

someone in Asia every question oh you

know silly us sure to where eventually a

couple months went by and they get tired

of me bothering them and I got tired of

their of their you know of being

frustrated and we just I'm just like you

know what I don't want the ambassador

they're like good we don't want you to

have an ambassador and so I've retained

the Ambassador status sans the

ambassador here's why I think that the

whole loyalty game really is not one

worth playing and again I'm saying this

to the 7 and 8-figure entrepreneur the 6

7 and 8-figure entrepreneur who is

getting into the Nomad capitalist

lifestyle maybe you want to explore

different destinations around the world

maybe you're just you know living my

trifecta approach maybe you haven't put

your your homes around the world in

place yet and so you figure hey I'd like

to stay in hotels if you like me you'll

like the luxury of a five-star hotel you

like the idea of a butler service you

like the idea of being upgraded to a

suite because you're a loyal elite

member you like all the perks you like

the central location the nice marble

floors all of that and you know what

that's great but what I've learned about

hotels is it's all in theory what I've

learned is even as an ambassador member

you got to check into a hotel every by

the way I wish I could train my my team

members to do this because the people

who work at the front desk and people

who work in these

tells they are trained so amazingly well

you could talk to them for eight hours a

day five days a week for a year and they

would never vary up the script Oh

literally one time I I walked into the

hotel and I said hey I'd like to check

in you know later today and you know

what what kind of availability do you

have for ambassador members they said

okay we'll give you this room I said

great it'll be ready at what time 2:00

o'clock great okay with you sure yes

okay here's my credit card

I'll be back I come at 2 o'clock oh we

have a different room oh you gave me the

room we promised right of course mr.

Henderson it is the best room available

these are the tricks that you're gonna

learn if you haven't spent thousands of

nights in these hotels these luxury

hotels as I have you probably don't know

the tricks every single thing is a

scripted corporate hack trick and so for

me the two reasons I don't want to be

involved in any hotel hotel loyalty

program anymore is number one it's just

exceedingly corporate there's no honesty

there's no truth every single thing

every single thing they're gonna say to

you is a manufactured basically lie I

know it's not pleasant to say and I know

it you know if you're just sitting there

at home and you and you've you're

watching me you know get upset about

this and you've you know you've stated

in the st. Regis or a Four Seasons here

and there you're like come on this guy's

being ridiculous this guy's insane come

and spend a thousand nights in these

hotels and you'll realize all all the

tricks that go on one of the biggest

frustrations from me has been every time

I go to check into a hotel I've got a

fight because every single benefit has a

caveat I mentioned earlier you have to

spend a hundred nights to be ambassador

there's no caveat like well under

certain conditions you know it can be 85

nights now it's a hundred nights if you

don't do it you don't qualify yet every

benefit you get is a caveat early

check-in if we have it late check-out if

we have it and not in resort hotels and

not in certain countries and upgrades

subject availability but not these rooms

20% of food and beverage but novel

hotels that I want to participate you

know 10% of this but not on Tuesdays I

mean literally there's not a single

benefit that you get you read through

the benefits and they infused you to see

the benefits on their website oh that's

amazing I'm gonna be get upgraded every

single upgrade for

at this point has been a fight you go

and you check in yeah you know what at

our hotel we only upgrade one level

well no race actually says right here

best available room at time of check-in

excluding select Suites I understand

you're not giving me the 5000 square

foot Presidential Suite of which there's

one but if you have 40 of the luxury

suites you know and 18 of them are

available that's what it's like that's

the benefit that's what it says the best

available room all right and so

everything is a fight everything is a

caveat and so for again why I mentioned

this is unique for entrepreneurs and why

I'm talking to entrepreneurs and why I

want to suggest that you know buying

homes or finding other ways to live is

better in the long term than then

becoming loyal to any hotel chain and

thinking you're gonna get you know nice

upgrades and in great service it's

because it's an entrepreneur we're used

to telling the truth we're used to being

direct and what made me feel so badly

for a while was I would go somewhere and

these people are masters is just talking

in such you know so it's beautiful

soliloquy well first of all saying

absolutely nothing when we were planning

our honeymoon mrs. H contacted the hotel

and said hey you know it's our honeymoon

you think like the one time in your life

that a hotel chain who wants to show

loyalty to you would actually show

loyalty would be like hey you know yeah

absolutely we're gonna arrange something

they send mrs. H my wife they sent her a

an email she printed out to show it to


it's four pages printed out that the

hotel sent to her four pages we read it

and we're laughing how it says not it

says absolutely nothing they said

absolutely nothing in four pages they

said we're so delighted that's all it is

and so if you work for the United

Nations you know if you work for IBM or

you've got a you know BS with all of

your colleagues around the office every

day and you better play off of politics

then I guess this is normal for you

coming in and biessing and listening to

BS speeches and we're absolutely trying

our best

as an entrepreneur I don't want people

to try their best I want people to get

the bloody job done try your worst if

that's what it takes I'm an ambassador

member I've put in my time give me the

bloody upgrade and so you can see how

frustrating it is for me in business


is very important if you say you're

gonna do something you should do it

if you imply you're going to do

something you should do it what you

shouldn't do is have a bunch of

marketing people and I listen I run a

marketing operation this video is

marketing but what you shouldn't do is

have a marketing department that goes

out and appeals to people who would like

to have a little bit of extra attention

who would like to have a little bit of

better service and who put pay their

dues and then operationally be terrible

executing absolutely terrible and then

when you're terrible they get upset with

you you know you go to the I went to a

hotel once and they said oh we've

scheduled your wake-up call shall we

bring you some tea with a wake-up call I

said sure that'd be great bring me some

tea nine o'clock rolls around wake-up

call comes I'm looking for the tea don't

want to take a shower until the tea


9:15 hey guys where's the tea oh we're

very sorry we forgot oh well I'm glad

maybe maybe I should forget to pay you

four hundred hours a night for your

hotel in this you know emerging country

well we forget it'd be fun hey I

understand 9:25 I'm still looking for

the tea oh they're on their way right

9:35 hey what's going on by the time

like 10 o'clock rolls around I'm like

guys I need the tea right oh excuse me

mr. Henderson there's no reason to be


and what I've learned is you know Here I

am and I go out I talk to people I talk

to the shoeshine guy I talked to people

in stores I go around town I go to

restaurants I go all about I talked to

so many people you know what never do I

feel more badly these days then in a

corporate hotel where I've allegedly

earned loyalty because all I get is a

bunch of diplomatic speak from failed

actors and failed diplomats who all

they're good at is is finding nice ways

to say screw you all they're good at is

finding nice ways to wheeze a lot of

things again this is where you know as

entrepreneurs and it is Nomad capitalist

we are in a certain rarefied air where

99% of the world does not understand us

99% of the world comes and says what a

delightful five-star experience you know

they brought us a pot of tea again I'm

telling you if you're looking to be

loyal to a hotel chain I really would

dissuade you from doing

especially if you're if you're like me

and you staying like staying in luxury

hotels because the did the service

delivery is not there and I constantly

marvel at how these people get such rave

reviews again I know there's plenty of

people they just they gotta travel for

work they have no choice and they just

get into it but if you live in my world

and you have a choice what I've been

doing is I basically I said I will buy

as many homes as it takes around the


so I don't to stay at hotels or if I

have to stay at a hotel I will go out

and I will try and find a boutique hotel

where I can stay again I get it you know

if you haven't spent as much time in

these hotels as I have

you probably think in yourself you know

this guy's nuts but where it really hits

the mark for me is you know again hey

you can't bring the tea that's cool we

all make mistakes

but when I've got to call you four times

for one issue it gets frustrating and

then when later that day you know I ask

you hey can you bring me this and you

don't do it and then I go to the next

hotel and I have to ask three times for

something and it's just consistent over

hundreds and hundreds of stays it's led

me to this conclusion that maybe I can

share some of you the frustration one of

the things that's interesting about

Marriott is you know they keep a file on

everybody one guy got to come upstate

with me said oh wait oh we knew you we

saw that you were you know what you were

difficult because we saw you complained

it but not getting your team you know

before what's interesting if they keep a

file that benefits them but yet they

they email you all the time you know

what they're blathering you know emails

before you arrive at their hotels saying

you know what can we do to make your

stay delightful and I always have one

sheet that I made I had a hotel manager

who suggested to me make one sheet of

all your requests I don't have that many

one of my requests is don't close the

curtains you know at night you know you

your stay hey you'll state you're

staying the ritz-carlton Cancun and the

most beautiful oceanfront suite that

you'd to fight to get upgraded to and

you beat them over the head and beam be

difficult and you're in a beautiful

oceanfront suite with the waves crashing

and you come back at night and they've

closed three different layers of blinds

so you can't see the ocean I leave it

open and and get literally ninety five

percent of the time the stuff that I've

asked to be put you know in my guest

file as the highest level of elite


I come back they don't do it right I've

said hey you know pleat please don't you

know do this or that you know nothing

that's too crazy quite frankly I mean

the biggest thing is please don't close

my curtains in 95 percent of the time

they don't do it and then I'll go and

say hey you know do you mind please you

know can you check in and you don't

close the curtains and then the next day

they'll do it again and then the next

day they'll do it again and maybe by the

last day of this day so for me this is

the challenge right this is the

challenge is that every time it's the

same thing over and over and over I'm

not saying don't go and stay at the Ritz

Carlton if you're gonna go once a year

for a weekend or you know for your

anniversary that's cool so that's my

experience what I want you to be aware

of is if you are a nomad capitalist you

know we are in rarified air most people

don't understand we want to demand

excellence and we have a choice you know

again if you're if you're a corporate

road warrior I totally respect that I'm

not trying to - you know diss anybody

what I'm saying is I don't have to go to

any particular location I don't have to

stay in hotels for my job you know I

just have chosen to do so I thought it

would be a good opportunity and so I

consistently make people were helping

and you know what I've started to hear

some of the same concerns from other

folks that I'm working with who are

living the Nomad capitalist lifestyle

and who are starting to to do what I'm

talking about which is buying multiple

homes so I can cut my hotel stay down to

as close to zero as possible and and for

those stays try and find boutique hotels

because really the juice just isn't

worth the squeeze not only for hotels a

lot of loyalty programs are doing this

but in particular my experience with

Marriott bun voice has been really

subpar I'm sure they don't they don't

have great love for me and that's fine

I'm sure you know one thing that they're

great at is is is not taking

responsibility you know anyone who who

gets frustrated is bad in their opinion

and and that's their right and so like

so many things in life it's just not a

fit and you know we'll just part ways

and I will avoid staying there but what

I want to save you the trouble if you

are the seven or eight figure

entrepreneur if you are the Nomad

capitalist don't get sucked in to the

hype loyalty programs for me have big

been a big letdown hi I'm Andrew

Henderson from nomadic

a list I wrote this book which you can

find on Amazon to distill a lot of the

stuff we talked about in these videos

and a lot of the stuff I've learned over

the last decade plus traveling all

around the world

teaching you about how to legally reduce

your taxes build your personal freedom

and create wealth faster definitely get

a copy of this book if you want to learn

more now if you want to watch more

videos make sure you subscribe to our

Channel and make sure you click the

notifications bill so you never miss one

of our new videos with more tips on how

to go where you're treated best and if

you're already a six or seven figure

entrepreneur and you'd like to put these

strategies in place for yourself go to

Nomad capitalist calm and learn about

how I can help you