Here's an interesting article.
A few highlights
- Airlines make big money from selling miles to CC companies and the like
- Upgrades on miles are harder to get
- Look for signup bonus offers
- Don't buy miles unless you're just short of what you need for that big trip
- Earn 'em and burn 'em
- Don't let miles expire
- Mileage runs are basically gone due to revenue based earning schemes
I see a few things that apply to hotel loyalty programs (earn 'em and burn 'em, don't let miles expire). For the most part it doesn't seem like Marriott Rewards has quite the same problems. Or at least not to the same degree.
MR points may get devalued over time, but things are still way better than what is going on with FF programs.
Not much really new here, but it sums up the problem with FF programs, especially for the leisure traveler.