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Marriott unites its loyalty programs

Marriott International has announced that it will introduce one set of unified benefits across Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) in August this year.

Under the new program, members will earn more points more quickly than under previous programs – on average 20 per cent more points for every dollar spent.

For the first time, members will have access to book stays and earn or redeem points among 29 participating global brands comprising 6,500 hotels in 127 countries and territories. Additionally, the Moments experiential platform is expanding, with more than 110,000 experiences in 1,000 destinations from must-see attraction tickets and tours for purchase with cash by all guests, to once-in-a-lifetime events only available to members using points, including the new bespoke Moments Live event series.

“We listened to the travel aspirations of our members and set our sights on unlocking the full potential of our loyalty programs,” said David Flueck, senior vice president of Global Loyalty, Marriott International.

“We are excited to announce that this August, our members can enjoy one set of benefits across our extraordinary portfolio of hotels from iconic full and select service, to extended stay, to unique boutiques and luxury brands. We hope to inspire our members whatever their travel passion, whether it is resorts featuring overwater bungalows, peaceful secluded island settings, ski-in / ski-out mountain resorts, towering hotels with picture-worthy views or even former palaces converted into hotels.”

Beginning in August, members will be able to combine their separate Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG accounts into a single account spanning the entire loyalty portfolio. The Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) names will continue to live on under the new set of unified benefits until a new program name is introduced in 2019.

Also beginning in August, travellers will have the ability to book stays across the entire portfolio for the first time on Marriott.com, SPG.com and the Marriott and SPG apps, or by contacting customer engagement centres.

In August, members will be able to earn and redeem across the entire portfolio of participating hotels and earn elevated benefits and elite status faster with new elite tiers. For example, earning Silver elite status after just ten nights and Gold elite status after just 25 nights will become standard in all three programs. With Platinum elite status earned after 50 nights and Platinum Premier elite status earned after 75 nights, these tiers will become easier to attain for Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members and align with SPG’s current offering.  In addition, all Platinum Premier members surpassing 100 nights and $20,000 of spend will enjoy the highest level of personalised service – the popular ambassador program – along with all the other benefits in that tier. Members who have achieved Lifetime status will continue to have their status recognised.

The breakfast offering for Platinum and Platinum Premier members will be expanded to 23 participating brands, including Courtyard, AC Hotels by Marriott, Protea and Moxy, as well as  resorts. For certain brands, members will receive free breakfast or an on-property food and beverage credit for breakfast or other dining options.

Under the unified benefits, a single points currency will be introduced. In August, SPG members will see their points balance triple. SPG, Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members will all earn ten points for every dollar spent at all brands except for Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and Element which will be five points per every dollar spent. With bonuses, elite members will earn even more for stays. In August, all members will begin earning points for food and beverage and qualifying incidentals on their folio, rather than just the room rate.

To make it easier for members to redeem points, all hotels throughout the loyalty portfolio will have no blackout dates for points redemptions. In addition, a Free Night Award chart with peak, standard and off-peak pricing will be adopted for all hotels. The chart, which will launch with standard pricing in August, will add off peak and peak in 2019.

Members will enjoy a significantly improved digital and mobile experience. When members book directly on Marriott.com, SPG.com or any of Marriott’s mobile apps, they will be able to choose from all 6,500 participating hotels, and also take advantage of exclusive member-only rates and free Wi-Fi. In addition, members will be able to check-in or check out, receive Room Ready Alerts chat directly with hotels using Mobile Requests and where available use their smartphones as their room key on all of Marriott’s mobile apps. 

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