Members of Marriott’s three organic and acquired hotel loyalty programs are now being encouraged to combine their accounts as one under a revamped program launched by the hotel giant today, nearly two years since its acquisition of Starwood Hotels Group in 2016.
Ahead of a rebrand expected early next year, Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest now operate under one set of benefits and one booking currency spanning 6,700 hotels across 29 brands in 130 countries and territories. Steps on how to combine accounts can be found at Marriott.com or SPG.com.
Once accounts have been merged, points balances and nights earned across all three programs will be combined automatically, with SPG members seeing their points balance tripled first – a move Marriott International says will help more members achieve Elite status faster. SPG members will receive a new Marriott Rewards member number and for a short time will be able to operate their combined account under any of the three programs they wish. This will be a short-term arrangement as the rebrand is expected to usurp all accounts and see all loyalty members aligned under one brand.
The program merger now means travellers can now book hotels across the combined Marriott International global group through their loyalty program using existing logins through any of the three loyalty websites, smartphone apps or call centres. As part of the unification, blackout dates for points redemptions have been removed network-wide.
In addition, a single Free Night Awards chart applicable to the entire network has been rolled out, with nearly 70% of hotels reducing the number of points needed to book a free night. Members can also now earn points on qualifying purchases during their stay such as food & beverage, spa treatments and many others.
Marriott International Area Vice President, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Sean Hunt, labelled the milestone as “a momentous day for Marriott International’s loyalty members.”
“We’ve taken the best of our three award-winning programs, unifying them to create one of the richest, most comprehensive travel loyalty offerings in the world. For Australian and New Zealand members this not only means a huge increase in options to stay and earn across Asia Pacific, but also across Marriott International’s extraordinary portfolio.”
Graduation through the rewards levels has been simplified, with new Elite tiers allowing members the ability to ascend the ladder faster, while an average of 20 per cent more points awarded per dollar spent is being awarded. Silver Elite status can be earned through ten nights stayed in a calendar year, Gold Elite after 25 nights, Platinum Elite after 50 nights and Platinum Premier Elite after 75 nights. Ambassador status will be awarded after 100 nights stayed or $20,000 in annual spend, while there will be no change to members attaining Lifetime Elite status, with the status recognised across both this unified program and the rebranded program unveiled next year.
Marriott’s popular Moments program has also been aligned, with newly combined memberships retaining access to 120,000 experiences across 1,000 destinations booked under the Marriott Moments, Marriott Rewards Moments or SPG Moments.