Marriott International unifies loyalty programs

The St. Regis Bali Resort, Indonesia. Photo credit: Marriott International(Image: Marriott International)

Marriott International combined its three loyalty programs—Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest—into one.

The programs now operate under one set of benefits and one currency spanning Marriott International's portfolio of 29 brands and more than 6,700 participating hotels. Program members can earn and redeem points from these hotels and gain Elite status faster with the new Elite tiers. 

Members also can combine their separate program accounts into one through the Marriott International or Starwood Preferred Guest websites. They will no longer have to transfer points between programs. 

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Members can earn on average 20 percent more points per dollar spent and have their Elite status recognized at every Marriott-branded hotel. They can also book stays throughout the portfolio on the Marriott International and SPG websites, along with the Marriott and SPG apps and the customer engagement centers. 

New points system eases path to Elite status

SPG member points balances have multiplied by three, earning 10 points for every dollar spent at all brands, except Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Element, Marriott Executive Suites and ExecuStay. Members who stay at Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and Element will earn five points for every dollar spent while those who stay at Marriott Executive Suites and ExecuStay will earn 2.5 points for every dollar spent. Nights earned at Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels in 2018 will also combine and potentially help members achieve Elite status faster. 

All SPG members will receive a new account number to align with the Marriott Rewards system under the unified programs. Members with multiple program accounts can choose to combine the three under their preferred account. 

Marriott International will keep the Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG names until early 2019 when they will combine under one name. Members under the unified program will be able to earn Silver Elite status after 10 nights annually, Gold Elite status after 25 nights, Platinum Elite status after 50 nights and Platinum Premier Elite status after 75 nights. 

Platinum Premier members who surpass 100 nights and spend $20,000 a year for stays will have access to the ambassador program, along will all the benefits from the tier. Meanwhile, Lifetime status members will continue to have their status recognized under the new Lifetime Elite tiers, which will apply across the unified programs. 

Revamped program increases free night awards 

Marriott International will launch a Free Night Award chart with the unified programs for redemptions across the loyalty portfolio. Nearly 70 percent of hotels require the same or fewer points for a free stay than before. 

Members can redeem these awards for future category eight hotels, including all-suites properties, priced in category seven until 2019 to save 25,000 points a night. The new Free Night Award chart will have standard pricing with off-peak and peak pricing in 2019.

New co-brand credit cards offer more perks

Marriott and its U.S. credit card partners JPMorgan Chase and American Express will offer new co-branded credit cards with more benefits across the entire loyalty portfolio. The recently launched Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card and the new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card launching Aug. 23 will offer more perks and ways to earn points by using the cards. 

The new Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card offers six points per dollar spent at 6,700 participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels, two points per dollar spent on all other purchases, an anniversary free night award for any property up to 35,000 points, automatic Silver Elite status and a path to Gold Status when spending $35,000 on purchases each year. Card members will also receive 15 Elite Night credits each calendar year starting in 2019.

The second new credit card—the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card—will offer six points per dollar spent at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels, three points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and on airfare when booked directly with the airlines and two points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. Card members will also receive up to $300 in statement credits each year of their membership for eligible purchases at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels, a free night award up to 50,000 points, automatic Gold Elite status, a $100 fee credit for Global Entry and Priority Pass Select membership.

Members of all three loyalty programs in Canada, Japan, the UK and the UAE can use the new credit cards through JP Morgan Chase and American Express banking partners. They will receive new benefits offered within their respective regions.

Marriott International expands experience offerings

Marriott’s loyalty programs have about 120,000 experiences in 1,000 global destinations on the company’s Moments platform. The Marriott Moments, Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments include destination tours, day trips and member-only events.

Additional new loyalty program benefits include:

  • All members earn points for food and beverage, spa and other qualifying incidentals charged to their folio, rather than just the room rate.
  • Hotels in the loyalty portfolio have no blackout dates for points redemptions.
  • Members can book directly on any of Marriott’s digital and mobile channels to use member-only rates and free Wi-Fi. They can use the Marriott and SPG apps for mobile check-in and check-out and mobile room key entry, to communicate with hotel associates and to receive alerts when their rooms are ready.