Today, Marriott International is making their long awaited announcement on the future of their Loyalty Programs.
In August, Marriott will introduce unified loyalty programs with a one set of member benefits across Marriott Rewards, The RitzCarlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). For the first time, you will have access to book stays and earn and redeem points among 29 participating global brands comprising 6,500 hotels in more than 127 countries and territories.
Beginning in August, travelers will be able to combine 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. Under the unified benefits, a single currency will be introduced.
When SPG members combine these accounts in August, points balance will 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. Off-peak pricing will increase redemption opportunities for sought-after properties.
So with this merger, you’ll be receiving MORE benefits and gaining the ability to more rapidly accrue rewards. It really is a good thing despite the annoyance of having to merge your loyalty accounts.
What you need to do now: Log into your SPG or Marriott account and LINK your Marriott/Ritz-Carlton and SPG accounts. When you log in, a pop up window will appear and walk you through the process. It’s easy. (Note, I had problems when using a Chrome browser, but no problems on Safari.)
Questions? Please let me know. I have wonderful relationships with people at Marriott and SPG and they literally have teams of people standing by an eager to help travelers during this transition.