News

July 2018

Marriott Merging Customer Loyalty Programs

by Tyler Davidson

Marriott Rewards Logo

Marriott Rewards Logo

Marriott International is merging its three customer loyalty programs August 18, 2018, according to the company. On that date, the existing Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty programs will be combined into one unified program.

“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 VP of Global Loyalty for Marriott International, in a statement.

“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," he added. "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.”

Following is the announcement from Marriott about the merging of loyalty programs:

On August 18 a new era will begin for the 110 million members of Marriott International’s award-winning loyalty programs—Marriott Rewards, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). For the first time since Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts in 2016, the programs will operate under one set of unified benefits and one currency spanning the entire loyalty portfolio of 29 brands and more than 6,500 participating hotels in 127 countries.

On August 18, members can expect the following program changes:

1. Members with Marriott Rewards and SPG accounts will be able to combine their accounts into one, creating a unified profile with one points balance (Starpoints will be multiplied by three), and Elite-Nights earned.

  • Book, earn and redeem across the portfolio of 29 participating brand, 6500 hotels in 127 countries all in one place, on any of our digital, mobile and voice reservation channels including www.Marriott.com and www.SPG.com.
  • A new SPG app will launch, mirroring the functionality of the Marriott Rewards app, including Mobile Requests.

2. Earn more points:

  • 10 points per dollar spent for stays (except 5 points per dollar spent at Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Element and 2.5 points per dollar spent at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay properties).
  • On average members will earn 20% more points per dollar.
  • Full-folio earn on room rates, restaurant and bars and qualifying incidentals charged to the room.
  • SPG members will see their points balance triple.

3. Achieve Elite status faster with new qualifying tiers:

  • Members can enjoy new benefits and elite status levels
  • More properties to choose from to achieve status
  • New for SPG members – Silver Elite status at 10 nights; new for Marriott Rewards members – Gold Elite status at 25 nights and Platinum Elite status at 50 nights.
  • Combining accounts means some members will have enough nights to qualify for higher elite status.

4. Easier to redeem everywhere and for less:

  • Nearly 70% of properties are getting less expensive or staying the same when redeeming points for free stays with the new award chart announced last month (52 percent of hotels will move to a lower redemption rate and only 31 percent will go higher).
  • Members can redeem for stays using the new Free Night Award Chart.
  • Category eight hotels can be booked at category seven rates throughout 2018.
  • Introduction of off-peak and peak rates on top of standard in 2019 will make sought-after properties more affordable.
  • No blackout dates.

Additional Information From Marriott

All SPG members will receive a new 9-digit account number that aligns with the specifications of the new system. The new account number will appear through a pop-up when they log into their account. Passwords will stay the same (unless the member elects to change it themselves).

Some members of Marriott Rewards will also receive a new account number. These members will receive an email with their new account information or a call from our customer engagement centers.

Important to note, on August 18 starting early morning (U.S. Eastern Time) our sites and apps will periodically be unavailable as we migrate our systems to one, new platform.

This means during this planned system transition there will be times when no one can make a booking, and times when we will only be accepting credit card bookings. As a result of those particular instances, members will not be able to book a redemption stay or have their member number attached to their reservation.

To help members navigate the different dates, we’ve assembled a few pro-tips:

  • Between now and August 18, members should maximize their redemption power by checking out the previously published Free Night Award Chart and deciding if they want to redeem before or after the new rates take effect.
  • Anticipate the outage on August 18 and book their stays in advance or wait until later in the day.

For more information on Marriott's revised loyalty rewards program, visit: https://members.marriott.com/.

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