Marriott International is taking its 2016 merger with Starwood one step further with a plan to unify benefits across all three of the combined company’s rewards programs: Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). Marriott said that the combination would allow guests to earn an average of 20 percent more points for every dollar spent.
Starting in August, guests will be able to combine their separate Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG accounts into a single account spanning the company’s 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, Marriott said. Also starting in August, travelers 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 centers.
Also in August, Marriott will unify how elite status and elite tiers work across the three programs. Members of all three programs will be able to earn Silver elite status after 10 nights, Gold elite status after 25 nights, Platinum elite status after 50 nights and Platinum Premier elite status after 75 nights, which Marriott says is faster for members of Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Rewards. Additionally, all Platinum Premier members surpassing 100 nights and $20,000 in spend will receive the ambassador program, the company’s highest level of personalized service, along with all the other benefits in that tier. Members who have achieved Lifetime status will continue to have their status recognized, Marriott said.
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, Marriott said. For certain brands, members will receive free breakfast or an on-property food and beverage credit for breakfast or other dining options.
Marriott will also introduce a single points currency under the unified benefits. In August, SPG members will see their points balance triple, Marriott said. 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 be able to earn 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.
All hotels throughout the loyalty portfolio will have no blackout dates for points redemptions, Marriott said. 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 of all three programs will also be able to earn points every time they purchase one of the travel experiences through Marriott’s newly launched Moments platform. The 110,000 new Moments experiences in 1,000 destinations are in addition to the 8,000 exclusive, member experiences that only can be redeemed with points on Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments. In the future, all Moments experiences will be available to be redeemed with points, Marriott said.
In the coming months, Marriott said it will provide members with information about how and when in August they can begin combining their loyalty accounts.
Marriott closed on the merger with Starwood in September 2016, creating the world’s largest hotel company, currently with a portfolio of more than 6,500 properties in 30 hotel brands spanning 127 countries and territories.