Ritzy Business: Ritz-Carlton Launches Loyalty Rewards Program

The people asked and Ritz-Carlton listened, and now Travel Agent is here to tell you that The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is launching the brand new Ritz-Carlton Rewards program as of September 15.

Travel Agent attended the announcement event on the morning of September 14 held at The Explorer's Club in New York, where new president and COO of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Herve Humler, proudly announced the program.

According to Humler, the program was created based on strong customer feedback and demand for a world-class loyalty program that went far beyond providing complimentary stays and airline flights. The people wanted a program that could offer a wide array of travel experiences. Ask and ye shall receive.

Ritz-Carlton has teamed up with top names in travel and retail, such as Abercrombie and Kent, Vera Wang, National Geographic Expeditions photography workshops and Neiman Marcus. By earning points with the program, guests will be able to redeem them for unique experiences with these elite partners.  Members will also be able to redeem points for flights on 30 major airlines and luxury cruise lines, such as Crystal Cruises, The Yachts of Seabourn and Silversea. Ritz-Carlton is confident that, as the program grows, more luxury brands will be added to the list of partners. The company also told us, though they could not confirm, that there have been talks about launching a Ritz-Carlton credit card, though this is not definitive.

Members in the industry who are familiar with Marriott International, the parent company to Ritz-Carlton, know that Marriott has its own loyalty program. Travel Agent learned that members of that program who wish to be a part of Ritz-Carlton's private program will be able to switch over and take all of their points with them. What's more, guests in the program can access benefits not only at Ritz-Carlton's hotels and resorts but at the full portfolio of Marriott brands worldwide. Elite Marriott Rewards members will also receive benefits when staying at Ritz-Carlton properties. Note: Guests can either be a member with Marriott or Ritz-Carlton, but not both.

Membership is complimentary  and guests will be able to enroll online starting September 15 at www.ritzcarltonrewards.com.

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