The ultimate hotel loyalty program has finally arrived as Marriott combines its Marriott Rewards with The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). The brand-new Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card and the new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card adds even more juice.
Under the newly revised loyalty program, members will now earn on average 20% more points per dollar spent, redeem points at lower thresholds, achieve accelerated Elite status and with the new co-branded credit cards earn extra points, free anniversary free-night awards and tons more.
Now operating under one set of unified benefits and one currency spanning the entire loyalty portfolio, members will have access to 29 brands and more than 6,700 participating hotels in 130 countries and territories.
As a result of the single-currency programs, when members combine their accounts, their points balances will also combine, ending the need to transfer points between programs. For SPG members, their SPG points balance multiplied by three. All members earn 10 points for every dollar spent at all brands except Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and Element which earn five points per dollar spent and Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay properties which earn 2.5 points per dollar spent. In addition, for 2018, nights earned at Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels will also combine, potentially helping members achieve Elite status faster. Under the unified programs, all SPG members receive a new account number to align with the Marriott Rewards system. Members with multiple program accounts can choose to combine under their preferred account. The Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) names will continue to live on until early 2019 until combining under a new brand name.
Under the unified programs, members now earn Silver Elite status after just ten nights annually, Gold Elite status after just 25 nights, Platinum Elite status after 50 nights and Platinum Premier Elite status after 75 nights. All Platinum Premier members surpassing 100 nights and $20,000 annual spend will enjoy the highest level of personalized service – the popular ambassador program – along with all the other benefits in that tier. Members who have achieved Lifetime status will continue to have their status recognized under the new Lifetime Elite tiers that will apply across the unified programs.
The unified programs introduce a new Free Night Award chart for redemptions across the entire loyalty portfolio. Nearly 70% of hotels now require the same or fewer points for a free stay than before. Further, members can save 25,000 points per night by redeeming for future category eight hotels priced in category seven until 2019, including coveted all-suites properties. The new Free Night Award chart launched with standard pricing, adding off-peak and peak pricing in 2019.
With the new programs comes an array of credit card options. In 2018, Marriott and its U.S. credit card partners JPMorgan Chase and American Express will offer new and refreshed co-branded credit cards that provide card members with more benefits across the entire loyalty portfolio. The recently launched Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card and Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card offer valuable perks and more ways to earn points when using the cards.
The new Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card offers card members six points per dollar spent at 6,700 participating Marriott Rewards & 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 path to Gold Status when spending $35,000 on purchases each year and much more. Plus, in 2019, cardmembers will receive 15 Elite Night credits each calendar year.
The new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card will offer card members 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 Card 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, Priority Pass Select membership and more.