NEW YORK -- Marriott International in August will revamp its three
loyalty programs, so that Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred
Guest members will have the same points-redemption system.
Marriott will also reduce many thresholds required for
loyalty members to earn perks.
The hotel company produced a star-studded event at Spring Studios in New York to reveal
the new points system to its rewards members. Michele Tafoya, a reporter for
NBC's Sunday Night Football, served as
emcee. Celebrity chefs Daniel Boulud, Stephanie Izard and Jose Garces were in attendance, and country music star Keith Urban performed.
Between songs, Urban told the appreciative crowd that it's a "hospitality
world you live in, because you made us feel at home, just like that."
Keith Urban performs at Monday's Marriott event in New York. Photo Credit: Borman Entertainment
Marriott said it will allow members of all three programs to
combine their points within a single account. Members of all three programs
will be able to redeem points at any Marriott International hotel without
having to convert points between programs.
The simplified points program will make bookings more user-friendly
for travel agents serving clients who are members of any of the three programs,
said Brian King, Marriott's global officer of digital, distribution, revenue
management and global sales.
"We wanted to make sure we had a simplified, unified
program so that [agents] can become experts," said King. "Now, they
can talk about the benefits of one program, starting in August. We wanted to
make sure the travel agent community had time to digest."
The world's largest hotel company is also reducing
thresholds required to gain perks. On average, every lodging dollar that
loyalty members spend will result in 20% more points. Among other changes,
Marriott will reduce the number of nights required to reach Gold Elite status
to 25 nights from 50 nights, and will cut the nights requirement for Platinum
Elite to 50 from 75.
Marriott, which acquired Starwood in 2016, plans to fully unify the three loyalty programs
under a single program next year.
The company has more than 100 million loyalty members
between its three programs.