LEAKED: New Marriott Rewards Terms and Conditions

Since announcing the new Marriott program in April there’s been inconsistent information about breakfast, about lounge access, and about redemptions for Starwood properties that previously charged double points compared to the standard award chart.

The whole thing seemed rushed. Indeed, Marriott first talked about an August 1 launch for the program — an arbitrary date during the year if there ever was one — and pushed that back to August 18.

W New York Times Square

Still they haven’t been ready for prime time for instance they haven’t shared what would happen with travel packages redeemed prior to the start of the new program but where award certificates hadn’t yet been used for a reservation. And they hadn’t even published the terms and conditions for the new program.

Program members haven’t even been given the rules for how the new program, launching in a week, will work. How exactly are they supposed to be governed by those rules?

Well phltraveler posted a new copy of the Marriott program terms and conditions found buried on Marriott’s site.

Here’s the full leaked document:

Since the terms haven’t been formally announced it is possible some of the language could change prior to going into effect August 18.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Thanks. What’s your analysis/assessment on the new terms? I’d appreciate your expert opinion. Apologies, I don’t mean to troll, but this is akin to an architect pasting blueprints to his blog. Yes, that’s nice…now what does this mean? Is this a good thing, bad thing, or no change? Is there a takeaway from your expert opinion? I mean…yup..those sure are blueprints to a building.

  2. I’m not a lawyer, so I’ll fully admit that I’d misinterpret anything from the first word and beyond. But are they saying the following:

    – No more “matching” of status across the three separate programs (now one)? E.g. Amex Plats cannot have their Gold SPG status match over to Marriott Gold?

    – Lots of limiting or exclusions of benefits based on certain chains or brands, depending on circumstances.

    I lost track after the top 1/3 of the T&C. But it sounds like it will be a mess for staff and customers come 8/18.

    @Gary – Are you spending your weekend interpreting this mess? Don’t forget to grab something to eat before you pass out from this monster doc.

  3. What is the point of having so many levels? It’s almost dizzying. Silver and gold could have just been combined since the benefits of both are garbage anyways (especially for the absurd qualification requirements). These mergers just need to stop! I don’t see any benefits in here for customers, just layers and layers of confusion and exclusions.

  4. Confusion just breeds anger and contempt of the customers. The people in charge of this at Marriott likely need to be replaced, because this type of will they/won’t they stuff may work on sitcoms but in real life it harms their brand.

  5. Chase, think of it this way:

    Silver) CC holders. Cheap set of benefits to help drive activity on the card.

    Gold) Probably CC holders who stay a few times a year. Shifts a few nights on the margin from other chains to Marriott.

    Platinum) CC holders with more significant travel.

    Platinum Elite) Road Warriors.

    PE w/Ambassador) Road Warriors who spend.

  6. This is really worthless. If you read it, leagaleaz, no hotel participates in the program. It looks like it was cut/pasted
    Let’s wait until the program rolls out over the next few months, oh, there will be changes, to freak out.

  7. I have 9 million Marriott points I gathered by spending with credit cards. Because of the continual devaluation, on properties I favor and Platinum status being divided into categories to limit my benefits, Hyatt is now my new “go to” to spend for points and status.
    R.I.P. Starwood. You will be sorrily missed 🙁

  8. I am so angry with Marriott and AmEx right now. My wife and I got the American Express Platinum for really only one reason, club access at Marriott hotels. We paid $550 plus an additional $175 to add a second card because we stay at Marriott hotels frequently and this card got us Gold Status which got us into the lounges at Marriott. I showed up at a Marriott two weeks ago that I frequent in Shanghai, after Marriott made these changes and was denied lounge access. They told me I now had to be platinum. I was beyond angry. Again, the ENTIRE reason we paid all this money for these cards was because it gave us lounge access. I am beyond angry with Marriott!!! I have spent hours and hours on the phone with both AmEx and Marriott and have gotten nowhere. Hilton is a much better brand and I will be moving all of my personal stays there unless Marriott fixes this ASAP.

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