A loyalty program promises benefits in the future for your business today. It’s fundamentally based on trust. So one of the things I hate the most, even more than changes without notice, is changes that the program doesn’t even tell you about.
That’s why I keep up on even the smallest changes to program terms and conditions. For instance two months ago, without notice (and despite a promise to the contrary), Marriott updated program terms and conditions to deny elite benefits on bookings made through online travel agencies.
Now Marriott has made additional program terms changes — that will be meaningful to some, less meaningful to others. For instance they’ve taken away Platinum breakfast at Atlantic and Cosmopolitan.
These hotels weren’t giving breakfast anyway and frustrating members. Changing the terms just helps the hotel defend itself from having to pay out $100 for failing to deliver the promise elite choice benefit. It doesn’t help set member expectations, of course, since Marriott hasn’t actually told members about the change to program terms.
Here are the (3) main updates to program terms made over the past day that I’ve found:
No Breakfast For You
I’ve had several readers share with me that they stayed at Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, which is part of Marriott Rewards, and the hotel wouldn’t give them Platinum breakfast.
Marriott has now updated their terms to say that two properties — Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas and Cosmopolitan Las Vegas — do not have to provide daily breakfast as an amenity choice option. So it’s just 1000 points (worth about $7.50) or a $10 food and beverage credit for the stay.
New Participating Properties Added to Terms & Conditions
Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach was added as a participating property in Marriott Rewards, even though the rest of the Ritz-Carlton Residences do not participate.
They’ve also added four ‘non-branded’ hotels to the program’s terms and conditions.
- Hotel Mandji
- The Maxwell New York City
- Vistana Beach Club
- Philadelphia 201 Hotel
Earning Points When Not Staying at a Hotel
When Marriott’s new program launched August 18th they didn’t universally offer points-earning for food and beverage spend when members weren’t staying on property. Marriott’s Senior Vice President of Loyalty David Flueck explained to me that legacy Starwood properties would still offer this, and that it was being tested at legacy Marriott properties in Asia Pacific.
This is no longer a test as it’s codified in the program terms and conditions. Presumably it will eventually roll out to other regions as well. Marriott has been talking up doing this three years.
Earning at restaurants without a stay is offered at all Participating Properties and Brands, except for Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay, in Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands, as well as at the following Participating Properties and Brands in United States, Canada, Europe, Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, South America, Middle East, and Africa: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin, Tribute Portfolio, Four Points, Aloft Hotels, and Element