Marriott Rewards Confirms Four Program Changes

On Monday I wrote about four changes coming to Marriott Rewards. The public announcement of these changes is coming next week. But they’ve gone ahead and confirmed them on the Marriott Insiders website.

    Points Advance

    Available now! Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members are able to book redemption stays beforehaving sufficient points to cover the cost of that stay.

    Points Sharing

    Beginning Oct. 12, 2015 Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members will have the ability to share points with friends and family. Members can transfer up to 50,000 points from their account each year!

    Redemption Stay Credit

    Starting Nov. 1, 2015 Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members will earn  Elite night credit on redemption nights paid for with points.

    NEW Cash + Points

    Coming in early 2016, the NEW Cash + Points will give Rewards members the flexibility to use a mix of cash and points to cover single or multi-night redemption stays.

Battle House Renaissance, Mobile, Alabama

As I wrote on Monday ‘points advance’ already exists but wasn’t previously publicized. It isn’t actually a new benefit.

Their announcement over at Marriott Insiders doesn’t include this detail, but points sharing will cost $10 for base members and silvers, and will be free for Gold and Platinum members.

We don’t yet know the rates for cash and points to be able to evaluate the extent to which this is a strong addition to the program. It’s a generally good benefit with Hilton, Starwood, Hyatt and IHG… in the former 3 cases offering discounted redemptions out of a more limited inventory pool, and in the latter case offering discounted points purchase along with redemption making the option available all the time.

With the introduction of reward nights counting towards status – something IHG, Hilton, and Starwood already offer – this leaves Hyatt alone among major programs where reward nights don’t count (although Hyatt’s cash and points redemptions do, just not their traditional all points hotel redemptions).

Perhaps we’ll get even more details on Monday with the official announcement of these changes.

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, 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. Gary — Have you been able to tease through the verbiage or consulted your sources regarding Elite night credit now counting towards the annual/yearly threshold calculation for same, or does it also count towards attaining lifetime status, as well?


  2. @HORACE I’m not sure I understand your questoin “Elite night credit now counting towards the annual/yearly threshold calculation for the same”?

  3. 2 questions – first, I think the first person was asking if reward nights will also count towards lifetime status.

    Second, in your original post somebody pointed out that transferring points would result in a deduction from your lifetime points. My question would be – does that amount get credited to the person who receives those transferred points ?

    Thanks for the scoop on this – very exciting!!

  4. Do you know if this new transfer feature is going to effect the existing ability of transferring points to your legal spouse or domestic partner at time of reward redemption (which had no cap)?

  5. @GARY — Never mind. It is an arcane question. Since Marriott will count reward elite nights towards the yearly elite status threshold, it is likely that those same reward elite nights will be counted towards the lifetime nights needed for various status levels.

    @Joe — Probably not as the language specifically stated points used for reward nights, I believe, and not a certificate based reward night.

    But, one can only hope.

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