Ritz-Carlton Introducing Loyalty Program with Points Earning/Burning

Luxury chains have for the most part eschewed points, the belief was that they provide recognition not freebies and compete to offer the best luxury experience not guest kickbacks. Though that’s long seemed a mistake — first, because giving folks formalized tiers and defined benefits means setting clear stretch goals fro your customers. How can you incentivize someone to achieve something if they don’t know what they need to do in order to get something they’re not aware of?

Meanwhile, many luxury hotel guests are indeed staying on other folks’ dimes, which means they’re just as susceptible to anyone else to making their stay decisions based on the ability to garn personal rewards later for directing others’ resources today.

And Ritz-Carlton is now jumping on the bandwagon with Ritz-Carlton Rewards. Barbara DeLollis previews the program that will be announced tomorrow:

Here’s a peek at program details from Ed French, Marriott Rewards’ chief:

  • Customers can be a member of either Ritz-Carlton Rewards or Marriott Rewards; not both.
  • Earning levels will be the same across Marriott’s 3,400 hotels.
    Achieving silver, gold or platinum status for the Ritz-Carlton Rewards program will have the same requirements as Marriott Rewards.
  • Under the new program, Marriott Rewards platinum members who stay at a Ritz-Carlton will receive a complimentary room upgrade.
  • As members of Ritz-Carlton Rewards earn platinum status, they’ll receive upgrades at Marriott hotels.

Looking forward to full details tomorrow, I don’t expect it to be especially rewarding but certainly more rewarding than what’s currently offered!

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. My first thought is what will be the impact of a Ritz-Carlton loyalty program on the availability of Ritz-Carlton rewards for Marriott Rewards members?

    The Ritz-Carlton rewards chart is one of the most consumer friendly aspects of Marriott Rewards with longer stays requiring fewer points per night.

    Will those rewards remain available to Marriott Rewards members?

  2. First, I think the free room upgrade and PLT recognition at Ritz is enough to make this worthwhile to me.

    Second, do you think Ritz Rewards will have better benefits than MR (I’m guessing so). If thats the case, can I get my MR PLT status matched to Ritz Rewards?????

  3. This can be quite an interesting loyalty card for frequent travelers like me… I just hope they’ll accept it in my Cardmobili (www.cardmobili.com). If they don’t, I guess I won’t sign up for this one.

  4. I don’t get it…if I read the article correctly, if I remain a Marriott Rewards member, I can’t get stay/point credit for staying at RC (like today). But, if I join the RC program, I get stay/point credit for RC properties plus all the Marriott properties? That makes no sense…why would I remain a Marriott Rewards member?

    I’m a Marriott Gold, traveling mostly on the corporate expense account. I had 2 opportunities this year to stay at RC properties but turned them down in lieu of normal Marriott or Hilton properties because there was no long-term benefit (stay/point credit). I like RC but I value my points for free family vacations.

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