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Marriott Rewards announced a number of new Member-Only and Elite benefits early this week. The extras include Guaranteed Late Checkout, an Elite Concierge Service, and a new Experiences Marketplace.
It's a reassuring step from Marriott. These are all benefits enjoyed by Starwood Preferred Guest Elite Members and a lot of the noise from Elite Status holders after the merger announcement revolved around the potential loss of these perks.
Pursue your passions by choosing from a wide array of curated special events and opportunities for discovery. See one of the hottest shows on Broadway, hangout with your favorite sports team, take a private cooking lesson with a world-famous chef – redeem Marriott Rewards points and express your inner you. The experiences marketplace will be available globally to all members in late May.
Elite Concierge Service
An initial group of Elite members will be invited to participate in a new Elite concierge service. These members will have access to an Elite concierge with whom they will establish a one-to-one relationship. The personal concierge will be able to anticipate their unique needs, ensuring the member’s preferences are recognized and their desires are met before, during, and even after their stay. The program will launch in late May for U.S. members of Marriott Rewards traveling worldwide and will continue to expand.
Guaranteed Late Check-Out
Gold and Platinum Elite members may request late checkout, which could be as late as 4 pm, when making a reservation by phone, when checking in using the Marriott Mobile app, or upon arrival at the hotel. This benefit is guaranteed at all fully participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels with the exclusion of resorts and convention hotels. Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards will continue to offer Silver Elite members the benefit of requesting late checkout on their day of departure. Guaranteed late checkout launches globally on May 16.
Marriott Rewards® Member Rates
Members get our lowest rates all the time on Marriott.com. Marriott Rewards Member Rates is the latest perk in a series of benefits, from free Wi-Fi to earning points on redeemed nights and more.
There has been some grumbling online regarding the exact wording of the Guaranteed Late Checkout. It was pointed out that although Marriott is discussing ‘guaranteed late checkout' and ‘as late as 4 pm' in the same sentence. The only thing they are promising is that Gold and Platinum members will receive a later checkout on request than other guests receive, not that it will be 4 pm.
But despite the wording, I think it's great to see Marriott making significant steps so early after signing the merger agreement. It shows commitment right at the beginning of the integration phase and confirms Marriott Rewards is branching out from the core concepts of points collection and redemption. Increasing its focus on a more personalized experience in the hope of engaging loyalty members on an emotional level.
Experiential rewards are something SPG has been doing extremely well, and the result is the fiercely loyal members that have been so vocal in the lead-up to the Marriott merger. Let's hope this is an indication of Marriott's commitment to improving its loyalty program as the Starwood merger progresses.
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