Within the past seven days, Marriott Rewards has now twice revised the Terms & Conditions governing their guest loyalty program.
There are changes from participating properties (addition of Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach) to Platinum member lounge access, Rewarding Events elite qualifying nights, F&B spend without stays and quite a number of other aspects that members should be aware of.
You can access Marriott Rewards T&Cs here.
Here are the changes:
Ritz-Carlton Residences do not participate in the MR program at all except the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach that was included in the program effective November 9, 2018.
Autograph Collection Exceptions
Platinum Elite Members breakfast amenity choice is not available at either Atlantis or Cosmopolitan hotels. Both are part of the Autograph Collection.
Philadelphia 201 Hotel has been added to the list of non-branded hotels (now four) that do participate.
Marriott has basically rewrote the paragraph on what defines a qualifying F&B charge. You may not earn points for F&B spend that takes place at outlets that are not managed or operated by the hotel although they may be inside the hotel itself.
Food & Beverage Spend Without Staying
Now it starts getting interesting. In Asia, Australia and Pacific islands you earn points for F&B without a stay at all participating properties and brands except Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStays.
You earn points for F&B spend at all St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Sheraton, Le Meridien, Westin, Tribute Portfolio, Four Points,Aloft Hotels, and Element hotels worldwide.
Qualifying Charges At Two Legacy Starwood Hotels
We are not sure what is going on here?
Marriott here clarifies that you will not earn elite night credits if on a non-qualifying rate and you must decide who gets the credit for qualifying night(s) as you cannot split them or credit to two accounts.
You only earn points or miles for the qualifying rate and not any possible incidental charges at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay hotels.
These two all-inclusive resorts include the F&B for two when on redemptions. If you have more than two traveling, you must pay for additional people.
Elite Membership In General
Here Marriott clarifies again that only one member per guest room can earn elite night credit.
Platinum Member F&B Credit
Now that I reread what Marriott had on its T&Cs it was not clear that it was $10 per person per day for guest +1. They have now changed the wording.
Platinum Member Lounge Access
Here is something very interesting. Previously the lounge access was for members plus one guest and now the guest must be staying with the member. Quite a significant change.
They have also added the wording for “normal hours of operations” for access. Delta Hotels without “Signature Club” will allow Platinum members to access something called the “Elite Pantry”.
Platinum Member Lounge Access – Approved Alternative
Here Marriott introduces a benefit that we haven’t seen previously, an “Approved Alternative” for lounge access. There are hotels that don’t have a lounge but provide lounge-type benefits at their F&B outlets. Hotels such as Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit in Bangkok comes to mind.
Platinum Member Lounge Access – Courtyards
Yes. There are Courtyards in Asia that have lounges such as the one in Bangkok and Hong Kong.
Platinum Member Lounge Access – Approved Alternative Graphic
They have updated the table on the website to include the alternative.
Atlantis and Cosmopolitan are both excluded from this benefit.
Marriott here clarifies that members can earn 10 elite qualifying nights each calendar year for the first event and then the additional nights are dependent on the number of booked rooms.
These Marriott Rewards Terms & Conditions are really too long and confusing. They really should try to simplify them rather than making them even more complicated with additional exceptions and alternatives.
Marriott has not changed the effective date when these updated T&Cs took place but they uploaded them on Friday and Saturday (November 9 and 10).
There are now hotels that have “outsourced” most of their F&B outlets (not sure if only in imagination or in reality too) so that they don’t have to award points for that spend and these are not inexpensive venues!