While Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Starwood are now all owned by Marriott International, each group has its own loyalty program, at least for the time being. Which raised the question: Would the three programs coordinate their promotional activities, or act independently of one another?
In the first round of promotions following Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood, members of the loyalty programs of all three brands received the same offer: a rather uninspiring double points for the first three stays at participating hotels. So it appeared that the marketing policy would be to offer identical promotions across the three brands going forward.
Apparently that was the wrong conclusion, because for their summer promotions, all three groups have different offers.
Starwood’s offer is here, and Marriott’s is below.
Between May 27 and September 4, Marriott Rewards members can earn 2,000 bonus points for the second and subsequent stays, plus an additional 2,000 bonus points for stays at each of Marriott’s different brands.
Registration is required, and must be completed by August 30.
Deal or No Deal
Marriott Rewards points are worth around 0.7 cents each, so earning the full 4,000 points would be worth $28. If that bonus were earned for a single-night stay costing $125, it would amount to a 22 percent rebate. Not bad.
The 2,000-point stay bonus alone, minus the brand bonus, would be just half that — a much less enticing proposition. And it’s only awarded after the second stay.
To maximize the return-on-investment from summer Marriott stays, mixing brands is the way to go.
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.