The long-awaited rebranding finally brings Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards into one program. Here’s what travelers should know about what’s changing—and what isn’t.
Bon voyage, Marriott Rewards! It was nice knowing you. Now that Marriott has introduced the new name of its loyalty program, Bonvoy, it’s time to dig deeper into what it offers for travelers. Bonvoy, which is free to join, integrates Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards into one program. The hotel company merger was first announced in late 2015, but it has taken some time to fully integrate the program benefits and systems. Last August, the programs aligned many of their benefits while still maintaining three individual names.
Bonvoy will merge some of the best benefits into one integrated program when it officially launches February 13. This includes aligning perks for elite members, such as free breakfast and late check out, as well as using one points chart for award redemption for all hotels (Ritz-Carlton used to have its own award chart).
What’s changing under Bonvoy
Under the new program, some of the elite status tiers will be changing to better define the perks that members can expect. Silver, Gold, and Platinum Elite tiers will continue with the same names as before, but two new tiers have been introduced. Platinum Premier Elite will be recognized as Titanium Elite in the new program. Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador will be part of the highest tier, now known as Ambassador Elite.
Titanium Elite is awarded to travelers who stay at least 75 nights per year, while Ambassador Elite is earned by staying at least 100 nights in Marriott properties, with at least $20,000 in qualifying spend. That top status comes with personal “ambassadors” who can help with reservations and fulfill special requests when you travel.
If you were a fan of redeeming your points for experiences through Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments, that program will continue under the name Marriott Bonvoy Moments. These include unique events that you can bid on using points, like backstage passes to popular musical concerts, VIP access to the Super Bowl, or master classes with celebrity chefs.
What’s staying the same
With the launch of the new program, there is nothing you need to do if you already were a member. Your Marriott Rewards number will remain the same, although it will now be your Bonvoy number. If you had a Marriott Rewards account and a Starwood Preferred Guest account, it’s worth logging on to make sure your memberships are merged. There are no changes planned to the way the program works, and on February 13, the Marriott app will update with the new name and branding. Travelers will continue to earn and redeem points as they did before, and anyone who joins the program will receive free Wi-Fi when staying at any Marriott property.
A new name for the combined program is the final step in the merger of these three loyalty programs. Now, all you have to do is keep earning those points.