How Marriott Bonvoy Could Enrich 2021 Elite Benefits

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Marriott Bonvoy has several tiers of status levels ranging from Silver Elite to Ambassador Elite status. The coronavirus pandemic has greatly impacted travel all across the world, and we’ve already seen airlines make improvements to program benefits as well as lower elite status qualifications, however now it’s time for hotels to make changes for next year.

As a current Marriott Platinum member, here are changes I’d like to see Marriott Bonvoy make for next year:

Waived Resort/Destination Fees for Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassadors: I think as a whole, we’ll be seeing resort fees removed at many hotels for the next year or so, however I’d like to see Marriott permanently waive resort fees for Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassadors.

For context, World of Hyatt waived resort fees for Globalist members, which is earned after 60 nights per year. Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassadors have earned 50+ nights and one new tangible benefit that I’m sure many members would appreciate would be waived resort or destination fees, considering most of these have internet as a perk, which is already included for elites.

Allow Suite Night Awards To Be Confirmed at Booking: Marriott Platinum members can select a choice benefit after earning 50 nights a year, and Titanium members can select one as well after hitting 75 nights. One popular choice is the 5 Suite Night Awards. However, these upgrades don’t clear until 5 days prior to your stay, which does’t add much value for those who want to confirm a suite.

For context, World of Hyatt provides Globalists who stay 60 nights a year 4 suite upgrades each good for up to 7 nights, and the upgrade is confirmed at booking. Allowing confirming at booking provides real value and a benefit I’d like to see added for next year.

Allow Suite Night Awards at EDITION and Ritz-Carlton Hotels: On the same note of suite night awards, these are limited to which hotels and brands will allow you to request them. Two brands that don’t allow suite upgrades are EDITION and Ritz-Carlton hotels.

I’m not quite sure why these brands are exempt, sure they’re both higher end properties, but you can use Suite Night Awards at St. Regis hotels, so I’d like to see these expanded to EDITION and Ritz-Carlton for next year. (The EDITION Times Square may be permanently closing, seems like they could use all the business they can get)

Lounge Access for Titanium and Ambassadors at Ritz-Carlton Hotels: Similar to not allowing Suite Night Awards at Ritz-Carlton hotels, elite members don’t receive lounge access here. I’d like to see that changed and have Titanium and Ambassadors allowed access.

Currently, Titanium and Ambassadors are subject to suite upgrades upon arrival at Ritz-Carlton, so this would be another great benefit to encourage top-tier elites to stay here. I’m sure it’s to limit capacity, however Ritz-Carlton would be lucky if their hotels were so packed Titanium and Ambassadors next year.

United Premier Gold status for Ambassador Members: Marriott has a partnership with United Airlines and Titanium and Ambassador members receive complimentary United Premier Silver status.

It’s time for Marriott to up the complimentary United status that Ambassador members receive to United Gold status. If you’re spending $20,000 a year with and staying 100 nights, clearly you travel quite a bit and United would benefit from your business as well. United Gold offers better travel benefits day of travel, and I’d like to see this partnership enhanced.

Bottom Line

Just as we’ve seen airlines make improvements to program benefits as well as lower elite status qualifications for next year, we’re going to be seeing hotels making similar changes to enrich benefits.

Marriott should be focusing on how they can improve elite benefits for its most valuable customers, which are its Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador guests. Marriott has extended everyone’s 2020 elite status for next year, however now it’s time to add new benefits to the program.

What are your thoughts on how Marriott could enrich its Marriott Bonvoy program for 2021? Feel free to share in the comments below what new benefits you’d like to see added.

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Comments

  1. I’d settle for just actually getting the benefits you’ve earned. Too many times hotels just won’t do it and there’s nothing you can do about it.

  2. Really appreciated your recommendations to enrich Marriott’s Elite benefits. I am a lifetime titanium member and was rejected the lounge access at Ritz- Carlton hotel in Barcelona. It was an unpleasant experience. I would hope Marriott will consider your recommendations which are reasonable and competitive. Thank you.

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