Marriott Introduces Free Internet for Gold and Platinum Members — US and Canada Properties Only

In April, Hyatt announced free internet for all elites.

Two weeks ago Starwood announced free internet for Platinums (not Golds), and that benefit started March 1.

Now Marriott joins the party with free internet for Gold and Platinum members (not Silvers), although the benefit will only apply in the U.S. (excluding Hawaii and US territories) and Canada. That’s the most limited benefit of the three programs. It will begin May 7.

Hilton, of course, makes free internet an option for Gold and Diamond members, but to have it you’re required to give up your upgrade and breakfast. There’s not much difference between Hilton Gold and Diamond as it is (though a year and a half ago they made an attempt to distinguish the two by downgrading the Gold breakfast benefit), they could at least offer free internet to Diamonds. But then again, with only $40,000 in spend required on a Hilton Surpass American Express card to reach the status, it’s not much of an elite level.

The only elite level of a major program more watered down that Hilton Diamond is Priority Club platinum. Don’t expect free internet access with that, though of course Holiday Inns give internet to everyone.

Intercontinental Royal Ambassador doesn’t get you internet. Or does it? They introduced a free internet promotion (right on the heels of Hyatt!) across most intercontinental properties, not just for Royal Ambassadors but for Ambassadors too. But they’ve since changed the offer. In order to get free internet, you need to book and pay for the free internet rate which is suppose to be the same as the the best flexible rate. It’s currently only on offer through April 30 (it keeps getting extended) and excludes prepaid and other discounted rates.

Clearly the internet billing dominos are falling. But not all at once, and not completely. C’mon, Marriott, extend this benefit internatioanlly!

At Four Points hotels, the water bottle in the room says on it, “It’s water. Of course it’s free!” (Hah!) Eventually the same will likely be true of internet.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. IMO, Marriott’s offer is superior to the others because mid-tier gets it, not just top. International offering only matters to those who travel internationally, so this isn’t even a downside if you don’t.

  2. As a Marriott Platinum Premier, I think Marriott needs to match whatever other brands’ top offer is to stay competitive. The limit of free internet outside of NA sounds like those cheap gotcha terms and restrictions by credit card company (often in very small fonts).

  3. At Fairmont, Internet is free for all President’s Club members, regardless of program level you’re at (free sign-up).

  4. Keep in mind that a sizeable number of Marriott’s Gold and Platinum members don’t live in, or even travel to North America.

    As a European Marriott customer, this certainly pushes me away from giving them business (which currently is split mainly across SPG and Hilton) as it creates two tiers of benefits at the membership level. Either implement it for all of your Gold and Platinum members, or not at all.

  5. I agree with George Shen, Marriott needs to at least match all top tier offers. I am currently a Platinum Premiere and feel that Free Internet access should be available internationally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *