Marriott Changes Program Terms to Exclude Platinum Breakfast at Two High Profile Hotels

A loyalty program promises benefits in the future for your business today. It’s fundamentally based on trust. So one of the things I hate the most, even more than changes without notice, is changes that the program doesn’t even tell you about.

That’s why I keep up on even the smallest changes to program terms and conditions. For instance two months ago, without notice (and despite a promise to the contrary), Marriott updated program terms and conditions to deny elite benefits on bookings made through online travel agencies.

Now Marriott has made additional program terms changes — that will be meaningful to some, less meaningful to others. For instance they’ve taken away Platinum breakfast at Atlantic and Cosmopolitan.

These hotels weren’t giving breakfast anyway and frustrating members. Changing the terms just helps the hotel defend itself from having to pay out $100 for failing to deliver the promise elite choice benefit. It doesn’t help set member expectations, of course, since Marriott hasn’t actually told members about the change to program terms.

Here are the (3) main updates to program terms made over the past day that I’ve found:

No Breakfast For You

I’ve had several readers share with me that they stayed at Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, which is part of Marriott Rewards, and the hotel wouldn’t give them Platinum breakfast.

Marriott has now updated their terms to say that two properties — Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas and Cosmopolitan Las Vegas — do not have to provide daily breakfast as an amenity choice option. So it’s just 1000 points (worth about $7.50) or a $10 food and beverage credit for the stay.

New Participating Properties Added to Terms & Conditions

Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach was added as a participating property in Marriott Rewards, even though the rest of the Ritz-Carlton Residences do not participate.

They’ve also added four ‘non-branded’ hotels to the program’s terms and conditions.

  • Hotel Mandji
  • The Maxwell New York City
  • Vistana Beach Club
  • Philadelphia 201 Hotel

Earning Points When Not Staying at a Hotel

When Marriott’s new program launched August 18th they didn’t universally offer points-earning for food and beverage spend when members weren’t staying on property. Marriott’s Senior Vice President of Loyalty David Flueck explained to me that legacy Starwood properties would still offer this, and that it was being tested at legacy Marriott properties in Asia Pacific.

This is no longer a test as it’s codified in the program terms and conditions. Presumably it will eventually roll out to other regions as well. Marriott has been talking up doing this three years.

Earning at restaurants without a stay is offered at all Participating Properties and Brands, except for Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay, in Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands, as well as at the following Participating Properties and Brands in United States, Canada, Europe, Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, South America, Middle East, and Africa: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin, Tribute Portfolio, Four Points, Aloft Hotels, and Element

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 »

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  1. That’s odd – Philadelphia 201 used to be a Sheraton. Not sure why they would completely deflag while still earning rewards rather than convert to another Marriott tier like Delta.

    Also, it would be helpful to have a link to the updated T&C’s so we don’t have to Google them.

  2. Marriott has repeatedly proven to be untrustworthy. They obviously don’t care about the customer. Their choice, so I’m reciprocating. I’ll have 78 nights this year and a whole lot less next year.

  3. They went from gold getting breakfast to platinum getting breakfast to needing t have a damn spreadsheet to figure out who gets breakfast where. Marriott is a garbage program that clearly thinks it’s too big to fail. Everyone needs to dump Marriott.

  4. There has been a consistent reduction in services not only with some Marriott properties but other chains as well. It’s been slow but nevertheless less it’s there. If one notices the Cosmopolitan has never been a “real” chain hotel rather using the flag as a way to get travelers much the same as the others on this list.

    Having said that breakfast is a big deal to me being a diabetic with the morning meal my most important so free or not. Problem is many of these free breakfast offerings are full of carbs and sugar short on protein. That makes them cheap and hotels love that word.

    The travel industry has created this world of entitlement and now they want to “move the cheese ” and many people are pissed. Sometimes it’s embarrassing standing in line while someone in front of you is arguing with the desk agent that they want their upgrade and a suite etc etc, Especially in Europe I have witnessed the “true Ugly American entitlement demand”

    “Dump Marriott” ? just where are you going the others are not different until you reach their top tiers. Thats the long and short of it. I am bringing my retreat from the business world into retirement and frankly glad to be off that “wheel” I stayed loyal to Marriott and have Lifetime PLT P the same with an airline having passed through their top tier. so now when I travel for pleasure I can enjoy the benefits of being LOYAL

  5. Is Marriott essentially the new American Airlines or Delta Sky Pesos equivalent?
    Will Marriott also become big bloated and incredibly stingy to their best customers?
    Devastate and gut their award program and continue to strip benefits to become the next Kmart of luxury ?
    Sadly probably
    I’m super happy with Hyatt Hilton and IHG with the occasional Kimpton or InterCon thrown in
    So if Marriott Implodes this lifetime thousand nights customer will say buh bye
    and wish them well recovering their 13 billion dollar acquisition
    I haven’t booked a reservation in months now since their hold times and customer service crashed like the Titanic

  6. When the updates to breakfast were announced I knew the cosmopolitan wouldn’t honor this. I’ve been there enough times to know they don’t care about loyalty. I book AMEX FHR rates when I stay there now.

  7. I have been Gold since 2002, sometimes through stays, sometimes by using 25K points to maintain status and last year by acquiring the SPG Business card. My Gold card was issued before the August merger but now that status translates to the old Silver status. I’m not mad at Marriott for downgrading my status, but I wish they would have waited until the status ran out in 2019.
    I now pay for most of my stays and I’m approaching retirement age, so my hotel stay frequency is not what it used to be. I did enjoy the perks I received pre-merger when staying at full service properties, although room upgrades were infrequent and just never really happened for me.
    Marriott’s status revision was a business decision, but it caused me to make a business decision of my own. I haven’t had a stay in a Marriott property since August.
    So now I have moved my business over to Hilton, acquired Diamond status, and have not looked back. I have visited some great lounges in Europe, receive free cooked to order breakfasts at HGI and breakfast plus drinks and small dinners in the evening at various types of properties and usually receive a suite or enhanced room at check in. For now, they seem to be doing all the right things and I realize this could all change within a blink of the eye.
    If you’re a globe trotter and can acquire the required nights Marriott demands for Platinum or above status that actually get you some perks, that’s great. Their program requirements have become too rich for me.

  8. Although I am a Lifetime Platinum its clear “something is rotten in the state of Denmark ” to coin a phrase…very, very sad for today’s traveler.

  9. St. Regis , W, have to be next. No free breakfast at Courtyard? But free at St Regis? No free breakfast at Ritz but St Regis yes? By the way Ritz Carlton I have always found to be completely miserable on anything involving points. Always try to jam me up etc. I once called to use two free Merrill Lynch (special perk)nights at Ritz Central park. I had to go through an entire year to find two nights. Near impossible. Later Merrill dumped the program and told me they had so many issues and complaints with the program

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