Marriott combined their Starwood Preferred Guest, Marriott Rewards, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards programs into a new unified program with the same currency and benefits on August 18th. All accounts were merged onto Marriott’s IT platform. However they retained separate program branding for legal reasons, I’m told related to their timeshare contracts.
In 2019 two major things are happening with Marriott Rewards:
- Reward nights get more expensive, with a new higher-priced category 8 and with the introduction of high (and low) season pricing. The top award price goes from 60,000 points today to 100,000 next year.
- A new program name. Marriott has not yet released the name. However it appears it may ahve been leaked.
There’s a great deal of speculation today that the new program name will be Bonvoy, presumably like bon voyage. If that’s true then they’ll have selected the only thing worse than Hyatt calling their elite tiers Globalist, Explorist, and Discoverist.
Marriott left a Bonvoy website up on a test server. It showed a bunch of information about the loyalty program. Since being discovered the site has been pulled down. However it appeared to announce Bonvoy as the new name for the combined loyalty program.
Screen Shot via One Mile at a Time
Their description that “travel enriches the traveler and nourishes the world..opens minds, expands borders..” sounds very much like World of Hyatt marketing claptrap.
The website also showed 75 and 100-night elite tiers being renamed from Platinum Premier to Titanium and Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador to Ambassador Elite. This is a departure from the Starwood model which pretended that Platinum was top tier and there were simply additional benefits for Platinums for staying more than 50 nights. Marriott’s surreal $20,000 minimum spend requirement for top tier (on top of 100 nights) remains.
At this point we do not know for certain that,
- This is the final version as opposed to merely a finalist and mockup. It looks highly likely, but this would be a plausible alternate explanation.
- This isn’t a related program leveraging Marriott’s loyalty program for some other activities like corporate sales, and that the website isn’t complete. Again, not sure likely, but not impossible.
Hopefully Bonvoy isn’t the final name for the program. Surely if Marriott paid consultants for that they could have gotten better for their money.