Marriott Rewards announced its Fab Four program changes last week with full details supposedly coming out today.
Two of the changes will offer significantly greater value for the Marriott Rewards program to nearly all members.
1. Reward nights using points and certificates will count for elite status starting November 1, 2015. Silver elite at 10 nights will be much easier to attain, especially when MegaBonus free nights add to your annual elite nights count. Marriott Rewards Elite Member benefits.
2. Marriott Rewards will supposedly introduce a real Cash & Points reward night option in early 2016. Currently the option Marriott calls Cash + Points means you can pay for a multi-night stay using points for some nights and paying published rates for other nights. There is no discount in points required or cash required in the current Cash + Points model for Marriott Rewards.
Loyalty Traveler – Tutorial: Marriott Cash and Points Rewards with 5th Night Free (Jan 28, 2014) explains how Marriott Points + Cash currently works.
In early 2016 a different model for Points + Cash will be introduced in Marriott Rewards. I assume this means a model similar to Hilton, Hyatt and SPG, whereby a member pays a fixed cash portion and fixed points amount based on the hotel award category.
Of course, there is also the model used by Choice Privileges and IHG Rewards Club where the member buys a portion of points needed for the reward stay at a discount rate at time of booking.
There is also the Club Carlson model, the worst option of all in my opinion, where a set amount of points is required based on hotel reward category and the cash portion is fixed at 60% of the published rate for the specific dates of the hotel stay. I seldom find good value in Club Carlson’s Cash & Points model.
Later today we should have the Marriott press release with more details. I have not been able to locate it yet at 10am ET.
The information here is from Marriott Rewards Insiders – The Fab Four.
In advance of our announcement next week, we’re giving you a sneak peek into four new benefits to make your Marriott Rewards membership even more rewarding:
Available now! Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members are able to book redemption stays beforehaving sufficient points to cover the cost of that stay.
Beginning Oct. 12, 2015 Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members will have the ability to share points with friends and family. Members can transfer up to 50,000 points from their account each year!
Redemption Stay Credit
Starting Nov. 1, 2015 Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members will earn Elite night credit on redemption nights paid for with points.
NEW Cash + Points
Coming in early 2016, the NEW Cash + Points will give Rewards members the flexibility to use a mix of cash and points to cover single or multi-night redemption stays.
More information regarding the Fab Four will be provided on Monday, October 12