Marriott Rewards announced two months ago the benefit of free internet for Gold and Platinum elites would start May 7 in the full-service hotel brands of Marriott, J.W. Marriott, Renaissance, and the Autograph Collection hotels in the US and Canada. But Hawaii hotels were excluded in the initial announcement offer.
After two months of member feedback, Marriott management announced last Friday that the new benefit will be expanded to cover hotels across the entire Americas region. That means Hawaii, Caribbean, Mexico, Central, and South America will offer free internet to Gold and Platinum elites. This is an expansion of free internet to nearly 500 hotels in the Americas.
Free internet is already available to all Marriott Rewards members at Courtyard, Fairfield, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, and TownePlace Suites in the US and Canada.
In adition to complimentary internet access, free local calling will be available to Gold and Platinum elites when staying in the US and Canada. Unlimited domestic long distance calling will also be available for a flat fee.
Now if Marriott Rewards would just make elite a little more accessible to the masses. Gold elite requires 50 nights in a calendar year and Platinum elite requires 75 nights.
Marriott Rewards high elite status is quite a hurdle for most travelers. 75 nights is potentially sufficient to earn top elite status in all four programs of Hyatt, Hilton, IHG, and Starwood combined with all their fast-track elite offers and multiple ways to reach elite. I would expect Marriott Rewards to offer more perks to their high elites considering the high qualification requirements for Gold and Platinum members.