Yesterday I shared how it looks like Marriott Bonvoy will be the name of Marriott’s new loyalty program. This August Marriott combined the three loyalty programs of Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Starwood, and next year they’ll be creating a new name for the program.
Check out yesterday’s post for all the details on why I think this will be the name of the new program, though in this post I wanted to share three thoughts I didn’t share yesterday (let me once again emphasize that this is all based on the info yesterday, so it’s possible that this was an earlier version of the program, or that Marriott changes their mind based on feedback):
Does Marriott not know how much titanium costs?
I’m hardly an expert on precious metals, but if you’re going to have elite status names based on precious metals, shouldn’t they be ranked from least expensive to most expensive?
Platinum is more expensive than titanium, so it doesn’t really make sense that Titanium Elite is higher than Platinum Elite.
My guess is that this Marriott is doing this for optics — they don’t want to make 50 night Platinum members feel like they’re no longer Platinum members by changing the name.
Based on a quick Google search, if they’re going to have precious metal status names, shouldn’t the next tier be Californium Elite? How I’d love to be a Bonvoy Californium Elite member! 😉
Marriott is actually differentiating elite tiers more
Under Marriott’s current loyalty program, all three of the top tiers have Platinum in the name:
- Platinum (50 nights)
- Platinum Premier (75 nights)
- Platinum Premier with Ambassador (100 nights + $20K spend requirement)
Aside from some very minor differences in perks, Marriott hasn’t really provided direction to hotels in terms of how members at different tiers should be treated. In other words, all Platinum tiers receive suite upgrades on a space available basis, but there’s no corporate directive saying to try and upgrade Ambassador members before Platinum members, for example.
Furthermore, at check-in I’m typically “just” recognized as a Platinum guest. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with that, per se, but I do find that it changes hotel recognition when they realize I’m Ambassador vs. not.
So anyway, with these tiers being changed around, it sure seems like Marriott is at least creating more differentiation between tiers based on names. In other words, it will be harder for a hotel to ignore your 75+ night status if you’re a Titanium member rather than some tier of Platinum, and it will be harder for a hotel to ignore your 100+ night status if you’re an Ambassador member.
Whether or not you think that’s a good thing probably depends on whether you earn 50-75 elite nights per year with Marriott, or earn 75+.
Marriott shouldn’t have come up with a new program name at all
I really don’t get it, but I also don’t get the corporate world. Marriott Rewards has over 100 million members from every part of the globe, and the program has great brand recognition. Why on earth did they feel the need to literally start from scratch with the naming?
Is it because they hired the same consulting firm as Hyatt, which told them that millennials like more creative names? Or was it because they felt like Starwood loyalists would be happier if they felt like they were joining a new program, rather than just being folded into Marriott Rewards?
As a Starwood loyalist I would have been very happy with them just maintaining the Marriott Rewards name. What annoys me is all the other stuff they’re doing.
Or maybe “bonvoy” is actually a fair name for the program — bon voyage, quality loyalty program!
I guess we’ll find out soon if Marriott Bonvoy is actually the name Marriott goes with for their new program, and if they really introduce Titanium status as a tier above Platinum.
I’d say the only substantive potential change would be giving 75+ and 100+ night members new elite tiers above Platinum status.
What do you make of these potential changes?