Marriott has announced the launch of a new rewards program, Marriott Bonvoy, on February 13, 2019. Bonvoy will allow Marriott Rewards, Ritz Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest to have one rewards program. Marriott states that Bonvoy means “good travel”, which is the idea that guides everything that they do (their words, not mine). Um, Bonvoy is not a word, so I guess Marriott can create the definition of said word as well. LOL. In all seriousness, I am sure that Bonvoy is a play on the phrase bon voyage, which is used to wish someone well as they embark on a journey.
Marriott also announced other pending changes due to the launch of Bonvoy. The first one will be the launch of the Marriott Bonvoy mobile app. The app should be available sometime in February. The next change is the addition of a new hotel tier, category 8. The new category will roll out in March. Category 8 hotels are bookable until March at the Category 7 rate, which could save up to 25,000 reward points. The last change will be with the Marriott Rewards credit card, but the company did not provide additional information on that. I assume that the card will be Marriott Bonvoy branded (a given). Marriott would have to select a company to issue the card because the Marriott and Ritz Carlton Rewards are Chase Visa, while Starwood Preferred Guest is American Express.
The consolidated program will be good for the company overall. I would have not had issues redeeming my free night certificate at the Aloft Hotel in Downtown Fort Worth if the brands were operating as one. I do have one lingering question, what does this mean for customers’ lifetime status? My hope is that it will continue with the new program. There will be growing pains for some time as issues with this merger are resolved.