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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card

Marriott Rewards has historically offered Wi-Fi as a complimentary service only to its Gold and Platinum Elites, but starting January 15, 2015, the hotel loyalty program will offer free in-room Wi-Fi to all Marriott Rewards members who book directly through Marriott booking channels. Gold and Platinum Elite members will continue to receive free enhanced Wi-Fi where available, which enables faster download speeds and a stronger signal for streaming movies and other media.

Starting January 15, 2015, Marriott Rewards will offer free Wi-Fi to all its members - not just elites.
Starting January 15, 2015, Marriott Rewards will offer free Wi-Fi to all its members – not just elites.

Marriott booking channels include marriott.com and ritzcarlton.com, the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton mobile apps, the phone number 1-800 MARRIOTT, and Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels. Free Wi-Fi takes effect for all qualified stays occurring on or after January, 15, 2015, and only affects Wi-Fi offered in guest rooms – Wi-Fi in meeting rooms will be charged separately. In order to take advantage of the benefit, your Rewards number must be included on your reservation either before or during your stay.

While this new free Wi-Fi program will be offered globally at 3,800 properties, some Marriott-branded hotel will not be participating, including new Autograph Collection member Atlantis Paradise Island and the entire Protea brand; see the full list of non-participants here. Also, several Marriott brands already offer free Wi-Fi to all their guests, including EDITION, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, TownePlace Suites, Marriott Vacation Club and Moxy Hotels.

This new free Wi-Fi benefit will be available at thousands of Marriott-branded properties, including The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.
Free Wi-Fi will be available at thousands of Marriott properties, including The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.

If free-enhanced Wi-Fi is a priority for you, you can boost your elite status with the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card, which offers 15 elite credits each year, and an additional elite credit for every $3,000 in spending. This card currently has a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months, and comes with a free night in a category 1-4 property upon approval, plus an additional free night in a category 1-5 location every year on your account anniversary. In my most recent monthly valuations of points and miles, I list Marriott Rewards at 0.7 cents apiece, so I value the sign-up bonus for this card at $490 even without the free night certificate.

I think this new policy of free Wi-Fi for all loyalty program members is a step in the right direction for such a popular global brand. In the travel industry’s monkey-see, monkey-do landscape, I hope that other large U.S.-based hotel brands, such as Hyatt and Starwood, will soon follow suit.

Do you think free Wi-Fi should be offered as a loyalty-program benefit, or should it be available to all hotel guests? 

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.