Marriott reinstates elite benefit guarantees effective immediately

Jan 11, 2021

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The hotel industry was hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. Many properties closed — some temporarily and others permanently — while the ones that remained open were forced to rethink the guest experience and ramp up cleaning procedures.

In March, Marriott suspended its brand standards and elite benefit guarantees to ease the burden on struggling properties. Normally, hotels (especially upscale, luxury properties) have strict standards set out by Marriott corporate that they have to adhere to. Not doing so can lead to fines or potentially even removal from the brand. These brand standards cover everything from the toiletries in your room to the benefits offered to elite members and much more.

The suspension was initially only supposed to last until the beginning of July 2020 but kept getting extended. That’s changing today.

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With many hotels reopened and adjusted to the new normal, Marriott Bonvoy announced today that it’s reinstating its elite guarantee effective immediately.

This means that eligible elites are once again guaranteed benefits like free breakfast, lounge access or guaranteed room type. When these benefits are not honored, elite members are entitled to a specific amount of compensation (in the form of cash or points). While many properties still offered these benefits during the suspension, they were under no obligation to do so.

Related: This new tool may tell you what to expect during your next Marriott stay

In its announcement, Marriott Bonvoy notes, “based on day-to-day business conditions at individual hotels and/or government regulations, properties may offer a breakfast alternative when lounges and restaurants are closed such as grab and go or credit for food and beverage purchases on property.”

As has always been the case, the lounge and welcome gift elite benefits vary by brand and geographic region.

Bottom line

Marriott Bonvoy’s elite benefit guarantees were suspended for almost a year but are finally back. Elite travelers can once again expect their usual benefits or get compensation when they’re not available.

In addition to this news, earlier today, Marriott announced it’s making it easier to qualify for status this year. Like last year, current elites will receive 50% of the elite nights needed to qualify for the elite status that they held in 2020. Additionally, in mid-February, Marriott will launch a global promotion that will allow members to earn double the number of points and elite night credits for all stays of two nights or more.

Related: Marriott Bonvoy makes it easier to earn elite status and redeem points in 2021

Featured image of the Ritz-Carlton South Beach by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy.

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