[INTERVIEW] Marriott Questions Answered

We did our best to arrange a time, but due to Michelle Bozoki‘s (Vice President of Marketing at Marriott International, Canada) busy schedule, we were unable to interview her over the phone. Instead, she provided us with an email response to as many questions as they could so that there would not be a longer delay in getting back to everyone. I also added two questions on behalf of Pointshogger as well.

Please let us know how you feel about their answers in the comment section below!

Matthew Lau: What’s currently happening at Marriott Rewards? I hear there are some promotions going on?

Michelle Bozoki: We’ve got a number of fantastic things happening for Marriott Rewards members in Canada.  For the first time, Marriott Rewards members are able to choose one of two ways to earn up to 50,000 bonus points in our fall MegaBonus promotion, “Choose Your Path.” Members who register for the promotion can select the bonus earning option that best reflects the way they travel through December 15th, 2016. By registering, new and current Marriott Rewards members can opt in to the promotion of their choice: Option 1 allows members to earn 10,000 bonus points for every 10 nights, up to 50,000 bonus points; and Option 2 allows members to earn 5,000 bonus points after the second stay (max 50,000 bonus points). The MegaBonus is open to all Marriott Rewards members as well as new enrollees during the promotion period.

In addition, Marriott Rewards members and Aeroplan members have an exclusive opportunity this Fall to earn miles at 100+ participating hotels across Canada. From now until December 5th, the more you stay the more you earn!  Marriott Rewards members who are also members of the Aeroplan program can earn bonus miles on every night’s stay at a hotel within the Marriott portfolio – that’s in addition to the base Aeroplan earning of up to 2 miles per $1 USD spent with every stay. And remember we have 11 brands here in Canada and 18 worldwide, so there are plenty of ways to earn. Members must book directly with Marriott at a rate eligible for miles – the easiest way to do this is at Marriott.com.

I would also encourage Marriott Rewards members to keep an eye out for additional exciting offers that will be introduced later this Fall….all I can say for now is … Cyber Weekend.

Hannah: As a Silver Elite member due to my Marriott Visa, I would like to see the annual renewal bonus certificate become more in tune with the now higher hotel category levels. Instead of the present category 1-5, please add the 6 so it will apply to more of the hotels it used to be usable for. Alternatively, allow us to use points or cash to upgrade this certificate. 

Michelle Bozoki: Hannah, thanks so much for your comments. We are aware this is something our card members are frustrated with and we are considering alternatives. We are always interested in receiving feedback from our card members about which benefits are most important to them, including opportunities to improve our products. We’ll keep you posted on any upcoming changes.

Iv:  Will Marriott Rewards be merging with SPG program into one or will it be separate similar to Ritz program?

Michelle Bozoki:  At this point, we continue to operate as separate companies and programs, and we don’t anticipate launching a newly combined program until 2018.

Iv: Has Marriott explored the possibility of an airline partnership in Canada similar to the one they have with United?

Michelle Bozoki: We’re excited to partner with Aeroplan to provide meaningful ways for our members to earn miles while staying at Marriott branded hotels. Aeroplan’s partnership with Air Canada and other premier airlines make them a great partner for us and our Canadian members. We work with Aeroplan in developing meaningful seasonal offers and partner with them to provide even more value to their Status Members – their top accumulating membership base who receive additional recognition and benefits.

As a partner, we also understand the importance of choosing your preferred loyalty currency, which is why we continue to partner with Aeroplan on conversion type offers as well, where members have the ability to exchange their Marriott Rewards Points for Aeroplan Miles so they can top up their accounts and redeem for what is most meaningful to them. At any time, Marriott Rewards members can also purchase Aeroplan Miles using their points through Marriott.com.

KS: Will we see more renovations like the Calgary Marriott went through at other similar hotels? The Ottawa Marriott is in dire need of update and an M Club Lounge would be great.

Michelle Bozoki: I’m glad to hear you like the Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel! We also recently opened the Calgary In-Terminal Marriott Hotel in the new Calgary Airport Terminal and are renovating the Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre Hotel, so we work hard to create and update our properties for our discerning guests.

Marriott Hotels brand is in the midst of a massive transformation, evolving everything from hotel design to associate training.  The Calgary Marriott In-Terminal Hotel, the Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel and the Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre Hotel are representative of this evolution, echoing the sentiment that guests value personalized experiences and creativity.  Last year, Marriott Hotels was the first within the Marriott portfolio of brands to introduce delighted travelers to its mobile innovations global roll-out, its industry-pioneering two-way chat feature, Mobile Request, on the Marriott Mobile App. A first-of-its kind partnership with Netflix in the summer of 2015 changed the future of in-room entertainment. Guests and travel enthusiasts can visit www.travelbrilliantly.com to experience the countless ways Marriott Hotels continues to innovate to meet the needs of today’s travelers.

KS: Also, as a Platinum, are we going to see any benefit enhancement over Golds beyond the welcome gift and booking policy (which I never use)?

Michelle Bozoki:  The biggest change for Platinum Elite members is represented by the enhancements to Elite benefits that were launched earlier this year. One of these benefits is Guaranteed Late Check-out until 4 p.m. Members can request late check-out when making a reservation by phone, when checking in through the mobile app, or upon arrival at the hotel. This benefit also applies to Gold Elite members. This year an initial group of Elite members of Marriott Rewards were also invited to participate in a new Elite concierge service. By developing a relationship with the Elite member, the concierge can anticipate their needs and ensure members’ preferences are recognized before, during and after their stays. We’ll continue to expand this service.

Matthew Lau: What should we be looking forward to the most with Marriott Rewards?

Michelle Bozoki:  A few months ago, we introduced Marriott Rewards Member Rates as another way of rewarding our loyal members by providing a rate exclusively designed to show them how valuable they are to us. We also want to help dispel the myth that other travel websites offer better rates for our hotels. The simple fact is that you will find the lowest rates across our portfolio of hotels when you join Marriott Rewards and book direct on Marriott.com, our easy-to-use app, call centers or through select corporate travel professionals.

These member rates are just one in a series of benefits we have rolled out to make members’ travel experiences better and easier. We know that travel is stressful, and we want to give our members more flexibility, choice, and peace of mind.

For example, in this “always on” and connected world, Marriott Rewards members who book on a Marriott direct booking channel will receive free standard/“essential” in-room Wi-Fi at participating hotels worldwide. Also, when members book their stays on Marriott channels, they can take full advantage of the Marriott Mobile app to check-in and check-out for their stay, receive an alert when their room is ready, and make service requests directly to the hotel before, during and after their visit. We will be adding even more features to the app in the future, giving members a seamless experience throughout their travel journey.

We also offer the Marriott Rewards experiences marketplace, an online market that allows members to redeem their points for exclusive events and experiences including the NFL Super Bowl, Universal Music Group concerts, and other curated experiences across sports, food, and entertainment.  Through our partnership with Universal Music Group, we recently announced a free Demi Lovato and DNCE concert at LA Live, with tickets available exclusively to Marriott Rewards members. We’ll be introducing many more exciting ways to redeem points for money-can’t-buy experiences and opportunities.

It’s been a pleasure answering these questions. We truly value our Canadian Marriott Rewards members and we will continue to work hard to ensure they receive the best from us for their loyalty.


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