Marriott Bonvoy Rewards Case Study

June 02, 2022

Marriott International rebranded its flagship loyalty program to Marriot Bonvoy Rewards, earning the number 1 rank for the Best Hotel Rewards Program by U.S News. Business and leisure travelers who are members of this rewards program can earn points for staying at any of their affiliated brands worldwide and for doing their usual travel-related activities such as renting a car, booking a flight, dining at a restaurant, among others.

This post will look at how the Marriott Bonvoy Rewards program works, what has made it a huge success, and how its creators could have done it better.

How does the program work?

Marriott Bonvoy customers gain access to numerous perks once they sign up to join the program for free. As a member, one can earn points on expenses made at any of their participating hotels. You can also garner more points by shopping with their Marriott Bonvoy credit card. The points earned can then be redeemed for nightly stays and room upgrades at all Marriott-affiliated properties. They can also redeem them for rental cars, merchandise purchases, flights, and other gifts.

Membership Tiers

The program has six tiers based on paid nights per calendar year. These include the Member level, Silver Elite, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite, and Ambassador Elite. People at the Member status enjoy 0 to 9 paid nights per year; Silver Elite members enjoy ten paid nights per year; Gold Elite members get 25 paid nights; platinum Elites enjoy 50 nights; Titanium Elite enjoy 75 paid nights. In comparison, Ambassador Elite members enjoy more than 100 nights per year. To reach the highest status, the Ambassador Elite tier needs to spend a certain threshold annually with Marriott.

Marriott Bonvoy also offers a Lifetime Elite Status where members will get Elite benefits without risking points expiration.

Without this status, all other members can lose their points after two years of inactivity.

What are the good things about the program?

A couple of incredible things about the Marriott Bonvoy Rewards Program have set it apart from its competitors.

Great Rewards Portal

The company has designed a detailed rewards portal that explains precisely what Marriott Bonvoy Rewards is all about. The most outstanding part of this portal is that it breaks down the entire loyalty program into sections so that both new and recurring members can click between them to find the information they need about the program. The page is designed beautifully with clear-quality photographs and is labeled so that customers can easily navigate. In addition, Marriott has made the browsing experience on their rewards portal even more pleasurable by adding a clear link to their navigation bar. There are also several calls-to-action on the site, giving customers the necessary push and ease to create their account and begin enjoying the benefits of becoming a Marriott Bonvoy rewards member.

VIP experiences are highly personalized

Another great thing about the Marriott Bonvoy Rewards program is its well-designed, personalized VIP experiences. The program has six different VIP levels, each with its unique benefits and advanced perks as members advance to the next level. Benefits such as bonus points, hotel welcome gifts, mobile check-in services, among others, make their members feel valued irrespective of their budget. For instance, with the Silver Elite, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite, and Ambassador Elite status, members need to stay for ten nights/year at Marriott to move to the next tier. After this, members need to hit some reasonable 25-night milestones to reach the more advanced levels. This standard makes earning rewards exciting and beneficial for anyone who embarks on more than one trip each year.

Top-tier customers who progress to the Ambassador Elite level enjoy even better perks with the option to enjoy their rewards all year long. They can also choose their 24-hour check-in and check-out window, exclusive access rates, and welcome gifts, making them feel highly valued.

Easy to Earn and Redeem Points

One of the noticeable exciting features of this rewards program is the ease at which customers can earn points with activities they usually do whenever they travel. Marriott Bonvoy rewards members with points for booking hotels, using their credit cards, cruising, eating at numerous restaurants, car rentals, and flights. In addition, there are several ways members can redeem the points they earn with Marriott. They can exchange them for car rentals or flights, get gift cards, book free nights, or even share their points with other members. Members also have the opportunity of donating their points to support disaster relief efforts, purchasing points, or gifting their points to any travel lover they know. This sense of ease, community, and convenience makes Marriott’s loyalty program beneficial at all levels to its members.

How could they have made it more attractive?

The Marriott Bonvoy Rewards program offers several great perks, yet there is always a little more room for improvement like every other program.

Overwhelming Information

While Marriott has done a commendable job of outlining all of its perks on its rewards portal, it appears the amount of information available can be pretty overwhelming, especially for a new customer. The process of learning about all the benefits they have to offer is overwhelming because visitors need to click through several pages before getting a total grasp of what they want. In addition, several links lead to other tabs, making the program seem complicated and extremely involving for potential new members. Of course, there is such a thing as too much information, and Marriott can undoubtedly make the program more attractive by simplifying their explainer page by not crowding them with so many links.

That said, the Marriot Bonvoy Rewards program is one of the best loyalty programs in the hospitality industry because of the unique experiences they have merged into a variety of perks. The brand has made it easier for customers to progress through their VIP tiers and given numerous opportunities for its members to earn, redeem and give out points. In addition, their approach to building community and beautifully presenting their rewards program makes them stand out.


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