Marriott Will No Longer Give Hotel Guests This, as of Dec. 1
It's the latest change affecting the way guests book stays with the iconic hotel chain.
No matter where you check in when you travel, hotel guests are accustomed to getting certain amenities with each stay. The very basics include fresh sheets, fluffy towels, and a clean room. But for iconic hotel chains like Marriott, it's not uncommon to find extra perks built-in to entice guests to keep coming back. Besides the consistent quality of service and well-maintained properties, staying loyal to the company can also earn special upgrades and other bonuses. But now, Marriott has announced that it will no longer offer guests one perk they may have grown accustomed to. Read on to see how this could affect your next trip.
READ THIS NEXT: 5 Secrets From Former Hilton Employees.
The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program has undergone some changes recently.
People who spend a lot of time traveling know that it can pay to remain dedicated to specific companies in the long run thanks to rewards programs, including hotels. Regular Marriott guests use the company's Bonvoy loyalty program to help earn special elite status, unlock bonuses like room upgrades, and earn points towards free stays across the company's 30 property brands.
Similar to other large rewards platforms, Marriott also has negotiated special arrangements with other companies that allow members to collect and redeem points on everything from airfare to credit card spending. But last month, the company announced a significant change when it said it would be dropping a long-running incentive it offered guests transferring their Bonvoy points to its airline partners, according to The Points Guy.
The company's new policy did away with a 5,000-mile bonus guests used to receive for every 60,000 points they transferred from Bonvoy to American Airlines AAdvantage points, Avianca LifeMiles, and Delta SkyMiles. The move not only made it harder to score extra loyalty rewards but also devalued the hotel's points in transfers from 2.4 points needed per mile to 3, per The Points Guy.
Marriott is making another change to the loyalty program by dropping another partnership perk.
But now, it appears the hotel company hasn't finished peeling back the same bonus from other airlines. On Nov. 7, Marriott announced that it would also be getting rid of the Bonvoy partnership transfer bonus it previously had in place with Korean Air, Frequent Miler first reported.
As with the previous change, the updated transfer will devalue the loyalty program's points considerably when the new policy goes into effect on Dec. 1. After that date, any guests transferring 60,000 points will receive 20,000 Korean Air Skypass miles instead of the 25,000 they would have earned under the previous arrangement.
Marriott hasn't acknowledged the change on their website.
Even though the latest policy change does away with a longstanding offer between Bonvoy and Korean Air, Marriott is not exactly advertising the fact that it's gone. So far, the company has reached out to guests who have previously transferred points to Korean Air via email, The Points Guy reports. But the company has yet to update its point transfer page, only acknowledging the previous change to the American Airlines AAdvantage, Avianca LifeMiles, and Delta SkyMiles bonus.
Once the new policy goes into effect, there will be 34 airlines left among the company's partners that will still receive the bonus, including Hawaiian Airlines, Emirates, Southwest, Lufthansa, Alaska, and Frontier. Marriott also confirmed that it isn't planning on ending the bonus for any other airlines at this time, per The Points Guy.
Some regular guests are afraid more Bonvoy changes are coming soon.
While the latest program change comes less than a month after the last bonus drop, some have argued that this might signal an oncoming wave of change for the loyalty program.
"This devaluation came as somewhat of a surprise, and I suspect that it may be a harbinger of future change," Tim Steinke concluded in his Frequent Miler post announcing the change. "Hilton has already battered its airline transfer chart to the point of irrelevance, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Marriott follow suit, especially once the program moves to full dynamic pricing next year."
Other loyal guests of the company added their opinions to the comment section, with some saying this points towards a shift within the program. "Now that we use more hotel points than before, I've always thought of the airline transfer option as providing a floor of value for Marriott points," one Frequent Miler commenter wrote. "I guess not so much anymore…Too bad."
And even though the change between Korean Air and Bonvoy may seem small to the average traveler, another commenter used an ominous analogy to describe the current situation, writing: "I feel like a lobster in a pot."