In mid-April Marriott Rewards announced some new perks, including guaranteed late check-out for Gold & Platinum members, Ambassador service for select members, and an experiences marketplace. All three of these changes were perks already available with Starwood Preferred Guest, so it’s great to see Marriott Rewards adopting something from Starwood’s program.
The experiences marketplace was inspired by SPG Moments, which allow Starwood members to redeem points (either for a fixed cost or through an auction) for some incredible experiences.
I’ve gotten tickets in the SPG Suite at the US Open through SPG Moments…
While I’d usually prefer to redeem my hotel points for hotel stays, this can be an incredible use of points, and something I’ve found to be very valuable. For many road warriors, these kinds of points redemption opportunities are a great way to reward those at home for all the time you spend away from home.
So it’s exciting to see Marriott adopt a similar concept. It’s worth noting that the Marriott Rewards & Ritz-Carlton Rewards experiences marketplace is now live.
The redemption opportunities are broken up by category — sports, lifestyle, culinary, and entertainment.
It’s interesting to note that all of the experiences have fixed redemption costs, so there aren’t any auctions as of now. I’m not sure if that’s the plan long term, or if that’s just the case now. In the case of Starwood, most packages have fixed costs, though some are auctions.
Given that Marriott just launched this program, there’s an impressive variety of experiences available, in my opinion.
On the sports front, you have everything from tickets to the International Champions Cup to a five million point redemption that allows you to meet Ronaldo
On the lifestyle front, you have things like a week at the Biggest Loser Resort, or a romantic getaway to Italy (one sounds significantly more fun than the other)
For culinary experiences, you have everything from hotel cooking classes to food festivals to wine tasting.
As of now the entertainment category is pretty limited. Marriott Rewards has Hamilton tickets for 450,000 points, and elite members can spend 750,000 points for a package to see the NYC Thanksgiving parade.
In theory there are a bunch of packages for a meet & greet with Nick Jonas (trying not to fangirl too hard), though they all seem to be “sold out.” I suspect they just haven’t been loaded yet?
Marriott Experiences Marketplace bottom line
Marriott seems to be off to a good start with their experiences marketplace, so it’s great to see it has finally launched. They have a nice variety of experiences available, and over time I suspect more will be added. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on the offers page to see if anything worthwhile comes up.
Personally I won’t be using the marketplace anytime soon, however. I have very few Marriott Rewards points (meanwhile I have 500,000+ Starpoints), and there’s no way to transfer points between Marriott and Starwood yet.
Are there any Marriott Experiences Marketplace offers you’re tempted by?