Ritz-Carlton, the luxury brand in the Marriott International, Inc. portfolio, has launched a new loyalty program. Called Ritz-Carlton Rewards, the program is free to join and members earn 10 points or two miles per dollar spent on room rate only at participating Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide.
Ritz-Carlton points can be redeemed for hotel stays at Ritz-Carlton hotels with no blackout dates, Ritz-Carlton Destination Clubs and at the 11 brands that participate in Marriott Rewards, starting at 30,000 points. For every five nights redeemed, members will receive the fifth night free.
Other awards include Hertz car rentals, cruises, golf, rail transportation and members can exchange Ritz-Carlton points for frequent flyer miles with any of the 31 partner airlines.
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards program is designed to be experiential with exclusive partnerships, including Neiman Marcus, Vera Wang, National Geographic Expeditions and Abercrombie & Kent. For example, members can redeem points for a half-day personal shopping experience at Neiman Marcus or an exclusive National Geographic Expeditions Photography Expedition with a renowned National Geographic photographer.
Ritz-Carlton Rewards also has an elite program offering Gold and Platinum status to frequent guests. Gold status starts at 10 nights or two meetings in a 12-month period. Elite benefits include bonus points on Ritz-Carlton stays, Elite-Only Rewards and more.
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards program partners with Marriott hotels and members earn 10 points or two miles per dollar spent at Marriott Hotels and Resorts, JW Marriott Hotels, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels and Marriott Vacation Club International, and earn 10 points or two miles per dollar spent on room rate only at EDITION, Courtyard by Marriott, SpringHill Suites and Fairfield Inn. Members earn five points or one mile per dollar spent on room rate only at Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites. Meeting Planners earn three points per dollar, up to 50,000 points.
Visit http://www.RitzCarltonRewards.com for more information and to register for the program. There are more than 70 Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.
Bottom line: This is an interesting development from Marriott and long overdue. Starwood has The Luxury Collection, Hilton has Waldorf-Astoria, and since Marriott owns much of Ritz-Carlton, we’ve been expecting something similar from Marriott. While it took 15 years to make this decision, guests can finally earn points for stays at Ritz-Carlton in addition to using their points for Ritz-Carlton stays. The Ritz-Carlton program is similar to Marriott Rewards and has the same bells and whistles, including elite benefits and the fifth night free on award stays of five nights. There will be a separate award chart for Ritz-Carlton stays similar to the way Hilton offers awards for Waldorf-Astoria.