You check into your Marriott hotel, unpack a few items, check out the room and on your way to get some ice, you get a message on your phone about a special offer at the hotel’s spa. With the introduction of LocalPerks, a new feature of Marriott Rewards, iBeacon technology is being used to find and communicate with guests’ mobile devices to deliver push notifications about special offers. To take advantage of LocalPerks deals, you must download the Marriott Mobile Guest Services app from iTunes and allow Bluetooth and push notifications. For now, the LocalPerks include offers within the hotel like dining, spa treatments or rounds of golf, but soon, Marriott Rewards members will also be offered deals in the hotel’s neighborhood.
Marriott has also introduced FlashPerks, where Marriott Rewards members can redeem points or use cash for limited-time, exclusive deals. About 10 to 15 flash sales will be announced each week and will be available for 24 hours only or until it sells out. When we visited the site, an upcoming deal was the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino Package for 22,500 points per night (normally 45,000 points, or half off for up to four nights) including a complimentary room upgrade with stay dates Nov. 16-29, 2014. Visit http://www.marriottrewardsflashperks.com to see what’s available. FlashPerks are currently set to be offered until the first week of October. We do not know if the offers will be extended from that date.
Bottom line: LocalPerks is a move by Marriott to appeal to tech-savvy Millennials who typically like to stay connected through their mobile devices. It’s up to you to decide whether being tracked by Marriott is worth the deals you might be offered. FlashPerks is offering very good deals if you can closely watch when the deals become available and have some flexibility. To get a hotel loyalty program expert’s point-of-view on these new offers, read this month’s Loyalty Traveler column.