Marriott International has really embraced non-hotel redemptions during the integration of their reward program, Marriott Rewards, with Starwood Preferred Guest. The SPG Moments program, introduced by Starwood some years ago, offered members the opportunity to redeem points for culinary, sports, and arts experiences that were exclusive to the program.
Soon after closing on the acquisition of Starwood in 2016, one of the earliest new program enhancements was the addition of Marriott Moments, which mirrored the long-running SPG program. Marriott liked the results from the program so much they’ve expanded it, from a few thousand total experience options to over 110,000 available for purchase with a credit card, and around 8,000 experiences exclusive to members of the combining loyalty program.
Moments are certainly likely to be a lasting innovation in the hospitality loyalty sphere. Moments offer opportunities for high point value members to build out complete travel experiences by redeeming from their account for air, lodging, and activities. As an added carrot, many of those activities are not available for purchase by the general public and have been crafted as “VIP” experiences.
Some new Rewards moments include attending the NFL Draft as a VIP, spending three days dining with the most awarded female Michelin-starred Chef Carme Ruscalleda at Sant Pau, Enoteca, and other gastronmic restaurants, or meeting Ringo Starr at his “Peace and Love” birthday party in France.
The Moments program was immediately popular following its introduction to the Marriott Rewards partition, and some high value Rewards were redeemed, like a VIP Super Bowl package including suite tickets, lunch with a player, VIP party access, plus lodging and airfare for just over two million Marriott Rewards points.
“Our members are the beating heart of our loyalty program and their aspirations to travel with passion and purpose has inspired us to build the most powerful experiential platform in hospitality,” John Wolf, Marriott International’s Vice President of Loyalty, Digital, & Marketing Innovation PR told Travelpulse.
Marriott Rewards and SPG Members can currently transfer points between programs for redemption on either platform. In August, members will have the ability to combine accounts, and earn and burn points in a newly combined, yet-to-be-named program.
Other experiences available for members include:
—An album listening session at Jared Leto’s Hollywood home.
—A backstage tour and Q&A with Keith Urban during his Graffiti U World Tour.
—VIP access to Napa Valley’s Live in The Vineyard and Live In the Vineyard Goes Country.
—A marathon progressive dinner around New York City led by Chef Eric Ripert.
—A culinary master class with Chef Stephanie Izard at her Chicagorestaurant, Girl & Goat.
—Team Mercedes Petronas F1 experiences in Monaco, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany.