“One of my bucket list items was to meet Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes Formula One driver, with my best friend,” says Joseph, a partner at a global consulting firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We’ve been attending the Canadian Grand Prix annually for the past 10 years, but we never had the chance to meet Lewis.”
Logging onto the Marriott Bonvoy Moments app, he saw a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – to bid on a package to meet his hero in Montreal at two exclusive events. He submitted an offer using his accrued Marriott Bonvoy points and won.
“That experience was truly incredible,” says Joseph, who has been a Marriott Bonvoy member for 16 years and holds Lifetime Platinum Elite status. “A Marriott guest relations manager walked us into the private events to ensure we were comfortable and positioned in the very best seats. We met Lewis Hamilton and spent quality time listening to his life stories in a private room. We were able to talk to him and take a memorable photo together.”
This is just one of the many perks of holding a Marriott Bonvoy membership – Marriott International’s loyalty program that was relaunched in Feb. 2019. To date, the new program has generated a lot of buzz for its VIP perks. Anyone can join for free and earn, redeem and enjoy exclusive benefits at more than 7,000 Marriott hotels and resorts across its vast portfolio of brands spanning 131 countries. When booking directly on Marriott.com or the Marriott app, members receive extra luxuries to elevate their hotel experiences, such as free and enhanced WiFi, exclusive member-only rates and Mobile Requests. Other benefits are unlike those available through any other loyalty program on the market.
[We had] special access to the sponsors’ lounge and Marriott suite, where they offered guests incredible food options and drinks, and then had VIP seats 10 rows up from midfield line.— Tom Joseph
“One of the many perks offered that I value comes from the Marriott Bonvoy Moments program,” notes Joseph. “This is a silent auction-type perk for members that allows us to bid our Marriott points for amazing life experiences – culinary, sports and entertainment. The greatest part about this program are the types of worldwide, high-quality events that offer VIP opportunities you cannot easily acquire in the general marketplace.”
Overall, the program offers 120,000 exclusive member experiences and destination tours and adventures on Marriott Bonvoy Moments. Meeting Lewis Hamilton was a highlight and Joseph frequently leverages his accumulated points to get what he calls “a lifetime memory.” Recently, he won a bid for a package to attend the FC Bayern Munich football match in Germany.
“[We had] special access to the sponsors’ lounge and Marriott suite, where they offered guests incredible food options and drinks, and then had VIP seats 10 rows up from midfield line,” says Joseph. “These were some of the best seats in a stadium with more than 70,000 fans.”
What’s so enticing about this loyalty program is how easy it is to earn points from everyday spending. For instance, stays at any Marriott International hotel worldwide earn at least 10 points (often more) per US$1 spent on eligible charges – and includes all hotel purchases, like dining, golf, spa treatments and more. The more Marriott stays you chalk up, the higher your membership status which comes with an added layer of benefits, such as enhanced room upgrades, a dedicated elite reservation line, late checkouts, lounge access and even an ambassador service. Bonus points are also awarded when you host qualifying events (like meetings, weddings and conferences) at a Marriott International property.
You can also rack up rewards by taking advantage of unique excursions and amazing activities offered by Marriott Bonvoy Tours and Activities. Whether it’s a food tour of Montreal or a snowshoe adventure in Whistler, you’ll earn points for every package tacked onto your trip. As a points-earning pro, Joseph has another strategy for maximizing your membership rewards earnings. “I suggest signing up for the Marriott Bonvoy credit card to help accumulate more points quicker and enhance your opportunities to leverage all the perks,” he says.
The points add up quickly. Cardholders earn rewards for every purchase charged – and that’s on top of any points earned with your Marriott Bonvoy membership. What’s exceptional about the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program is its flexibility. You can put those points towards almost whatever you want, whenever you feel like it. For instance, members can use points to redeem for free night awards at thousands of hotels and resorts worldwide with no blackout dates. Or you can instantly redeem your points for cocktails, meals, spa experiences and more. Redemption couldn’t be easier – especially with technology at your fingertips.
“Make sure the Marriott Bonvoy app is loaded on your mobile phone,” Joseph recommends. “I found it easy to use the perks that Marriott Bonvoy offers. Also login and check the site regularly as they make updates to new events quite often.”
But there’s one perk the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program can offer that’s truly priceless –lifelong memories.
“The Marriott experiences are special,” says Joseph. “They have provided me, my family, and friends with incredible memories.”
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.