Marriott’s new Bonvoy program probably hasn’t been quite as well received as the company was hoping.

Marriott CEO has called dissatisfaction surrounding the program “noise around the edges,” though I think many would disagree, as the term “bonvoyed” has taken on a whole different meaning.

That being said, we should give them credit where it’s due, and I have to commend Marriott for at least trying a “surprise and delight” campaign. Frequent Miler outlines a memo that was sent out to hotels regarding two initiatives that Marriott is undertaking.

The problem with a company the size of Marriott is that stuff like this will always leak, meaning it won’t be much of a “surprise and delight” for many, but inevitably will lead to disappointment for some when they don’t get it. Personally I wouldn’t view it like that, though, and commend Marriott for what they’re trying.

So what’s the program they’re working on?

A very cool promotion for Ambassador Elite members

Ambassador Elite is Marriott’s top tier status, which requires 100 elite nights plus $20,000 of spend per year.

Between April 22 and July 31, 2019, Marriott will be surprising select Ambassador Elite members staying using points. Those who are targeted for this will receive:

  • A “personalized letter” from their personal Ambassador and Marriott’s SVP of Global Loyalty
  • Points refunded for one night of their stay
  • At the hotel’s discretion, an elevated welcome amenity

Surprise and delight Marriott gift cards

Starting May 1, 2019 (with no specific end date), certain elite members will receive an electronic Marriott gift card via email. We don’t know how many people will receive gift cards, but these will be delivered by email, and will be unrelated to any particular stays.

Bottom line

Obviously this doesn’t solve all the problems that many members have had with the Bonvoy program. However, I think Marriott at least deserves some credit for trying to do something special for members.

In the age of the internet there really is no such thing as “surprise and delight,” though. As stuff like this gets shared online, subconsciously many people can’t help but be disappointed if they’re not targeted.

While we’re still a bit over a week from the first part of this being launched, please report back if you are the recipient of either of these initiatives!

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