Marriott’s 2019 Elite Thank You Gift initiative

Here’s an example of a standard food & beverage amenity at the Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort.  Some lucky Ambassador members will get an elevated amenity instead (or maybe in addition).  Wondering what an elevated amenity is? Read the FAQ below.

Marriott Bonvoy apparently sent memos to participating hotels about their new initiative to show appreciation to elite members.  A reader was kind enough to share pictures of this memo with us.  My understanding after reading the memo is that only certain elite members, during certain time-frames will be appreciated.  And, part of the accompanying FAQ has me giggling.  More on that below…

2019 Elite Thank You Gift initiative

There are two parts to Marriott’s initiative.  Part 1 only recognizes targeted Ambassador Elite members, and only if they booked award stays during a certain time-frame (April 22 – July 31). Part 2 starts May 1, with no explicit end date, and it seems to target elite members in general rather than just Ambassador Elite members.  Short version: top tier Ambassador Elites may get a night of their stay rebated to them and an elevated amenity. Other targeted elites may get Marriott gift cards.

Part 1 (Targeted Ambassador Elite members only)

Date range: April 22 – July 31

Certain Ambassador Elite members with award stays between April 22 and July 31 will be targeted.  Those targeted will receive the following:

  1. A personalized letter from David Flueck, Senior Vice President of Global Loyalty, and the member’s personal Ambassador.
  2. One night of their stay free (the full points of one night will be refunded to their account)
  3. (at the hotel’s discretion) A local elevated amenity, e.g., a food or beverage specialty from the region or another local token.

Part 2 (Targeted Elite members only)

Date range: May 1 – ?

Certain elite members will receive an electronic Marriott gift card via email.  There is no information about how much value these will hold or how people will be targeted.

My Take

Marriott no doubt has more than a few disgruntled elite members who are feeling Bonvoyed.  I guess this will help in some cases, but I can just as easily see it backfire.  Imagine the top tier Ambassador Elites who learn about this and have award stays during the time-frame, but are not targeted and therefore not recognized in any way.  Or those that booked only paid stays during the eligible time frame.  Anyway, I think it is good that they are trying to do something, but I’ll be a bit surprised if they pull it off well.

Memo Contents

Keep in mind that the following memo was sent to hotels, not to Marriott customers:

April 2019

Our members mean the world to us. The 2019 Elite Thank You Gift initiative is a company-wide approach to showing our appreciation to our Marriott Bonvoy Elite members.

At your hotel, there are two parts to this approach:

From April 22 through July 31, this initiative will focus on targeted Ambassador Elite members at their upcoming redemption stays. You will be provided with and asked to print a personalized letter from David Flueck, Senior Vice President of Global Loyalty, and the member’s personal Ambassador, and to deliver that letter directly to the member. This letter will thank the member for their loyalty and let them know that Marriott Bonvoy will be treating them to one night of their redemption stay, crediting points for one night back to their account

  • Best Practice: Have the General Manager and/or Loyalty Champion deliver the letter to the Ambassador Elite member.
  • Take Note: Not all Ambassador Elite Redemption Stays will be targeted stays.

In addition to this letter, you’re encouraged to deliver a local elevated amenity, e.g., a food or beverage specialty from your region or another local token. We know you’ll have great ideas, so please share your pull-through approach by submitting pictures via the Marriott Bonvoy in Action submission form.

Beginning May 1, the Marriott Bonvoy team will continue to engage with targeted Elite members, recognizing them with a gift of an electronic Marriott gift card, good to redeem for a future on-property experience. Targeted members will receive these eGift Cards through email. You should follow your hotel’s existing processes to redeem Gift Cards.

FAQ Contents

I’m too lazy to re-type the whole FAQ, so what follows are the actual photos of the FAQ pages.  The part that has me giggling is in the second picture under the heading “What does elevated amenity mean?”  Part of the answer is: “You could contact your in-continent Food and Beverage and Operations leaders to determine what your hotel’s amenity offering should be.”  LOL, yes you always want the incontinent folks picking your food and beverage amenities.  They know best 🙂


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