Still Golden

In break ups, you might lose perks you enjoyed.    Like when the person you are dating has a cousin who you really liked.  And who manages a club and can get you into the VIP Lounge.  You might not miss the person you were dating, but you miss their cousin.

When I broke up with United, I knew I was still in a good position.   I no longer needed them.  I gained lifetime gold status in return for over the million miles I have logged on the airline and their star alliance partners.   They were the ones that lost business.  I no longer had to fly with them.

But as I said in an earlier post, not all things were bad.  Lifetime Gold status led to a perk that I really do value, Gold Elite status on Marriott Rewards.

Marriott Rewards was recently named in US News Travel 2015-2016 best rewards hotel program.  There are 18 affiliated brands, from the high end Ritz-Carlton, to the more affordable Fairfield Inns.  

There are many things I enjoy about this program:

  • If you directly with Marriott website, there is a best rate guarantee.  If you find a better rate, they will match it and give you 25% off when you book at Marriott.com.  All the hotel programs require for you to book directly with them to get the points.  So with Marriott, not only are you getting a great rate, but your gaining points also.  No need to trade value of booking with cheap 3rd party sites for points.
  • The perks from Gold elite are nice, from free Wi-Fi, to early check in, late check out, to room upgrades.  I have taken advantage of this many times, and it really comes in handy.  I don’t have to rush out of rooms, and I don’t have to wait until 3 to check in.
  • Their executive lounge is really great.  From Hong Kong JW Marriott, to the Santa Clara Marriott, the food and service is fantastic.    I basically eat breakfast and dinner there.  (Their hors d’oeuvres in the cocktail hour is really dinner, they don’t skimp). There are also drinks and snacks available throughout the day.
  • The Marriott Brands have really nice hotels, more than 3,800 to chose from   
  • There are no blackout dates when redeeming free nights on standard rooms
  • Points can be redeemed for more than just hotel stays.   Flights and rental cars are eligible also

So I was able to break up with United without losing the best thing about being with them.  Marriott Rewards Gold Elite Status, you might be the cousin, but I’m glad we are still friends.

marriott 2
Seattle Marriott on the waterfront photo courtesy of Marriott Hotels

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