August 18 is the kickoff date for Marriott International’s new rewards program for individual travelers. Throughout September, members enrolled in Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards will be assigned Marriott Rewards accounts, the new home for all of their points earned through the company’s many brands.
With much attention on hotels’ consumer-facing reward programs right now, it seems like a good time to revisit the meeting reward programs the major hotel chains have developed to thank groups for their business and keep them coming back. Many of the programs come with exclusions, caps, and other fine print, and some lack transparency about how points convert to hard dollar credit toward future meetings. But for those who persevere, points can be good way to shave a little off the bottom line.