According to Gary Leff over at View from the Wing, change is in the air for Marriott Rewards:
Rumored changes include:
- Cash and Points awards There will be a fixed redemption chart, the way that Starwood has, that discounts the number of points required for a standard room redemption. In other words they’ll offer ‘real’ cash and points, not what they currently call cash and points (“combining redemption nights and cash nights” in one reservation).
- Points sharing with no requirement that points are shared only with immediate family. It will cost $10 for base members and silvers, and will be free for Gold and Platinum members.
- Points Advance is something Marriott actually already offers now, but it will become a published benefit. You’ll be able to book awards that you don’t have enough points for, as long as you have the points prior to your stay.
- Reward nights will count towards elite status. Elite credit on redemptions that count towards status.
While these aren't revolutionary changes, and some are just formalizing common practice, they are largely positive changes. I'm especially grateful for Reward Nights counting towards elite status. Too bad expected implementation is for 2016 program year. Could really use that status count this year...