As recently pointed out in another discussion: with the new Marriott Preferred Guest program it is now possible to earn points for charges in the restaurants/bars affiliated with the Marriott hotels, even without having a room.
Here is how the terms & conditions explain it:
Marriott T&Cs wrote:
2. EARN POINTS
2.1 Earning Opportunities at Participating Properties
2.1.b. Qualifying Charges. “Qualifying Charges” are:
ii. Charges incurred by the Member, without a stay in a guest room, for food and beverage (excluding alcoholic beverage where prohibited by law) at restaurants located within or adjacent to Participating Properties that offer this benefit if:
A. the restaurant permits guests to charge food and beverages on their folios;
B. the charges are greater than $10 U.S. dollars (excluding taxes, service charges, and gratuities);
C. the food and beverages are not in connection with a banquet, meeting or other function that is excluded from Qualifying Charges as provided in Section 2.1.b.
and provided the Member provides his/her Membership Number at the time of payment. Elite bonus Points will not be awarded on charges incurred by the Member without a stay in a guest room under Section 2.1.b(ii).
So, last Thursday I had to set up an event at the Montreal Airport In-Terminal Marriott Hotel (YULMA), so my partner joined me at the end of the day to have some cocktails and food in the Bijoux resto-bar.
At the end of our evening, I passed my credit card and an old Marriott Rewards membership card (simply for the member#) to the waiter and mentioned that, since the new program came in effect, members would now have the possibility to earn points when not staying in a hotel room.
I was not surprised to hear from the waiter it was the first time anyone mentioned this to him and noted that there was another training session planned for personnel in the very-near future.
He took my cards and story to the manager of the restaurant, who probably contacted the hotel's front desk manager. But the end result was: "There is no way for us to enter this in the system." Basically, the whole fidelity program changed, but nothing changed in the front-end for the hotel properties.
To compensate, the waiter offered us another complimentary drink or desert. He got a big tip in return. Everybody happy.
He also gave us another copy of the bill, in case I wanted to give it to the front desk.
On our way out, I did pass by the front desk to let them know about this situation. The front desk associate at the Elite counter did recognize me from previous stays and interactions and did acknowledge that I seem to know more about the Rewards program than her.
She took my extra copy of the bill and my membership number. She promised to have her manager look into it. Reaction in 72h.
This morning I got a system message saying that the hotel deposited 1000 bonus points into my account, which should be very close to the exact number of points I would have gotten for the restaurant bill.
So, now, Marriott needs to figure this one out before the entire Marriott Preferred Guest community catches on to this new advantage. (Technically it was an advantage that already existed in SPG, it's just new for MR members.) Not sure if the communitymanagers know which "appropriate department" to poke to get the ball rolling?
Has anybody else tried out the new benefit? Any experiences?