Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards members now get special members-only rates, which were rolled out earlier this month.
In order to get the special rates, you just have to book directly through one of Marriott’s official channels, which include websites like Marriott.com, RitzCarlton.com, their telephone reservations line, and their mobile apps.
Here’s the quick rundown from Marriott’s announcement –
A discount of at least 2% on weekdays and up to 5% on weekends can offer some good savings. If you aren’t a Marriott Rewards/Ritz-Carlton Rewards member, you should consider joining since it is free and sometimes the member rates will be better than AAA or AARP rates too.
Note that the member rate is not available at hotels in China, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, and the Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties.
Checking the random date of this coming Saturday April 16, 2016 in Napa, CA for the Fairfield Inn & Suites American Canyon, the rate came back on Marriott’s website at $219, with a members-only rate of $218.
When not logged in but still on Marriott’s website the AAA rate dropped down to $210.
Using Orbitz, the rate was higher at $229.
The reasoning behind the special rates isn’t too difficult to see. Marriott is hoping to get more members in their database, and get them used to booking directly through Marriott rather than an online 3rd party booking site like Orbitz or Rocketmiles. The thing is, though, that no booking site will consistently have the best price every time nor will members-only rates always be the best. I am glad to have the members-only rates, but advise for readers to look around before booking just in case they can find a better rate elsewhere.