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Marriott to offer free wi-fi in all hotels from January

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Marriott has joined the growing number of hotel chains which are throwing in the towel as far as charging for wi-fi goes.

From January 15th 2015, all Marriott Rewards members will receive free internet access when staying at any hotel in the Marriott family.  This includes Renaissance, JW Marriott, AC Hotels, Autograph, Courtyard, Edition, Fairfield Inn, Gaylord, Residence Inn, Ritz-Carlton, Springhill Suites and Towneplace Suites.

On the face of it, this is identical to the offer that IHG Rewards Club now offers to anyone staying at a Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza etc.  As Marriott Rewards membership is free, this deal is effectively open to all guests.

Marriott has added an additional ‘gotcha’ though.

As you can see from their website, you will only receive free internet if you booked your room directly with the hotel or through  Major corporate travel agencies will presumably also be included.

If you book your room via Expedia or another 3rd party travel agent, you will not receive free Wi-Fi.

This is a clever move by Marriott.  Base level Marriott members will now have to choose between booking on Expedia, etc and receiving (with Welcome Rewards points, or booking direct and receiving free wi-fi and Marriott Rewards points.

It is worth noting that the free internet offered to base level members will be of the super-slow variety.  You will have to pay a premium to receive a connection suitable for, for example, video streaming.  Gold and Platinum level members in Marriott Rewards will receive a free high speed connection.

More information can be found on the Marriott website here.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (June 2024)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 2nd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (18)

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  • Dave Stringer says:

    It’s not a clever move requiring direct bookings. I just won’t book Marriotts at all. Simples.

  • Think Square says:

    Seems Hilton are also joining the club. I’m in the Hilton EDI at the moment and there is free low-grade wifi for all guests. £9.99 for “premium access”, whatever that is. It’s unclear whether Gold and Diamond HH members can get premium for free.

  • Metatone says:

    IMO, any large hotel that doesn’t provide free basic (I’ll accept super slow) for free is just storing up bad will.

    I’m happy to pay more for faster internet, because video-conferencing etc. use the kind of bandwidth that costs money when multiplied by the number of rooms in a large hotel.

    But basic access is too much of a necessity for modern business for me to be happy about it being charged separately. Mind you, I’m a bit of a zealot in this regard. I also think free, safe drinking water should be mandatory.

  • James67 says:

    OT: just thought it worth mentioning here for benefit of those who missed it elsewhere that effective 1st January it will no longer be possible to cancel FLEXIBLE Hilton stays on day of arrival. Unless cancelled day before a one night penalty will apply.

    • Alan says:

      Do you think that will be a blanket policy or just specific to some properties? I know that in redemptions some of them have longer cancellation windows already.

      • James67 says:

        Seems to be blanket. They are discussing it over at FT. Suhgestion is they may later introduce same day cancellation for an extra fee…like internet for example!

        • Alan says:

          Thanks. Hardly ever used it but did occasionally cancel in the morning so a bit of a pain.

  • Frenske says:

    I must be staying in Super de Luxe hotels and B&B’s since I rarely have to pay for internet (sarcasm warning).

    • erico 1875 says:

      Yes, if you stay jn a tenner a night hostel you can get superfast broadband free but spend £200a night in a 5 star and they “cant afford” to give you anything other than slow FOC. weird

      • callum says:

        I don’t know what hostels you stay in, but I can’t say I would ever describe the wifi as “superfast” in any of the hostels I’ve visited!

        I do agree it’s rather odd though. I guess it’s because it’s a standard feature in hostels (with most small ones just sharing their domestic connection at no added cost to them) so they wouldn’t be able to get away with it otherwise.

  • Chris1922 says:

    In this day and age, wi fi should be free in ALL hotels. To have to pay for it, or to have sneaky wee exceptions and conditions, is quite frankly, pathetic.
    I often stay at Thistle Hotels in London. they have free wi fi. If smaller chains can do it, so can the huge ones.

  • RIccati says:

    Haven’t realised of the back of my mind that Renaissance and Ritz-Carlton are part of Marriott. Hotels markets in prime (or not so prime airport) locations look like oligopolies. Hotels can get away with any practice/charge that one-two of their neighbours are doing.

  • danksy says:

    Slightly O/T but at a recent stay booked at the doubletree at IAH, via I didn’t receive by HHonors Gold complimentary breakfast; I wasn’t told and ended up paying $26 for two cups of coffee and 4 slices of toast!

    • Alan says:

      Hmm I would have challenged that – although no points/stay credit you should still have received the status benefits.

      • danksy says:

        I did challenge it, but got nowhere! Taking it up with Hilton Customer Care now!

        • Alan says:

          I’d push them pretty hard – potentially a ‘Be My Guest’ certificate if you’re really lucky 😉 (free night at any Hilton) – Diamond Desk can be quite good at doing these!

    • Fenny says:

      I got charged for breakfast at the Hilton in Innsbruck, despite having paid a B&B rate and telling them that when they challenged me. They made me pay and I complained to Hilton Customer Care and got a refund. Problem was it was refunded in the next billing cycle, so I have a credit sitting on my Hilton CC until the next time I stay with them and pay on the card.

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