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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, December 28, 2006

Marriott loyalty program points can be bought online

Bloomberg News Service

NEW YORK — Marriott International Inc., the biggest U.S. hotel operator, will allow members of its loyalty program to purchase points online.

Loyalty program members will be able to pay $10 for 1,000 points through a partnership with Toronto-based Points International Ltd., Marriott spokeswoman Laurie Goldstein said today. Previously guests had to call the company to buy points.

Points International offers a similar service to members of InterContinental Hotel Group Plc.'s rewards program as well as those of Delta Air Lines Inc. and AMR Corp.'s American Airlines. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., the world's third-largest hotel operator, also allows guests to purchase points.

Marriott, which operates and franchises hotels under the Ritz-Carlton and Residence Inn brands, has 2,600 properties in its rewards system and 24 million members.

The number of points needed for a room varies by the property type and location, with 7,500 points the minimum for a one-night stay at a motel such as the Fairfield Inn in smaller cities. For 35,000 points, guests can book a night at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa in Oahu, Hawaii.