Following Hilton's announcement that it will offer Virgin Australia gold and platinum members free elite membership in its Hhonors loyalty program, Marriott says it will offer anyone who joins Marriott Rewards free internet until February 2013.
The offer is also open to existing members -- they just have to register for it.
The promotion confers Marriott Rewards Silver Elite status to anyone who joins or requests it -- a level usually only offered to people who have stayed for 10 nights in a Marriott hotel.
Other silver benefits include an extra 20% bonus on points earned during each stay, a special customer service line, priority access to late checkout and discounts on weekend room rates.
There is one catch: only hotels in the Asia Pacific region are covered by the free internet offer; elsewhere in the world, free internet is only available to Marriott Gold members, which requires guests to have stayed 50 nights at Marriott during the year.
Still, it's a great freebie for business travellers to Australia, China, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
It's an extension of an announcement made in May offering free internet in the Asia Pacific for Marriott Rewards members. This offer goes a step further, offering "silver elite" benefits to all members.
“Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region for Marriott Rewards, and we feel that complimentary high-speed internet access will make Marriott International hotels the first choice for business travellers,” said Marriott International’s President and Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Simon Cooper at the time.
“You can’t put a price on staying connected. So we don’t.”
If you're a gold or platinum Velocity Rewards frequent flyer with Virgin Australia, you can also currently get a status match with Hilton Hhonors, which provides free internet, along with other benefits such as free breakfast and room upgrades.