Full Details Of Marriott’s New Loyalty Program

The wait is finally over — today we’re learning the details of Marriott’s new loyalty program!

Marriott’s takeover of Starwood closed in September 2016, and I was impressed that from day one they offered reciprocal points transfers and status matching, which we’ve never seen from a program of this size before. Today Marriott has revealed the full details of their new loyalty program, as they merge Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest, into a single loyalty program.

There’s a lot of information here, so let’s get right to it.

Short version of Marriott’s new program

I’m sure a lot of you will want to read every last detail, though let me start with a summary. The future loyalty program being offered by Marriott is pretty close to what I envisioned the best case scenario to be. I’m so relieved and thrilled, because I was expecting things to be a lot worse. Is the new program perfect? No. But I actually think it’s pretty close.

Here are some of the major things to expect (lots more details below):

  • There will be five elite tiers — Silver at 10 nights, Gold at 25 nights, Platinum at 50 nights, Platinum Premier at 75 nights, and Platinum Premier with Ambassador service at 100 nights plus $20,000 of spend
  • All Platinum members and above will receive complimentary suite upgrades subject to availability at all properties
  • Platinum members will receive five confirmed Suite Night Awards per year, and Platinum Premier members will receive a further five Suite Night awards per year
  • Breakfast is being expanded to Courtyards and to resorts, and the only brands that won’t offer free breakfast are EDITION, Gaylord, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Executive Apartments, and Marriott Vacation Club
  • Airline mileage transfers are here to stay at the current rates
  • The new lifetime status program is better than I was expecting, and no one should lose out too much here

That’s a very high level summary of what’s going on, so now we’ll take a deeper look at the program.

What Marriott announced today

Today Marriott has announced that they’re creating a single, unified loyalty program as of August 2018. With this, members will be able to earn and redeem points at all properties without having to transfer points, and will receive a unified set of elite benefits at all of these properties. Members will also make all bookings at marriott.com, which means that spg.com will no longer be used.

Furthermore, as of early 2019, Marriott will create a new name for their loyalty program, though that hasn’t yet been revealed.

New Marriott elite tiers

Going forward, Marriott will have five elite tiers, as follows:

  • Silver Elite: 10-24 nights
  • Gold Elite: 25-49 nights
  • Platinum Elite: 50-74 nights
  • Platinum Premier Elite: 75-99 nights
  • Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador service: 100+ nights plus $20,000 of qualifying spend

Essentially they’re maintaining qualifying tiers at all the levels that both Marriott and Starwood previously had.

I’d also note that going forward several co-branded credit cards will offer 15 elite qualifying nights per year just for having them (though this can’t be stacked, you can only earn a total of 15 nights per account per year). That means in conjunction with one of these cards, you only have to spend 35 nights per year at Marriott family properties to qualify for Platinum status. That’s quite attainable, especially when you consider Marriott’s footprint as the world’s largest hotel group.

For this year, Marriott will be matching elite tiers as follows:

As you can see, this is pretty generous for members this year, as many members will receive a higher tier than they have now. However, that’s only temporary, and valid for this year.

Furthermore, this year members can combine their elite qualifying nights across all three programs to qualify for status.

New Marriott elite benefits

So, what benefits can members can expect? Here are the perks by tier:

Silver Elite

  • 10% bonus points
  • Priority late check-out, subject to availability
  • Dedicated elite reservations line

Gold Elite

  • A 25% points bonus
  • 2PM late check-out, subject to availability
  • A welcome gift of points
  • A room upgrade subject to availability, excluding suites

Platinum Elite

  • A 50% points bonus
  • Guaranteed 4PM late check-out, except at resorts (where it’s subject to availability)
  • A welcome gift of points, breakfast, or an amenity
  • A room upgrade subject to availability, including suites
  • Executive lounge access
  • Annual Choice Benefit (5 Suite Night Awards or gift option)

Platinum Premier Elite

  • A 75% points bonus
  • A further annual Choice Benefit (5 Suite Night Awards or gift option)

Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador service

  • Ambassador service
  • Your24 (the ability to check-in and check-out over a 24 hour period, subject to availability)

To make things easier, here’s a chart comparing the elite benefits by tier:

The ability to select breakfast as the Platinum welcome amenity will be available at all brands except EDITION, Gaylord Palms, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Executive Apartments, and Marriott Vacation Club.

Most notably, Courtyards will offer Platinum members free breakfast, which wasn’t previously the case. Furthermore, going forward breakfast will be an option at resorts as well, which Marriott previously excluded.

Earning points with Marriott

When this new program is launched, all Starpoints will be converted into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio. Marriott claims that under the new program, members will be earning an average of 20% more points than before.

Members will earn 10 points per dollar spent with Marriott, so when you include elite bonuses:

  • Base members will earn 10 points per dollar
  • Silver members will earn 11 points per dollar
  • Gold members will earn 12.5 points per dollar
  • Platinum members will earn 15 points per dollar
  • Platinum Premier members will earn 17.5 points per dollar

As a point of comparison, previously with Marriott Rewards:

  • Base members earned 10 points per dollar
  • Silver members earned 12 points per dollar
  • Gold members earned 12.5 points per dollar
  • Platinum members earned points 15 points per dollar

Meanwhile with SPG:

  • Base members earned 2 Starpoints per dollar (6 Marriott Rewards points)
  • Gold & Platinum members earned 3 Starpoints per dollar spent (9 Marriott Rewards points)
  • Platinum 75 night members earned 4 Starpoints per dollar spent (12 Marriott Rewards points)

As you can see, for most Marriott Rewards members points earning is staying similar, while for SPG members we’re seeing a huge increase in points earning. As a 75+ night Platinum member with Starwood I’ll be earning 17.5 points per dollar spent rather than 12 points per dollar spent, which is nearly a 50% increase in points earning.

Here’s a chart comparing the earning rates across programs before and after:

Redeeming points with Marriott

Marriott will on average award 20% more points (most of which are going to SPG members), so what’s the catch? Is there going to be a huge award chart devaluation? Actually, no.

As of August 1, there will be a new award chart used for all hotels, with Categories 1-8. For the remainder of 2018, all hotels will have “standard” pricing, while starting in 2019 we’ll see both “off-peak” and “peak” pricing added, meaning that a given hotel can up to three levels of award pricing.

Here’s the new Marriott Rewards redemption chart (Marriott will continue to offer fifth night free redemptions, as before):

How does this compare to the current charts?

Right now Marriott Rewards charges the following number of points:

  • Category 1: 7,500 points
  • Category 2: 10,000 points
  • Category 3: 15,000 points
  • Category 4: 20,000 points
  • Category 5: 25,000 points
  • Category 6: 30,000 points
  • Category 7: 35,000 points
  • Category 8: 40,000 points
  • Category 9: 45,000 points

Ritz-Carlton Rewards charges the following number of points:

  • Tier 1: 30,000 points
  • Tier 2: 40,000 points
  • Tier 3: 50,000 points
  • Tier 4: 60,000 points
  • Tier 5: 70,000 points

Starwood Preferred Guest charges the following number of points (adjusted for the 1:3 transfer ratio):

  • Category 1: 6,000-9,000 points
  • Category 2: 9,000-12,000 points
  • Category 3: 21,000 points
  • Category 4: 30,000 points
  • Category 5: 36,000-48,000 points
  • Category 6: 60,000-75,000 points
  • Category 7: 90,000-105,000 points

Perception of pricing probably varies depending on which program you’re coming from. From the perspective of an SPG member, the pricing is excellent, especially when you take into account that you’ll be earning lots more points under the new program.

From the perspective of Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards, we’re potentially seeing some price increases, though in most cases they shouldn’t be too bad.

I think the big question will be which hotels will belong in which categories. Marriott is known for their annual award category changes, where we see more and more hotels get into higher categories. We’ll have to see which hotels go in which categories here. Hopefully all Category 9 Marriott Rewards properties don’t become Category 8 properties in the new program, since that would represent a 100% price increase in some cases. Instead, I hope that category is used primarily for select Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis properties.

Converting hotel points into airline miles

Starwood’s current mileage transfer option is here to stay. Going forward, you can convert Marriott Rewards points into airline miles at a 3:1 ratio, with a 15,000 point bonus for every 60,000 points transferred. This means that for all practical purposes, mileage transfer rates are staying the same (you used to be able to convert 20,000 Starpoints into 25,000 airline miles), which is fantastic news.

Marriott Hotel + Air Packages are also here to stay. However, I’m told that pricing on some of those packages may be changing in the near future, though the details of those changes haven’t yet been revealed.

New lifetime Marriott status rules

One of the things I’ve been concerned about is what happens with lifetime status going forward. This is something that personally impacts me, given that I’m pretty close to reaching SPG lifetime Platinum.

Under the new program, the thresholds to reach lifetime elite status will be as follows:

  • Lifetime Silver Elite: 250 lifetime nights plus five years of elite status
  • Lifetime Gold Elite: 400 lifetime nights plus seven years of Gold Elite status or higher
  • Lifetime Platinum Elite: 600 lifetime nights plus 10 years of Platinum Elite status

Going forward there will be no opportunity to earn lifetime Platinum Premier or above, and lifetime Platinum members won’t receive the Choice Benefit, which includes Suite Night Awards. Furthermore, elite qualifying nights and status across all programs will be combined to calculate lifetime status.

How does this work for existing lifetime elite members?

  • Lifetime SPG Gold members will become lifetime Marriott Gold members
  • Lifetime SPG Platinum members will become lifetime Marriott Platinum members
  • Lifetime Marriott Gold members will become lifetime Marriott Platinum members
  • Lifetime Marriott Platinum members will be grandfathered as lifetime Marriott Platinum Premier members (a lifetime status that can’t be earned going forward)

I actually think that last point is extremely fair. Marriott Gold was significantly tougher to qualify for than SPG Gold, and also always included free breakfast and room upgrades. The requirement for the new Platinum tier is equivalent to the old requirement for the Gold tier, so it’s only fair that they’re offering those members lifetime Platinum.

Personally I feel good about this. I’m at eight years of Platinum with Starwood and about 550 nights, and I was worried this merger would screw up my prospects of getting lifetime Platinum status. That’s not the case at all, as I’ll be earning it at the same time.

New Marriott credit cards

Late last year we learned the basic details of the future credit card agreement for Marriott, and specifically how both American Express and Chase will be issuing Marriott credit cards in the future:

  • Amex will offer super premium and small business cards
  • Chase will offer mass consumer and premium consumer cards

So, what can we expect?

On May 3, the new Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card will be introduced. The card will have a $95 annual fee and will offer:

  • 6x Marriott Rewards points per dollar spent at participating properties and 2x points per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • An anniversary free night certificate valid at any property retailing for up to 35,000 points per night
  • 15 elite qualifying nights towards status annually

Then in August, the new SPG American Express Luxury Card will be introduced. The card will have a $450 annual fee and will offer:

  • 6x points per dollar spent at participating hotels, 3x points per dollar spent on airfare and U.S. restaurants, and 2x points per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • A $300 annual statement credit for on-property purchases
  • An anniversary free night certificate valid at any property retailing for up to 50,000 points per night
  • Automatic Gold status
  • Platinum status when you spend $75,000 on the card in a year
  • A Priority Pass Select membership
  • A $100 Global Entry fee credit

That’s quite compelling, not for the return on everyday spend (which is worse than before), but rather for the $300 statement credit, Gold status, free night certificate valid at a property retailing for up to 50,000 points per night, and potential to earn Platinum status.

My thoughts on the new Marriott program

I’m breathing a big sigh of relief, and I’m so impressed here. This is pretty close to being the best possible scenario I could have envisioned.

Marriott is now the world’s largest hotel group, and in particular Marriott Rewards has a ton of super frequent guests, so I knew it would be a challenge to build a combined program. I had low expectations coming in, and this exceeds those expectations by a long shot.

Let’s start with the negatives. I’m disappointed that Marriott still isn’t offering breakfast at EDITION and Ritz-Carlton. C’mon, that’s just ridiculous. On principle I’ll be doing everything I can to avoid these properties, as they don’t deserve the revenue for their stinginess. Clearly they don’t value their company’s loyal guests, and I’ll make sure the feeling is mutual. That’s about the only complaint I have, though.

50 elite qualifying nights (which is really 35 nights if you have a co-branded credit card) gets you Platinum status with guaranteed late check-out, upgrades to the best rooms including standard suites, confirmed suite upgrades for five nights per year, and lounge access. This is on par with SPG Platinum benefits, and an improvement for Marriott Platinum members.

Points earning potential looks quite good under the program, and redemption rates seem fair. Airline mileage transfers are even sticking around in their current form, which is great news.

The $20,000 spend requirement for Ambassador is steep. It requires 100 elite qualifying nights, though when you factor in the 15 elite qualifying nights from a credit card, that’s just 85 nights. Let’s assume the average person has 10 award nights per year, meaning you really only spend 75 revenue nights per year with Marriott. That means you’d have to spend an average of nearly $270 per night pre-tax.

That’s steep, though I can also understand why they feel like they had to add a further requirement. There are tons of Marriott Rewards members who spend 100+ nights per year at limited service Marriotts and probably aren’t terribly high revenue. If Marriott wants to provide a proper, worthwhile Ambassador service going forward, I can see why they’d need to thin out the ranks a bit.

All things considered, well done, Marriott! As a Starwood guy, I didn’t think I’d be this pleased with the new program.

What do you make of Marriott’s new loyalty program?


  1. I am trying to earn SPG Platinum this year based on stays. I am almost halfway there but dont think I will make it before this August unification. Any thoughts? Should I give up this strategy?

  2. I know other people will have a lot more in depth of a perspective but for me it seems like Starwood hotel redemptions have finally come on my radar

  3. “This year you can still qualify based on the old requirements, so earning 25 elite qualifying nights as an SPG elite will still earn you Platinum…”

    @Lucky, I think you mean earning 25 qualifying **stays** in calendar 2018 will still earn you Platinum for 2019.

  4. Any news on the current SPG AMEX?

    Also, any benefits from the AMEX Platinum in the new program.

    Thanks for this great summary.

  5. @ nikdro — Yep, as of now that will continue to be a benefit, and Marriott’s partnership with United is also remaining intact.

  6. @ ! — For now you can still earn Platinum status through spend on that card, though it’s my understanding that this card will be discontinued at some point in the not too distant future, so I wouldn’t count on that working next year and beyond.

  7. I have an existing 7-night cat 1-5 cert with Marriott. Will I be able to redeem it at the “new” cat 5 hotels? If yes, it’s an upgrade! Any info on this?

  8. @ Joseph M Bui — For now yes, and existing cardmembers should eventually have their cards converted to something for the combined program.

  9. @ Daniel — Nothing to report as of now on the existing SPG Amex Cards, other than that they’ll earn 15 elite qualifying nights towards status with the new program starting next year. The Amex Platinum continues to offer SPG Gold status, which will be Marriott Gold status through this change.

  10. Am I right in thinking under the old system Gold level received exec lounge access/breakfast and no longer will? In such a case I am definitely not ‘thrilled’ with the new scheme.

  11. So my current gold status benefits of lounge access at MARRIOT is going away? Not sure i see any real benefits of gold status. What am i missing. Room upgrades are rare for most of us even when i was a platinum

  12. I was wondering the same thing about AMEX Platinum. We still get Gold with Hilton and other perks that still might make it useful BUT the SPG Gold and in turn, Marriott Gold was nice to have.

  13. Ben, any idea if you can still get credit for up to 3 rooms per night if they are all booked under your name like under SPG?

  14. Thanks for this, really useful.

    Any word on any changes there might be to purchases of Marriott points? Currently I find them to be pretty poor value, whereas starrpoints are reasonably good value, especially when there are offers on.


  15. @ Quinten — On the surface that’s the case, though in reality the qualification criteria for Marriott Platinum going forward are the same as Marriott Gold in the past, so for those actually earning the status, it’s a huge upgrade in terms of perks.

  16. I have a particular redemption in mind… hoping I can get the points and book it under the current rules because I don’t see the SPG Fifth Night Free mentioned, and the property I have in mind is in Hawaii and likely only to get more expensive under the new chart.

  17. @quinten. Yup you nailed it. I am platinum but will be dropping to gold next year. Sucks

  18. @ Charlie — I don’t think they’re that far along in the process yet that they’ve made any decisions there. If I were a betting man, I’d say that it’s likely they’ll increase their points promotions going forward to match what Starwood used to do.

  19. Marriott gold not being matched to new platinum elite is a real letdown though…
    that means no lounge access no 4pm check out

  20. @ DP81 — That’s a great question. Marriott lets you earn points for three rooms, but not elite credits for three rooms, historically. Since they’re using Marriott’s technology, I suspect that may prevail. Let me see if I can get an answer there (though I may only have one by tomorrow).

  21. @ Deby — Correct, Gold status is being devalued, but only in name, really. If you actually earn 50 elite qualifying nights per year with Marriott (which was the old Gold requirement) then your benefits are being improved.

  22. Lucky – there is no way to get the new Platinum status through cards, right? Many people probably were getting the old Gold (which included lounges, late checkout, etc) via credit card. Now, those people will actually need to do 50 nights in a hotel bed, which will be harder for some. That’s probably the biggest “devaluation” I see so far. Otherwise pretty good

  23. @ Duck Ling — Correct, Gold members receive fewer benefits than before, and that’s because the new Platinum has the same qualification requirements as the old Gold. This certainly negatively impacts those who earned Gold with the Amex Plat or through United RewardsPlus, but that’s the extent of it.

  24. Also wondering how the Chase Ritz CC will come into play here. Still possible to spend your way to Platinum status?

  25. what about the gold status that we get from the AMEX platinum card? is that going away?

  26. Any idea if they will continue to permit non-resident customers to earn points for dining at hotel restaurants like SPG does currently?

  27. @ Peer — No, they’ll continue to receive Gold. I think that’s quite intentional here. There are way too many Marriott elites, so they needed to thin the ranks a bit.

  28. Any idea if you will still earn nights based on credit card spend? Currently you earn 1 night for each $3k spent on Chase card. That’s a big help when you’re close.

  29. @ Anthony — Indeed, people will need to earn 50 elite qualifying nights, though 15 of those can be earned with a credit card, meaning you really only need 35 nights.

    As of now the Ritz-Carlton Credit Card offers Platinum status when you spend $75,000 in a year, though that may change in the future. That’s the only way to earn Platinum status through spend.

  30. Am I missing something? with the new credit cards, This looks like a huge devaluation of my day to day spend on my SPG Amex. From the equivalent of 3 marriott points (1spg) down to 2

  31. So are Suite Night Awards like the old SPG version or are they something more like Hyatt upgrades with earlier clearing (and/or being valid per stay rather than per night)?

    And is Marriott brands lounge access expanding to resorts? That would be the only other downside that wasn’t in place before.

    Overall this is probably about the best that could have been hoped for and looks a lot more like SPG than like Marriott.

  32. This sucks.

    I’ve attained Marriott Gold many years, and was tracking to lifetime Gold in perhaps 3 years. Only 2 years as a Marriott Platinum, however, each time through challenges.

    I’ll get lifetime gold much sooner now – like immediately, but that under the new program, gold is not worth a bucket of warm piss. Needing 10 years of platinum (essentially equal to gold now) is going to take me years to attain unless they recognize my previous years as gold as functionally equivalent (50 nights) to the new platinum.

  33. Just for clarity: when they say airline partners aren’t changing, both the current Starwood airline partners and the Marriott Rewards airline partners will continue to remain (meaning that it’s not just Marriott’s current airline partners that the points can continue to be redeemed for)?

  34. @ MJ — Yep, for credit card spend it’s a devaluation indeed. It’s no longer valuable to use this card for everyday spend. However, it’s better than the old Marriott cards, which just offered one point per dollar spent.

  35. Any thoughts on what qualifies for “in property spend? IMO The $300 credit is either a good deal, as it means th fee is really only $55 more than the Chase card, or a crap one depending upon how that’s defined.

  36. Terrible news for me. I usually get SPG Platinum by staying 25 nights of 1 night each so 25 stays. Now I need 50 nights. Thus I will only make Gold with no lounge access. Bad, really bad.

  37. Looks like we’ll be able to combine Marriott and SPG nights into 2019 qualifications… that’s big news, and means I won’t be restricting my stays to one brand any more – but it would have been good to know of Jan 1st.

  38. Before they throw the switch, are they going to combine points and nights from both programs to award lifetime status under the OLD program?

    I ask as I would have already qualified for LT gold under MR if I had not started staying at Starwoods mostly after the merger closed.

    If they do combine nights under the old programs first, and I become LT gold, I would map to LT plat under the new program. If they don’t, it will take me FIVE more years to get LT plat under the new rules.

  39. @ Wassim Hamade — You’ll continue to receive Gold status, it just won’t be quite as valuable as in the past.

  40. @ Stefan — That’s correct, though the new Marriott Platinum has the same nights requirement as the old Marriott Gold, so it’s only those being comped Gold status who are at a disadvantage here.

  41. @ Andy — As of now it is the only way to earn Platinum through spend. Am seeking clarification on the future of that card, so stay tuned.

  42. @ Sean M. — Will ask them that question, hadn’t thought of that. Hope to have an answer soon!

  43. This is terrible for people like me who push stays to Marriott because of the Amex Plat SPG/Marriott Gold status and the lounge access, breakfast, etc. Was planning to get Hilton Aspire anyway (mainly for an upcoming resort trip), so I guess I will go with Hilton more when I have a choice. Will keep the 2 Marriott Visas as long as I can use the free room each year, but for the casual travelers, this stinks. Probably a good business decision though.

  44. If I get SPG Gold through Amex spend, should I aim for spending $30k before August 1st, so I can have Marriott Platinum through next year?

  45. Ben,

    A few questions, whether you can answer with hard facts, or just your opinion:

    1) What will come of those of us who currently have a SPG Amex (consumer) card? Will we be converted to Chase? Will we be kept with Amex on some kind of grandfathered-in basis?

    2) In the perks of the new credit cards, you mention anniversary nights at properties “retailing for up to…” points per night. What pricing tier does “retailing” refer to? Off-peak, standard, or peak? Or will this entirely depend on the pricing at the time I want to use it?

    For example, if I get the $450 AF version of the SPG Amex when it comes out, and my free night can “retail” for up to 50,000 points, does that mean I have my choice between off-peak Category 7 and standard Category 6?

    3) Will the Amex Platinum continue to offer automatic Gold Elite status?

    Well-written article. Thanks!

  46. @ Denise — They won’t offer that anymore. You’ll get a flat 15 elite qualifying nights with select credit cards, but no more elite credits for $3,000 of incremental spend.

  47. Hey Ben, any insight on the SPG Business card receiving lounge access at Sheraton hotels still? I assume no change?

  48. When do these changes take effect?

    AMEX Platinum Card should at least…give us Platinum in the new program.

  49. @ Bgriff — It’s my understanding that they’ll work the same as with Starwood. And yes, Marriott lounge access should be expanded to resorts as well, as far as I know.

  50. so if I understand correct….my 5 night St Regis Deer Valley reservation will go from 35k SPG points in today’s value (or 140k total with 5th night free) to 60k per night in the new (or 240k total w/ 5th night free in new value). If I am correct my cost drops to equivalent of 80k SPG points in todays value?

  51. @Lucky, “Then in August, the new SPG American Express Luxury Card will be introduced. The card will have a $450 annual fee and will offer:
    •6x points per dollar spent at participating hotels, 3x points per dollar spent on airfare and U.S. restaurants, and 2x points per dollar spent on all other purchases.”
    Since this will take place in Aug, this would fall under the single points system under Marriott right? (eg. 6x is really 2x at current SPG)?

  52. @ Tigris23 — All points are being converted as of August, so that will be the points value after they’re converted. So that’s only the equivalent of two-thirds of a point on everyday spend.

  53. Confused about transfer partners. Will SPG points automatically be converted to Marriott? Should we plan on burning through these (or converting to those airlines that are unique transfer partners to SPG . . .) before August?

  54. Big devaluation to Marriott Gold. Amex Platinums are now best off taking advantage of Hilton Gold. Really a shame, was booking Marriott more because of the matched SPG tier but that won’t continue.

  55. Don’t really have a dog in this fight as a Hilton diamond but seems Amex plat golds took a hit. Side note: Amex really needs to start doing something other than throwing random crap on the wall. They have been largely neutered over the past decade. Maybe they will. Who knows?

    Anyways….All in all I agree though it seems fairly positive.

    Not really sure why they even kept silver though. Seems to be too many levels. Just move gold to silver and call it a day.

  56. @ Jamie — They made a couple of changes here last minute, so let me try to clarify with them, because I’m not sure if they’re really not doing any Category 8 this year, or what. Also, it looks like they may have eliminated the fifth night free. Hope to have clarification shortly.

  57. For the 2019 award chart. Does that mean for stays booked in 2019 (and thus that happen 2019 and beyond)? Or stays that happen in 2019, but booked between 8/1/18 and 12/31/18?

  58. @ CR — They take place as of August 1. I can appreciate that those with an Amex Plat and RewardsPlus aren’t happy. However, I also think we have to be realistic here. Marriott has a huge number of elites to begin with, so if they offered everyone Platinum status then no one would ever see upgrades.

  59. Gary at VFTW reports a 4th lifetime elite year, LT Prem Plat, that some will be grandfatheted into. (No newly eligible ones though). You don’t mention that, is that something you can’t corroborate?

  60. So existing Cat 1-5 reward certificates issued with a travel package are receiving a huge upgrade.

  61. @ Hunter — Sorry, I’m not sure I follow? SPG Gold doesn’t convert into Marriott Platinum, but rather Marriott Gold.

  62. “Furthermore, elite qualifying nights and status across all programs will be combined to calculate lifetime status.”

    So, does that mean that the status match between Marriott and SPG will count as 2 years Gold or Platinum, depending on what your match level was? 😉 If so, I should be close to Lifetime Plat, with my years at Marriott before I switched to SPG.

  63. So someone who has Marriott gold via Starwood status match will not be given Marriott plat elite from August?

  64. Thanks for the info Lucky.

    So do we know yet what is happening to the current SPG Amex? Is there any chance it will continue to be available for people who already have it, or is it definitely going away?

  65. I spend big on cards each month… the card spend is a loser… 2 points per regular $ = UGH

    Current AMEX SPG = $100K spend = 100K SPG (5 x Cat 6)

    New Deal

    AMEX SPG Luxury Card – $100K Spend = 200K Marriott = ( 4 x Cat 6)

    So I lose a night on the new plan per $100K in spend… sad….

    Chase via UR to Hyatt is much better deal for higher end properties.

  66. So, Marriott Rewards Elite Gold Tier will become Platinum Elite, but SPG Gold will only become Gold Elite?

    So what happens if we have Marriott Rewards Gold Status by virtue of SPG Gold via the AMEX Platinum card? I assume we will become Platinum Elite and get the higher benefit????

  67. @ Mike — Great questions!

    1) The short answer is that we don’t know. Existing cardmembers will continue to have access to some product, though it’s anyone’s guess if Chase ends up buying the portfolio, or if they just continue honoring the benefits for existing cardmembers. Hopefully we’ll know more soon.
    2) It depends entirely on the pricing at the time you want to use it, so for that night it has to retail for less than the specified number of points.
    3) Yep, it will, at least for now. No changes have been announced there.

  68. @ CR — Marriott lifetime Gold becomes Marriott lifetime Platinum. Marriott Gold as such doesn’t become Marriott Platinum. My point was that the qualification requirements for the old Gold are very similar to the new Platinum, for those who earn status through stays.

  69. @Lucky. Thank you for the prompt and very detailed post! Great relief to know that my present Lifetime Gold will convert into the new Lifetime Platinum getting me lounge access.

  70. @ Rick — Agreed, this makes the SPG Amex (or any associated card) significantly less compelling for everyday spend.

  71. what about multiple rooms booking?
    1) How many of them get points? ( up to 3?)
    2) How many of them get benefits (only 1?)
    3) How many of them are counted as qualifying nights ( Marriott is 1; SPG is up to 3)

  72. @ Bgriff — Working on getting the details right now, but it should continue to be around in some form for those who already have it. However, I imagine the perks would match the new ones.

  73. @Anthony @ Lucky

    I am currently a Marriott Gold based on spending $10000 in 2017 on my Ritz Carlton Card. I have read the Marriott press release and I believe that if you are currently a Marriott Gold Elite then in August you will become a Platinum Elite for the remainder of 2018.

  74. @ Jeff R — Hah, if only! Though who knows, maybe they won’t have great technology and that will happen. 😉

  75. What about Marriott points transfers to United? Do you think those will get a slightly better rate like 2.5:1 and bonus 25% cause of RewardsPlus or will they go to 3:1 or even worse, the comparable SPG rate?

  76. On the “What’s new?” page for Marriott Rewards, it says that Marriott Gold this year will convert to Marriot Platinum in August. Because SPG Gold currently matches to Marriott Gold, wouldn’t you want to spend $30k on the credit card before August 1st so that you can be matched to New Marriott Platinum in August?

  77. @ Dan — It’s based on when you book. I suspect they haven’t come up with the dates yet for each of those categories.

  78. What’s that I hear? Amex plats running to Hilton? So we can hear them bi@&$ even more about the useless points etc.

    Thank god hilton is the market leader (delta) of the hotel loyalty. If this were AA they’d do whatever the other big 2 did starting next month.

  79. Lucky, your point that Gold status is only being devalued by name, because number of stays for old Gold and new Platinum is the same, is irrelevant and thus wrong.

    Gold status was THE status level that was not mostly being earned by staying at hotel. More than any other status level, Gold status was earned by holding a credit card. How can that help a Gold member who earned her status by holding a credit card, that the number of stays for new Platinum is the same as the old Gold?

    Again those who earned Gold status by holding a credit card are not a small fraction of people who should be talked about in a side note. If you were in the position of selecting between writing about those who earned the Gold status by staying at hotel, and those who earned it by holding a credit card, you should have selected the latter to write about. Instead you have written your post and replied to comments without acknowledging the latter group even exists.

    Changes that Marriott announced to its Rewards program is a huge devaluation to a large group of credit card holders.

  80. Any idea what will become of the SPG “Preferred Guest Plus” benefits currently given to Delta elites?

  81. @MJ
    Based on this link: http://credit-cards.marriott.com/en-us/starwood-preferred-guest-us/terms-personal

    Effective 8/1/2018
    SPG® announced changes to its loyalty program beginning August 1, 2018. At the time of the program change, the Starpoint balance in a loyalty member account will convert to points at a 1:3 ratio (one Starpoint will convert to three points). The number of points needed to redeem in the loyalty program will also have corresponding changes. Visit members.marriott.com for details.

    Beginning August 1, 2018, you will receive 2 points for each U.S. dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

    I’m pretty sure this means that instead of $1 spent on the SPG AMEX earning 3 Marriott Rewards points, it now means we’re earning 2 Marriott Rewards now…

    This is horrible.

  82. Lucky, when will the 5 night suite upgrades be issued to current platinums? August? What about for 2019? Thanks!

  83. I have 238 nights with SPG, almost there for lifetime Gold. I have a little over 500 nights with Marriott but only 1.1 million points, so about half a million points short of lifetime Gold. Under this new program, if I have 10 years of platinum status (is that combining Marriott and SPG years?), I would become lifetime Plat instantly?

  84. Thanks for clarifying @Lucky! Much appreciated.

    I think what is throwing people off is on the MR “whats new site” (https://members.marriott.com/marriottrewards/) is “rewards elite tier today” for Gold Elite translates to Platinum Elite come August. (the table just above the lifetime tiers).

    I’m probably totally misinterpreting this and missing something…

  85. Same question as DP81. Unable to dig out info regarding elite night credit for 3 rooms booked under one member’s name. I’ve been a platinum ambassador for a few years now but I’m able to reach 125+ night’s only because most of my stays are with family or friends and hence include 2-3 rooms. If the Marriott conditions prevail, then I know a lot of Platinum Ambassadors will be really unhappy, like myself, as reaching 100+ nights will become more difficult !

  86. @ Beachfan — Wasn’t aware of that detail, but I’ve verified that this is indeed correct. Updating the post now to reflect that. Thanks!

  87. Any word on whats happening with the current Marriott Business Credit Card from Chase? I’ve had all the other SPG/Marriott cards except for this one…..should I apply for this now?

  88. On the Marriott website it says current Gold members will transfer to Platinum in August. So does this mean by having Gold through the Amex benefit one can expect to be Platinum through the end of the year once the new program launches?

  89. Hi, Two questions if anyone has seen this: (I’m SPG Gold FWIW)

    1. 5th Night Free – Didn’t see this mentioned, is it staying or going as a feature?
    2. Award nights counting towards status – Same as above, staying or going?

  90. Thanks for posting- hopefully your’e thinking of some follow up posts:
    – credit cards? What to do? Should we cancel the AMEX SPG cards so we can apply for and get bonuses for the new cards?
    -award bookings, mainly from the SPG side, should we book what we can before Aug 1, and then see if the new awards will be a better value, and rebook if necessary?

    Overall I can’t say I’m too upset about the changes, but wish it was all effective January 1, instead of mid-year. For some reason it just seems cleaner to flash cut then, versus August.

  91. Will current elite benefits continue to be honored after Aug 1 (eg. breakfast/lounge for Golds) til feb/mar 2019? or do the new elite levels already kick in on Aug 1 and existing elites will somehow be matched to their new levels?

  92. “you used to be able to convert 20,000 Starpoints into 25 airline miles”

    I think you mean 25,000 airline miles.

  93. Interested in hearing new strategies for achieving the new Platinum Status. (50 night).
    It sounds like the max one can earn from getting even the new fancy credit card is gold which is worthless for me as I’m interested in lounge access and breakfast.
    I’m a little confused as to how many nights in a bed I’d need to get platinum 50 after maxing out credit card nights. How will the new credit cards factor in to this strategy?
    I’m a 75 night platinum night now (thanks to double dipping from my marriott and personal and biz cards) and my upgrades have always been minimal and I doubt that will change so I’m not going to worry so much about that.
    I’m liking the changes to lifetime but have no idea how close I am. I hope they post soon our individual stats as to progress towards this.

  94. I’m an SPG gold (thanks to SPG credit card); guess I’ll go back to Hiltons unless I stay at a Residence Inn… meh

  95. I’m glad your happy about this. As a marriott gold for years I basically just got totally screwed. I don’t really see a reason to keep my amex plat card anymore and I don’t really see a reason to stay at marriott anymore if I will no longer be able to get lounge access. As it was anytime I had a paid stay I would look to stay with marriott because of the gold benefits. Now I will just look at hilton or even hyatt with a prive booking instead. the award costs have gone up significantly as well for aspirational properties. The new chase marriott cards going to be subject to 5/24?

  96. So if I end 2018 with 25 nights with Marriott and 25 nights with SPG, do they combine and I qualify for Platinum? Or is qualification for this year still separate even though the combined program launches in August?

  97. @ Tom — Going forward you can earn 15 elite qualifying nights per year by having one of several co-branded credit cards, so at a minimum you’ll have to spend 35 nights in Marriott beds to earn Platinum status. Historically the Ritz-Carlton Card lets you earn Platinum status through spend, though I’d guess that benefit is being eliminated in the future, probably as of next year (I’m working on getting official confirmation on that).

  98. @ Rick — As of August 1 members will be matched to new elite levels, so the corresponding benefits of new status will apply.

  99. I’m bit disappointed in the lifetime status tiers. I’m about 100k points away from Marriott Lifetime Platinum (new Platinum Premier 75 nights) but now it looks like there’s no point in trying. I’m well past the qualifications for the new lifetime plat (400 nights and 7 years) so whats the point? Also, new lifetime platinums don’t get suite night awards either? This is a big middle finger as far as I’m concerned.

    The only thing I can figure out is that SPG must not have a way to track lifetime points like Marriott does so there was no way to make a true apples to apples combination. So they stripped out the points required for lifetime status and simplified it.

    Another way to think about this… if you were Marriott Lifetime Platinum today (750 lifetime nights plus 2M points) then you basically just got downgraded to the current equivalent of Gold except they’re letting you keep the platinum title.

  100. “Will current elite benefits continue to be honored after Aug 1 (eg. breakfast/lounge for Golds) til feb/mar 2019? or do the new elite levels already kick in on Aug 1 and existing elites will somehow be matched to their new levels?”

    – Yes can we get a definitive answer on this? I have travel planned in August and if my gold benefits aren’t going to get me lounge access I need to look at other hotel chains to book.

  101. I don’t necessarily agree this is great news for spg members, just look at the standard and peak redemption rates for cat 2 and higher. Lucky, your posts also omits mention of welcome points and green choice, which was excellent in earning starpoints. Will these be kept? Currently plats would need to earn 1500 MR to keep the old SPG welcome, most Marriotts offer far less. We have seen miserable promotions as well under Mariott. Yes, but it could have been much worse.

  102. @ Dave — Award nights will continue to count towards status, and fifth night free remains as well (I’ve just confirmed).

  103. Lucky,

    Did Marriott comment on the AMEX MR to SPG transfer ratio (3:1) changing?

    If so, to what?

    Go Gators!

  104. @ CR — Even though I was briefed on this, I wasn’t told of that part, and wasn’t aware of it. See it now, my apologies! You guys are absolutely correct, and I’ve updated the post to reflect that. So to clarify, existing Marriott Rewards Gold members will become Platinum members for the remainder of the year, though next year would need to qualify for status as usual. Sorry again for the confusion.

  105. So does the Annual Choice Benefit (5 Suite Night Awards or gift option) kick in August 1st or March 1, 2019?


  106. I think this is awesome !! Does it mean I can stay in spg or marriott properties until August (after which they will be merged) ? Or do I still have to choose a single loyalty program this year to gain status ?

  107. @ Nerc — They will be combining the nights and years, though one thing I’m not sure of is if you can count the same year twice if you have status with both programs. Adding that to my (long) list of questions for them. So many excellent technical questions.

  108. @ hustlehard2 — They’ll be issued on August 1, I believe. Historically Starwood has issued them as you qualify for status, so I would guess they’ll use a similar system, though we’ll see.

  109. @ Nitin — Technically you’ll have to earn points with one program or the other until August, though it shouldn’t matter since the elite nights will be combined at the end of the year, so really you can start staying wherever you want.

  110. Another interesting question. I have the amex spg card and so have the 5 night credit. If i get the amex luxury card, will I get entire 15 night credit or just 10 night credit ?

  111. In the T&C of the new Amex card, it says you can earn Platinum through $75,000 of annual spend. So I assume this benefit will remain on the Ritz card, too.

  112. @Nitin – all cards will offer 15 elite qualifying nights going forward. And you cannot earn more, even if you hold multiple cards, such as a personal or business card.

  113. I think you made 3 big mistakes:

    1. Breakfast is not guaranteed at resorts, unless you choose it as a check-in amenity.
    2. I think if I read the American Express terms right, you can collect 15 nights per AmEx card unlike the Chase cards, where the 15 nights is capped at one per member.
    3. I don’t see any Marriott terms to support which brands are excluded from some benefits so I’m not sure I get breakfast at Courtyard. Where does it say that?

    As for my comments:
    1. The dynamic pricing sucks. I hope people push back. We know the games Hyatt has played where hotels are never available for points bookings. 100,000 points per night? That’s outrageous. What time of the year will a hotel in Paris be off-peak? January? Almost every hotel in Paris or London is already a category 7 or 8. Heck, even Courtyard properties or airport Marriotts in North American can be category 6 or 7.
    2. I would have liked to had a different name for platinum premier with ambassador because front desks won’t be able to keep the differences between three levels of platinum straight. Also, it would have been nice to have had a better suite upgrade policy for platinum premier with ambassador.
    3. When will Marriott release the new terms and conditions so we can see what all the asterisks are for?

  114. What happens to the current SPG cards? Do they get product changed? Any work if the SPG biz card will still get Sheraton lounge access after Aug 1?


  115. @ Mary Rose — Are we looking at the same charts? The cost for SPG members to redeem at Category 2 and higher is going down, not up. You’ll still be given the option of a welcome amenity, as before. As far as Make A Green Choice goes, I’ll ask about that.

  116. @ Bill — I was mistaken at first, as Gold members will receive Platinum status for the remainder of the year as of August.

  117. In terms of qualification for 2019 do nights earned in SPG + Marriott + RC count for elite status? Will they all be merged into one in August?

  118. Yay, everyone gets to be Platinum now!

    You get Platinum status, and you get platinum status, and you get platinum status…

  119. @ Shannon Price — Currently the Amex Card offers two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights and you can earn that on multiple cards, while going forward you can earn 15 elite qualifying nights on one card. So you’re still coming out further ahead. As far as breakfast goes, that’s based on a conversation with the head of Marriott Rewards, so I can assure you that’s correct.

  120. @Lucky

    If you are Marriott Gold Elite on July 31st you will become Marriott Platinum Elite on August 1, 2018.

    I think your post appears to be causing more confusion than providing clarification.

    Please read the Here’s How Member Tiers Will Change in August portion of the Marriott link pasted here https://members.marriott.com/marriottrewards/.

    It clearly states that Marriott Gold will become Marriott Platinum in August.

  121. What do you think the high tier properties like the St Regis Maldives will be priced at? If they make it a category 8 then that will represent a HUGE discount compared to current SPG pricing.

  122. @Lucky

    If you are Marriott Gold Elite on July 31st you will become Marriott Platinum Elite on August 1, 2018.

    I think your post appears to be causing more confusion than providing clarification.

    Please read the Here’s How Member Tiers Will Change in August portion of the Marriott link pasted here https://members.marriott.com/marriottrewards/.

  123. “lucky says:
    April 16, 2018 at 5:25 pm
    @ Dave — Award nights will continue to count towards status, and fifth night free remains as well (I’ve just confirmed).”

    @ Lucky – That’s great news and I’m definitely glad to hear! Also, WOW you’re quick and thank you for all the details and personal replies!!

  124. @ rob — That’s a great question as well, curious if they’ll maintain higher pricing for select properties. Will try to find out.

  125. From Flyertalk is this true?

    Amex Plat offers SPG Gold Preferred free and currently its matched to Marriott Gold Elite.

    Marriott Gold Elite today will become Platinum Elite after August.
    SPG Gold Preferred today will just become Gold Elite after August.

    So I guess I will become Platinum in the new program after August – it sounds too good to be true.

  126. You’re missing the best perk of the new new Amex Lux card

    Complimentary Gold Elite status: Earn Platinum Elite status after making $75,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.¹

  127. I recently qualified for Marriott Platinum status through a challenge. Would you guess that I would have Platinum Premier as of August 2018. And should that status hold for 2019 as well?

  128. This page: https://members.marriott.com/spg/ suggests (if you tell it that you stay 50-74 nights per year) that Platinums will *not* get lounge access at resorts, which would be a downgrade if that’s going to be the case at current SPG properties.

    I’m also curious to see what the details of the breakfast offering are and whether Marriott will continue to have bunches of random properties that are exempt from that requirement. It would seem so.

  129. Current Marriott Gold. Am I correct in understanding that I’ll lose the lounge access/breakfast benefit starting 8/1? If so, that’s a big loss.

    Great article. Thanks for putting this together.

  130. @Lucky – No worries, there’s a ton of information and questions here and info on the new program is coming hard and fast. Easy to get confused! Although I’m super impressed you’ve gotten the story up so quickly and are answering questions at lightning speed 🙂

    Would be interesting to see if AMEX comes out with more clarity on what Platinum card holders can expect benefits wise and if by virtue of getting from SPG Gold -> status matched to Marriott Gold -> which will then become Platinum Elite in the new program, if that will become what we get with AMEX Platinum or, just Gold Elite in the new program next year which will be a huge downgrade.

    Good thing most all of my Marriott travel is prior to August, so at least I will still get some of the same Gold benefits.

  131. It’s pretty clear that a very large number of readers here obtained the Gold from a credit card. I am one of them. This is definitely a hit against us.

  132. @ JDH — You’ll actually be upgraded to Marriott Platinum if you’re currently a Marriott Gold, at least for this year.

  133. Any idea what will happen to the Ritz sign-up bonus free nights? They’re currently good for Tier 1-4, will they be good for any Marriott Cat 1-7 after Aug 1?

  134. Lucky!

    I acquired SPG platinum via challenge this year after Feb 1st – good all through 2019. 18 nights only. Is it safe to assume they will match the platinum status, even though it was acquired via a challenge? Just without suite night awards?

  135. Also, I can’t think of a more fun activity in the Seychelles for you @Lucky than writing about one of the biggest points stories of the year and answering a bunch of rabid miles and points geeks questions on this new program =)

    Sounds like a great beach holiday!

  136. If I’m Platinum now it looks like I’ll be aligned with Platinum Premier starting Aug 1st. When will that status end if I don’t requalify, on Feb 28?


  137. @ CR — LOL! It is 1:45AM, which is roughly six hours past my bedtime, so I apologize for not making much sense here with some of my answers!

  138. Only if they kept breakfast, they would have kept a lot of elites, now bye bye Marriott. Its a downgrade as this is a main reason for my to keep my gold status.

  139. @Lucky – haha it’s almost 6am where I am – which I guess explains why I also didn’t realize you’re only a few hours behind my time zone.

    For some reason, I was picturing sunny Seychelles weather and you frantically typing on a keyboard answering questions like this…http://popkey.co/m/Al5Lp-cat-keyboard


  140. So my question is this – we booked a stay at a Westin timeshare, with a contract that promises 50k SPG points in October this year. We don’t get them until we sit through their presentation,… in October. Does that convert to 150k Marriott points? Or is it automatically transferred into 50k Marriott points since the SPG program won’t exist anymore? Not sure how to proceed.

  141. Under the new program, will spouses/partners be able to transfer points to each other? As of now, the only way to do that is transfer the Marriott points to SPG and then transfer them over to your spouse’s SPG account for use in their SPG/Marriott.

    You can transfer to each other via Marriott, but only to attain a certain redemption (which may not include airline transfers in the “new” program), so it would be nice to retain the “SPG-style” flexibility to transfer whenever needed.

  142. I’m 1 stay away from lifetime gold in the SPG program. Not happy at all. My 1 stay will be my last revenue stay- Had banked the SPG lifetime Gold being equivalent to current Marriott Gold going forward (lounge access). Without that I have no incentive to stay at Marriotts. Back to Hyatt I go, it’s a shame that after all the talk that this wouldn’t hurt competition we continue to get lower and lower standards/benefits as the brands in the travel business consolidate.

  143. I am in the same boat as you with lifetime Platinum Status. I have the nights and this will be my 10th year as Platinum. What are your thoughts ?? Will i get the Lifetime status since programs will be merged prior to year end.

  144. Hi Ben, so glad its a slow day…… LOL

    Was wondering, could a spouse, child, and/or anyone apply for it and put someone else’s SPG number, make the $3K spend and therefore provide them the 25K miles; therefore allowing them to be used/transferred before the August 1 doomsday?

  145. I’m currently doing the SPG platinum challenge now. If I make it, will I be matched to platinum for the new program?

  146. Lucky, if I want to qualify for SPG Platinum in 2018 by achieving 25 stays, do you think I need to rush and do that *before* August, or do you think I would still qualify for 2018 if I do so by 12/31/18 (ie, 25 stays, but not a full 50 nights)? I’m not seeing this explicitly stated anywhere.

  147. Once the program changes and 1 SPG point officially becomes 3 Marriott Rewards, what will the new transfer limit be?

    For example, you can transfer a max of 79,999 per day from SPG to an airline. Once your 79,999 SPG points become 239,997 MR will the new daily transfer limit become 239,997 or remain 79,999 in line with the current value of Marriott points?

  148. As SPG Lifetime Platinum and with over 1,000 nights between both existing programs, I’m v frustrated it appears I’m only going to get new Lifetime Platinum and not Lifetime Platinum Premier

  149. This is a disgraceful slap in the face to SPG members. The new program applies different standards to SPG and Marriott, with the latter getting preferential treatment. SPG LTPs do not get access to the new LTPPE, even if they have the required number of nights ( ACTUAL nights as opposed to some nights plus credit card) and satisfying other criteria.
    You characterise it as close to the best possible outcome. I see it as falling far, far short of that mark, for this and a number of other reasons.

  150. Does anyone know if Marriott soft lands to next lowest tier if you do reach your goal for 2018.


  151. This should have read – Was wondering, could a spouse, child, and/or anyone apply for an AMEX SPG card and put someone else’s SPG number for it, make the $3K spend and therefore provide them the 25K miles (therefore allowing them to be used/transferred before the August 1 doomsday)?

  152. I’ve never been a big Hilton fan, but with the new Amex Hilton Honors Aspire Card, it may be worth the sacrifice to move my business to Hilton. There are really no benefits to being a Gold member with Marriott.

  153. AMEX will have a new luxury card with a $450 annual fee that will provide 2/3 of the current value per $ spent. I’m not quite sure how that is a compelling card, except for commissions. If anything my use of the cobranded card will go to $0.

  154. I am confused about the timing of all this, especially the August timeframe. When most companies change loyalty plans, they are enacted on the start day of the following year, such as, Jan 1, or Feb 1, 2019 if they are going to make changes etc (example only)
    Here is my 3 part question.

    1. If I understand correctly, as a current Platinum with SPG, ( due to qualifying last year with 25 stays), as of August I become Platinum Elite with basically nothing different or perhaps some suite upgrades?
    2. As of qualifying or calendar year 2019, if I also have 25 stays in the SPG program by the end of Dec 2018 (not August 2018), I will continue to be a Platinum Elite for all of 2019.
    3. In 2019, all qualifying will be under the new program, but as of today, in 2018, all qualifying for 2019 remains the same.

    Can you clarify all that for me?

  155. No wonder my ambassador service has been completely lacking over the last 1.5 years. I qualified for amb using 10 paid nights and 90 using free nights/c&p 🙁

  156. @paolo Completely agree. That’s where I’m coming from. Over 800 nights at SPG… and all I get is the new LTP. Sucks big time. Time to move to a different program if that’s not resolved

  157. It appears lifetime Marriott platinum gets shafted with 2 tiers above that cannot get lifetime status. Reminds me of AA and their changes to lifetime Gold and Plat vis a vie Platinum Pro.

  158. My previous top tier Platinum Lifetime status with Marriott is not no longer top tier. What Marriott is telling me is “you should of stopped once you hit lifetime gold”.

  159. as for the spg luxury card the catagory including gas, phone, restaurant, us mail should be 4x ,but the question is do you earn them points as spg pts or marriott pts?? because this will come to impact for the sake of air transfer valuation…

  160. So just to confirm if i have Gold Status now with both SPG and Marriott and that status takes 50 nights ( which is the new Platinum Tier) will they match my status in Aug till Dec based on the earned status? And then next year put me in the new Gold status tier ( that is if i don’t make the 50 night stay)

  161. Hey Ben! What about lifetime status? Marriott used to be points + nights based and SPG is nights + status (for a number of years). Do know how this is going to be reconciled, so it is fair to Marriott members.

  162. To all current SPG Gold elites worried about the free breakfast going away starting August 2018, at the moment you can match SPG Gold to Marriott Gold, so make sure you match your status by July 31st. Because starting Aug 1st, all SPG Gold will receive the new Gold elite with no free breakfast, but if you are Marriott Gold you will be upgraded to the new Plat elite.

  163. Will lounge access be included now at Ritz Carlton’s or are they still excluded from the chain in that sence? Also why does Ritz Carton and Eiditon exclude breakfast but St Regis and Luxery Collection still do which are arguably nicer?

  164. @ Lucky
    Am I missing something?
    Marriot Platinum elite turns to Platinum premiere elite, but
    SPG Platinum, even with 50 nights turns only to Platinum elite.
    BUT all SPG Platinum were already matched to Mariott platinum when they started matching last year.
    Am I missing something, doesn’t this mean all SPG platinum will be Platinum premiere elite in august by virtue of thee Marriott status they’ve already been matched to?

  165. @jack At least as LTP Marriott you now get LTP Premier per Lucky.

    I way overqualified with SPG for the equivalent old Marriott LTP (i.e. 750 nights, 670k+ Starpoints) but appears we get kicked into the gutter – plain ol’ LTP, not LTP Premier (and worse, can never get LTP Premier)

  166. question…. I was planning on wrapping up up LTP with Marriott sometime in October. Will that secure me LTPP or do I have to complete the old requirements before August 1 to wrap that up?

  167. Disappointed by the switch on lifetime qualification from MR points to years at that level. Effectively mean any points from below-par years are wasted

  168. @Lucky, no mention of the 1 EQN per $3000 spend on Chase Marriott.

    I commend them for doing the best one could hope for in this world of constantly “enhanced” programs. That said, for the few of us very close to Lifetime Platinum (Marriott) or achieved (SPG), it sucks. I put a lot of effort into making Marriott Platinum LT, between both I have the nights and the points under the old rules (and they’re in my account so it’s not like there isn’t a record of them). I am glad I will become LT Platinum, but it feels a little like AA and the downgrade there too. I wish they had a route to LT PP even if they stripped it of the guaranteed upgrade certs.

  169. This is really really good. No doubt, Marriott is the non-questionable king in hotel loyalty program.
    Compare to IHG, Hyatt and Hilton, Marriott treat their members amazingly well.
    I will vote Marriott again this year for Freddie award. Hyatt used to be good until their new program totally ruined everything.

  170. Lucky,
    is the 20k actually on the property? I’m curious to see what the new tiers will unveil I wouldn’t be surprised if the premium Amex card had a spend to win category unless you think that’s not the case?

    Thanks for posting this so quickly.

  171. Marriott has been preparing for this change for a while. They have raised the number of points it takes to stay at their properties. It may not seem too much but, in fact it is. They have now raised the category 7 hotel from 35,000 points to 60,000 which is almost a 60% increase but, they have also inflated their hotel ratings. Most of the courtyards are now rated 7 star hotels and they do not merit this rating. This is a huge change which allows them to significantly increase the cost of using points. I have noted this being done and as I suspected it was in preparation for the new rewards program. If you combined the 60% increase in the category 7 hotel rewards points charge and the inflated property status this is often as much as a 100% increase. They also have never increased the reward points they offered for the time share conversion they sold to owners. I agree it could have been worse but, I am not as impressed as you are. I am a lifetime Platinum member and have seen these changes coming for a while. This confirms what I suspected was happening.

  172. Great recap!

    Just want to make sure I understand

    Currently I am gold, and will be staying at a JW marriott in July – so I won’t get free breakfast?

    But in August I will be switched to platinum, and I am staying at the westin grand cayman later that month – so I will get free breakfast?


  173. @Lucky: So I’m SPG LTP with 765 nights which meets MR LTP requirements but I get downgraded below MR LTP’s? (Also have 248 Marriott nights)
    Seems like those of us SPG LTP’s with over 750 nights or combined 1,000+ nights are getting royaly shafted. Please say it ain’t so……

  174. As a SPG 75 (ex 100 but ambassador was useless) I feel a real downgrade because the only interesting perk of being 75 was the 24 hours checkin. I will miss this.
    What happens if (as I did last year) you have 150+ nights with both program? roll over? platinum premier and nothing more? I think because of nights redemption / points + cash I don’t spend 20K.

  175. So if I have 38 stays at SPG (by the end of May) and then get the new Marriott card in May that has 15 nights, will I be Plat for 2019? Trying to decide if I should stay this route or leap to Hyatt for the rest of my stays this year.
    I will be a lowly lifetime Gold in the new program and quite willing to bet there will never be any “late checkout availability” if you have to beg for it on every stay. Another reason I may jump to Hyatt. Decisions, argh!

  176. Thanks for all this crunching @Lucky! Very useful information

    it seems that overall this is very good, but I don’t really see any difference between Platinum Elite and Platinum Elite Premier, apart from the extra suite nights.

    I stay 75 a year but not 100, and I really liked the Your24 which is now gone. I guess the question is why push for the extra 25 nights now? Seems that 50 (or 35 plus card) is the key bar to cross.

    Am I missing something? Are the extra 5 suite nights that valuable?

  177. Sure, it could have been worse, but it really is not such great news. Sadly.
    Seems like the only people who would benefit are those shooting for Mariott Platinum status. For the rest of us – not such good news.
    1. No good news for those who are currently SPG Gold via credit cards. Breakfast, late checkout, etc. – gone.
    2. No good news for those who used their SPG cards for everyday spend to transfer points to airlines. Seems like even with their *fancy* $450 card we will earn less than 1 SPG point per $1. That devalues the whole points to miles transfer! So you cannot say, Lucky, that there are no changes there!! Big changes!
    3. No good news for those who earned their stays/nights via spend.
    That’s just to bring up a few points.
    Seems like the only people for whom it’s a positive change are current Marriott Gold members and those who are planning to earn Platinum with stays/nights.

  178. Lucky,

    The Marriott website says Lounge access is included for new Platinum members and makes no exclusions or asterisks. So this would apply at EDITION and Ritz Carlton hotels I would think, thus giving you free breakfast there.

    Any insight into this?

  179. Current SPG Amex=1.25 airline Miles per dollar of non bonus spend

    Future=.8333333 (5/6) airline miles per dollar of non bonus spend

    I will cancel

  180. To be sure I got it well, right now I have 51 nights with Starwood and 28 nights with marriott this year. This means I’m already requalified for Platinum premier in 2019?

  181. Im 40 nights from SPG lifetime Platinum. Figured I’d get it this year. Do I have to do it now before August? Otherwise it goes from 500 to 600?

  182. What happens to current SPG Suite Night Awards (of which we have 6 left for the year and hoping to use them in October). Will they work still? And will they work at Marriotts?

  183. Someone somewhere above had a question about where to locate lifetime nights.

    Here is the page for SPG when you are logged into your account: https://www.spgpromos.com/dashboard/site/index (be sure to further select “Lifetime” rather than “Year To Date” on the actual page).

    For Marriott, go here: https://www.marriott.com/rewards/myAccount/default.mi
    And then click “Details” in the upper RIGHT corner under the “XX nights to Platinum” (or your next tier) to see lifetime status.

    Lucky, I’m trying to figure out if I just might get Lifetime Platinum when the two programs merge (which would be really sweet). I joined both programs around 1987 (although everyone in the SPG program who was in it back then was set at 1999 under the new program at that time).

    For SPG, I have: 416 Lifetime Nights and 8 (Platinum) Elite Years
    For Marriott: I have 209 Lifetime Nights and 703,230 MR points.

    If the nights are just additive, then this is: 625 nights

    But how to figure out if there is a conversion factor between SPG Elite Years and MR Points?
    The Marriott system does not list the years I had elite status (but it has probably been 5 MR Gold years by now).

    As I re-read your section on this in your article above, it seems that I -must have- 10 years of Platinum — so I would need two more years of Platinum status to get Lifetime Platinum and my total nights requirement has been met. (Which means the many years of MR Gold are worthless for this calculation).

    Do you think I would get Lifetime Platinum in the merged program? Why or why not? Thanks! And thanks for the thoughtful article too. 🙂

  184. ok, so no more breakfast or lounges for Marriott Gold, which used to status match from SPG Gold.
    But what about SPG Biz Amex, and Sheraton Club access benefit with card only, no status? Is this benefit changing? Maybe access to any Marriott lounge? One can dream.

  185. lucky,I feel you are distorting the facts for Marriott . this is an awful program!
    the points will be devalued , and you said “redemption rates seem fair. “

  186. The Killer: you only will get 2 points per $ spend instead of 3 with the SPG card. A 33.3% devaluation. This is the way that I get most of my points, because I have large business expenses. To me, this is the most significant change and a big devaluation of the program. I insist, this is what kills the new program.

  187. Ben,

    So current LTPs get grandfathered into LTPP with the suite upgrades included? I’m at 780 nights but only 1.3 million points, so just Lifetime Silver. If I get to Lifetime Gold by August, does that give me LTP under the new program? It’s a real shame that I got screwed with getting enough nights but not points to get the old LPT. Would have ended up getting grandfathered in as well…

  188. Lucky, you are saying that current mileage transfer rates are staying… and on the surface it seems that nothing changed… except the earning rate of the new cards… since they will earn 2 points on regular spend… currently with SPG card you need to spend 20K to get 20,000 airline miles ( not counting bonus miles)… with new Marriott cards you will have to spend 30K to get those miles…so it’s a big downgrade, you have to spend much more now to get the same mileage as with current SPG cards…

  189. I think I must be missing something. Everyone has pointed out that Marriott golds who receive it from credit cards is getting screwed, but aren’t we looking at a monstrous devaluation for Marriott points? This is what you said Lucky:

    From the perspective of Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards, we’re potentially seeing some price increases, though in most cases they shouldn’t be too bad.

    I think your idea of not too bad and my idea of not too bad are very different. From the charts just before this quote, even at standard rates, crappy hotels that nobody wants to stay at (based on all the bitching about category 5 free nights) will be going up between 17% and 40% and nicer Marriotts that people would actually want to redeem their points at will be going up between 33% and 71%. When the new category arrives the minimum increase becomes 67%. During peak season, which is presumably when most people will want to use their points (because that is pretty much what peak season means), the increases for desirable Marriott properties will range from 100 to 150%. This is well in excess of the increases for Hilton properties several years ago that were termed a “bloodbath”. Apparently, they are now “not too bad” probably because you have always been a Starwood loyalist, so anything that happens to those that were collecting Marriott points doesn’t really matter to you.
    I have little skin in this game with only about 80,000 Marriott points that are about to have their value halved, but I couldn’t let the “not too bad” commentary pass unnoticed.
    For those who say that they are winning big with Marriott travel packages that they already have because it now gets you a 35,000/night hotel room instead of a 25,000/night hotel room, you are getting the same hotel room. You have not won anything, you just haven’t lost anything.

  190. I am lifetime plat with Marriott and lifetime gold with SPG – would it be safe to say the higher status will prevail?

  191. And… regarding the HUGE and insane amount of gold marriott has (most of them status by card) it will be a pain august-december this year to get upgrade in SPG properties till those loose the platinum status and go back to gold.

    PS : very good news they focus on paying customers sleeping in their beds than CC holders who play against the casino!

  192. LT SPG Plat with over 1000 nights and an insane number of those nights at St. Regis and disappointed at not being grandfathered in at a higher level. At least I get lounge access, but damn, that is one expensive way to get that benefit. Since it’s not the worst case scenario, that means never again a stay at Hyatt, since their changes were a worst case. Still have Hilton Diamond from being at BA GGL level, so some options to choose from, although if RC lounge access is now a benefit, then will likely meet the $20,000 spend level and forgo any Hilton stays.

  193. @Lucky Also , how are Marriot Air+Hotel packages affected by the new 60k+15K transfer bonus?

    The credit cards with the only one bonus thing will bring me to choose between them. Sure there’s some value in the free night but otherwise all duplication. I already have Global entry x 5 and enough Priority pass cards to make a collage. And for 6 MR per $1 (6:2.5 for airline transfer) I would be more than happy to substitute 3 UR or 5 Membership Rewards(if possible) as the case may be. Hmm. Might cancel BOTH since I no longer need the nights.

  194. Hi lucky

    Good news about current Marriott Gold Elites being matched to plat for the rest of the year.

    I am wondering what I am missing in your review of the new chart though. For example I have done a 5th night free at the JW Venice at 180,000 points which was peak (45K). But using the new chart It would require 400,000. After reading your blog for some time I have never heard you saying at 100%+ increase in a award would not be such a bad thing.

    Can you please elaborate?

  195. I like it overall. Ben I’m sure you’ll have a post on this soon but would love to here your strategy going forward. As you were a starwood ambassador are you going to shoot for Marriott Ambassador, obviously with award stays and credit card 15 nights you can easily hit the nights requirement, but that 20,000 spend while high isn’t probably too far off. Think about it this way if you stayed at St. Regis Bora Bora or St. Regis Maldives or in a suite at a nice city hotel for 3 days that would be close to 3K dollars there offsetting a lot of other low spend nights. Then how also this affects your hyatt status. I can’t imagine you would want to go for Ambassador with that spend and 55 nights with hyatt globalist.

  196. Lucky,
    Will previous nights stayed at both properties be combined towards lifetime status?
    Thank you,

  197. I have maintained SPG Gold largely on achieving 10 stays and am very close to SPG Gold. That’s the only thing that has kept me loyal, that and 2000 and 3000 SPG point weekend redemptions, which it seems with now be as rare as horse feathers. Now the best I am going to achieve is SPG Silver as it’ll take me 15 years to get to 400 nights. The benefits aren’t worth even attempting this.

    – Member rates often worth as little as $2 per night is barely a benefit.
    – Points bonus at 10% is a joke – you get this with HHonors for just 4 stays.
    – Late checkout 2pm isn’t worth having. I’ve seen non-members get this.
    – Welcome Amenity now only points is not worth as much as a €15 bar credit.
    – The only thing they have kept is the room upgrade which, at Starwood, is usually to an identical room on an almost identical floor which differs only by having a sign saying Starwood Preferred Guest. This costs them nothing.

    We all knew change would come but if you are outside the USA, where there are plenty of cheap nights, and you don’t travel almost continuously, then the change is not good news for SPG Gold members. I maintain Platinum Status with IHG and will continue to do so as the points are easier to earn with Accelerate and redemption is far better value. Based on this description I’ll be ditching Marriott and going back to HHonors for my remaining stays. Perhaps moderate spenders like me are the sort of customer Marriott doesn’t want but there’s a lot of us and I reckon SPG/Marriott can expect a massive points cash in 2018.

    The only thing I am struggling with is why this article is so upbeat. The fact the change could have been worse is hardly cause to celebrate. It might be great if you stay 100 nights a year but if you do that and you are not a travel journalist then you’d be crazy to stay at Starwood/Marriott. Your status might be excellent but you are regularly paying up to double what you’d pay IHG for a room.

  198. My comment seems to have been eaten.

    If you are lifetime platinum with Marriott and lifetime gold with SPG, think it is safe to assume the platinum status will be the level in the new program?

  199. @lucky I am about to complete a Mariott platinum challenge. I will be done before August. Does that mean that I will be upgraded to platinium premier until early 2020 (as I was supposed last retain platinium until then) and then have a soft landing to platinium until early 2021? Sounds fantastic but maybe I missed something.
    Thanks a lot !

  200. A question: I have 869 nights in SPG and 154 in Marriott, I’m SPG Platinum for Life (14 years of Platinum). I earned at least 750.000 SPG points in my life and I earned 380.000 points in Marriott program. So in August I’ll have more then 1020 nights and I acquired more then 2.400.000 points. This fill perfectly the status of Platinum Premier Lifetime of the new program because for 15 years I have a medium of more then 75 nights per years. But for the new rules I think I’ll became only Platinum Lifetime.
    Do you know how can I do to underline my position to the Marriott rewards program? Is there someone dedicated to manage these problems? It’s very difficult to accept this downgrade!!
    Thank you very much,
    Best regards,

  201. Amazing response on 1 site. Marriott and Co. Must be pleased….
    Always been ambivalent about Marriott, their politics, properties and the brand. 1 weekend invited to their vacation properties encapsulated it for me: obvious bias to a family orientation at the expense of adults no kids with a lot more discretionary $$$. It’s a Monday in the desert on a resort with 3 pools, 1 clearly kid friendly ( Great! GOOD! I’m not WC Fields). I’m staying on the perimeter and go to the perimeter pool to relax. Then it happens:
    “Marco. …”
    On a Monday 11am.
    I would NEVER be relaxed here as they don’t offer ANY Adult (or 16+, 18+ whatever you’re comfortable with) pool areas of the 3 pools. None.
    Kids Rule.
    I always thought the merge of Marriott squeaky clean great businesspeople not adventurous with SPG trending young and fun at least with W was a strange merge of cultures and I’m sure SPG folks have swallowed a lot or left.
    I dropped AMEX Platinum and Marriott Visa this year due to perk redundancy with other cards I wanted to keep. Also dropped SPG AMEX somewhat regrettably but now maybe not…Just got the RC Premium loved the welcome gifts!
    Fav is the St Reg. Not enough properties, but Butler service for every guest.. THAT is a distinction..

  202. Am I understanding this correctly ? If I’m Gold, I’ll become Platinum Elite for a year and get 5 suite awards for each year I maintain my level. However, because I’m currently a Lifetime Gold, I’ll become lifetime Platinum but won’t get any 5 suite awards.

  203. @Lucky,
    Thanks for the post! So if I have 50 nights this calendar year of 2018 with SPG and 25 nights with Marriott, will they count 75 nights for year 2019 qualification? Interested to see how they determine qualification for elites in 2019.

  204. @Andrew, it’s been reported on Flyertalk that Marriott maybe leaning towards partnership with DL. We’ll hear more about it before Aug 1st.

  205. Lucky Do you know if Marriott will count up to 3 rooms per night as elite credits for a member. I take my family on vacation and get 2-3 rooms and that is how I have gotten platinum status. Otherwise, this benefits only business travelers as we don’t have enough vacation time to stay in a hotel 50-75 nights a year.

  206. @Linda, it depends if you are Marriot Gold or SPG Gold. As of August 1st, Marriott Gold will be Plat elites, while SPG Gold will be Gold elites. SNA’s will be awarded based on the number of stays (from 50 and 75). So from my understanding, if you haven’t completed at least 50 nights, you won’t receive SNA’s.

  207. Smart move on Marriott’s part that will force members to choose between redeeming their points for suddenly more affordable award stays (at least for SPG loyalists) or converting their ‘new’ MR points to 1/3 as many in starpoints to transfer to airline miles. In addition, they have made it such that to earn the most points on the two new co-brand cards, one will have to use them to pay for revenue stays. Both moves are designed to incentivize members to keep their business within Marriott (i.e., to earn and redeem points at MR properties), rather than to repeat SPG’s mistake of incentivizing members to earn starpoints wherever they can and to then transfer them for airline miles.

    My big disappointment is that my UA 1K/1MM status will henceforth be matched to the ‘new’ MR Gold, which is now as useless as was the SPG Gold. Hyatt properties are the only ones where I would stay without having a decent elite status (I just book a club room and I get everything I need, especially service that is second to none). This means that my days of redeeming points for award stays at Marriott properties in Asia as a MR Gold and getting suite upgrades have come to an end — MR has replaced SPG as my “no man’s land”…

  208. @Linda, correction, SNA’s (or choice of gift) will be awarded after you complete 50 and 75 nights.

  209. If you earn Platinum Status by spending $75K on the new AMEX Luxury card, will the Platinum Status count towards years required for lifetime status?

  210. @DCS, your MR Gold will become Plat elite as of Aug 1st. However, we haven’t heard if UA and Marriott will continue with their partnership beyond this year.

  211. @yyc — I am presuming that UA elites will be matched to the ‘new’ MR Gold status based on this comment by @Lucky in response to someone who wondered the same thing:

    “No, [UA elites] will continue to receive Gold. I think that’s quite intentional here. There are way too many Marriott elites, so they needed to thin the ranks a bit.”

    However, I have not yet seen where what he stated has been spelled out, and you are right that we do not even know whether the UA-MR RewardsPlus JV will continue beyond the current year…

  212. The new program seems like a bad deal for mid-level members, which there are many. I have SPG lifetime gold and Marriott gold courtesy of credit cards. Going forward, the new program will offer me little if anything. Goodbye complimentary breakfasts, lounge access, etc. Goodbye new program for me.

  213. @Paul sez: “The new program seems like a bad deal for mid-level members, which there are many. ”

    Your take sounds about right. Hilton is now the only hotel loyalty program that will be ‘hospitable’ to mid-level elites. HGP, SPG, and WoH were essentially single-elite level programs, with MR and HH, especially the latter, each offering a decent mid-level status.

  214. This is a thoroughly dishonest evaluation.

    Saying that “mileage transfer rates are staying the same” is simply a lie!
    Credit card spend has effectively been devalued by 1/3. That’s HUGE.
    Sure, the rate for transferring out are unchanged, but the earnings rate has been gutted.

    The only people who should be happy about this are the blogger shills, who will now be pushing even more of these cards which are deeply devalued.


  215. Am I the only one who opted for the Award night rather than the Suite Night Awards as my 50 night benefit? Disappointed that’s not an option any more, as I really get no value out of the SNAs.

    Also, we’re all kind of assuming that SPG properties will stay in roughly the same tiers that they’re in now. There’s no reason to make that assumption, with the info we have right now there’s no way to tell if this is an upgrade or a downgrade for redemptions. Since they’re changing the overall number of tiers it’s going to be a whole different ranking system. I’ll reserve judgment until I see the new tier assignments.

  216. @Randy, regardless of Plat level, Annual Choice Benefit (SNA or gift option) will only be awarded after you complete at least 50 nights.

  217. Lucky,

    First, kudos on your post. I’ve read about 10 different blogs tonight and yours is the most informative and coherent. Great Job!

    I’m fairly happy about the change…given that the change has to happen. My only concern was I’m at 12 years Platinum, but only 340 nights so was worried about missing out on Lifetime Platinum. I have 74 Marriott nights, so them raising it to 600 nights sucks but isn’t a deal breaker for me. Just another couple of years to get there…..

  218. Looks like no more Marriott/SPG for me. I currently get Gold with $30k SPG spend (and was thinking about switching to AmEx Platinum to get it). But now Gold gets no breakfast or lounge, so it’s useless. Those were the only useful benefits, but they aren’t worth a $450 fee plus $75k spend. This just pushed me over to getting the Hilton Aspire which comes with Diamond status, lounge access, breakfast and suite upgrades. Or honestly, with all these changes, I’m ready to be done with these chains. Their hotels are often so mediocre where I travel (Europe mostly) compared to best in class hotels. I might just get the Citi Prestige with 4th night free.

  219. I’m going to assume Delta Crossover Rewards is going away. Was nice getting upgrades and early boarding with SPG Platinum

  220. Thanks Lucky, this was a great recap. Two additional questions it would be great to get clarification on.

    1) Lu mentioned this one above but SPG allows up to three rooms booked in one account to receive points and stay/nights credit. Marriott allows only one. This is a HUGE distinction for those who are traveling with families and often need to book 2-3 rooms. If Marriott keeps their policy on this, it will meaningfully impact my loyalty choices.

    2) Marriott Vacation Club (their timeshare arm) allows members to count stays towards elite qualifying nights. Starwood’s Timeshare system (now owned by Vistana but maintaining a strong SPG marketing relationship) never allowed stay credits on ownership usage. Again, this would be a seemingly beneficial change for them to consider adopting the Marriott stance given it’s now one loyalty program. If you could ask the Marriott folks if they are considering normalizing these benefits as well, it would be super helpful.


  221. If I stay 18 nights with SPG this year and 34 with Marriott/Ritz Carlton (52 total) will I earn Platinum Status under the new program?

  222. It’s a bummer that they are moving to the years of membership to earn lifetime status. I’m at almost 450 nights with 4 years of membership and will be over 525 by EOY. By the time I hit 10 years of Platinum status (assuming my travel remains the same) I’ll be over 1000 nights.

  223. @Lucky “I was mistaken at first, as Gold members will receive Platinum status for the remainder of the year as of August.” – This seems reasonable for those of us who have gold status, especially those who do not have it from a credit card alone. Now it makes me wish the changes would kick in in time for my trip in two weeks, but at least I will have it for my August trip.

  224. I marriott really wants to think out of the box with their credit cards they could have something like a suite upgrade certificate for X amount of spend beyond the initial signup bonus spend. It may get people to actually use the cards.

  225. I have Amex Platinum which give me SPG Gold status (and is going to convert to Marriott Gold Elite in future). I also carry Amex SPG Biz which give me 1 SPG point which will be converted to 3 Marriott points. I read somewhere said that my Amex SPG just gives me 2 Marriott points instead of 3 in new program no matter my new Marriott Gold Elite.

    If it is true, then I think the Amex SPG is not worth to keep. Do I misunderstand somethings?

  226. I am confused why Lifetime Platinum in SPG is being equated with Lifetime Gold in Marriott, since both will now be given mid elite tier level Lifetime Platinum in the new program. Currently Platinum status in either program is reciprocated at the same level. Also, SPG properties are generally more expensive than Marriott brands, so achieving lifetime Plat in SPG requires a higher spend and should be rewarded as such. Lifetime Plat in SPG should receive the same lifetime benefits as Marriott Platinum lifetime ie Platinum Elite. This is a devaluation for SPG Lifetime Platinums, and unacceptable.

  227. @Lucky, could really use your expert advise for us true road warriors that have large night/point accumulations in both programs.

    I’m struggling to determine if I will qualify for Lifetime Platnium “Premier” OR Lifetime Platnium “Basic”. It’s not clear if Marriott will combine total Marriott and SPG nights/points when determining Lifetime Platnium Premier OR will Marriott only look at Marriott nights/points.

    Below are my lifetime stats between both programs.

    Marriott (currently lifetime Gold)
    Nights = 1,165
    Lifetime Points = 1,806,973
    15 Years (doesn’t really count for Marriott)

    SPG (currently lifetime Platnium)
    512 Nights
    402,000 (current balance but accumulated over 1 million lifetime)
    10 Years Platnium

    As you can see I would easily make Lifetime Platnium Premier if Marriott combines nights/points from both programs. However, if Marriott only looks at Marriott nights/points then I would need to find a way to quickly accumulate nearly 2 million Marriott lifetime points to make Lifetime Platnium Premier.

  228. Offering 0.8 airline miles for each credit card dollar spent is not competitive. End of story.

  229. Hi Lucky, I was wondering what will happen to those who had their Platinum achieved via the SPG Platinum Challenge, I believe this is valid until 2020, will this still hold true? I wonder if this will be matched with Platinum Premier Elite since technically SPG Plat = Marriott Platinum.

  230. Guys, the best of this move is that lounges will come back (in 2019) to what they have to be : relax and quiet place.
    Gold status given by CC cards, people not staying in hotels but playing the point game and having status without spending hard earn money is almost gone. And this is a good thing.
    Back to the basics : you spend > you get status > you are rewarded.
    I really hope marriott will enforce this and will bring benefits for those of us who stay 100+ nights a year in hotels. Time to bring value to the elite status by rewarding the people who actually desserve status.

  231. Dilution is the worst thing in any reward program.
    Marriott is full of “points and CC tourists” right now and let’s hope this will stop next year in order to deliver better service to those who desserve the “elite status” by spending money in properties.

  232. Lucky, do you think it’s the best time (now until year end 2017) to get the old version Marriott Chase Visa for its 15 nights credit for THIS year? I’m not subjected to 5/24 and I’ve already possess both AMEX SPG.

  233. Lucky,
    One of your best posts, though personally as a Gold i feel screwed.

    Is it fair to assume the 7 night Category 1-5 Marriott voucher many of us hold and are scratching out head where to redeem , will be redeemable on SPG Category 3 properties ?

    What could you elaborate on that ?

  234. I’m with those who aren’t super happy, but glad my many SPG points banked aren’t going to pot. Not sure I’ll be able to burn them now or have to keep banking them. Net: it could have been worse as I was going to cancel my SPG Amex anyway, now definitely no reason to keep that card.

    My questions:
    1) If I requalify for SPG Gold does that count for all of 2019?
    2) Do I have to do that before August or are both qualifying rules in effect for all of 2018?
    3) Should I bother if I probably won’t Platinum again in the future?

    Like @MikeW earlier I mainly would be SPG Gold with 10 stays per year. With a credit card I do 35 nights per although lately I’ve been doing more of my longer stays with IHG thanks to Accelerate incentives (which pays off quite well provided I don’t get hacked and lose all the points). Lifetime wise this is quite the bummer as I was quite close to lifetime SPG Gold but now that would be lifetime third runner up status (same bonus I get with my AAA membership!).

  235. https://thepointsguy.com/news/amex-spg-changes-and-luxury-card/

    Current AMEX business card will lose Sheraton Lounge access on August 1st. I feel the pain of those accessing the lounge in this manner as it is a huge perk but I am glad it will be going away as it is way too crowded. Just about every time I travel to NY on business the front desk is always surprised how many people have this benefit via the card, myself included. The Sheraton in NY would get so crowded as a single traveler I couldn’t find a spot to sit and eat during the entire stay there. I will be putting exactly $75k on the new business card to keep the Platinum status and maintain lounge access. Not the best in terms of return as many have pointed out but I am fortunate enough that I have so many large invoices points accumulation is not as big of a concern as it used to be as large spend can be redirected quickly.

  236. Chase Marriott Visa (AF: $95):
    6 points/$ for on-property spend = 2 starpoints
    2points/$ on everything else = .67 starpoints

    AMEX Marriott ‘Premium’ card (AF: $450)
    6 points/$ for on-property spend = 2 starpoints
    3 points/$ on airfare and “restaurants” = 1 starpoint
    2 points/$ on everything else = .67 starpoint

    By design, I suspect, these new co-brand cards won’t earn significant numbers of starpoints, except foremost through revenue stays at 2x, and then on airfare and dining (“restaurants”, whatever that means) at 1x, and last and least at 0.67x on general spend.

    The ability to earn significant numbers of starpoints, which is was not that great to start with, has been seriously crippled, except for those who would earn MR points through revenue stays, and that is a smart move, IMHO.

  237. I would have to disagree with Lucky’s comment about Marriot elite overflow with benefits. Hilton also has a huge global footprint with many elites and just three simple levels beyond base. Their benefits through AMEX Platinum is really worth its weight in gold compared to SPG gold matched to Marriot gold especially as of August 1st.

    Hilton offers three levels and they all can be matched via credit cards hinting their strong relationship with AMEX and customers. Even for non-annual fee AMEX Hilton cardholders, they can get silver benefits without paying any fee. Yet, you pay $95 just for silver with Marriot and you are bottom five compared to just bottom three with Hilton.

    Also, Hilton gold can get breaksfast as their option compared to Marriot gold which is not an option. Top tier Aspire card with Hilton gives you top tier diamond, while the $450 with Marriot only gives you gold??? Go figure!!! Hilton is winning the hotel industry war as DCS correctly said. Hilton golds and diamonds get treated like nobility and royalty, respectively in properties outside of the US especially in the Asia Pacific.

    So, Hilton cares about those who spend a lot of nights to those occasional travelers. Yes, you can get top tier just with a credit card, but Hilton earns your loyalty and respect even more plus earning financial cuts from your credit card spend. Yet, those who really spent the nights get added benefits, so Hilton does recognize those who earned those nights as well. In the end, Marriot just want those who are big spenders (rich, wealthy, company-paid), but Hilton welcomes all.

  238. Will they still be running Starpoints / Marriott points promo purchases ? And what will happen to our online SPG accounts ? Do we have to open new Marriott accounts ?

  239. @Lucky, will the SPG feature of being able to transfer starpoints between spouses still be possible with Marriott now?

  240. really? ANOTHER $450 card? did someone at the AMEX cc factory get hold of a Chase cookie cutter?

    I miss my $95 SPG card already – no way 1 free night + whatever I’ll have to pay for a 2nd at that category to then spend $300 on-site is worth that to me. not to mention my current .027 point devaluing into .018 non-bonus spend.

    maybe the Chase card at $95 just to keep a toe in the Marriott waters but otherwise..pass.

  241. @Stanley — Absolutely correct read of what nearly every self-anointed ‘travel guru’ does not want to see, although it’s been staring them in the face for years. The continued claim that Hilton’s benefits are “weak” at the top has never made any sense to those of us who have been consistently treated like ‘royalty’ year after year. Compare the benefits of the $450/yr HH Aspire card with those of the $450/yr MR AMEX card and there is only one true ‘premium’ hotel card between the two.

    “Yes, you can get top tier just with a credit card, but Hilton earns your loyalty and respect even more plus earning financial cuts from your credit card spend. Yet, those who really spent the nights get added benefits, so Hilton does recognize those who earned those nights as well.”

    Smart, very smart!


  242. Lucky I feel as if you wrote this post almost exclusively in terms of how it affects you and your status, not objectively how it would affect everyone. You mention several ties how relived you are on your quest for lifetime status. Shouldn’t your post balance the good and bad and how it affects everyone?

    Clearly those with Gold status from credit cards will in the long term get screwed, no Lounge access or breakfast next year. And the points valuations are not great in most cases. So platinum status folks make out, everyone else is screwed, yet this is written like it’s an amazing merger of programs. Amazing for you, but your readers are interested in how it effects THEM too, not just you.

    Millennials….(eye roll)

  243. I got my SPG and Marriott Gold status through AMEX Platinum so it is a major devaluation personally.

    If I know I need a late checkout, I will stay in a Starwood and Marriott property because of its guarantee 4pm late checkout. Now there is almost zero incentive to stay in a Starwood and Marriott status, as the 2pm late checkout is not even guarantee.

    It is a disappointment but I guess I will just stay more often with Hilton now, as I can rollover my nights.


  244. Clearly those with Gold status from credit cards will in the long term get screwed, no Lounge access or breakfast next year.

    >>> YES ! And it’s the best news ever!

  245. @RJW — Fully agree. For many of us, the changes are a disaster and make the program worthless going forward.

  246. RJW:

    I find the article to be extremely objective. It has more details about the new program than any other article I could find online on any other site. No matter your status, travelling, or spending patterns you should be able to figure out how it effects you with the information in the article.

  247. I think some perspective is in order. Marriott Golds via CC are not being devalued, it’s more like SPG Golds (via whatever) were given a huge perk during the transition, that is now being taken away. Marriott Gold is, was and should be equivalent to SPG Platinum @ 50 nights (and you still had the perk of being able to do it in 25 through SPG!).

    Regardless of that the new credit cards stink. Even for Marriott spend. I’d rather 3 UR than 6 MR any day.

  248. @Peter: Except the ubiquity of Marriott hotels means that achieving 50 nights is easier than 25 nights from SPG. Like Hyatt, SPG had to offer more to make up for the lack of access in many places.

    @PK: As someone who earns via nights and not via credit card, I’m fine with these changes. The lounges are overpopulated as it is. This will go a long way towards rectifying that.

  249. @Mooks, actually no, TPG did a much better job breaking down the groups of people that wouldnt benefit from this merger of programs. Lucky basically said there is very little downside, and that’s because he’s commenting on it from how it will affect him, not on how it will affect others.

    But don’t go by me, take a look at all of the comments here that are saying how thisnegativry affects them. It wouldn’t be objective to say that this article was objective. It was vert informative yes, but objective, no. Conversely, comments in the TPG article had much less complaints, because he addressed the downfalls.

    To be clear, I read both daily, and find both blogs informative, but this one was clearly written from the viewpoint of a platinum member. To me that is alienating more than half your audience, not smart.

  250. As an SPG loyalist living in Australia, I hope and pray that Marriott introduces a new credit card in our market, which is certainly nowhere near in size compared to USA, but the loyalists here are just as anal as anywhere else.

    They also need to expand the Marriott footprint here. There are several new SPG brands opening in coming years, but we still don’t have a JW in Oz, leave alone a St Regis or RC. Further, they need to expand beyond the big 5 cities. There are tonnes of place around Australia which receive tens, if not hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and yet beyond the big cities, they have no presence. Heck, even Adelaide doesn’t have any SPG or Marriott properties.

    Not a good look.

  251. @bhcompy totally agree. I don’t earn anything via CC and I spend 320+ nights a year in hotels (spg / marriott / Hilton and hotels.com gold when no chain property around) and I’m really tired of :
    1. lounge full of people accessing because of credit card. This means it’s not confortable for “real” loyal guests + the quality of F&B is going lower and lower.
    2. gold complaining (even those staying 30-50 nights a year) : I think the situation was not normal, too much benefits to too many people. You are not loyal or elite when you stay 50 nights a year with a brand. 75+ start to be something valuable.
    3. CC : it’s a pledge and lower the benefits (airlines, hotels, etc). Good they slow down.
    4. next step is the properties starting to stop selling at cheap price at check in the lounge access… and enforce the dress code in lounges (I’m tired of the flip flop and American tourists with short pants in city lounges).

    Being said, I think august – December will be a nightmare for lounge and upgrade but when all “golds” will be back to gold or no status things will be for the best.

    Simple = less elite (ie. real ones) > more benefits > better quality.

    I think US guest are used to get quantity over quality, I much prefer the Singapore airlines model with strict op-up than the US model where upgrade is easy but the service in C is pathetic.

    I’m not surprised marriott has chosen this model, they bought Starwood to get access to high paying customers (vs the middle management with per diem / corporate rate style guest they have).

  252. Lucky – Any word as to what they’re doing with vacation packages already purchased but not used? Is the 5 night cat1-5 sitting in my account going to still be worth cat 1-5, or does the cat classification change?

  253. @MOOKS
    To suggest that the new program is “near perfect” ( Lucky) is just so utterly ludicrous ( Presumably the bloggers have had the detail of this for some time, under embargo ( fair enough).
    But the report here fails to anticipate many of the concerns now expressed, understates the cuts, pretty much ignores/glosses over the redemption hikes, doesn’t even touch dynamic pricing, massive increase in earning airline miles via CC spend..and generally reads like a Marriott apologist rather than a piece from a member’s perspective.
    Being relieved because “it could have been so much worse” is a pretty limp assessment , especially given the very serious criticisms of others.
    Maybe Lucky can come back here or post again with a follow-up after he has had more time to reflect.

  254. @Lucky:

    The upgrade policy seems very lax, while yes it does include suites for plat and above it is by no means a guarantee like with spg “best available room including suites”.
    A GM from a European Sheraton told me that M was a lot less binding than Starwood. Could you get an update as to how much it is to the discretion of each hotel?

  255. @Ben1982 for sure the SPG suite upgrade good times are ended.
    Marriott is not consistent with upgrade at all and the T&C are clear…

  256. What will happen to SPG Plat50 SNAs earned for this year?

    Will they be invalidated in August and replaced with 5/10 Marriott SNAs (for those with 50/75 Marriott nights) or nothing (for those without at least 50 Marriott nights)

  257. Ben, is there a possibility they may grandfather the SPG Amex cards for current cardholders?
    That would be the best scenario.

  258. Hi Lucky, on the surface this looks quite good for SPG members but I would appreciate if you can ask/comment on the following:

    1. will there be further category changes of SPG hotels? (this may be potentially a devaluation)

    2. From earning perspective earning is much more nuanced for current SPG members. Especially at properties for $182 or less, there is a devaluation of 500 welcome pts. For instance current SPG 50+ (4pts per point) would earn $21.6 per night worth of points under old program (incl credit card) vs 15.1 (for 500 welcome pts) or 19.6 (for new 1000) welcome point properties. MGC is also a big question – we still do not know how this will impact. If this goes away then potentially on surface it looks like a good deal, but based on my analysis not for lower value properties and short stays which most travelers seem to be doing.

    3. Reading a lot of the negative comments no one seems to be mentioning one big positive. FINALLY, stays across Marriott and SPG will count, previously you could go for SPG gold match to MR gold (lounge, breakfast) and then just give up and move your business over to Hyatt or IHG.

    4. LTP and LTG seems ok for SPG but a big win for Marriott. Firstly, how is it fair that current LTP Marriott people will match to a lifetime plat premier elite FOR LIFE (normally achieved at 75 nights per year EVERY year) but SPG and combined program going forward have no shot at this at all? Also it looks like it was much easier to achieve LTP at Marriott (for instance I would now have 3M MRP and approx 650 nights combined but now will have to wait additional 5 years and only ever earn LTP not LTPE status). Do you think that this may be adjusted in the future? Or at least have any elite years count (regardless of being gold or plat) as long as you have achieved points/nights for lifetime?

    Btw thank you for being such a champ and responding to us from Seychelles! In the middle of the night!

  259. One small correction for post above – above earning rates are based on a room valued at $50, for $100 room the earning would be as follows: 29.7 (old program), 25.65 (new with 500 welcome), 30.15 (new with 1000 welcome).

  260. So what happens if I am MR Gold right now (that i got due to status match with SPG Gold)? Do I get new Platinum or Gold? And if I do get platinum, will they give me 5 suite upgrades, or are they only for those who actually qualify for it by staying?

  261. Sorry for those who got it, but I’m still struggling to understand transition arrangements. I’m SPG Gold (earned) and Marriott Gold (matched under the merger rules, but not really qualifying under Marriott rules). SPG Gold is transitioning into Gold, while Marriott Gold transitions into Platinum. So what will be my status from August?

  262. @ Neil — You’ll get Platinum status, but no Suite Night Awards, as you need to earn 50 elite qualifying nights to get those.

  263. Thanks, Lucky, for your quick reply. Much appreciated.

    So as it seems, I’ll get a splurge – at least for August to December this year.

    As I’m usually making about 15-20 nights at SPG and about 2-3 at Marriott each year – not because of preference, but because of travel/destination pattern – I’ll then make my way down all the way to Silver. I wonder if this includes a “stopover” at Gold … Anyhow, even if it does, it is devaluation, since as a Gold you only get a 2pm checkout, whereas as SPG Gold granted 4pm. So in the medium to long run I’m worse off. (No credit cards in my jurisdiction)

  264. Wondering if the new programme is going to sell points with bonus periodically like SPG did…

  265. Lucky, will each co-branded card’s anniversary free night certificate count as an elite qualifying night and if redeemed in the year earned, effectively reduce the maximum number of paid nights you would have to spend at Marriott family properties to qualify for Platinum status to fewer than 35 nights per year?

  266. @ Gordon — Yep, award stays, including those booked using free night certificates, will qualify towards status.

  267. Lucky,

    Thanks for all your helpful information and patience answering everyone’s question. One question I am still unclear on is: Do you know if the SPG points converted in August will count toward Marriott Lifetime Points? I ask because I am interested in pursing lifetime status via the existing criteria through the end of 2018 as specified in the fine print under the lifetime table.

    Furthermore, if I obtain Marriott LT Gold or Platinum via the existing criteria after August but before the end of 2018, will that status get bumped up a level as the Lifetime table maps for Marriott lifetimers?


  268. @ David Jones — It’s my understanding that if you want to qualify under the existing criteria, you’d have to do so exclusively with the requirements of SPG or Marriott Rewards, so you couldn’t combine activity AND use the old criteria. Sorry!

  269. A couple questions. We’ve planned a big (for us) trip to Indonesia starting July 31 (what timing!). We’ll stay at St.R Bali, RC Ubud, and Mira Moon Hong Kong (all on points). What happens to the amount of points we’ll pay for the stays? Old system even though the STR reservation is both July and August? New system? Combination?

    Also, we’re SPG Gold via Amex now (thus also Marriott Gold), so will be new Platinum for these stays (after Aug 1) and reap the short-term benefit of breakfast as New Platinum at the now-SPG properties?

    Thanks for your help parsing these details!

  270. I’m adding this post per a conversation I had with a Rewards customer service agent that was ultimately escalated to higher levels at Marriott based on concerns with my personal situation. I currently hold lifetime gold status at both Marriott as well as at SPG (Marriott – 700 nights, 1.7M+ points; SPG – 350 nights, 700,000 pre-3:1 converted points, 2.1M post-converted points). Although I’m not going to hit LTP in either program by August, I expressed concern about not being grandfathered in to lifetime platinum premier status based on the fact that as an example, there could be a Marriott LTP member that barely qualified for LTP status granted this higher status versus someone like me, whose aggregate nights and points post-merger would be significantly higher than many legacy LTP members (which to me doesn’t seem to reward someone that falls into this sliver of a situation which I’m sure many of you reading this do). For me personally, I’ll have over 1,000 nights and presumably over 3M+ lifetime points post-consolidation and felt that this shouldn’t be overlooked. I was assured after talking with higher ups that someone in my situation would be grandfathered into lifetime platinum premier based on the order of operations they will execute the program merger and this idea that you have until the end of the calendar year to achieve the status in either program. I would encourage anyone else that falls into a similar situation should definitely call in and validate what I’m saying to ensure that this actually does come to pass. The customer service supervisor understood my concerns and ultimately sent me an e-mail message indicating I will definitely be platinum premier post-consolidation.

  271. I wonder what all this means for those with AMEX and those with Delta status. For example, Platinum and Diamond Medallions receive SPG Platinum status benefits through SPG crossover rewards. These are the upgrades and late checkout benefits everyone keeps discussing in this thread.

    I wonder what Marriott/SPG’s relationship will be like with Delta and AMEX long term.

  272. The charts everyone keeps showing for spg redemptions is all incorrect. A category 6 is 20k and a category 7 is 30k. I checked right online for nyc properties. The redemption values you reflect are all much higher and incorrect.

  273. @Lucky with regards to the free nights from the credit cards. If a hotel costs more than 25k or 35k, are we able to “pay” the difference in points?

  274. @ Capt. C — You’re not able to pay the difference, unfortunately, so you need to redeem at a property within that limit.

  275. @DCS thank you. You and I really see eye to eye on Hilton. I am tired of those not seeing it and just Hilton bash whenever and whatever they want. I know you and are loyal to Hilton. Hilton is my preferred choice of hotel and using the Hilton branded CC is my first choice as well. You are the wise man who saw the need to comment first here about the true benefits and good service that Hilton has always provided. Besides the devaluation from SPG/Marriot, let us not forget about what Hyatt did a while back.

  276. @ZVI @Compspy totally right about the list of breakfast and lounge access. Not worth it. @James yup. I would say Hilton is worth looking into and especially with the devalued programs of Hyatt and Marriot/ SPG. @MikeW absolutely. I would say Hilton and IHG especially Intercontinental would be great and logical choices, now. I would always go Hilton first and then IHG second.

  277. I have had the Ritz credit card for several years so I can get gold status…free breakfast and also the lounge access, pretty valuable with 4 kids. I do the $10k spend for Gold status…which is supposed to be the same as the new platinum status? Are they doing away with the $10k spend to get the upgrade? No way I can get the platinum status just on nights alone. I can do the $75k spend, but would need to figure out how much that would really be worth to run $75k of spend through it.

    So what is the value going to be for the Ritz card going forward? For $450/year(or is it $495, I can’t remember), it’s not hardly competitive if I can’t get free room upgrades, free breakfast with the $10k spend. I think I would rather have the new AMEX card coming out for $75k spend…

  278. @Craig in another post, a reader said for 10K a year, you can get platinum. For 75K, you can get platinum premier. You may want to check with Lucky or directly with the hotel or credit card company on that.

  279. Lucky – Thank you so much for this breakdown!

    I am about 40 nights away from Lifetime Platinum with Marriott. If I can get to 750 nights before August, will I be grandfathered in as Lifetime Platinum Premier? What’s the deadline to meet this threshold?

    I’m somewhat anxious about this, because A) LT Platinum Premier sounds excellent and B) I have only been traveling for 2 or 3 years, and am far from the new 10 year threshold.

  280. Thanks for the info, Lucky. I wonder where some of these details are documented by Marriott. Specifically, your statement “Lifetime Marriott Gold members will become lifetime Marriott Platinum members”. That sounds like good news to me as a lifetime Marriott Gold member.

    I received an email from Marriott that says that I will “keep” my lifetime elite status and the web page says “And if you’ve previously achieved Lifetime Elite status in Rewards or SPG, you will have that Lifetime Elite status in the new program.”

    I hope you’re right, but what I’ve read so far from Marriott implies to me that I’ll keep the same lifetime elite status rather than moving from Gold to Platinum lifetime status. Can you help with my confusion?

  281. I’ve been a SPG Gold (and before that, a Sheraton Club Gold) for 24 years, all through earned nights (no credit card deals as I’m in Australia). Under this new arrangements, I become Marriott Gold Elite – and lose the one benefit that really mattered to me, the guaranteed 4pm checkout. That was the reason I put my stays into Sheraton/SPG for all those 24 years, because that one benefit was a godsend to me – I often take flights that depart in the evenings, so the late checkout was vital. Not impressed at my 24 years of solid loyalty being deemed unworthy of keeping the benefits I’ve had for all those years. (I’m staying 43 nights in my current membership year, as an example of my staying pattern.)

  282. Does existing Marriott Chase credit card ($85 annul fee) is better than the new one ($95 annual fee)?

  283. for me personally the new lifetime elite rules suck. I’m at 450 nights and about 100k points away from LTG. Under the new rules I will remain LTS for at least a few more years given that this is only my 3rd year as elite (went straight from vanilla member to platinum after shifting my business from hilton). would have hit LTG by end of the year or early 2019 under the old rules and then presumably a lifetime of lounge access with occasional stays.

  284. What about loyal SPG lifetime Platinum who have more than 1000 nights and Ambassador for the past 3 years running. Why are they NOT being grandfathered to Lifetime Platinum Premier.

    As I did with Delta (Diamond) and American, I will quit my patronage…..

  285. Will you still be able to transfer points to a spouse (or someone living at the same address) in the new program like you can with SPG today, or should my wife and I combine our points prior to August 1st? Thanks for being so responsive to all the comments!

  286. Overall, great program moving forward. I am honestly (pleasantly) surprised. Marriott is apparently appreciative of the risk of losing loyal customers to Hilton / Hyatt. They shouldn’t now, and those competitors should take note. (if only UA would pay attention here with the huge devaluation prior CO OnePass members experienced).

    The loss of stay credits is a negative for SPG members, but that’s a tree not the forest.
    Will the new program allow for:
    1) Higher points to spend in order to confirm an upgraded room – including suites – on points?
    2) Complimentary space available upgrades while staying on points for a standard room?

    Both are current SPG benefits: you can spend more points and get an upgraded room confirmed. Plus, even if you stay on points in a standard room, you can still be upgraded if available at no extra cost. For Plats at least.

  287. What are the details of the breakfast benefit? Is this continental like SPG, full like Hyatt, or up to the discretion of the hotel?

  288. What happens to my stays at SPG after August 1st ? I have 5 nights booked in spg hotels from august 5-10. Do these stays automatically get credited to new marriott account ?

  289. Some good news for Marriotts CC users and bad news for SPG CC users

    Marriott CC users earn 1 point per $1 on everyday spend
    SPG CC users earn 1 point per $1 on everyday spend=3 Marriott points

    New earning system (for CC users)

    Chase Marriott will earn 2 points per $1 on everyday spend (100% more)
    SPG Marriott will earn 2 points per $1 on everyday spend=0,667 SPG (33% less)

  290. I was on track to hit Marriott Lifetime Platinum next year and no way to expedite and make it this year. Pretty bummed that current Lifetime Platinum get Lifetime Platinum Premier, but the rest of us never will.

  291. Lucky,
    Thanks for the detailed information. I’m trying to get a question answered.
    I’m currently MR lifetime platinum (1,145 nights and 3 million + points).

    I understand I will be grandfathered as a lifetime platinum premier member.

    I’m trying to better understand the breakfast offering. As I understand it, I can select breakfast at check-in instead of points or a gift. But do I get that breakfast on every morning of my stay, or just once?. And is it just for me, or also for my spouse?

    Do lifetime platinum premiers have access to suite upgrades, or would I have to qualify each year as a platinum, even though I’m lifetime?

    Thanks very much!

  292. Hi Lucky,
    I established Lifetime Gold with both prior to the merger. I have about 930 night’s combined, and will have over 3.5MM points combined with a 3-1 conversion ratio for SPG points. Any chance you know if I will have a shot at the Lifetime Platinum Premier option considering I am well above the qualifications for Marriott Lifetime Platinum? Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!

  293. It appears that Marriott just pulled in my lifetime *nights* from SPG. My Marriott Lifetime stays rocketed up by almost 200 nights sometime in the last week, and that’s about what is in my SPG account. No point changes in either location.

    I was already Marriott Lifetime Platinum before that unexpected change, if it matters.

  294. Lucky, at some point in the future it would be best to
    1) revise how you value these new points from Marriott
    2) best credit cards for bonused spend and non bonus spend

  295. I’m in the same boat with Craig, and I saw sgh’s comment but I am still concerned. Like Craig, I spend $10k every year on the Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa for Gold status. Will that Gold status convert to the new Platinum status based on the $10k spend (plus the $450 annual fee) alone? If not, for me there is no sense keeping my RC card, or, for that matter, my Chase Marriott Rewards Visa (or, for that matter, no real benefit to choose Marriott over another hotel).

  296. @ Lucky
    Do you know if earned Marriott Gold elite status years will count towards Platinum status years for lifetime status? (Given that Marriott Gold seems to be matched with Platinum in the new scheme)

  297. Hi Lucky, sorry to beat a dead horse as I know you’ve answered this a few times already but I think there is an inconsistency between your reply/what the status transition chart says versus what David Flueck, SVP Global Loyalty, says at around the 10 min mark in his interview with TPG.
    https://www.facebook.com/thepointsguy/videos/2230152960346390/ I suspect this is why a number of people have been asking similar questions above on this.

    Per David, an Amex Platinum SPG gold who matched to Marriott Gold would get the new Marriott Gold on Aug 1 (*not* the new Marriott Platinum). This is contrary to what you’ve indicated and what the status transition chart says. I don’t see any caveats or asterix next to the chart but this would be a very unwelcome surprise come Aug 1 if true.

    Is there any way you could clarify with the Marriott folks on that? I am hoping you & the transition chart is correct but I am also concerned since the SVP of Loyalty seems to be providing contradicting information.

  298. to follow up on Steve’s question (gold status counting as “new” platinum status when counting elite years) I’d also like to know if there is somewhere we can find out how many elite years, and at what level, we have in each program. I’ve been at this awhile and maybe I’m an oddball but I’ve had my status go up and down over time and have no real idea how many years I’ve been at what level in both programs. I’ll have about 550 nights combined between the two, so I”ll reach the nights requirement for lifetime platinum in the new scheme in the next year or so but have no idea as far as years of elite status. Also, some years as elite were matches or something promotional (RewardsPlus) – do those also count? It would be great to know if they plan to populate the data into our account(s) as to the elite year count for each level.

  299. FAIL.

    Bottom line is the credit card companies better have modeled much slower or no growth on products like SPG Amex Preferred and its successors. Credit cards are about spend, and they’ve eviscerated the earning power.

    Think of it this way – any airline card, or Amex Platinum even – gives a 25k mile transfer (what used to be a coach ticket) to their airline programs for $25k unbonused spend – 1:1. This is nowhere near optimal, as readers know, but it it is an absolute minimum baseline. That earning power is available all over the place. Going forward SPG Amex (& presumably successors) doesn’t deliver even that minimum. It delivers LESS than 1:1. FAIL.

    Starpoints were mostly useful to me as a proxy currency like MR points. It really is amazing how Amex fails repeatedly with their products and drives this small business person away. I’ve already dropped my Amex Plat spend to near zero, and was giving SPG card a shot. If Amex Blue didn’t cap their 2x earning at 50k I’d consider it. Otherwise the AMEX portfolio just doesn’t cut it – at all.

    Cap1 Spark is now going to get over $80k a month spend from this small business owner, with Chase Ink mopping up a few $.

    Again- AMEX FAIL

  300. I was Marriott Lifetime (more than 1500 nights now between Marriott/Ritz & SPG) but switched it to Ritz Lifetime about a year or two ago. Is it better to leave it as is or switch it back to Marriott now?

  301. A friend mentioned to me that the new program will be revenue based on redemption. What does that entails? Can’t find anything on that – how did the bloggers miss that?

  302. I’ve been a SPG loyal member from day one and even before that I was a Sheraton Club International member (SPG even used my old Sheraton Club International number in their program). Not happy about the references of SPG members by Marriotts head guy, and sadly, as a lifetime SPG Platinum member since 2010 (with an Ambassador) not sure how many choices I have. There will never be another program like SPG (sadly) and the new tiers in Marriott do complicate things. SPG was simply a close to perfect program. We stayed with them, showed us loyalty (us to them and them to us) and everyone won. It’s so sad SPGs top guy sold us out. Since Marriott does not “feel” the same as SPG perhaps it’s time to see if the competition wants my business and I try something new. #iwillmissSPGandtheirwonderfulpeopleprogramandproperties

  303. Based on everything I’ve read about the new rewards programs, it seems I’m one of the one’s that will come out on top (sorta), at least at my current status

    I’m close to MR Lifetime Platinum, which based on my current travel schedule, will be achieved by the end of May. This means that in August (based on everything I’ve read), I’ll be upgraded to Lifetime Platinum Premier. Based on the chart above, the only real added benefit for me is the 48-hr guarantee. I very rarely stay 75 nights a year (so the suite option wouldn’t apply), but Marriott has carried over my Platinum status for quite a few years. Kinda sucks for SPG members with Lifetime Platinum with Ambassador though (like Mike above). Seems like they will be bumped down a notch. Seems like Marriott would match ALL lifetime statuses

    I agree with another post I read also, that they should have combined the two Platinum Elite statuses, as not to confuse the hotels. With 3 Platinum tiers, it is likely to be very confusing for hotels.

  304. Lucky –
    Thanks for your comprehensive review of the upcoming changes to MR and SPG.
    I’m a Marriott Vacation Club owner of two weeks since 2002. Right now I have 335 lifetime nights with Marriott and 1.17M lifetime MR points. Over the last 17 years, I’ve been a MR member with 13 years at Silver status and 4 years at Gold status. In 2017, as a MVC owner with Select status I was given MR Gold status for as a long as I maintained ownership with Marriott Vacation Club. My question is this: Will my MR Gold status become Platinum status in the new system? As someone who has spent tens of thousands of dollars in purchase price for Marriott weeks, in addition to $5K per year in maintenance fees, will Marriott honor the Gold to Platinum conversion as part of the written agreement that guaranteed MR Gold status to Select MVC owners?
    – Ron

  305. According to latest news on SPG website, current Lifetime Platinums with over 750 nights and 10+ years will be grandfathered into Lifetime Platinum Premier level…

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