Yes, Marriott Is Basically Giving Away Platinum Status This Year

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Update: It appears as if those who earned SPG Gold through the Amex Platinum won’t be receiving Marriott Platinum status. I’m working on confirming at the moment who exactly does earn SPG Platinum status, so stay tuned.

Yesterday we learned the full details of Marriott’s new loyalty program, which is launching this August. Personally I think the program is the best case scenario, as I was expecting the new program to be much worse. Instead the new program looks a lot more like Starwood Preferred Guest than Marriott Rewards, with the benefit of improved points earning for hotel stays.

I covered all the changes in detail yesterday, and today want to write a series of posts about some of the changes that I find most interesting, and the things that people seem to be most interested in. I’m in the Seychelles at the moment, so suffice to say that 4:30PM ET time yesterday wasn’t the ideal time for this news to break. 😉

In this post I wanted to talk about how readily available Marriott Platinum status will be this year. It’s something I’ve received tons of questions about, so let’s talk about exactly how this will work.

Marriott is offering transitionary status

As of August of this year, all three loyalty programs are moving to Marriott’s platform, which will obviously be a huge transition, given the number of members we’re talking about. Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest are very different loyalty programs, and in order to avoid pulling a bait-and-switch and hugely changing elite benefits mid-tier, a lot of people will see a short term status boost.

Specifically, here’s how status transitions will work this year for those who earned Marriott Rewards status:

The most noteworthy thing here is that Starwood Preferred Guest Gold and Marriott Rewards Gold members will be upgraded to Platinum status in August, and that will be valid through the end of the membership year (which is early next year).

Yes, just about everyone is getting Marriott Platinum status this year

Between August 2018 and January 2019, the ranks of Marriott Platinum members will be massively inflated. Who is getting Platinum status, other than current Marriott Rewards Platinum and SPG Platinum members?

As you might expect, this includes a huge pool of new Platinum members, given that any United MileagePlus Gold member and above, and anyone with an Amex Platinum Card, will suddenly be eligible to receive Marriott Platinum status. Just make sure that you match your current status so that you’re Marriott Rewards Gold prior to August.

What will Amex Platinum & RewardsPlus members receive going forward?

In the future, United elites participating in RewardsPlus and Amex Platinum cardmembers who are enrolled will receive Marriott Gold status. This is obviously a downgrade for those members, as currently Gold members receive free lounge access and breakfast. That’s also the reason that Marriott is upgrading people from Gold to Platinum between August and the end of the year, since they don’t want to pull a mid-year bait and switch.

What benefits will Marriott Platinum members receive?

Marriott Platinum members will receive the following benefits, among other things, as of August:

  • Room upgrades subject to availability, including standard suites
  • Executive lounge access, and the ability to choose restaurant breakfast as your welcome amenity at most brands
  • 15 points per dollar spent (a 50% points bonus)
  • Guaranteed 4PM late check-out, except at resorts

The Choice Benefit (which gives you the choice of five Suite Night Awards) can only be earned with 50 elite qualifying nights, so you don’t earn that if you’re just being upgraded to Platinum status. Those Suite Night Awards offer confirmed suite upgrades in advance, rather than suite upgrades subject to availability at check-in.

Suite upgrades subject to availability are going to be done in the same way that SPG has historically done it, where you get a suite as long as it’s available. However, I suspect there will be a learning curve for many Marriott properties, given that this isn’t a benefit the program has historically offered. Furthermore, given the number of Platinum members starting in August, I’d expect these to be pretty rare at first, until the elite ranks are thinned a bit.

Bottom line

I think it’s fair that Marriott is upgrading current Gold members to Platinum status, given that the new program is being implemented mid-year. This is especially generous for those earning the status through the Amex Platinum Card or RewardsPlus. However, those members also won’t be getting as much value out of the program going forward.

The good news is that even going forward, Platinum status won’t be that hard to qualify for, given Marriott’s global footprint. It will take just 50 nights, and you can receive 15 elite qualifying nights just for having a co-branded Marriott credit card.

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  1. So will holders of the Platinum card now have access to match to United Silver via Marriott Platinum?

  2. This entire change makes Marriott a wash for me. I can’t see staying in any Marriott or SPG properties after I use up the points I have for flights. Hilton was so generous with benefits on their new credit cards.

  3. I am SPG Platinum from last year and already qualified this year so it should be valid until 02/2020. That means I will also have Marriott Platinum. Thus, at least until 02/2019 I gain nothing other than having a huge wave of Golds competing for the same room upgrades. What a mess!!!!

  4. Sorry, Ben, but I think you’ve bought their marketing spin. This is an upcoming big devaluation to Amex Platinum/SPG Amex–losing guaranteed 4pm late check and breakfast at Marriott properties–that you’ve spun as a “short-term status boost” in the form of a more “exclusive” label (platinum as opposed to gold) but with the only real improvement is being technically eligible for suite upgrades at check-in (which you admit will likely be quite rare). Come 2019, this is big hit to those earning status through premium cards (and, IMO, one of the primary drivers justifying high annual fees/annual spend).

  5. @ Mitch Totally agree. This is a enhancement for only 5 months, followed by a huge, permanent downgrade for United members having obtained Marriott Gold in the past years.

  6. I have Marriott/SPG gold through Amex Platinum and spread my hotel stays among Marriott / SPG / Four Seasons / independent hotels. So I will be impacted by this change in 2019.

    However, at the end of the day, status should be for those that earn it. Flying or staying in hotel rooms. Cards should maybe offer boosts, but that’s it.

    If you were a gold via Amex Platinum, you didn’t earn it. So you don’t have a leg to stand on here.

  7. As a casual traveler, the Amex Plat perk for SPG gold was a nice benefit, as I would never otherwise stay anywhere near the 25-50 nights needed to quality for lounge access or guaranteed late checkout, etc. Now that the benefit will be gone next year, I see it as yet another negative for whether I keep the Amex Plat card in the future. I hope Amex Plat adds something to ‘make up’ for this soon.

  8. Is there really a guarantee that Marriott gold status that was matched from SPG gold will get platinum under the new program? Marriott could go back and find the source of everyone’s status.

  9. I believe you’re showing the status change for people who earned their current status with Marriott, while the conversion for people who earned status with SPG is shown here And the benefits for the new Platinum status are basically the same as the current Marriott gold (including the number of nights), so if anything there should be fewer people in lounges than now (since SPG gold currently gets lounge access at Marriott properties, and wont after the conversion).

  10. Life in the US is so easy, just take a simple creditcard and BAM Gold/Platinum/Diamond status for free.

    The rest of the world has to earn their status. #Unfair

  11. The big ding for me is not having lounge access in 2019 for status through a card. Upgrades are hit and mostly miss. The 4pm check out is nice but you rarely need it.

  12. Any idea if you were to requalify as SPG Gold before 8/1 if that would allow you to hold Platinum through 1/2020?

  13. Hmmm. I have SPG “Lifetime Gold”, but only a few nights in-house with SPG this year. Wonder what status transfer will be like for “lifetime” ppl?

  14. Well this makes me ecstatic to have completed a Platinum challenge 6 weeks ago.

    And it confirms – Marriott knows that current gold is the functional equivalent of future platinum, but for purposes of lifetime status, it is mere gold.

    This helps me get lifetime “future” gold, with gold in the future being worth no more than a bucket of warm piss.

  15. I realize 35 nights is paltry for you, but for some of us common folks with family responsibilities it’s a huge amount, particularly given that our goal is to stay for “free” as often as possible and we have lots of points in other hotel chains also which we definitely plan on using. We have lifetime United gold, so we will be losing the current gold benefits. Now the Marriott gold is something that just fell in our laps, so I guess it was simply nice while it lasted. I think the Hilton Aspire is vastly better for our purposes, and if we were somewhere at hyatt where breakfast/lounge really mattered, I guess we’d try to use points for that. We will be avoiding Marriott starting 2019 unless there is a really compelling reason.

  16. Just to clarify – are you saying that all existing SPG Gold members will be upgraded to Platinum status in August no matter what (for the rest of 2018) Even if i qualified on 10 stays last year?

  17. @Anthony, one of the legs I use to justify the Am Ex Plat $550 AF is Marriott/SPG status. I easily get $200 a year in value from free breakfast and lounge access. Am Ex should be worried.

  18. This year I got Marriott Gold by 30K spent on SPG Amex card last year. Coming Aug it would be Platinum at Marriott. Is there a spent min on SPG Amex that will get me Platinum next year?

  19. I personally wouldn’t qualify under any of those ways. I wonder if I use my founder’s card to Marriott Gold it will qualify. Will update in future.

  20. @Mitch: could not agree more with your comments. Ben should just leave the blogger bubble and assume this is a huge devaluation for Amex holders. The Amex SPG was my daily spend card but it was devalued by 33%. Amex Platinum gave me SPG Gold with breakfast on most hotels and 4pm check out. That is gone. Staying 50 nights in Marriott properties is way too much in my case. First, I have a family so spend nights on my own bed is my top priority. Second, most of my business travel is in Europe and if you leave the main big cities in England, Italy, France good luck finding a Marriott hotel. Last, I used to qualify for SPG Platinum on 25 stays. That is also gone. Thus, for me these changes were horrible. I feel Ben and other bloggers only write posts based on their world which for many here is not the real world.

  21. August is not the middle of the year. For Amex cardholders this is basically a short term boost, for 4-5 months, followed by a significant and permanent downgrade.

  22. @Lucky, I think the membership ends in february 2020 if we got Marriott gold stauts this year. So we should have Platinum status until february 2020

  23. @ Ben — So, most everyone will be Platinum forever, when you consider the August 1 status giveaway + easy 15 credit card elite nights + massive Marriott footprint. Suite upgrades will continue to be non-existent. I’ll stick with my Royal Ambassador status (and Hyatt Globalist if we can swing the 60 nights), thank you.

    Furthermore, at least with Hilton, all you have to do is pay the net $100 -$200 (depending on your valuation) annual fee on the amazing Aspire card to get their almost-as-useless-as-SPG-Platinum Platinum status. No nights actually required.

    Bottom line is that SPG/Marriott will continue to serve as a transfer vessel for airline miles in my world. Nothing more. I did try a year with SPG Platinum, and I was totally unimpressed. Having to argue for benefits completely ruins them. SPG is bait and switch when it comes to suite upgrades. Maybe Marriott will prove better in this area, although I would be shocked.

  24. I am on SPG GOLD via $30k spend, the way I read I am going to be combined Gold since I earned my Marriott Gold through programs linking. Where do you see info on current SPG Gold becoming Platinum on 8/1? Would be nice though.

  25. It’s completely shambolic, Ill-conceived, poorly communicated, about as Marriott-centric as it could be. Lucky continues to talk it up but it’s hard to see winners in this. The writing was on the wall a couple of weeks ago when Sorensen was quoted as saying he wanted to deliver lower costs for owners ( in addition to the usual double-speak clap-trap about creating a wonderful program).
    It’s worse than Hyatt and makes HH and …God forbid…IHG look good.

  26. @ Anthony,

    I got a AMEX plat emerprise card comes with 3 A/U no charge, card is no charge 1st year

    My twin 18 year old girls have been using it with great success, as a instant gold they often get suites or really nice rooms and breakfast.

    They got it the easy way, fun while it lasted, sorry to all the golds/plats, taking away all inventory, Twin girls are stealing your space away for free and with no loyalty…

  27. So I currently have Marriott Gold which apparently will be granted Plat in Aug. I have a Marriott resort reservation starting December 29th for 1 week into 2019. Once 2019 changes occur, I believe I’ll be silver.

    Does the Plat status carry through the entire reservation?

  28. From all the comments here, the group of people most unhappy with the changes are those who had SPG Gold through Amex Plat, which they status matched to Marriott Gold and got free brekky and lounges at various Marriott Hotels, and will no longer get those from 2019.

    People need to realise that elite benefits are meant for those who actually stay several nights at hotels and spend thousands of dollars. Status earned through various cards was a kind of bonus that should be seen as something which was good while it lasted. Problem is, you give people something for free once and then they develop this entitlement mentality, as if they have a birth right over them.

  29. @Jason
    That’s my understanding, it’s Marriott gold to be matched to Platinum, not SPG ( and the linked accounts is irrelevant because the August tier change is on the basis of the earned level, not the matched one)
    I would love to be wrong.

  30. The ideal solution, IMO, is allowing people to buy access to the lounge when they book a hotel. $50 a night seems reasonable. As a business traveler, I would love this solution, especially at convention hotels, as I use lounges to work in the morning. Ritz-Carlton obviously does this with their Club Levels, but expand it to the entire Marriott portfolio.

  31. @Nick has correctly pointed out an error in this post that makes it misleading as initially written and needs to be corrected.

    What is shown above is the status change ONLY for bona fide MR members, and NOT for those who earned MR status through matching.

    @Nick on April 17, 2018 at 8:29 am provided the link for status change for those who earned their primary status through SPG.

    While MR Gold will convert to the ‘new’ MR Platinum, SPG Gold will convert to the equally useless ‘new’ MR Gold.

  32. I don’t know how it works for Marriott, but it has often been my experience in the past that SPG hotel bookings primarily use your status at the time of booking, not the time of the stay — so if you book a hotel room while Platinum and later lose the status, the hotel will often still give you the benefits, but on the other hand if you book while not Platinum and later get moved up, the hotel won’t realize it unless you specifically ask them to double-check your status level.

    So people who are currently Gold and hope to take advantage of their new Platinum status later this year may need to ask SPG properties to double-check their current status level at the front desk, or may want to rebook their stays after their Platinum status comes into effect (depending what the new award chart ends up looking like anyway).

  33. @ Glen — Status typically only expires at the end of January, so I suspect any status earned this year would be valid through then.

  34. @ Jason — Maybe I’m confused here. They sure aren’t making this easy, though that’s probably due to the complexity of all of this. But where does it say that those who matched wouldn’t be eligible for status based on that?

  35. If I earn SPG Gold via $30K spend on my SPG card before August 1 that should get Marriott Platinum in the new program through Jan 2020 as I would earn the status next year or am I analyzing that incorrectly?

  36. @Lucky, I had raised that question in the other post and would be intrigued to get an answer 🙂

    While Suite Upgrades (select suites seems to be synonymous for standard suites) are listed as Plat benefit – by no means do we see upgrades to the best available room as a guarantee like spg had it. A Sheraton GM I spoke to seemed very happy about Marriott being so lax and not imposing real standards (something I always liked about spg).
    So I guess this is a real downgrade of the programme since until now you were able to claim an upgrade if they had better rooms on sale. This seems to have gone. Could you try to get a statement on that from Marriott? Thanks!

  37. I still don’t understand why people want to be on the hotel status wheel. I can understand it for airlines as there are only ever a few, if that, that fly between any two cities, or certainly from out of a city (I live in Dallas so I’m EXP as it makes it easier). But when you get to most cities there are many, many choices you can make. Why limit to a particular brand when you then get stuck in a certain location. For the business readers, I do understand as it simplifies travel and you may not want to be out exploring a city, but if you travel for leisure get out and explore. I would much rather be out at a local bar or restaurant than sitting in ‘the club’ with a bunch of people who only care it is free. That is not experiencing the location.

  38. @Lucky re Jason’s point.
    There is significant discussion about it on FT ( although no absolute clarity)

  39. Chase & Amex are going to take a big hit from people canceling their Platinum/Ritz cards. Marriott’s to not keep the $10k spend for old Marriott Gold/new Platinum is shortsighted.

  40. @rg I didn’t rely on a credit card to get my status and what you say makes sense. However, people who recently signed up for amex plat and spent all that money on the af have every right to be pissed if they got the card for the gold status. What should of happened is that the people with the amex card should be bumped up to plat until the end of their current membership year.

  41. @Lucky. I see the same table/link as @Jason from an SPG email…which looks different than the one you posted above. Looks like current SPG gold will only be Gold Elite in August & not Plat. Please confirm?

  42. Lucky – I just finished a SPG Platinum Challenge and I’m technically Platinum until 2/2020. Does this mean I’ll be Platinum with Marriott until 2/2020 as well?

  43. @ Michelle — Am working on getting official confirmation as this is confusing. Marriott chart says that Gold matches to Platinum, and makes no mention of whether those who are matched to Marriott would qualify for that. Seems weird to exclude those who were SPG Gold, but not exclude those through RewardsPlus. Will share the answer as soon as I have it.

  44. I agree with all the comments about how maybe there’s an article due now about how this adversely affects Amex Platinum members, as well as a re-evaluation about whether that $550 annual fee is now worth it.

  45. @ Lucky – according to a post on TPG, Platinum Premier members will get UA Silver status going forward, but not Platinum members. Can you confirm that?

  46. I’m glad my Marriott Lifetime Platinum has be grandfathered into Lifetime Platinum Premier. I thought I was getting downgraded for a bit.

  47. Amex Plat. here, we don’t get free breakfast with SPG Gold anyway. However, we get it with Hilton Gold, and that’s a determining factor for me when I choose my hotels. I don’t care much about upgrades (very rarely get lucky, npi), or lounge access, but breakfast makes me pick one above the other almost 100%.

  48. @lucky Raffles, at UK site Headforpoints has reported that amex platinum members who got SPG Gold which was matched to Marriott Gold, will only receive Gold in new programme so perhaps check in with him. If correct, It’s pretty disappointing for those of us who have already made reservations post August for Marriott hotels on basis of free breakfasts etc.

  49. As someone who actually earns platinum through nights stayed I think all the changes are great. People whining about losing card status matches I’m so glad I don’t have to compete for my suites with them or share lounge access with them anymore. Bye Felicia’s. Also love the lifetime status changes, I go from no lifetime status with either to lifetime gold in August, only a couple years from platinum

  50. Common sense suggests that they won’t have a separate SPG table if they were solely going with Marriott matched statuses

  51. @ Jason — Fair enough, though it also doesn’t make much sense that they’re comping those through RewardsPlus Platinum status, but not those through the Amex Plat.

  52. @Christopher
    Well, good luck to you but while you might not be competing with so many CC folk, you WILL be up against about 10 million newly minted Platinums ( ie, formerly Marriott Golds).
    Sure a few dried up, meatless bones have been thrown into the crowd…but by just about every significant measure, SPG members have been screwed and the program going forward is a lousy pale pink clone of Preferred Guest of days past.

  53. To all you “I have the American Express Card WHINERS” Go take a hike! Who are you and why do you deserve to have any benefits other than earning points. Companies that give all that crap away to people for holding a credit card is ludicrous. You already get a 15 night credit. Achieve status and earn the benefits or go somewhere else. Thats what Marriott is trying to tell you.

    SPG was a CREDIT CARD loyalty program. The earn and burn sucked and there weren’t enough hotels for the program to have that much value . W hotels are far out there weird, Sheratons were beat up and it seems Westins were far few and in between. Either way get used to a program that awards you for SLEEPING AT THEIR HOTELS instead of spending on their credit card.
    Thank goodness!!!! Rid of the credit card free loaders in the lounges

  54. I may be the only one that cares about this, but do you know if they are keeping the SPG Broadway Audience Rewards? I did use it to see shows in NYC. Hopefully they keep the Delta Crossover too. Thanks!

  55. So… if I have an upcoming 5 night stay at a Westin in February, I’ll be out of luck with any suite upgrades since the Platinum status will end in January?

  56. Sorry if I missed this, but what is the cut-off date for the membership year (at which point benefits would expire and the membership year resets)?

  57. most people seem to be unable to process some common sense here.

    you keep posting this link as in the writer of this blog was wrong. Duh!

    Keep your head straight. If you got Gold SPG then you can match Gold with Marriott. Now when August come, you think Marriott system can seperate their clients if this guys are gold from ….what?

    – Marriot challenge
    – Amex
    – United
    – SPG challeng then match

    There r tons of case here. TONs.

    In no way Marriott can filters a lot of case out one by one. If they use people do the hand work and check through all the system across SPG, Marriott and Riz then this might me possible.

    You give to much credit to IT department. The error in website, promotions , rate are appear everywhere on weekly basis. You think they can develope model to do that? NO.

    When August come, whatever that in the system of Marriott right now will be process accordingly. That end of discussion.

  58. I think Marriott completely dropped the ball here about those that got SPG Gold through AMEX Platinum -or other means besides elite nights and stays- and then status matched to Marriott Gold.

    Given that those two program gold elite levels separately translate into two different tiers in the new program, there’s no clarity as to which takes precedence and on the surface, it looks like as long as you have Marriott Gold status, you’ll at least become Platinum in the new program.

    Plus, lets say someone is SPG Gold but hasn’t status matched to Marriott Gold. Wouldn’t they see this chart and realize, that if all they do is status match to Marriott Gold then they’ll go up a level in the new Program (Plat Elite vs. Gold Elite).

    What a mess.

  59. To me, I think those who earn either gold SPG or Marriott through Challenge program should be able to grant Platinum after august. The Challenge program is set up by the hotel itself, and the purpose to steal some market share from competitors. SPG and Marriott already agree that staying 6-9 nights during this program are show enough that clients willing to be a part of the hotel family. So it doesnt make any sense to dissmiss them.

    But those who got gold SPG or Marriott through Amex, United gold matching – these are different groups. They didnt even have to stay a single night to achive the status. So if you wanna dissmiss someone back to Silver eliete. Do it to this group instead.

  60. I have Marriott Gold due to the SPG gold link (got SPG gold for ‘free’ via AMEX Plat) . Have a previously booked stay this upcoming January (13-20, 2019) at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa. Does this mean they won’t honor the free breakfast/lounge access any more due to the upcoming changes as of August 1, 2018? Or the status will reset later and I am good? I booked this about 2 months ago, i.e. before the changes were announced.

  61. Lucky, you ought to revise your page big time because you have allowed in your later posts that you could very well be wrong about Platinum status this year to holding the AMEX Platinum card, as well as being a UA elite — areas which I note you have a vested interest in considering Platinum status beneficiaries.

    I believe you are misleading many people with your conclusions as the best conjecture seems to be that these people will not obtain Platinum status. In addition, you could very well be wrong about LT Platinum status being conferred UA Silver status — better that you check with Marriott and UA than make idle suppositions without any support, whatsoever.

  62. @CR and others – I think that it is a bit silly to expect MR to convert SPG Golds to the ‘new’ MR Platinum, considering that SPG Gold was not much of status.

    ‘Old’ MR Gold elite to ‘new’ MR Platinum elite , on the other hand, makes perfect sense because the ‘new’ MR Platinum elite IS the ‘old’ MR Gold elite.

    UA elites were matched to MR Gold elite, therefore, it also makes perfect sense that they should be converted or matched to the ‘new’ Platinum elite…

  63. Palao,

    I have read your whining on FT, your mention of millions of Marriott Gold members becoming Platinum is simply obtuse — those Marriott Gold members generally have 50 nights under their belt from last year or this year and therefore would qualify as Platinum members under the new regime — that is why they are being upgraded to Platinum in August. They do not constitute millions upon millions of members.

    You are just a sourpuss because your LT SPG Platinum 75 or 100 is not going to be recognized as anything more that LT Platinum in the new system, whereas LT Marriott Rewards Platinum members will be elevated to LT Platinum Premier status — something that I think should also be open to high night SPG platinum members, as well, but your screeds show how utterly childish and child-like you are.

    In addition, LT Marriott Gold members are rightly given LT Platinum membership under the new regime because they have more than 500 nights in Marriott and therefore do qualify under most of SPG status requirements for SPG Platinum status, ergo LT Platinum status under the new system.

    Don’t like it, well find something better, but I am sure that HHonors Diamond members by simply holding the HH Aspire AMEX card are not going to endear you more to the HHonors program!!! Ha Ha!!!

  64. @DCS – While your analysis I think is totally fine, pandoras box was opened up when they started status matching SPG Golds to the significantly better MR Gold in the old program with more benefits. That’s what got people hooked and created this expectation I think.

    The main issue I have is just the lack of clarity and communication from Marriott on AMEX Platinum card holders; that’s what I meant by ‘dropping the ball’.

  65. DCS is right, CR!

    Prior to Marriott’s merger with SPG you did not have a breakfast or lounge benefit at SPG hotels, nor did you have such a benefit at SPG hotels, after the merger!!!

    You only got that benefit at Marriott hotels because Marriott conferred upon you that benefit for a temporary period — that period is ending as of 8/1/18!!!

    Why should you get Marriott Lounge access and Marriott breakfast that was conferred to 50 nights/year Marriott members when you got the same as them at Marriott branded hotels simply by holding the AMEX Platinum card????

    Boo Hoo, on you!!!

  66. “that’s what got people hooked” on the Marriott program!!

    Ya think???

    Of course they wanted people to get hooked and have an incentive to continue earning those benefits, something that an SPG Gold member never had access to????

    If you can’t make that sort of commitment, there is a perfectly fine program out there for you — HHonors, and with the new Aspire card, you can obtain Diamond status, to boot!

    Pretty easy choice if you ask me if hotel status is what you are interested in.

  67. @HADLEY V. BAXENDALE – Did anyone that qualified for Marriott Gold status through stays throw a tantrum when they started status matching SPG Golds? I certainly don’t remember people like yourself being up in arms when that happened.

    I’m guessing you don’t work in consumer marketing / branding / comms / market research (I do)..the issue is one of customer satisfaction and brand sentiment. If you give a consumer something that is better, then take that away that, that is obviously going to create a negative sentiment towards that brand. That’s what is at play here basically; consumer psychographics and sentiment. Those that had SPG Gold, status matched to a better program, now are going to be potentially downgraded. It’s a roller coaster ride.

    If you want to be angry at anyone, don’t blast me for simply pointing out a valid point and calling Marriott out on it. Be angry at Marriott for basically giving away Gold status to so many people. (And I’ll add that Marriott Gold elites that QUALIFIED through stays/nights would have every right to be ticked off at Marriott for giving away Gold status so easily).

  68. TPG had a live chat earlier on Facebook with an exec. from Marriott that said that current American Express Platinum holders will not get Marriott platinum come August 1, but will remain at gold.

  69. The biggest benefit to me over the past several years of my SPG statuses [SPG Preferred Plus (via DL) / SPG Corporate Preferred (via my employer’s corporate contract) / SPG Gold (via Amex Platinum)] has been the 4pm late checkout guarantee, even though my most frequently visited Westin is among the “resort and convention center” exceptions.

    I have been preferentially picking SPG properties for that benefit (adding Marriotts once they also offered it), and after my most recent stay at a DoubleTree (“the best we can do is 1pm unless you pay extra” “even for HH Gold?” “even for HH Gold”) I was even more inclined to stay with Starriott instead of Hilton.

    The new program nerfs that into “2pm subject to availability” for new-program Golds. It’s admittedly slightly better than nothing in that I’m more likely to get 2pm than “the best we can do is 1pm” but now I have the choice of Starriott with no breakfast or Hilton with, and not much difference in the late checkout to counterbalance that.

    I know my value as a customer isn’t high enough to matter (if it were, I’d be earning Platinum or higher already) but it’s not zero, either. HH now has a chance to make their Gold visibly better than Starriott’s, and if they do they’ll be getting my room nights in 2019.

  70. @CR — I will agree only with this: “The main issue I have is just the lack of clarity and communication from Marriott on AMEX Platinum card holders.”

    The status reciprocity that benefited SPG Golds more the MR Gold Elites was just temporary. There is no reason for it to continue during the upcoming transition to the fully merged program…

  71. This is not correct. Current Marriott Golds get matched to New Platinum, but current SPG Golds get matched to new Gold. There are separate charts depending on which original program you are looking at.

  72. Per David Flueck at ~11:00 minute mark on below clip w/ TPG, SPG Gold from Amex Plat only gets Marriott Gold effective August 1, 2018.

  73. Lucky,

    TPG just confirmed with David Flueck only marriot gold gets plat (not on match). Everyone else is gets gold.

  74. CR —

    I am thrilled with the changes to the program, not angry! I was not too upset that AMEX Plat cardholders received Marriott Gold status match via SPG Gold but I expected it to be a bit short-lived and I assumed that it was the first part of Marriott’s strategy to entice SPG Whiners — err, Elites into the Marriott program.

    It succeeded.

    You have a choice — throw away all the time and $$ you invested into the SPG program and start anew with an inferior elite benefits program such as IHG; or a very good points and breakfast program such as HHonors, but which provides its highest status if you hold a particular credit card — an anathema to SPG Elites who look down upon the hoi polloi — or migrate to the Hyatt program with its small footprint.

    Of course, you could enroll in Wyndham Rewards or Choice Privileges, but the status recognition at those is virutally nil and you certainly would be rubbing elbows with those many of your elites sneer at, so we Marriott members are quite simply enjoying seeing the self-entitled SPG elites squirm.

    In any event, although Marriott has somewhat cut the recognition of the high-flying SPG elites, it largely preserved it for those people, because going forward, the Suite Night Upgrades will only be available to those who put in 50 and 75 and 100 nights throughout the combined Marriott hotel portfolio and at most only 15 nights can be earned from holding a credit card. That is not too far off from what dual SPG AMEX personal and business cardholders received = 10 combined nights — so will all of you quit your whining!

  75. @ Lucky – Will there be a minimum spend on the SPG Amex or the Marriott Visa card for Gold status? Platinum status? What if one has a Platinum Amex and gets gold status and then could they use the minimum spend to get Platinum status?

  76. “Those with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express who spend at least $30,000 on the card in a calendar year receive SPG Gold status, which as of August will be matched to Marriott Platinum status.”

    Better check on this. My email from marriott said marriott gold would go to marriott platinum. But my email from SPG said SPG gold would stay at Marriott gold. Other blogger have confirmed this is the case. I was hoping the other but would really like to know because it will save me $95. I’m sure terms will continue to be clarified in the coming days.

  77. “Marriott Rewards Gold members will be upgraded to Platinum status in August, and that will be valid through the end of the membership year (which is early next year)”

    Upgraded??? Basically they just extending the current Gold level benefits until the end of the year before putting them on the chopping block. How is that an upgrade?

  78. We are definitely getting conflicting statements on this. David Flueck says the elite status as of Aug will be based on the “earned” status (not from match or credit cards), but other Marriott executives seem to disagree. As posted on headforpoints, the European VP of Loyalty also confirmed.

  79. @yyc
    But isn’t he saying that in reference to the Amex Plat to Gold match ( not for those who earned Gold ex CC). ?
    Correct me if I’m wrong. In any case, it’s from a conversation at a party rather than an official source.
    The whole thing is totally shambolic. Left hand/right hand, etc.

  80. I highly doubt Amex plays who previously matched over to MR gold will not be upgraded come August.

    Marriotts IT department seems inept. They can’t even get quarterly bonus to load correctly.

    My guess is anyone who was MR gold in their system by x date (past Monday maybe) will be upgraded come August.

    SPG gold who try to upgrade after that date upgrade to gold and gold only.

    They are too inept to do this seamlessly IMO.

  81. Regardless of how you earned your Marriott Gold status, you are promised certain benefits that come with Marriott Gold status until your status expiry date, and you make travel plans with that promised benefits in mind.
    Marriott just cannot take away those promised benefits mid-year, as it will cause major probelms for many people who already made travel plans post July.
    How you earned Marriott Gold does not matter at all, because the current program does not distuingish benefits based on how one has earned his/her status.

  82. @SF It is not so clear-cut. I received two emails. The one that was sent in reference to my Marriott account says Gold will transfer to Platinum. The one that was sent in reference to my SPG account says Gold will transfer to Gold. So, unless one is a mistake, it matters where you earned your Gold. If you earned it through SPG, as you and I did, it may not go to Platinum.

  83. Now that Marriott requires 10 years as a Platinum, does anyone know how to find out this information? Is it within the Marriott web site?


  84. Any updates on if those who earned SPG Gold through the Amex Platinum won’t be receiving Marriott Platinum status?

  85. @JL I agree with you, it’s not right. I have hotels booked with points for October, with the assumption that I could use the lounge and get breakfast. Hopefully we’ll get Platinum through the end of the this year, then revert to gold.

  86. Any definitive update on whether current Marriott gold via Amex plat goes to “new” gold August 1 (downgrade)? thanks

  87. Finally someone answered the question on United’s status match to gold vs platinum. The new gold is a huge downgrade for us United gold plus members. The only reason I stayed at Marriotts was the lounge and club access that my 1k status got me. While I can understand matching UA gold which is not that hard to reach to Marriott gold, seems like it would be a good opportunity for Marriott and United to have some way to reach a marriott platinum via 1k or exec platinum status match.

  88. The new gold is a downgrade no matter your status. The new platinum is like current gold.

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