Marriott has announced that they will be creating a unified program with SPG as of August 2018. A new name for the loyalty program will be released in early 2019. Here are additional details about the new program, don’t forget to read our post on American Express SPG changes as well.
- They will add standard and off-peak pricing in 2019
- Award chart is as follows
There will be five elite tiers as follows:
- Silver: 10 nights
- 10% bonus points
- Priority late check-out, subject to availability
- Dedicated elite reservations line
- Gold: 25 nights
- 25% bonus points
- 2PM late check out, subject to availability
- Welcome gift of points
- Room upgrade subject to availability but excluding suites
- Platinum: 50 nights
- 50% bonus points
- Guaranteed 4PM late check out (subject to availability at resorts only)
- Welcome gift of points, breakfast or an amenity
- Executive lounge access
- Annual choice of 5 suite night awards or a gift
- Platinum Premier: 75 nights
- 75% bonus points
- Another annual choice of 5 suite night awards or a gift (e.g you get two of these)
- Platinum Premier with Ambassador service: 100 nights plus $20,000 in qualifying spend
- Ambassador service
- Your24 (check in/out over 24 hour period)
As you can see earning elite stays through stays is no longer possible, it’s all based on nights.
There are some changes to lifetime status, for those with existing lifetime status you’ll receive the following status:
- Lifetime SPG gold members will become lifetime Marriott gold members
- Lifetime SPG platinum members will become lifetime Marriott platinum members
- Lifetime Marriott Gold/Platinum members will become lifetime platinum members
Lifetime Platinum members do not receive the annual choice benefit of 5 suite night awards or a gift. This is disappointing as that’s a primary Platinum benefit and one that most elites would want. For those wanting to qualify for new lifetime status the rules are:
- Lifetime silver elite: 250 lifetime nights + 5 years elite status
- Lifetime gold elite: 400 lifetime nights + 7 years gold elite status or higher
- Lifetime platinum elite: 600 lifetime nights + 10 years platinum elite status or higher
Hotel Points To Airlines
You’ll be able to transfer your Marriott Rewards points into airline miles (like you currently can with Starwood Preferred Guest). For every three points you transfer you’ll receive one airline mile, you’ll also get a 5,000 mile bonus for every 60,000 points you transfer. This is also the same as the current SPG program. The Marriott hotel + air package will be sticking around, but prices will change (no firm details yet).
They are also adding new airline options. In total there will be more than 40 airlines. New airlines include Qantas, JetBlue, Turkish & more.
It’s hard to determine how bad the award chart changes really are without also knowing what properties will be in what property. Previously the highest Marriott award category was 45,000 points, after the change it will be 85,000 points (and then up to 100,000 points during peak in 2019). That’s kind of a ridiculous change, but if that new category is solely SPG luxury properties then it’s not as bad as first glance would make it (although it’s still awful).
Overall these changes aren’t as bad as I was worried they would be, but I’m going to reserve my judgement until I’ve had a better look at the entire program. What are your first gut reactions? Also keep in mind I really thought these changes would be really really really bad. So far I just think they are really bad.