Potential Opportunities Due To SPG/Marriott Merger

In case you didn’t know SPG will formally merge into Marriott Rewards on August 1st, 2018 (with a new name coming in 2019). Overall I think the changes are mostly negative but they do present a few interesting opportunities. Let’s discuss what they are.

Platinum Status

If you currently have gold status with Marriott, you will receive Platinum elite status in August. If you currently have SPG Gold status you will receive Marriott Gold status in August. The thing is that if you’re currently SPG gold and you link your accounts you’ll automatically receive Marriott gold status and that should convert to Platinum status come August. The only issue is that during an interview with TPG Marriott’s SVP on Global Loyalty, David Flueck said (via US Credit Card Guide):

“… For members who have matched, they will be getting then the Gold Status, which is really more equivalent to the SPG Gold …” – 9.24

Personally I don’t really see this as an opportunity as it looks like Marriott won’t be giving anybody with matched Marriott status Platinum status. Marriott should have made this clearer in their matching charts in my opinion, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up. This would obviously affect people with SPG gold status from the Platinum cards.

Top Tier/Award Properties

The new award chart will look like this:

As you can see the most expensive property will cost 60,000 Marriott points until the end of 2018. That’s more than top tier Marriott properties cost, but less than what top tier SPG properties currently cost.  For example category six properties cost 20,000-25,000 SPG points (60,000-80,000 Marriott points) and category seven properties cost 30,000-35,000 SPG points (90,000-105,000 Marriott points). Useful links:

There are some SPG properties that are suite only and don’t appear in the standard award chart. View From The Wing was told these will not be included in the standard Marriott award chart either. Ritz-Carlton tier 5 (highest tier) properties cost 60,000 points so no savings there.

There’s definitely some value to be had here if you wanted to book category six/seven SPG properties. Personally I don’t find them to be the best use of points, but I also don’t highly value expensive hotel rooms so that will vary from individual to individual.

Credit Cards

Along with the new loyalty program changes, there are significant changes coming to the Marriott & SPG credit cards issued by Chase & American Express respectively. We’ve already covered those changes in detail here. We also answered the two following questions:

In addition to that we are also seeing a number of reports of higher than normal retention offers. In particular on the Chase Marriott Business card and the American Express SPG personal card. I suspect this is due to the fact that Chase/American Express will no longer be able to issue those cards after August 1st (they can still maintain the current cardholder base). If you haven’t already then read our guide to retention offers here.

Final Thoughts

There are some limited opportunities here. I guess we won’t have a good idea about some of them until August 1st comes along (e.g the all suite properties). Still it’s important to try and find the silver living in these types of changes.

 

 

 

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ranova
ranova

AF hit for SPG personal today. Called to cancel was offered 7k points after $500 spend in 1 month or $75 statement after $2k spend in 3 months. I went with the first offer.

Tom
Tom

“In addition to that we are also seeing a number of reports of higher than normal retention offers. In particular on the Chase Marriott Business card and the American Express SPG personal card.”

Where are you seeing reports of retention offers on the Marriott business card? The only recent report on the FT thread from this year indicates that no retention offer was given… where else are these being reported? Thanks.

jediwho
jediwho

Does it make sense to put as much spending on the current SPG Amex as possible, get an upgrade to the new $450 SPG card in August. From what I read somewhere, the spending on current SPG card will rollover to the new card and count towards the 75K spending for Marriott Platinum status.

NinjaX
NinjaX

doc or anyone. where is the info about apping a new SPG or MR CC and not being able to hold both or get approved for both current version and new version?

Corridor
Corridor

I am currently Marriott gold which should upgrade in August to platinum. Not sure how I am currently gold though. When will this expire? 2/1/19 or 3/1/19?

Clara
Clara

Just called the retention dept for my Amex SPG personal card (annual fee will kick in late April), and was offered 7000 points for spending $500 in ONE month, there was also an option for $75 credits if spend $1000 in 3 months. Of course took the first offer.

yseh
yseh

The SPG cat 6 and 7 links you provided didn’t work.

albert
albert

Am I correct to read the new SPG cards will have a free annual night at renewal – will this be just the first renewal or each year? If its each year then wouldn’t this be a great change going forward? 35 points one time vs potentially 35k points per year.

Also – if I’ve previously had and cancelled the card, will lifetime language exclude me from getting it again?

zalmy

Yeah, it’s awesome. It’s a free night every year (like the Hyatt and Marriott cards have) and it’s an awesome upgrade. It’s not the new SPG cards- it’s the ones we already have, including the SPG business and SPG personal.
Lifetime language never excludes you from getting the card, it simply precludes you from getting the bonus. Good luck.

SF
SF

I am looking to book Category 8 Marriott property in Maui for February 2019, currently 40,000 points per night. Which category do you thing this will move to?

Frank
Frank

In this post you say top tier SPG properties aren’t the best use of points and in another post you say you don’t think airline transfers are the best use of SPG points so… what do you think is a good use of SPG points? Cat 1 hotels in Lincoln Nebraska?

Ray
Ray

Marriott nights and flights package gets you more airline miles per SPG point than a SPG -> airline transfer even if you just cancel the hotel certificates (for a partial point refund). The downside is that it requires an insane amount of points.

Colonel Obvious
Colonel Obvious

There aren’t any there, but low-end SPG and high-end Marriott have always been the sweet spots of each program.

Dave P
Dave P

Yeah, category 1 and 2 SPG rooms, where you can find them, are an incredible value. 3,000 points for a night at a Four Points Sheraton? Granted, those usually aren’t top-tier markets, but if I’m looking for a hotel a secondary market city anyway, can’t beat that value. That Four Points in my example is likely one of the nicest hotels in that city, and you might get a $150 room for 3000 points, or 5c per point. Hard to beat, if it fits your needs.