Posted by William Charles on November 29, 2018
Recaps

Published on November 29th, 2018 | by William Charles

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Recap: Marriott-Starwood Loyalty Program Turbulence, Royal Air Maroc & More

 

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wwllmm
wwllmm

Yeah, the Marriott/SPG CSRs seem to be in many cases operating blind (ie can’t see info from both programs). On the plus side, if you are nice, they might be nice to you…

Johnny
Johnny

Yeah I prebooked an award stay at a SPG resort and had to call in to determine how much the point rate was since it was pretty full. I cancelled online after the merger and didn’t get the points back. Called in twice to get the correct Marriott points back. Ended up getting several thousands more than I paid and I couldn’t figure out how the CSRs came up with those numbers

Greg The Frequent Miler

Thanks for including my post. Note that you wrote “Annoying that Square transactions don’t work properly, but not much that American Express can do about that I don’t think.” However, Amex itself properly categorizes these charges as restaurants: “Category: Restaurant – Restaurant” so I’m pretty sure they could fix it and I’m hoping and expecting that they will.

Matt Katakis
Matt Katakis

Greg, thanks so much for doing this post. I noticed this as well and I’m glad it’s not just me. I’ve also had this issue too with smaller markets here in NYC. Maybe they don’t qualify, but they should it seems. I think we all have to call and report this because under the terms and conditions, we should be receiving these benefits at restaurants.

Zaos
Zaos

It’s not just restaurants, but as you noted, Merch: Groceries as well. Funny thing is that if you apply the filter on Amex.com, it correctly filters. Quite poor form imo. Do they want to get in trouble again?

NinjaX
NinjaX

greg. a smart guy like u shouldnt be surprised by this at all. im sure you clearly understand why this happens. but let me just add some simple points because its a complex subject.

any business serviced by a financial institution goes through some type of merchant application process. MANY MCCs are shared between Visa, MC, Discover, AMEX etc. Even the damn IRS has its own list of MCCs because the codes have real world tax implications and are subject to audits based on comparable biz data via “big data” mining.

this means, just because you see a restaurant on your statement or online coded as food, you have NO CLUE what the actual merchant processing contract says. when you add additional “sub-MCCs” layers into the contract such as square, grubhub, uber, samsung pay and etc etc, the primary MCCs DO NOT always pass through. this is why you dont get credit, but you may see the “master” MCC within the description. but thats not how it was processed by the bank. each bank may default to different MCCs.

this is no different than the current generation of “digital children” using Instagram filters to show a fake lifestyle. nothing real comes through.

same shit.

Josh
Josh

I understand what you’re saying…but why does it work w/ Chase/visa in getting 3x restaurant bonus?

NinjaX
NinjaX

visa and amex are totally different. furthermore, a lot of people dont know MCC is not the only key component to merchant processing. there is also the Standard Industrial Classification Code (SIC) managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and used by the IRS. so many factors come into play. however, the simple answer is that visa is widely accepted and therefore, its processing layers are more “flexible”. so it tends to code more accurately.

Josh
Josh

I appreciate the explanation – thank you

qmc
qmc

Doc, I saw the pingback on Greg’s post that looked identical to yours … because it looks like they’re syndicating your content! — https:// moneymondays.net / recap-marriott-starwood-loyalty-program-turbulence-royal-air-maroc-more/ (link purposely broken) are you aware of this?

PoorChurner
PoorChurner

A lot of cafe and smoothie shops I visit are small local places that use Square and only show up as 1x on Amex but if I use my Hyatt they post as 2x.

diggs
diggs

>> Inside the Marriott-Starwood Loyalty Program Turbulence by WSJ

Paywall bypassing link:
http://facebook.com/l.php?u=https://www.wsj.com/articles/inside-the-marriott-starwood-loyalty-program-turbulence-1543416010

Inside the article is a link to another article:
>> (Payback on one popular card declined significantly after the merger, angering many SPG loyalists before the computer issues began.)

Here’s a paywall bypassing link for that article:
http://facebook.com/l.php?u=https://www.wsj.com/articles/changes-to-starwoods-popular-rewards-card-vex-travelers-1531314329?mod=article_inline

Note 1: No Facebook account required
Note 2: Click “Follow Link” when opening up each Paywall Bypassing Link
Note 3: It may be necessary to open up bypassing links in an Incognito/Private/InPrivate Browswing window

diggs
diggs

Blah, first Paywall Bypassing Link should have been:

http://facebook.com/l.php?u=https://www.wsj.com/articles/inside-the-marriott-starwood-loyalty-program-turbulence-1543416010

DoC, please fix my previous post, then delete this one. Thx!

*EDIT* I’d fix the previous post myself, but it’s currently awaiting moderation, so I don’t have the option to EDIT it. If I catch it quickly enough (after being approved for publication) and am still able to modify the post, I’ll fix it myself.

MarkDavison
MarkDavison

Hilton needs to send a thank you note to whoever has been running this merger.

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