Friday, April 20, 2018

Further details to the combination of the Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards Programs

 On Monday we brought you the majority of the details of the unification of the Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards programs. Some details were not provided to us in advance which are now on Marriott's website that outlines everything.

Sarah McLaughlin at the Marriott announcement
event at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto on Monday
First off, the award night category chart that was provided to us by Marriott last week was tweaked by the time the announcement came out and it appears that newer version of the chart only made it to the U.S. bloggers beforehand. We updated the original post with the new chart but here it is as well:
Another concern is how often will standard pricing be available for awards or will all hotels try to price at Peak pricing. According the Head for Points, they asked the question at the U.K. press conference and it doesn't look too bad if this is what they go with:
"The plan is that hotels will approximately set 20% of their days as peak, 20% as off-peak and 60% as standard."
I also read somewhere that Marriott is exploring what award rates will be applied for the Suite only hotels, ultra-luxury resorts etc. These are the ones from Starwood that were allowed to charge more than what was stated on the award chart. It does appear that select locations will be able to move away from the award chart and will be able to charge more. We should know sometime in June where these and in fact all hotels will fall into in the new award chart.

We also have the details now on how your Elite Status will line up in the new program. Here it is for Marriott Rewards members:
And for Starwood Preferred Guest members:

Marriott Gold members should be excited as you are getting bumped up a level come August for at least the remainder of the elite year. The news is mixed about those who have SPG Gold from the Platinum Card from American Express that of course was then matched to Marriott Gold. Some Marriott reps state that you'll be Platinum as of August (per the new elite tiers) however David Flueck told The Points Guy this is not the case - matched SPG Gold status will remain at Gold in the new program. David is the point man in all this news and we would tend to go with what he has to say so this is definitely not the news many Platinum Card holders were wanting. As you can see after August the benefits for the new Gold level have been downgraded from the current offering. No more lounge access, no more breakfast, and only a 2pm late check out.

One question that also wasn't answered prior to the announcement but that we know of now are the Lifetime Elite Status requirements, benefits etc.:
Starting in August, you’ll be able to qualify instantly for one of our three Lifetime tiers:
Lifetime Silver Elite, Lifetime Gold Elite and Lifetime Platinum Elite.


You can qualify for Lifetime status based on your combined Rewards and SPG nights and Elite years. If you achieved Elite status in both SPG and Rewards in one year, you’ll receive credit for two Elite years. You can also qualify via the existing criteria through December 31, 2018. When your current Elite status is higher than your Lifetime status, you’ll receive the higher-status benefits for that year.

And if you’ve previously achieved Lifetime Elite status in Rewards or SPG, you will have that Lifetime Elite status in the new program.


If you currently have lifetime Status with Marriott here is what your new Lifetime status will be come August
If you have SPG lifetime status here is how it will map out in the new program:


I know the latter for SPG members with lots of nights will bring disappointment as there is no opportunity for lifetime Platinum Premier, see this comment from our post on Rewards Canada:

1,100 nights and you are not being recognized for it? Seems like a call to Marriott is in order for Mark to see if Marriott will bend the rules and award Platinum Premier on case by case basis.

The Crossover Rewards program that SPG runs with Delta SkyMiles will come to an end on July15 while the programs with China Eastern and Emirates will continue to run but only for those members who have already registered for them.

Lucky at One Mile at a Time also reports that multiple room bookings will follow Marriott's policy come August. That is you'll earn elite credit only on one room and points for up to three rooms. Starwood was more generous in this regard that you could earn both elite credit and points for up to three rooms. This is one that hits home personally as over the past year or so our family has begun to book two rooms whenever possible for our travels so only earning elite credit on one is not something we were hoping for.

Let us know what you think and if you have any other unanswered questions - we'll try to answer them for you or get the answer from Marriott!

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