Marriott Rewards & SPG Changes Effective August 2018

64 Comments

Marriott Rewards and SPG today announced changes to their program that are are effective sometime in August 2018.

SPG Marriott

There are quite a few changes to the program and I try cover the ones that of interest to our readers.

You can access Marriott’s website for these changes here.

There are some specific changes for SPG members that will see their point balances tripled (to standardize the point currency with Marriott), the partnership with Delta ends on July 15, 2018, and partnerships with Emirates and China Eastern continues for now but registration will cease at least temporarily on July 15.

SPG members have been able to get the night/stay credit plus points for up to three rooms. Marriott allows night credit for only one while points for up to three.

Marriott will introduce new standard award charts in August with 7 categories with category 8 and off and off peak pricing coming in 2019. Properties can cost up to 100,000 points per night.

Airline award will require 3 points per 1 mile (same as the current SPG when you consider the tripling of points) and you get the same 25% transfer bonus for every 60K points converted.

Members earn 10 points per USD charged at all eligible hotel charges (daily rate + folio) at all brands except Element, Residence Inn and TownPlace Suites where you earn 5 points per USD.

Complimentary breakfast is expanding to Courtyard, AC Hotels, Protea and Moxy brands. The only brands that do not participate to breakfast are The Ritz-Carlton, EDITION, Marriott Vacation Club, Gaylord, Marriott Executive Apartments and Design Hotels.

Marriott Travel Packages will stay in some form but changes are coming in the form of simplifying the mileage options.

New Elite Levels:

Silver 10 – 24 Nights

  • 10% Bonus Points on Stays
  • Priority Late Checkout
  • Dedicated Elite Reservation Line
  • Exclusive Member Rates
  • Complimentary In-Room Internet Access

Gold 25 – 49 Nights

  • 25% Bonus Points on Stays
  • Gold Welcome Gift of Points (250/500 Points, Varies by Brand)
  • 2 p.m. Late Checkout (Based on Availability)
  • Enhanced Room Upgrade (Based on Availability)
  • Complimentary Enhanced In-Room Internet Access
  • Dedicated Elite Reservation Line

Platinum 50 – 74 Nights

  • 50% Bonus Points on Stays
  • 4 p.m. Late Checkout
  • Enhanced Room Upgrade, Including Select Suites (Based on Availability)
  • Annual Gift Choice (5 Suite Night Awards or Gift Option)
  • Lounge Access (with Breakfast — at JW Marriott®, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels by MarriottTM, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance®Hotels, Sheraton®, Westin®, Le Meridien®); Excludes Resorts
  • Platinum Welcome Gift (Choice of 500/1,000 Points, Breakfast Offering or Amenity, Varies by Brand)

Platinum Premier 75 – 99 Nights

  • 75% Bonus Points on Stays
  • 4 p.m. Late Checkout
  • Platinum Welcome Gift (Choice of 500/1,000 Points, Breakfast Offering or Amenity, Varies by Brand)
  • Additional Annual Choice Benefits (5 Suite Night Awards, a Free Night Award or Gift Options)
  • Lounge Access (with Breakfast at JW Marriott®, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels by MarriottTM, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance®Hotels, Sheraton®, Westin®, Le Meridien®); Excludes Resorts.
  • Enhanced Room Upgrade, Including Select Suites (Based on Availability)

Platinum Premier with Ambassador 100 Nights + Minimum $20K Spend

  • Platinum Welcome Gift (Choice of 500/1,000 Points, Breakfast Offering or Amenity, Varies by Brand
  • Your24TM — have the flexibility to choose your check-in and checkout time
  • Enhanced Room Upgrade, Including Select Suites (Based on Availability)
  • 4 p.m. Late Checkout
  • Ambassador service — Your point person every time you stay. Your ambassador has the knowledge and resources to make your stays as personal and enjoyable as possible.
  • Lounge Access (with Breakfast at JW Marriott®, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels by MarriottTM, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance®Hotels, Sheraton®, Westin®, Le Meridien®); Excludes Resorts.

Here’s how the current SPG tiers will map to these new ones:

And the Marriott ones:

  • This new Gold has nothing to do with the old Marriott Rewards Gold status that came with lounge access and/or breakfast. You basically don’t get any benefits at all unless you spend 50 nights with the chain.
  • SPG members can qualify under the current SPG criteria in 2018 as long as they stay at SPG brands.

Lifetime Status SPG:

Lifetime Status Marriott:

Lifetime Marriott Platinum members will be grandfathered as Platinum Premiers while SPG Lifetime ones are just regular Lifetime Platinums even when they may have more consumed lifetime nights. This doesn’t make much sense.

New Lifetime criteria

  • Silver: 250 nights + 5 years Silver or higher
  • Gold: 400 nights + 7 years Gold or higher
  • Platinum: 600 nights + 10 years Platinum or higher

SPG members have been able to qualify for lifetime Gold with 250 nights and 5 years as an elite member or Platinum with 500 nights and minimum 10 years as a Platinum.

Marriott doesn’t have any year requirements. Only the number of nights and points earned:

Marriott Rewards Silver Gold Platinum Lifetime Status 2015 Update Table

Conclusion

Marriott tries to convey a message that members earn 20% more points on average (elites even more) but the devil is in the detail. You cannot make any conclusion whether this is in fact a beneficial move before we see the award charts sometime this fall and the off/standard/peak ones in 2019 and how these developed (perhaps devalue) in 2020.

I have yet to see any award program enhancements in the past 20 years that would have been beneficial for the members (myself) in the long term in terms of getting more bang for your buck.

Not sure what to think of these 8 award categories with off/standard/peak options. You end up with 24 different options and these may change from month to month and without any advance notice (based on my observations with SPG).

The intended category 8 properties will start at category 7 (and there won’t be off/peak pricing this year) so these can be very good value when they are launched in August (if Bora Bora and Maldives properties are really included too) at just 70,000 points per night (divide that by 3 to come up with the current Starpoints requirement of 23K per night).

SPG lifetime members get shafted here compared to Marriott ones IF they have done more nights than the bare minimum required by the program (I would assume most are).

There are practically no benefits for those that cannot reach the 50 nights Platinum level requirement with Marriott. I would look for other options such as Hilton Gold that at least guarantees you a breakfast and often lounge access outside of North America.

Not sure how often members will get suite upgrades under this program and I would assume that they are prioritized based on the SPG 100/75/50 status.

If you enjoyed this article, get our blog updates for free!

Previous articleAmerican Airlines Best Western, IHG, Marriott, Radisson & SPG To AAdvantage 25% Conversion Bonus Through May 31, 2018
Next articleTop Hotel Promotions April 2018

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE