Marriott Rewards announced last Monday changes to their program taking place in August (read more here).
One of the major sticking points of combining the programs has been been the how SPG Lifetime Platinum members are treated compared to Marriott ones.
You can access Marriott’s page for program combining the program here.
Marriott Rewards has three lifetime status levels:
- Silver (250 nights & 1.2 million points)
- Gold (500 nights & 1.6 million points)
- Platinum (750 nights & 2 million points
Previously, Marriott required minimum of 12 years of membership and the night requirements were 600/800/1000 for the lifetime status (points earned was the same). This was changed in 2012 (read more here).
And SPG has two:
- Gold (250 nights & 5 years as elite members)
- Platinum (500 nights & 10 years Platinum)
The problem is how Marriott now maps these five lifetime statuses (three from Marriott and two from SPG) to the new status levels. The real sticking point is the SPG Platinum lifetime status that Marriott tries to map only to the new Lifetime Platinum when it maps its own Marriott Rewards Platinum members to Lifetime Platinum Premier.
You can read my pieces about Lifetime Platinum status (mine):
- And The SPG Lifetime Status Is Bagged!
- Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Lifetime Platinum Kit With Map
Marriott has counted nights and points earned from all sources towards the lifetime status under the current requirements. Previously, you had to at least be a member for 12 years. Theoretically, one could become lifetime Platinum with Marriott without never even staying at their hotels by conducting 75 meetings (these earn 10 nights each) and earning 2 million points from all possible sources.
In the past, you could easily rack up nights also by using the rollover. Nights were rolling over year after year (over 75 nights) and counted each year towards the lifetime requirement (same nights were counted multiple times for those with high count – read meetings or lot of stays).
SPG member must have at the minimum stayed one third of the nights required towards the lifetime Platinum status if crediting thee rooms for each night (must be very rare) and had the Platinum status for ten years (no need to be consecutive).
At the very minimum those SPG Lifetime Platinum members that have consumed more than 750 nights should be granted Lifetime Platinum Premier status.
I am not sure how Marriott could have come to this ill-advised lifetime status mapping decision considering that the person running the program came from SPG.
You would think that Marriott Rewards would have anticipated the backlash that has come from this decision? It is a sure way to displease (I am trying to use a nice words here) SPG members that already have anxiety over these program changes.
The absolute minimum that Marriott can do here is to map SPG Lifetime Platinum members with 750 or more nights to Lifetime Platinum Premier (and this is likely happening according what Marriott has signaled to some) or cleanup the lifetime counters for their members (it ain’t happening).