Marriott Rewards & SPG Terms & Conditions Update Effective September 4, 2018

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Marriott Rewards has updated the Terms and Conditions of its loyalty program effective September 4, 2018, although they have not amended the last effective date that still is August 18.

Marriott Rewards T&Cs Update September 4, 2018

Marriott has cleaned up the few mistakes they had and have updated the upgrade policy for Platinum members among other things.

You can access Marriott’s loyalty program T&Cs here.

READ MORE: Marriott Rewards Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

Here are the changes:

Marriott has added the following exclusion under the qualifying rate:

i. At participating Design HotelsTM, Members earn Points or Miles on Qualifying Charges only on Stays at a Qualifying Rate. Members do not earn Points or Miles on Stays at a Non-Qualifying Rate at participating Design HotelsTM even if they incur Qualifying Charges such as for incidental spend.

Here is one very important addition:

2.1.f Non-Qualifying Rates. A “Non-Qualifying Rate” is a rate a Member pays for a Stay in a guest room at a Participating Property which does not qualify to earn Points or Miles, as well as membership tier benefits.

Non-qualifying rates are now officially ineligible for tier benefits at Marriott hotels where previously they were.

Transferring points between accounts:

Members can now transfer up to 100,000 between accounts in any calendar year. Previously the limit was 50,000.

There was, however, workaround for this that has now been closed:

Once per calendar year and only at the time of an Award Redemption, a Member may exceed the 50,000 Point maximum into the Loyalty Program account of a friend or family member in order to qualify for a specific Award in accordance with this section. In the instance of transfer exceeding the 50,000 Point maximum only the necessary number of Points needed to redeem the specified Award, rounded to the nearest 1,000 Points, may be transferred – no more, no less.

Marriott has completely deleted the above paragraph from the updated T&Cs:

SPG All Suite Hotels – the following list has been deleted:

Free Night Awards at the following locations require a higher amount of Points either because the Participating Property does not have standard rooms or the standard rooms it offers have a mandatory full board requirement in peak seasons: Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand; The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand; Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas, Steamboat Springs, Colorado; The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal, Costa Rica; The St. Regis Bora Bora and the Le Meridien Bora Bora, Bora Bora, French Polynesia; Mystique, a Luxury Collection Resort, Santorini, Santorini, Greece; The St. Regis Bali Resort, Nusa Dua, Indonesia; Hotel Cala di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza, and Hotel Romazzino, Costa Smeralda, Italy; W Maldives; North Ari Atoll, Maldives; W Koh Samui, Surat Thani, Thailand; Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, U.A.E.; St. Regis Residence Club, Aspen, Aspen, CO; and Phoenician Residences, a Luxury Collection Residence Club, Scottsdale, AZ.

But then there is the new part on the free night awards:

Point values are based on a standard room only (does not apply to premium room) and may vary by length of stay and hotel category.

Marriott has added the bolded part. Does this mean that the SPG All Suite hotels that only have premium rooms are not available at the standard room rates?

The following text has been added to the elite benefits:

Elite Members receive one set of benefits according to their membership tier on Stays of one or more consecutive nights as described in 2.1.d, even if they check in and check out of the same Participating Property within 24 hours.

Nothing new here. If you check out and check back in the same day, it is considered continuous stay.

Elite benefits guarantee:

The Elite Benefits Guarantee applies to all Qualifying Stays.

Marriott has added the word qualifying here.

Ambassador qualification:

100 Qualifying Nights and $20,000 U.S. dollars in qualified annual spend based on Qualifying Charges earned on Stays only.

Seems that the Ambassador spend is based on stays only. The bolded part is again what Marriott added.

Platinum member upgrades:

Complimentary Enhanced Room Upgrade for Platinum Elite Members.  Platinum Elite Members receive a complimentary upgrade to the best available room subject to availability for the entire length of stay at the time of check-in. Complimentary upgrade includes suites, rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities or rooms on Executive Floors

Marriott rewrote this paragraph and now includes the word SUITES that was previously missing.

Suite Night Awards Exclusion:

The Ritz-Carlton, The Ritz-Carlton Reserve, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, EDITION, Protea Hotels, Aloft, Element, Design Hotels TM HotelsTM, all-Suite Hotels, Marriott Executive Apartments, ExecuStay, Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club properties and participating Vistana properties.

Marriott added the three brands for ineligible list for SNAs.

Conclusion

SPG benefits were always only honored on eligible rates (not when booked on ineligible OTAs) while Marriott didn’t care. Now this has been standardized.

It is interesting to see what will come out of the SPG All Suite hotels that were now deleted from the T&Cs but are not available for bookings at the advertised rates.

Marriott previously allowed members to consolidate basically unlimited number of points to one account when redeeming for an award. This has now been ended and the yearly maximum is 100,000 points.

The Platinum member upgrade language is still not as tights as with SPG but better than previously with Marriott.

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