It seems the deficiencies about the newly combined Marriott / SPG program don’t want to end anywhere. It is well known that the previously semi-acceptable SPG Platinum Welcome Amenity has now been also been reduced to Marriott Standards.
You can access Marriott T&Cs for Elite benefits here.
The points value which is now being offered to Platinum Members has been reduced to 1000 / 500 Marriott points which is a quick 1/3 shave off from the popular amenity. Based on that it seems the program pretty much made the choice for the members when it comes to select breakfast or points. But the problem is that many rates already include breakfast so it is pretty much just another cutback.
John wrote a piece about Marriott’s Elite Pocket Guide (for hotels) that is a very handy for members and another piece about the state of breakfast and lounge benefits:
You can access the chart of elite amenities across the brands here.
I like to stay at Aloft and Four Points many times per year and it is no secret that most of those branded properties offer a rather mediocre breakfast, with the exception of the Aloft in Kuala Lumpur which still offers a full buffet of excellent quality.
But nowadays with the amenity being only 500 Marriott Rewards points, the value is so low that you can pick the breakfast even if it’s just for a coffee or tea. Picking the points rarely makes any difference.
The loser in this case is once again the SPG customer. But to be fair all they did was standardize the benefit with the mediocre amounts for Marriott Rewards Elites. Platinum Elite guests whose rate already includes the breakfast are now stuck with these low point options at both full and select service properties.
While the amounts always seemed to be very small, they do in fact add up over the year. If one has 30 stays per year the points amenity amounted to 15k SPG points, quite a substantial amount. Now this option has become drastically less attractive especially when complimentary night awards at many good properties went up and the Cash & Points alternatives under the Marriott program are dismal.