A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a message via Facebook regarding a piece we wrote back in June about qualifying based on legacy SPG rules in 2018.
You can access Marriott’s web page here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I am writing you with reference to this article of yours https://loyaltylobby.com/2018/06/26/reader-question-spg-platinum-qualification-dilemma-for-2018/
Which is, unfortunately, incorrect. I am an SPG platinum member since 2017 and in 2018 I have collected 28 eligible stays at SPG hotels. The point is that I have just been informed by Marriott’s customer service (by email) that to renew the Platinum status for 2019 I need to collect 50 nights by the end of this year (I have 38 nights to date) and that the 25+ stays I have collected are not sufficient anymore since the merging in August.
I find this unilateral change of the rules after 8 months the program started absolutely unfair. This is a fraud, nothing more. I think you should rectify your article dated August 02 and make this behavior public.
For your reference, I am copying and pasting the email I have received today.
Thank you for your reply.
As of August 18, 2018, loyalty members will earn Silver Elite status after reaching 10 Elite nights, Gold Elite status after reaching 25 Elite nights, Platinum Elite status after reaching 50 Elite nights, and Platinum Premier after reaching 75 Elite nights.
Our records indicate you have 38 nights so far in 2018. You need 12 more nights by December 31, 2018 to earn Platinum status for 2019.
To achieve any Elite level, members must stay the required number of nights in a calendar year, January 1 to December 31.
You can find more information about the benefits of the new Elite levels by visiting members.marriott.com or the updated MarriottRewards.com.
If you have any questions or if I can be of further assistance, please reply to this message. I’m here to help.
We’re excited for the future of Marriott and Starwood and we hope that you will be too.
Internet Correspondence Specialist
The information that the reader received from Marriott customer service is incorrect. I just saw an online comment in which the quality of their customer service responses as of late was referred as “garbage” and I would agree.
Members can qualify until the end of 2018 using the legacy SPG qualification rules of staying 25 times. These stays must be at legacy SPG brands.
Here’s the relevant part of the combined program T&Cs (access them here):
In 2018, the Loyalty Program will continue to honor Elite achievement via Qualifying Stays at participating SPG Brands that occur in 2018. Elite achievement via Qualifying Stays is only available until December 31, 2018 and will not be continued thereafter. Participating SPG Brands include: St. Regis® Hotels, The Luxury Collection®, W® Hotels, Sheraton®, Le Méridien®, Westin®, Tribute Portfolio®, Design Hotels TM, Four Points®, Aloft® Hotels and Element®. Members can earn Elite Status via Qualifying Stays under the requirements listed below:
● Gold Elite: 10 to 24 Qualifying Stays or 25 to 49 Qualifying Nights
● Platinum Elite: 25 or more Qualifying Stays or 50 to 74 Qualifying Nights
We have numerous examples where readers have received incorrect information from Marriott Rewards customer service like the above from Margaret O.
Marriott Rewards loyalty program leadership would do themselves a favor and better train their front line employees. Also, cutting down the program T&Cs down from 26K words would help as well. Nobody joins loyalty program to read a novel.
Let’s make it crystal clear. Members can qualify based on the legacy SPG rules of 25 stays in 2018 if they are at former Starwood brands.