Extra! Extra! SPG, Marriott, Ritz Unification

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For better or worse, it’s finally here. The unification of all the programs. Up until now, I haven’t bothered reading about what the changes are. I’m sure there will be some that I do not like, and I hope there are others that I will enjoy. Here are the big changes for those that want to dig in:

On August 18, members can expect the following program changes:

  • On August 18, members with Marriott Rewards and SPG accounts will be able to combine their accounts into one, creating a unified profile with one points balance (Starpoints will be multiplied by three), and Elite-Nights earned.
    • Book, earn, and redeem across the portfolio of 29 participating brands and 6500 hotels in 127 countries all in one place using any of our digital, mobile and voice reservation channels including www.Marriott.com and www.SPG.com.
      • A new SPG app will launch mirroring the functionality of the Marriott Rewards app, including Mobile Requests.
    • Earn more points:
      • 10 points per dollar spent for stays (except 5 points per dollar spent at Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Element and 2.5 points per dollar spent at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay properties).
      • On average members will earn 20% more points per dollar.
      • Full-folio earn on room rates, restaurant, bars, and qualifying incidentals charged to the room.
      • SPG members will see their points balance triple.
    • Achieve Elite status faster with new qualifying tiers:
      • Members can enjoy new benefits and elite status levels.
      • More properties to choose from to achieve status.
      • New for SPG members – Silver Elite status at 10 nights.
      • New for Marriott Rewards members – Gold Elite status at 25 nights and Platinum Elite status at 50 nights.
      • Combining accounts means some members will have enough nights to qualify for higher elite status.
    • Easier to redeem everywhere and for less:
      • Nearly 70% of properties are getting less expensive or staying the same when redeeming points for free stays with the new award chart announced last month (52 percent of hotels will move to a lower redemption rate and only 31 percent will go higher).
      • Members can redeem for stays using the new Free Night Award Chart.
      • Category eight hotels can be booked at category seven rates throughout 2018.
      • Introduction of off-peak and peak rates on top of standard in 2019 will make sought-after properties more affordable.
      • No blackout dates.

One change I do like is that my SPG number is changing. It’s one number that I could never remember, a big problem when playing The Award Balance Drinking Game.

Mad, happy, indifferent about the changes? Comment below. Or protest in silence.

Aloft going up. I’ll miss it.

4 COMMENTS

  1. This looks like something Marriott asked you to write. 70% are getting lower or staying the same. instead you could put 98% are getting higher or staying the same.

  2. I concur with bobby – there’s a lot of misleading content. An example is “SPG members will see their points balance triple” which sounds great, except that Marriott points are worth a lot less than SPG points. Additionally, the earning rate for regular purchases on the SPG AmEx cards is being reduced since they’re also lower-valued Marriott points.

    • There’s nothing to agree or disagree. It’s the press release. I didn’t draft it SHS style. Take it up with Mueller and Marriott if you don’t like the changes. But these are the changes.

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