Marriott & Starwood New Combined Loyalty Program – The Facts


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Update: More details on the program merger are now available

Marriott has finally announced almost all of the major details surrounding the new combined loyalty program that will soon be taking the place of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG).

With so many changes on the way and with so much new information for us to absorb today will be Marriott Day on Traveling For Miles with 3 posts dedicated to everything we now know about the new combined loyalty program.

This post will focus just on the facts with little or no commentary from me so readers have a clean reference point where they can see all the changes that are on the way.

Marriott & Starwood Programs Are Combining On 18 August 2018

From 18 August 2018 Marriott Rewards and SPG members will be able to combine their loyalty accounts into one single account.

The new single account will combine all elite night balances as well as Marriott Rewards and SPG points balances (SPG points will be converted to Marriott Rewards at the usual ratio of 1:3).

For example:

A member with 200,000 Marriott Rewards points and 20 elite nights with Marriott and 50,000 Starpoints and 10 nights with Starwood will, as of 18 August 2018, have 350,000 Marriott Rewards points and 30 elite nights credit.

There has been no mention of a new name for the combined program and Marriott says that full details of the rebranding won’t be released until some point in 2019.

Westin St. Francis San Francisco

Marriott Rewards New Elite Tiers & Tier Mapping

From 18 August 2018 Marriott Rewards will have a total of 5 elite tiers:

  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Platinum Premier
  • Platinum Premier + Ambassador

All existing Marriott Rewards and Starwood SPG tiers will be mapped to one of the new tiers from 18 August 2018.

Mapping the Marriott Tiers

Mapping the SPG Tiers

New Marriott Rewards Qualification Requirements

With the new Marriott Rewards tiers come changes to the qualification requirements for each tier level.

  • Silver Elite – 10 nights/year
  • Gold Elite – 25 nights/year
  • Platinum Elite – 50 nights/year
  • Platinum Premier Elite – 75 nights/year
  • Platinum Premier Elite & Ambassador – 100 nights/year & $20k qualifying spend

From 1 January 2019 elite status will be earned based solely on the number of nights stayed with no option to earn elite status based on stays alone. This is what current Marriott Rewards members are used to but will be a change for SPG members.

SPG members will still be able to earn elite status based on their stays through the end of 2018.

View From The Wing has had confirmation with Marriott that, going forward, members will earn redeemable points for up to three rooms per stay but will only earn elite credit for the room they personally stay in and pay for.

When elite night balances are combined on 18 August 2018 it’s possible that members will find themselves at a higher elite level than they currently hold – that level will be maintained through the end of the membership year.

Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas

New Marriott Rewards Elite Tier Benefits

With the qualification requirements changing for the Marriott Rewards tiers there are also changes to the benefits given at each tier level.

The full program benefits can be found via this link but here are the highlights from each new tier:

Silver Elite (10 Nights)

  • 10% bonus on points earned

Gold Elite (25 Nights)

  • 25% bonus on points earned
  • 2pm late check-out based on availability
  • A welcome gift of points (will vary by brand)
  • Room upgrade where available (not including suites)

Platinum Elite (50 Nights)

  • 50% bonus on points earned
  • 4pm late check-out based on availability
  • A welcome gift of points, breakfast or an amenity (will vary by brand)
  • Room upgrade where available (including select suites)
  • Lounge access
  • Guaranteed room type
  • Choice of 5 suite night awards or a gift option (awarded annually at 50 nights)

Platinum Premier Elite (75 Nights)

  • 75% bonus on points earned
  • 4pm late check-out based on availability
  • A welcome gift of points, breakfast or an amenity (will vary by brand)
  • Room upgrade where available (including select suites)
  • Lounge access
  • Guaranteed room type
  • Choice of 5 suite night awards or a gift option (awarded annually at 50 nights)
  • Additional choice of 5 suite night awards or a gift option (awarded annually at 75 nights)
  • 48 hour guarantee

Platinum Premier Elite & Ambassador (100 Nights & $20k Spend)

  • 75% bonus on points earned
  • 4pm late check-out based on availability
  • A welcome gift of points, breakfast or an amenity (will vary by brand)
  • Room upgrade where available (including select suites)
  • Lounge access
  • Guaranteed room type
  • Choice of 5 suite night awards or a gift option (awarded annually at 50 nights)
  • Additional choice of 5 suite night awards or a gift option (awarded annually at 75 nights)
  • 48 hour guarantee
  • Ambassador service
  • Your24 service

Sydney Harbour MarriottExecutive Lounge Marriott Sydney

Resorts, AC Hotels, Moxy, Protea and Courtyard properties will now offer elites a breakfast option but the following brands will still not offer breakfast going forward:

  • Design Hotels
  • EDITION
  • Gaylord
  • Marriott Executive Apartments
  • Marriott Vacation Club
  • Ritz-Carlton

It’s interesting to note that elites will now have to choose between a welcome gift of points or breakfast when they check-in.

New Marriott Rewards Lifetime Status & Lifetime Status Mapping

Marriott is keeping its lifetime status program but the way lifetime status is earned is changing to be more like how Starwood’s lifetime status is currently measured.

From 1 January 2019 this is how Marriott Rewards lifetime status will be earned:

Going forward there won’t be a points requirement to reach Marriott lifetime status but there also won’t be a path to lifetime Platinum Premier status.

From 1 January 2019 the highest level of lifetime status attainable will be Platinum Status (equivalent to 50 nights/year).

*Per Marriott: Years of Elite tenure is based on achievement at that level, plus any years at a higher-tier level (e.g., Elite tenure at the new Lifetime Gold Elite status would count years at Rewards and SPG Gold and Platinum statuses, but not Silver status).

Other things to note:

  • When Marriott and SPG accounts are merged in August the lifetime nights earned in both programs will also be merged. A member’s combined lifetime nights total will be what defines his/her new lifetime status and progress to the next level.
  • Members who have, in the past, achieved elite status in both Marriott Rewards and SPG in a single year will see that year count as two years in the new combined lifetime program.

Marriott and Starwood lifetime elites will see their current lifetime status mapped to the new lifetime status levels.

Mapping Marriott Lifetime Elites

Mapping SPG Lifetime Elites

The key point here is that Marriott Lifetime Platinum elites will be grandfathered in to Platinum Premier Elite status with will no longer be attainable (as a lifetime status) while Starwood Lifetime Platinum members will only get lifetime Platinum (50 nights) status.

Outstanding point that needs clarification: I’ve seen reports that lifetime Platinum and Platinum Premier members will not receive the usual allocation of suite night awards but I haven’t seen this expressly stated anywhere by Marriott.

Also, the Marriott lifetime elite info pic (shown above) states that lifetime Platinum Elite receives “all Platinum Elite benefits” which would appear to suggest that suite night awards are included.

I’ll update this post as and when this point is clarified.

JW Marriott Singapore South BeachView from the JW Marriott Singapore

Earning Marriott Rewards Points

  • From 18 August 2018 members of the new combined loyalty program will be able to earn points across ALL Marriott and Starwood brands.
  • Points will be earned at all brands on room rate and incidentals charged to the room (not all Marriott brands included incidentals in the past).
  • The earning rate will be 10 points/dollar spent on eligible hotel charges at all brands excluding ElementSM, Residence Inn®and TownePlace Suites where the earning rate will 5 points/dollar.
  • Elites will continue to earn bonus points on top of base earnings.

Points can be earned in all the usual ways:

  • Stays at hotels/resorts
  • Incidentals charged to rooms
  • Credit card spend (including new credit cards being launched – more in an upcoming post)
  • Other travel bookings like Hertz car rentals, cruises an d bookings with other travel partners
  • Shopping through Marriott Rewards MORE
  • Meetings booked at properties
  • Referring friends and family to the loyalty program

Redeeming Marriott Rewards Points – A New Award Chart

There are big changes coming to the award charts from 18 August 2018 and more will be coming in 2019.

For reference (and to help see the changes more clearly) here are simplified versions of the current award charts:

Current Marriott Rewards Award Charts:

All properties excluding Ritz-Carlton and EDITION

Ritz-Carlton & EDITION properties

Current SPG Rewards Award Chart (simplified and adjusted for the 1:3 conversion ratio):

Click to enlarge

The New Award Chart

  • From 18 August 2018 there will be one single award chart covering all Marriott and Starwood properties.
  • From 1 January 2019 Marriott will introduce Peak and Off-Peak award pricing

  • The “5th night free” benefit remains
  • “Cash & Points” rewards remain and we can expect updated charts in the upcoming weeks

Update: The new award charts are now live!

Redeeming Marriott Rewards Points – Airline Transfers

How Marriott will handle the current ability we have of transferring Starpoints to airline loyalty programs has been one of the big questions a lot of people have been wanting an answer to…and now we know – the benefit is staying in place.

  • 3 Marriott Rewards points will transfer over to 1 airline mile
  • For every 60,000 points converted Marriott will add a bonus of 15,000 points

As 1 Starpoint = 3 Marriott Rewards points the conversion ratio remains unchanged and the 15,000 bonus points is the same 25% bonus as we receive on Starpoint transfers today.

The new Marriott EDITION West Hollywood – opening in late 2018

Existing Marriott & Starwood Partnerships

  • Marriott’s partnership with United will continue with Platinum and Platinum Premier members getting United Silver status and United elites with Gold or higher status getting Marriott Gold status.
  • Starwood’s Crossover RewardsTM with Delta SkyMiles will continue through July 15, 2018, with all current benefits being honored through that date. (Marriott says that it expects to have more to share on this program before July 15).
  • Benefits associate with Starwood’s Your World RewardsTM with Emirates and Eastern Explorer RewardsTM with China Eastern will continue to be honored for registered members.

Bottom Line

There are still a few things that need to be clarified (like the suite night awards for lifetime members) and we’re still waiting to see which hotels fall into which of the new categories, what the cash and points chart looks like and what the new travel packages look like but, overall, Marriott seems to have done a good job of answering a lot of questions – whether you like the answers to those questions is another matter.

Coming up later today: New Marriott Credit Cards Are On The Way and the Winners & Losers In The New Marriott & Starwood Combined Loyalty Program

5 COMMENTS

  1. Yes! Please update once you’ve confirmed that suite nights also apply to lifetime platinum members. ALSO, can you please verify that current MR members have until EOY to attain and be grandfathered into lifetime platinum premier?

Comments are closed.