In the recent post “Marriott SPG transition: More answers & more questions,” I presented answers from Marriott about a few key questions, and I listed many more questions that I had submitted to them. Some of the answers are presented below. If you have other questions about the Marriott / SPG / Ritz merger, please see our guide: Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide. If the answer isn’t there, please ask your question in the comments of that post. Thanks!
And now for the new answers…
I understand that elite nights granted by holding a credit card will add together in 2018 but not in 2019. Does that hold true after August? e.g. if someone gets 5 nights from their SPG card, and then in October is awarded 15 nights from their Marriott card, will they then have 20 nights this year?
Correct. You will have a total of 20 nights credited for this year if you combine your accounts.
The Marriott Rewards Premier Business card application no longer mentions giving 15 elite nights credit, but it does say that it offers Silver status. Can you confirm that the card still offers 15 elite night credits each year?
The card still offers 15 Elite Night Credits.
Ritz-Carlton card: What happens if someone completes $75K spend in July for Rewards Platinum status, but it takes up to 8 weeks to get that status, so it’s not actually conveyed until sometime in August or September. Will they have Platinum or Platinum Premier status?
If you meet the spend requirements of the card program in advance of the change in August, your new status will be Platinum Premier Elite
I understand that the SPG cards earn base 1X Starpoints / 3X points until August. Then they will earn 2X points. A number of readers have asked what happens if their statement end date is mid-August? What happens with their spend that is dated July 31? What happens with their spend that is dated August 1? My assumption is that their statement date doesn’t matter, but I’d like confirmation.
All eligible transactions made through July 31 will earn points on the SPG Amex Card’s current earn structure (2X on Marriott/Starwood, 1X on all other eligible purchases). Eligible transactions made on or after August 1 will earn points on the SPG Amex Card’s updated earn structure (6X on Marriott/Starwood, 2X on all other eligible purchases). Additionally, on August 1, all previously earned points in a Card Members’ SPG account will be multiplied by three in line with the broader updates to the Marriott International loyalty program changes.
Are choice benefits awarded once per year based on your status level, or awarded at the time you reach 50 or 75 nights? This question is particularly important to lifetime Platinum elites: will they get Choice Benefits each year even if they don’t earn 50 nights?
Choice Benefits are awarded annually once a member stays 50 nights and again at 75 nights, and this includes Lifetime members.
I found the last answer a bit vague, so I asked for confirmation of my understanding:
- When a member completes 50 nights during a calendar year, they will be awarded a choice benefit at that time. (CORRECT)
- When a member completes 75 nights during a calendar year, they will be awarded a second choice benefit at that time. (CORRECT)
- Lifetime Platinum and Platinum Premier members won’t automatically get choice benefits at all. They must complete 50 / 75 nights to get them. (CORRECT)
And I asked this follow-up question:
What happens to SPG elites who earn choice benefits this year? In other words, could someone get to 50 SPG nights before August to get 10 SNAs, then in August they’ll get 5 more under the combined program, then 5 more again at 75 nights?
If an SPG member has 50 nights before July 27, 2018 and chooses Suite Night Awards as one of their Choice benefits, they will receive 10 Suite Night Awards. The member will have the option to choose an additional choice benefit when they achieve 75 nights, and at that time, if they choose Suite Night Awards – they will receive an additional 5 Suite Night Awards.
Questions Not Yet Answered
I’ve submitted quite a few questions to Marriott reps. Here are the questions that I’ve asked, but that haven’t yet been answered. Note that in some cases we think we know the answer, but we don’t yet have official confirmation…
- Marriott Vacation Club questions:
- Marriott Vacation Club owners currently get elite status based (I think) on how many club points they have. What will be the mapping of vacation club destination points to elite status in the new program?
- Will 5 night travel packages still be available to vacation club owners?
- Points to miles:
- I see that the minimum transfer amount will be 3,000 rewards points to 1,000 airline miles. SPG Platinum elites have been able to transfer as few as 1 point to 1 airline mile. Will there be anything similar in the new program?
- How will United Premier status levels map to Marriott status in the new program?
- How will new program Marriott status map to United Premier status in the new program? [Note: We know that Platinum Premier members will get United Silver, but what about Premier 100 elites? Will they get United Gold?]
- Credit card spend cut-off dates
- Ritz-Carlton card: What happens if someone begins their $75K spend before August, but completes it after August 1? Will they get Platinum or Platinum Premier status?
Readers have posted a number of additional questions which I plan to pass along to Marriott, but I haven’t yet had a chance to compile them.
If you have other questions about the Marriott / SPG / Ritz merger, please see our guide: Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide. If the answer isn’t there, please ask your question in the comments of that post. Thanks!