New Marriott

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Potential huge win with Marriott Travel Packages before August

Marriott travel packages are awards in which you exchange Marriott Rewards points for airline miles plus a 7 night stay certificate (or a 5 night certificate for timeshare owners).  You do not have to book your actual stay right away.  You have a year to do so, and Marriott Rewards has been very generous about extending the validity of the certificate for another year when asked.  So, many of us will have 7 night certificates…

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15 shortcuts to Marriott Platinum Elite status

Marriott, SPG, and Ritz-Carlton’s rewards programs will merge into one program (but still with three different names) in August.  With regards to elite benefits, they’re mostly getting better for Marriott elites, but they’re getting a bit worse for SPG elites.  Meanwhile, elites will continue to get no meaningful recognition at Ritz properties (boo).  For details about the upcoming program merger, please see our guide: Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide. The following chart shows how your current…

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Marriott Free Breakfast Simplified

We were promised that Marriott / SPG Platinum Elites would get free breakfast when Marriott and SPG merge in August.  But, as I reported previously, the rules describing who gets breakfast when and where are terribly confusing.  I’ve simplified it. Caution: The chart that follows has not yet been confirmed by Marriott.  I expect to make changes as I learn more, but I believe that I’ve got the basics correct.  For the latest version of…

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Marriott’s Platinum breakfast benefit better than I thought, but more confusing than ever

We were promised that Platinum Elites would get free breakfast when Marriott and SPG merge in August.  But, in my post “Marriott Platinum Elite Welcome Gift List Published,” I pointed out that you might not get free breakfast at a number of hotels when they don’t have a lounge, or when the lounge is closed.  Specifically, I wrote: …there are several hotel brands where breakfast is not a guaranteed option when there is no lounge or when…

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Earn up to 15 Suite Night Awards with Marriott SPG this year only

The planned August program merger between Marriott and SPG has led to some short term opportunities (see this post for a list of opportunities).  One such opportunity is the ability to earn 15 Suite Night Awards in 2018. Today, if you earn 50 elite nights with SPG within a calendar year, you get to pick a Choice Benefit.  The most valuable option, in my opinion, is to select 10 Suite Night Awards. In the new…

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United Premier Elites: Sign up for RewardsPlus before August

United’s partnership with Marriott, called RewardsPlus, provides a way for United elites to get Marriott elite status (and vice versa). Specifically, anyone with United Premier Gold status or higher will automatically get Marriott Gold status simply by enrolling in RewardsPlus. The deal is even better for top-tier United Global Services members. Even though it’s not officially published on the RewardsPlus website, Global Services members have been receiving Marriott Platinum status. All of that is very…

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Consider getting the Ritz-Carlton card right now

With great change comes great opportunity.  The great change I’m referring to is the upcoming Marriott / SPG / Ritz loyalty program merger.  And, at this moment in time, Chase’s Ritz-Carlton Rewards card is uniquely positioned to unlock a number of opportunities… Card and Offer Details Below are the full details about the current signup offer for the Ritz card. For the purpose of this post, though, the key take-aways are: 2 Free Tier 1-4…

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Marriott Platinum Elite Welcome Gift List Published

As reported in Marriott Insiders, Marriott has published the list of welcome gifts, by brand, that Platinum Elites can expect when the Marriott and SPG programs merge in August.  The list is re-published below, along with my reactions.  For much more detail about the upcoming program merger, please see: Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide. Analysis The 1,000 point per stay option is a devaluation for SPG elites since it is equivalent to only 333 SPG…

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Manufacturing free nights (Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott)

The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Last week, Nick and I presented our different takes on which hotel chain (Hyatt, Hilton, or Marriott) was most rewarding (here and here).  We looked at how much you’d have to stay at those hotels in order to earn free nights. That was all fine and good, but not exactly what readers wanted to know.  Many readers asked a different question: Which credit cards are best for earning free nights? To keep things simple, I…

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