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Marriott International Announces One Set of Benefits

UPDATE- Thank you for the overwhelming feedback in the comment section. For what it is worth, I found it very useful, so I have passed on the information to my contacts at Marriott. Feel free to continue commenting!

Marriott International announced, today, that it will introduce one set of unified benefits across Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest for its members that will come into effect in August 2018.

Personally, I am very excited by what was announced today. I think that they found a way to merge many of the good aspects of all 3 programs. It’s not perfect (and I still have some question marks), but this preliminary list looks promising.


There are some of the general highlights when the merger comes into effect:

  • Ability to book stays and earn or redeem points across at all brands (i.e. Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Starwood) comprising of 6,500 hotels worldwide
  • The Moments platform will expand to more than 110,000 experiences in 1,000 destinations
  • Members will be able to combine their separate Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG accounts into a single account
  • Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest names will continue to be used until 2019 when a new program name will be introduced
  • SPG members will see their points balance triple
  • Earn 10 points for every $1 spent (except for Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and Element)
  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and Element
  • Members will earn points for food and beverage and qualifying incidentals (rather than just the room rate)
  • No blackout dates for points redemptions

Elite status

Below is the unified qualification for each level of elite status. Existing lifetime members can also rest easy!

  • Silver elite status (after 10 nights)
  • Gold elite status (after 25 nights)
  • Platinum elite status (after 50 nights)
  • Platinum Premier elite status (75 nights)
  • *Members who have achieved Lifetime status will continue to have their status recognized

Platinum and Platinum Premier

Expect to see some expanded benefits in the Platinum and Platinum Premier statuses.

  • Members who exceed 100 nights and $20,000 of spend will benefit from another level of personalized service
  • Free breakfast will be expanded to 23 participating brands, including Courtyard, AC Hotels by Marriott, Protea and Moxy, as well as resorts

Lingering Questions

I personally have some lingering questions, which may have been address internally, but was not provided in the press release.

  • I hope that we will continue to have the ability to transfer points within the same household without a fee
  • Hotel categories and the number of points required for reward redemption
  • Ability to transfer to airline partners and transfer ratios
  • Co-branded Canadian credit cards

Closing Thoughts

As I mentioned earlier, I think this preliminary list of benefits is an amazing start. I am definitely have a good feeling going forward. I especially like the expanded options (incidentals, food and beverage) to earn points, as well as eliminating blackout dates.

However, my lingering questions can still have a high impact on how valuable this new program really is.

What else are you wondering about?

UPDATE- Thank you for the overwhelming feedback in the comment section. For what it is worth, I found it very useful, so I have passed on the information to my contacts at Marriott. Feel free to continue commenting!


  1. No free breakfast for Gold, they will loose lots of customers, main reason why I was aiming for the gold. One less Marriott fan, now have to go to Hilton.

      1. @RushHour If you were already Marriott Gold, you will be mapped to the new Marriott Platinum. The existing Marriott Gold requirement is 50 nights per year which is what the new Marriott Platinum will be. So I dont understand how you will not have breakfast?

  2. I have Gold status from my Amex plat. Not sure if that will continue. Also, as MR Gold member, no bkfst, late checkout is 2+ instead of 4 PM.

    1. Also receive email from Marriott, sounds like existing gold elite member today will receive a new name in August – platinum, which comes with lounge access and breakfast etc. Unless I misinterprets what they meant

        1. Existing Elite members will continue to be Elite and will receive a new, but similar, tier level in August. See chart below.
          Reward elite tier today – Gold elite
          Elite tier in August – Platinum elite

          1. So, I guess I shouldn’t cancel my AmEx Platinum card since the Marriott Gold status will become Platinum Elite and thus still qualify for breakfast…
            It refers to “existing” Gold Elites becoming Platinum Elites…but, existing as of when? If someone applies right away for the AmEx Platinum card, would their newly obtained (but before August) Marriott Gold status become Platinum Elite or have they missed the boat?

    2. They will probably have to rebrand the credit cards anyway with the new name and logo. At which point they will probably revisit the benefits associated with the credit cards as well.

  3. Do platinums compete with ambassador platinums for suite upgrades? Or are we equal. If the former, it will be tough for regular platinums to get upgrades.

  4. They are devaluing the SPG Amex by 1/3. It will only earn 2 Marriott points per dollar, while currently its 3. Will current SPG Amex be grandfathered?

    1. I highly doubt it, mostly because they will need to correlate the earnings to the new program. Probably easier for them to cancel all existing cards and start fresh. But who knows!

    1. They will still be honoured but come August you’ll be able to redeem them at Starwood Hotels as they will be categorized with Marriott.

    2. I suspect that it should still be ok. Either way, it expires 12 months from when it was issued if you are referring to the one from Chase closing, which will come in line with when they fully merge into 1 program in 2019.

  5. For people like myself that predominantly spend on the Amex SPG card to accumulate airlines miles, the devaluation of the points earning of the Canadian credit card is HUGE….being able to spend $1CDN and get 1.25 airlines miles was totally worth it and the only way to diversity my miles portfolio….now that this is gone, Im only going to be able to earn BA Avios and Air Canada

  6. I’m Lifetime Platinum so I’m happy that my status will be grandfathered

    I’m interested to see what AMEX CANADA does with the Cobalt card and transfers to SPG. Will we be able to transfer directly to Marriott? What will be the transfer ratio?

    Currently 2 Membership Rewards points = 1 SPG point = 3 Marriott Rewards points.

  7. My question is the following:

    As an AMEX SPG card holder (Full disclosure, I love this card and am all in on it), should I…

    …take the calculated risk (of potential points jigging, troubled rollouts, etc./) and remaining a loyal user?

    0r, before August and cancel the card, book a vacation that I know I want to make in March 2019, (burn all the points) and wait for the new co-branded Card to come out, so they can shower me with a generous first-time bonus? And as an added sweetner I skip an annual payment with the SPG Amex this year too!

    I’d hate to miss out on the potentially new promotion card that is not eligible the SPG Card holders (As Amex has a long history of not giving current bonuses to returning customers).

    I can apply for the SimplyCashTM Preferred Card for 5% cash back for six months and apply for the new product when it comes out.

    Btw, who knows who will issue the card? Ritz uses Visa, and so has Marriott. So many variables in play.

    I think I’ve made my decision unless someone has a better ides?

    1. Probably best to hold, to wait and see. If you cancel, then you won’t have the option of the transition.

      However, if your annual fee is due before, then that is a different calculation to make.

  8. Just got my email regarding this. Exciting! 25,000 SPG becoming 75,000 in August. Encouraged by a new CC launch in May hopefully with a great sign up offer.

  9. It appears new Amex Plat card members will get Gold at Marriott, but current Amex Plat card holders who are Gold members at Marriott will be converted to Platinum at Marriott? Am I reading that right?

    1. It doesn’t seem to be very clear cut at the moment. Either way, I suspect that the re-calibration is not completely finalized yet, or else it would be more clear.

  10. Have you seen the new SPG AMEX offer…if you haven’t applied and you were a Marriott rewards visacredit card holder before today on the amex site you could qualify for 20k SPG points and 25k IF you had the Marriott rewards cc that got cancelled march 15th..
    Now the new offer is pathetic..not only don’t you have a bonus offer but a credit of 100$ after 1500$/spent in the first 3 months and 150$ credit at Marriott/SPG properties in the next 6 months if you spend 200$ or more..
    So as I see it..this SPG amex is good for this year and use it prior to august 1st when the 3/1 ratio is gone as the new SPG will only be at 1/1 ratio for all properties and purchases after july31st on top of it the card now costs 150$/year…Are they serious..they just don’t want Canadians business I guess?!

  11. I’ve read the new program comparisons from each site and they all encourage us to “combine” our accounts, promoting it as a way to get a better elite status since stays across all will count toward the new program.
    But if I combined them now I would get 40,000 Marr plus 25,000 for 65,000 points.
    A Category 4 Starwood is currently 10,000 points but Category 4 in new program will be 25,000 for a free night.
    But if I waited until August when Starpoints will be tripled, I would have 40,000 Marr and 75,000 SPG for 115,000 points. Unless there is a devaluation ratio when you ‘combine” I will wait until after August to combine.

    Maybe they will be adjusting the category levels at all the properties to bring them more in line with each brand. With such a fresh announcement I’m sure there are glitches to work out and some refinements to do.

  12. This is a great opportunity if wanting to stay at St Regis Aspen or Deer Valley, as these hotels are normally 30K to 35K, but in August they will technically be 20K points per night (but only from Aug to Dec). Given that we have AMEX points, and with the 1:2 transfer ratio, we could transfer 160,000 AMEX points to SPG, to get 80,000 points, then convert to Marriott at 3:1 for 240,000 points, and this would give you 5 nights at one of these hotels (including the 5th night free). This is a heck of a deal!

      1. Yes, we would need to do the transfer to SPG, I assume that AMEX will cut-off SPG from their transfer list soon? Will they replace it with Marriott? That’s the biggest question, as I’m not sure we want to transfer now, then when August comes out, there’s no award availability at either hotel during peak ski season in early 2019.

  13. Given the merger, I wonder what is going to happen to the transfer ratio between AMEX MR and SPG. Right now the transfer ratio is 2 MR to 1 SPG and for those who have the AMEX Cobalt, it is essentially 2.5 star points per $1 spent on food and groceries, which is better than the AMEX SPG has to offer on this spending category. Any word on the new transfer ratio between AMEX MR and Marriott if at all?

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