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Starwood

Starwood Elites Get Lower Status in the “New” Marriott Rewards

Starwood Elites Get Lower Status in the “New” Marriott Rewards
Joe Cortez

After announcing price changes to select Starwood properties, more bad news is coming for Starwood Preferred Guest elites. The hotel chain corrected a previous statement on where SPG Gold elites will land in the new program, going down from Marriott Rewards Platinum to Gold when the programs come together in August.

Starwood Preferred Guest elites are getting more bad news as a result of Marriott’s plan to combine all three of their loyalty programs under one umbrella. Australian Business Traveller reports SPG Gold elite members will be effectively downgraded on August 1 by staying at the Gold Elite tier in the new program.

On April 16, 2018, Marriott held a grand announcement confirming that all three of their hotel loyalty programs – Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest – would come together under the Marriott Rewards brand. In the days after the announcement, SPG Gold elites understood when the merge is complete, they could be moved up to Marriott Rewards Platinum status by linking their SPG account with their Marriott Rewards account and matching status. In addition, holders of The Platinum Card from American Express may have also received Marriott Rewards Platinum status, as one of the benefits of the card is SPG Gold status.

Leaders for the hotel are now backtracking on those promises, instead offering Marriott Rewards Gold status for current SPG Gold members. Now, the only way to have Platinum status after August 1 is to stay 50 nights between Starwood and Marriott properties.

Under the new program, Marriott Gold members’ late checkout benefit extends to 2 p.m. where available and a 25 percent points bonus on hotel stays. Without the requisite 50 stays, current SPG Gold members could lose access to executive lounges, free breakfast and extra bonus points.

A spokesperson for Marriott confirmed to the travel publication that the original information was incorrect but did not go into further detail. It is unclear when the hotel company officially made the change.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (12)

12 Comments

  1. afCAMEO

    afCAMEO

    May 11, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    I believe you are incorrect about access to lounges and upgrades.
    Here’s the link for the matrix from Marriott’s web site:
    https://www.marriott.com/marriott-rewards/member-benefits.mi

  2. Alex_I

    May 11, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    Joe: I suggest you to study the subject a little more before writing. For example, you say that “Without the requisite 50 stays, current SPG Gold members could lose access to executive lounges, free breakfast and extra bonus points.”
    Note that:
    1) SPG Gold is currently achieved with just 10 stays (and some of them may come from AMEX credit card)
    2) Or you become Gold after staying 25 nights
    3) SPG Platinum is 25 stays or 50 nights not 50 stays.
    4) In new program SPG Golds are still getting bonus points albeit less.
    5) In old SPG program Gold member benefits did not include guaranteed lounge access and breakfast.

  3. fivenue

    May 12, 2018 at 1:32 am

    well, can’t say that SPGers didn’t expect to be screwed by Marriott

  4. PHL

    May 13, 2018 at 8:11 am

    It’s more a change to the naming standards. The nights required to receive the previous benefits are mostly unchanged. Previously Marriott members earned MR Gold after 50 nights, that got them lounge access and other perks. The new program renamed the “50 night” level to Platinum, which will continue lounge access as well as suite upgrades (when available upon checkin), and the previous 75 night platinums are now being classified into the Platinum Premiere level with some additional perks as well.

    SPG Golds (requiring only 10 nights) are, rightly so, being moved to MR Silver. The benefits will still be commensurate with the level of loyalty in terms of nights per year.

  5. davidsc111

    May 13, 2018 at 10:11 am

    disingenuous…they are staying at the elite level that equates to the requirements they’ve met. They’ve basically been getting a one level boost since the merger… You know better than to say otherwise.

  6. Sabai

    May 13, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Marriott gutted SPG and invites everyone disaffected by this development to pound sand.

  7. DFWsakp

    May 13, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    It makes sense. Every Tom, Dick and Harry cannot become Platinum. If that was the case, Platinum would not Platinum anymore and would have to be called something else.

  8. docr775

    May 14, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Free breakfast and lounge access were never a SPG Gold benefit. Here is a link to current SPG Gold benefits:

    https://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/about/index.html?categoryId=brand.benefits.gold#InnerPage

  9. DFWsakp

    May 14, 2018 at 10:48 am

    They got that benefit due to being matched to Marriott Gold and feel like that should be continued forever

  10. UserMark

    May 14, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Maybe not forever…. but for the remainder of this year would be reasonable

  11. uxb

    May 15, 2018 at 2:22 am

    I’m not one to speak in defence of Marriott, but no SPG Gold member could have reasonably assumed they would be Platinum in the new programme based on their link. The announcement specifically stated that elite status would be based on where the member gained status and not their link. The announcement also stated that said member would gain higher status based on their combined activity in both programmes, but that they would have to qualify for status under new criteria in 2019. While there was never this backtracking that you’ve erroneously reported, there was a significant cut in benefits for most elites. IMHO, those cuts were expected considering the size and scale of the Marriott behemoth.

  12. qofmiwok

    May 17, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    I never expected to become platinum, I expected to stay gold. But I never expected gold would get downgraded and lose upgrades and free breakfast. When I signed up, that’s what I was getting, so why would I have expected that to change? I am also disappointed that I’m losing the Sheraton lounge access with the business card. And that they are offering a free night for those with renewals from Aug on, but not for those of us who renew between now and August.

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