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Official announcement – See how our three loyalty programs will become one in August

Official announcement – See how our three loyalty programs will become one in August

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Old Aug 12, 18, 1:21 pm   -   Wikipost
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This thread (post #5 from Marriott Rewards Insider) has the official announcement of changes effective later in 2018.

An earlier, speculative discussion appears in the following closed thread: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marr...tus-tiers.html
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Old Jul 23, 18, 7:23 pm
  #1021  
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Originally Posted by Horace View Post
Marriott only announced August -- not a specific date in August. August is easily interpreted as August 1, so you see lots of references to August 1 on this forum. But it could be different date.
Except that Amex issues Starwood points (both on Starwood cards and in transfers from Membership Rewards), and Amex USA has said August 1, though I think Amex Canada may have said Aug 3. Amex has to know when it's happening, because it has to synchronize earnings changes on its Starwood cards at the same time, plus it has to transfer the right number of Membership Rewards points to the right number of some kind of points at Starwood no matter when you initiate the transfer and when the transfer is actually completed (or else temporarily suspend all such transfers if the date is unknown to Amex?).

Chase is relatively unaffected, because Marriott points are not being "recalibrated" the way Starwood points are.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 9:15 pm
  #1022  
 
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Except that Amex issues Starwood points (both on Starwood cards and in transfers from Membership Rewards), and Amex USA has said August 1, though I think Amex Canada may have said Aug 3. Amex has to know when it's happening, because it has to synchronize earnings changes on its Starwood cards at the same time, plus it has to transfer the right number of Membership Rewards points to the right number of some kind of points at Starwood no matter when you initiate the transfer and when the transfer is actually completed (or else temporarily suspend all such transfers if the date is unknown to Amex?).

Chase is relatively unaffected, because Marriott points are not being "recalibrated" the way Starwood points are.
Yes. Although Marriott has consistently published "August 2018" instead of a specific date, American Express specifies August 1, 2018, here: https://www.spgpromos.com/amexcomingsoon/

I'm sure Amex and SPG/Marriott have figured out how to handle data records properly during the transition, regardless of the date. Back in my IT days, any data record included a field that identified the data type. It takes very simple logic to perform a calculation on one data type but not another.

On Friday, July 20, I ordered a travel package from Marriott Rewards. At the end of the call, I asked the Marriott Rewards call center rep if they had been given an actual start date for the combined program, and if it can be shared with customers yet. To my surprise, the rep answered "August 8" -- without hesitation.

Maybe August 8 is correct. I wouldn't be surprised if reps have been told a day that they can't take off due to expected call volume.

Maybe August 8 is wrong. I haven't seen any other references to August 8.

One thing that supports the validity of August 8 is that is that American Express Card Services told me that the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card will be available August 9. It makes sense that bonus offers and upgrades for the new card will be based on the new points, not on the old value of Starpoints -- and waiting until the day after the new points kick in would make sense.

Take this "news" about August 8 with a grain of salt.
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Old Jul 24, 18, 10:19 am
  #1023  
 
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I see a lot of discussion about the value in qualifying in both programs but am trying to understand if there is any value to me.

I already qualify for LTPP as I have been a Marriott PP for several years and am well over 2000 nights. I also have 85 actual nights for the year and will easily hit 125-150 actual nights.

However, I just realized I might be able to get 25 stays on the SPG side and qualify for plat based on that. Is there any advantage to doing so? Any extra SNA's, to the extent they are of any value?
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Old Jul 24, 18, 10:26 am
  #1024  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
I see a lot of discussion about the value in qualifying in both programs but am trying to understand if there is any value to me.

I already qualify for LTPP as I have been a Marriott PP for several years and am well over 2000 nights. I also have 85 actual nights for the year and will easily hit 125-150 actual nights.

However, I just realized I might be able to get 25 stays on the SPG side and qualify for plat based on that. Is there any advantage to doing so? Any extra SNA's, to the extent they are of any value?
IF you can get 50 SPG nights in to earn the 10 SNAs, that might make sense. There is an on-going debate if those with more than 75 nights at the merge will get the 5 SNAs vs those that CROSS 75 nights after the program merges. I expect MPG to be accommodating to those that request the 5 SNA for having more than 75 nights.
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Old Jul 24, 18, 10:27 am
  #1025  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
I see a lot of discussion about the value in qualifying in both programs but am trying to understand if there is any value to me.

I already qualify for LTPP as I have been a Marriott PP for several years and am well over 2000 nights. I also have 85 actual nights for the year and will easily hit 125-150 actual nights.

However, I just realized I might be able to get 25 stays on the SPG side and qualify for plat based on that. Is there any advantage to doing so? Any extra SNA's, to the extent they are of any value?
I don't see any value for you...the ONLY reason I could have seen for qualifying in both this year is 1) add'l year for LT purposes (as I'm doing and others are), 2) hitting 50 nights w/SPG pre-8/1 or thereabouts to get the 10 SNAs then possibly the bonus 5 for 75 nights when the programs combine, or 3) 100 nights w/SPG alone to avoid the $20K spend for Ambassador (but if doing 100 SPG nights plus add'l Marriott ones, probably already there).
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Old Jul 24, 18, 2:21 pm
  #1026  
 
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
I don't see any value for you...the ONLY reason I could have seen for qualifying in both this year is 1) add'l year for LT purposes (as I'm doing and others are), 2) hitting 50 nights w/SPG pre-8/1 or thereabouts to get the 10 SNAs then possibly the bonus 5 for 75 nights when the programs combine, or 3) 100 nights w/SPG alone to avoid the $20K spend for Ambassador (but if doing 100 SPG nights plus add'l Marriott ones, probably already there).
Thank you. That's a nice list of factors for people to consider, although they aren't relevant for my situation as I'm already LTPP requirements, will have the 20k spend, and probably won't be having 50 SPG nights by 8/1.
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Old Jul 24, 18, 2:41 pm
  #1027  
 
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
I see a lot of discussion about the value in qualifying in both programs but am trying to understand if there is any value to me.

I already qualify for LTPP as I have been a Marriott PP for several years and am well over 2000 nights. I also have 85 actual nights for the year and will easily hit 125-150 actual nights.

However, I just realized I might be able to get 25 stays on the SPG side and qualify for plat based on that. Is there any advantage to doing so? Any extra SNA's, to the extent they are of any value?
I have been lifetime Marriott PLT and lifetime SPG PLT for a few years, and even though I had enough nights each year to earn SNA's since they started, they were not of much value to me. There are a bunch of discussion on the SPG side of this board with folks who think they are great and others who think they are worthless, so it really does seem to depend on where and when you try to use them. I was very happy when they switched and let us pick a different benefit and not just the SNA's.
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Old Jul 24, 18, 4:34 pm
  #1028  
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Originally Posted by InHouseCounsel View Post
I have been lifetime Marriott PLT and lifetime SPG PLT for a few years, and even though I had enough nights each year to earn SNA's since they started, they were not of much value to me. There are a bunch of discussion on the SPG side of this board with folks who think they are great and others who think they are worthless, so it really does seem to depend on where and when you try to use them. I was very happy when they switched and let us pick a different benefit and not just the SNA's.
SNAs are the ultimate love/hate issue w/SPG I think...I love them, I've never had one expire, just spent 7 nights in Spain in suites across 3 properties, all were on points. Have had them clear in probably 10 countries.

Don't expect they will clear 100% of the time, don't expect them to clear in Dec in Maui or in July in Paris, and you will probably be OK & generally positive with them.
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Old Jul 24, 18, 4:49 pm
  #1029  
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
SNAs are the ultimate love/hate issue w/SPG I think...I love them, I've never had one expire, just spent 7 nights in Spain in suites across 3 properties, all were on points. Have had them clear in probably 10 countries.

Don't expect they will clear 100% of the time, don't expect them to clear in Dec in Maui or in July in Paris, and you will probably be OK & generally positive with them.


I also love SNAs. I have about a 90% success rate with them--and I almost always have enjoyed a suite upgrade when the SNAs don't clear, anyway. Those hotel stays almost always tend to be at the best SPG hotels: StR, Luxury Collection, and W. But I don't expect SNAs to clear at high occupancy periods or at hotels with few suites.
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Old Jul 24, 18, 8:01 pm
  #1030  
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post


I also love SNAs. I have about a 90% success rate with them--and I almost always have enjoyed a suite upgrade when the SNAs don't clear, anyway. Those hotel stays almost always tend to be at the best SPG hotels: StR, Luxury Collection, and W. But I don't expect SNAs to clear at high occupancy periods or at hotels with few suites.
I am in the camp of those who did not see much value to SNAs in the past. I used to pick SNAs for my platinum benefit, but I stopped and recently I have been picking the free night instead. My issue with the SNAs is exactly what you point out: you tend to get a suite upgrade anyway when it does not clear. So when it does clear, that always left me wondering if I would have gotten the suite even if I had not used a SNA so did I waste the SNAs?

I guess if someone is Plat50 it could be useful because that person would know they might not get priority over P75 or P100, but if you are P100 it seems the value of SNAs is more muted.

For all those reasons, I am surprised you love SNAs given your experience - I would be interested in hearing more about your thoughts.

If SNAs were handled like Hyatt or (formerly) Fairmont in that you get your suite at the time of booking, my opinion would be different.
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Old Jul 24, 18, 8:30 pm
  #1031  
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
I am in the camp of those who did not see much value to SNAs in the past. I used to pick SNAs for my platinum benefit, but I stopped and recently I have been picking the free night instead. My issue with the SNAs is exactly what you point out: you tend to get a suite upgrade anyway when it does not clear. So when it does clear, that always left me wondering if I would have gotten the suite even if I had not used a SNA so did I waste the SNAs?

I guess if someone is Plat50 it could be useful because that person would know they might not get priority over P75 or P100, but if you are P100 it seems the value of SNAs is more muted.

For all those reasons, I am surprised you love SNAs given your experience - I would be interested in hearing more about your thoughts.

If SNAs were handled like Hyatt or (formerly) Fairmont in that you get your suite at the time of booking, my opinion would be different.
I am aware that some of the SNA fails were obviously because the hotel had pre-assigned me a suite due to my Ambassador status. My last stay at the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho in May is a perfect example. There were no suites available for sale on spg.com even 5 days out, so I knew they were unlikely to clear. I arrived and was upgraded to the Kioi Suite, regardless. So the pre-assigned suite saved me my SNAs for another time--but only because I'm Ambassador status. (I realize, of course, that spg.com doesn't always tell the whole story when suites are showing as available, but it tells a pretty obvious story when no suites are available!)

I am aware that some of my SNA upgrades may not have occurred at all without the SNA's 5 day window giving me advance priority. My stay at the St Regis New York in March is a perfect example. There were only a fews qualified Astor suites available on spg.com 5 days out, and I was fortunate to get one. The higher category Madison Suites were completely sold out by that point. Had I waited, on arrival the hotel was entirely sold out--and I likely wouldn't have received any suite at all.

I am aware that some of my SNA upgrades may have happened anyway if I had just waited until my arrival. But I love knowing in advance that my suite is assured if at all possible.

I also find that the SNA cleared suite allows the hotel the opportunity to upgrade me even to a better suite, especially due to my Ambassador status. I like that possibility. My stay at the Imperial Vienna in Oct 2017 is a perfect example. The SNAs cleared 5 days in advance for the Elisabeth Suite. But we arrived and had been upgraded to the speciality Imperial Suite, one of only 6 in the hotel. My many stays at the St Regis San Francisco also are perfect examples, at least until I became so regular that I usually don't even need to bother and always get upgraded!

I am a lot more realistic about SNAs than some people who complain about them. It never ceases to amaze me how many people won't admit that they tried to use SNAs at a hotel with only 10 suites or during a major event period when the hotel suites went to paying guests (as they should when people will pay for them!)--or for a stay of 10 nights. Oh dear! I didn't get my SNAs to clear for the St Regis Osaka because there were several wedding parties in house during our stay, so the hotel was sold out and paying guests had received all the suites. That wasn't any slight to me, but a simple case of increased demand for the hotel--good for them!

Hyatt's at time of booking suite upgrades are a very nice perk, but they have to offer that because they have such a small portfolio. Hyatt also rarely upgrades people to higher than their standard suites since their highest tier is Globalist. I often get upgraded well beyond standard suites--to even speciality suites--because of my Ambassador status. I'll take the SPG-Marriott approach and enjoy it.

Upgrades are a space-available benefit--not an entitlement as some might pretend. IMO most who complain about not getting their SNAs to clear are staying at high occupancy periods or at hotels that have few suites or for longer stays. They should know better IMO. For those who most often stay at hotels with those circumstances, then perhaps another benefit is more appropriate than the SNAs.

Last edited by bhrubin; Jul 24, 18 at 8:40 pm
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Old Jul 24, 18, 8:40 pm
  #1032  
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
I also find that the SNA cleared suite allows the hotel the opportunity to upgrade me even to a better suite, especially due to my Ambassador status.
Thanks for the detailed feedback. I was not aware that we could potentially get a better suite as a result of using SNAs.

Maybe I have been mostly staying at hotels in times of low occupancy because my suite upgrade success rate has been quite satisfactory without using SNAs (and maybe because of AMB status!). Knowing that I could get a better suite would have some value indeed. It's good to know, since I am about to be reintroduced to SNAs if I understand well, it will become a standard benefit as opposed to something we choose?
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Old Jul 24, 18, 8:49 pm
  #1033  
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
Thanks for the detailed feedback. I was not aware that we could potentially get a better suite as a result of using SNAs.

Maybe I have been mostly staying at hotels in times of low occupancy because my suite upgrade success rate has been quite satisfactory without using SNAs (and maybe because of AMB status!). Knowing that I could get a better suite would have some value indeed. It's good to know, since I am about to be reintroduced to SNAs if I understand well, it will become a standard benefit as opposed to something we choose?
No guarantees on better suites, and we won’t know officially until the new loyalty program terms are revealed. I assume SNAs will be a standard choice of benefit at 50 nights (5 SNAs or other choices as available now) and against at 75 nights (5 SNAs or other choices as available now, perhaps). But we’ll know for sure in the next few weeks!
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Old Jul 25, 18, 9:02 am
  #1034  
 
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Thank you. That's a nice list of factors for people to consider, although they aren't relevant for my situation as I'm already LTPP requirements, will have the 20k spend, and probably won't be having 50 SPG nights by 8/1.
Except it's (almost certainly) not going to be 8/1, and I think many people have realised that by now. All we know is that's 'in August'.

More than a little strange that we're in the last week of July and the actual launch date (or name) is still unknown. If people had a specific date it would help them in situations like where they have a stay sometime during the month and are wondering whether they'll still get lounge access, etc.

Surely they'll tell us by the end of this week?
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Old Jul 25, 18, 9:17 am
  #1035  
 
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post

I guess if someone is Plat50 it could be useful because that person would know they might not get priority over P75 or P100, but if you are P100 it seems the value of SNAs is more muted.
I'm new to SNA world as a Marriott Plat Premier who usually gets upgraded to suites at Marriott properties. Marsha allows the property to identify Plat Premiers vs Plats or those with ambassadors. Some properties understand the difference between Plat Premiers and others don't but, for example, I am in a property now with 600 rooms and 6 suites. where I was upgraded to the second best suite. It is very unusual for a property to identify someone as an ambassador. I am a little concerned that properties will interpret the new "benefit" to function as a downgrade and to require me to use SNA's.

On the SPG side, it is my understanding after some discussions with different folks at multiple legacy Starwood properties that the PMS system used at Starwood ("Lightspeed") does not distinguish between levels of plat or identify whether a person has an ambassador. As the property doesn't know whether someone is a P50, P75, or P100, they can't use that as a factor in upgrading one of us over another. Of course, if someone contacts their ambassador and the ambassador then contacts the property, they could get priority because of that.
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