Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide

Marriott is planning to merge the Marriott, SPG, and Ritz loyalty programs into one program on August 18th 2018.  This guide is intended to answer all of your questions about how best to prepare for the transition.

Table of Contents

Also see:

Transition overview

Starting August 18th 2018, SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) and Marriott Rewards will operate as a single rewards program, but with different names just as Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards do today.

Prior to August 18th, the programs will continue to operate separately, but with the ability to link accounts in order to match status across programs and to move points back and forth at a 1 to 3 ratio (1 SPG Starpoint = 3 Marriott Rewards points).

Starting in August, the programs will work as one:

  • SPG Starpoints will be automatically converted 1 to 3 to the new point system
  • Points in both programs will be added together
  • Points and free night certificates that currently work only within brands will be redeemable for free nights across both SPG, Marriott, and Ritz properties
  • A member’s highest current elite status will be mapped to the new program
  • Elite nights in both programs will be added together
  • We will see changes to existing Marriott & SPG credit cards and the introduction of new cards

Unified Award Chart

A full list of the new standard award prices, by hotel, can be found here:

In August, Marriott, SPG, & Ritz properties will be bookable through a single unified award chart:

And this Pointsavers chart:

And this Points + Cash chart:

See this post for our thoughts about the Cash + Points rates: New Marriott Cash + Points Awards. Good deal? (Short Answer: No)

Here are the Marriott, Ritz, and SPG award charts effective prior to the merger:




Elite status transition

The chart above shows how your current elite status will map to the new status beginning in August 2018.

Additional info:

  • In August, elite nights earned in both programs will add together, so you may have a higher level of status at that time.
  • This year through December 31 2018, you can qualify under the old rules or the new rules for 2019 status.  For example, you can still qualify for SPG Platinum with 25 SPG stays (Marriott stays won’t count for qualifying “the old way”).  If you do this by December 31 2018, you’ll get Platinum Elite status which will be valid throughout 2019 and through February 2020.
  • If you currently have status, but you do not qualify in 2018 for 2019 status, then your status will be valid only through February 2019.

Status from Linked Accounts:

  • If you earned status through SPG and linked accounts then Gold status stays as Gold status in the new program, and Platinum status stays Platinum.
  • If you earned status through Marriott or Ritz and linked accounts then Gold status becomes Platinum status in the new program, and Platinum status becomes Platinum Premier.

Based on this logic, the following applies (and has been confirmed):

  • If you have SPG Gold status via the Amex Platinum card or $30K spend on the SPG card, then you will have Gold status in August. This is true even if you have linked accounts to give yourself Marriott Gold status.
  • If you get Ritz/Marriott Gold status from the Ritz-Carlton credit card before August, then you’ll have Platinum status in August.  If you get Ritz/Marriott Platinum status from the Ritz-Carlton credit card before August, then you’ll have Platinum Premier status in August.
  • If you spend $75K on your Ritz-Carlton credit card before August, then you’ll have Platinum Premier status in August (even if you complete spend on the last day of July).
  • If you have Marriott Gold status through the United RewardsPlus program, you’ll have Platinum status in August.

Lifetime elite status transition

The chart above shows how your current lifetime elite status will map to the new status beginning in August 2018.

Additional info:

  • NEW 5/9/2018: There is a new option to qualify for Platinum Premier Lifetime status: “members can earn Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite in 2018 if they achieve 750 Lifetime nights and 10 years at Platinum Elite status. This requirement is only for 2018 and will not be continued in future years. Members will receive notice of this Lifetime achievement in January 2019.”  I interpret this to mean that by the end of 2018 you would need 750 nights (added across programs) and 10 years Platinum (added across programs) to get Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite.
    • New info about this 6/22/2018: For 2018 only, Marriott members with 2 million lifetime eligible Marriott points and with 750 combined lifetime Marriott nights and lifetime Starwood nights qualify for Lifetime Platinum Premier.  This requires that points are earned entirely on the Marriott side, but elite nights are added together between Marriott and SPG through December 31 2018.
  • In August, elite nights and years of status earned in both programs will add together, so you may qualify for higher lifetime status at that time.
  • This year through December 31 2018, you can qualify for lifetime status under the old rules.  For example, If you are close to earning Marriott Lifetime Gold status, you can still qualify under the old rules if you meet the requirements by December 31.
  • Those needing Marriott points to achieve lifetime status can do the following (this will work this year only):
    • Convert Marriott Rewards points to SPG points
    • Transfer SPG points to a household member’s SPG account
    • The household member then converts those points to their Marriott Rewards account
    • The household member then calls Marriott Rewards to transfer their points to you for the purpose of booking a very large award (this is a way to circumvent the 50K point transfer limit, but it only works once per year).
    • Points transferred from the household member’s account to your account will be added to your lifetime total points and subtracted from their lifetime total points.

Point earnings now vs. August

The chart above shows how point earnings for stays will change as of August 2018.  In most cases elite members will earn more points in the new program than the old.

Point Transfers To Airline Miles

  • Point transfers to airlines (a popular feature of today’s SPG program) will continue as-is. Today, the transfer ratio is 20K SPG Starpoints to 25K airline miles.  In August, since SPG starpoints will be converted 1 to 3 to new points, the transfer ratio will be technically the same: 60K points to 25K airline miles.
  • Minimum Transfer Amount: 3,000 points –> 1,000 airline miles.
  • Incremental transfers above 3,000 points will be available 1 mile at a time.  E.g. it should be possible to transfer 3,003 points to 1,001 airline miles.
  • The new program will gain additional transfer partners not available today through SPG (Qantas, JetBlue, Turkish and more).
  • What about Amtrak?
    • We have previously been told that point transfers to Amtrak will continue, but the SPG website says that transfers will end July 31, and Amtrak has sent out emails stating the same.

Free Night Certificates

Free Night Certificates earned before August will continue to be valid in the new program as follows:

  • The certificate will be mapped to a point value.  For example, current Marriott category 1-5 certificates will be usable at any properties costing 25,000 points or less per night in the new program.
  • When the programs merge in August, free night certificates can be used across both Marriott and SPG brands.
  • Once peak and off-peak pricing kicks in (in early 2019), that pricing will influence the ability to use your certificates.  For example, a 25K certificate will no longer be usable at new Category 4 properties during Peak dates since peak pricing will be 30K.

Travel Packages

Marriott’s new travel packages will be way more expensive than before the merger.  This image shows the new pricing:

United & Delta Partnerships

  • The United partnership will continue as-is, including:
    • Free United Silver status for those with Marriott Platinum Premier Elite status.
    • Free Marriott Gold Elite status for those with United Gold Premier Elite status or higher.
      • If you join RewardsPlus before August, this Marriott Gold status will become Platinum Elite status which will last through Feb 2019.  If you join RewardsPlus later, you’ll simply get Gold status.
  • It is possible that Marriott Platinum Premier 100 will result in United Gold status (not yet verified).
  • The current partnership with Delta is scheduled to end July 15, but Marriott & Delta may negotiate a new partnership going forward.

Free Breakfast / Lounge Access

The following chart shows our current understanding of who gets free breakfast and at which properties:

Free Breakfast? Participating Hotels
No free breakfast Design Hotels, EDITION, Gaylord, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Vacation Club
Free breakfast for all* Element, Fairfield, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites
Platinum Elite Welcome Gift Option: Daily $10 Food & Beverage Credit for Member plus 1 Guest (e.g. $20 per day) AC, Courtyard without a lounge, Moxy

Platinum Elite Benefit:

Hotels: Free daily breakfast for 2 in lounge. Free daily breakfast for 2 in restaurant when lounge is closed or doesn’t exist.

Starwood Resorts: Free daily breakfast for 2 in lounge. Free daily breakfast for 2 in restaurant when lounge is closed or doesn’t exist.

Marriott Resorts: Free daily breakfast for 2 in restaurant. No lounge access.

Aloft, Autograph Collection, Courtyard with lounge, Delta, Four Points, JW Marriott, Le Méridien, Marriott, Protea, Renaissance, Sheraton, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, W, Westin

* Via a personal conversation with Sam Chui, I learned that a few of these properties don’t offer free breakfast despite the fact that their brand advertises free breakfast for all.  What?!

Suite Night Awards

  • Upon earning 50 elite nights within a year, and again at 75 nights, members will be given an Annual Choice Benefit. One Choice Benefit option is 5 Suite Night Awards.
  • Those who achieve status through means other than earning 50, 75 nights will not be offered the Choice Benefit. Examples of elites who won’t get this benefit are those who have status through lifetime status, status challenge, credit card spend, etc.
  • A Suite Night Award is a one-night confirmable upgrade to a standard suite or select premium room, depending on the hotel’s availability of those rooms.
  • The number of Suite Night Awards used must match the entire length of stay; it cannot be used for part of a stay (e.g., the first two nights of a five-night stay).
  • Once Suite Night Awards are requested to be applied to a stay, Marriott will begin checking upgrade availability 5 days in advance of your stay, up until 2pm on the day of your arrival.
  • If your Suite Night Award request doesn’t clear, you’ll get the awards back to be used later.

Credit card changes

Below you’ll find info about each current Marriott / SPG / Ritz credit card, along with expected changes:

  • Chase Marriott Rewards Premier:
    • Unavailable for new signups as of May 4th 2018.
    • Beginning 2019: 15 night elite credit will no longer be stackable with elite credits from other credit cards
    • We don’t know if the ability to earn an elite night with each $3K spend will continue.
  • Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business:
    • This card will continue to be offered by Chase.
    • Beginning 2019: 15 night elite credit will no longer be stackable with elite credits from other credit cards
    • Beginning August 26, 2018, this card will earn: 6X Marriott/Ritz/SPG; 4X restaurants, gas stations, and on shipping, Internet, cable, and phone services purchases; 2X everywhere else
    • Anniversary free night will be valid for a stay up to 35K points beginning with your next anniversary after August 26, 2018.
    • This card will no longer come with the ability to earn an elite night with each $3K spend effective August 26, 2018.
  • Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Visa Infinite:
    • Unavailable for new signups as of July 26 2018.
    • This card will carry a $450 annual fee and will come with: a free night award worth up to 50K points; Up to $300 statement credit for airline incidental spend; Airport Lounge access via Priority Pass Select; $100 Global Entry credit every 4 years. Starting 2019: 15 nights elite credit (not stackable with other cards).
    • Other current benefits will carry over ($100 Visa Infinite Discount Air benefit, 3 annual club level upgrades on paid stays up to 7 nights, $100 property credit when booking a qualified rate)
    • The Ritz card will earn: 6X Marriott / SPG; 3X restaurants, airfare purchased directly from airline, and car rental agencies; and 2X everywhere else.  The Ritz card will also lose it’s annual 10% bonus on points earned, but that’s a small loss considering that it goes from earning just 1X on most purchases (or 1.1X with the 10% bonus) to 2X.
    • Starting in August, the card will come with automatic Gold status and $75K spend will only get you Platinum Elite status (which is equivalent to today’s Gold status) vs. spending $75K before August which will get you Platinum status which will convert to Platinum Premier Elite Status.
  • Amex SPG:
    • Prior to August 1 this card earns 3X points on all spend (1X Starpoints) and 6X (2X Starpoints) at Marriott/Starwood hotels.
    • Beginning August 1, the card will earn only 2X points (and 6X at Marriott/SPG hotels).
    • Also beginning August 1, this card adds annual free night certificates good for nights costing up to 35K points.
    • In 2019, spend required for Gold status will increase from $30K per year to $35K per year.
    • Starting in 2019, cardholders will receive 15 nights toward elite status, but this will not be stackable with other credit card elite nights.
  • Amex SPG Business:
    • Prior to August 1 this card earns 3X points on all spend (1X Starpoints).
    • Beginning August 1, the card will earn only 2X points (and 6X at Marriott/SPG hotels; and 4X at US restaurants & gas stations & telephone services & shipping).
    • Beginning August 1, this card loses free Sheraton lounge access, but adds annual free night certificates good for nights costing up to 35K points.
    • In 2019, spend required for Gold status will increase from $30K per year to $35K per year.
    • Starting in 2019, cardholders will receive 15 nights toward elite status, but this will not be stackable with other credit card elite nights.

New Cards

The following new cards have been announced and/or released:

  • Amex SPG Luxury Card: $450 annual fee; 50K free night award; Up to $300 statement credit for Marriott / SPG spend; Free Gold status; Platinum status with $75K calendar year spend; Airport Lounge access via Priority Pass Select; $100 Global Entry credit every 4 years. Starting 2019: 15 nights elite credit (not stackable with other cards).
  • Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card: $95 annual fee; Earn 2 points per dollar (6X at Marriott/SPG hotels); 35K free night award; Gold status with $35K spend. Starting 2019: 15 nights elite credit (not stackable with other cards).  More here.

New program pros & cons


  • Free breakfast for elites will extend to Marriott resorts and Courtyard properties, and will remain in place with all SPG properties
  • Top tier SPG properties will be cheaper in the new program (much cheaper from August through early 2019).  If you can wait until August 1 to book that St Regis property you have your eye on, do so.
  • SPG’s favorable point transfer ratio to airline miles is preserved and new airlines are being added.
  • Most elites will earn more points for stays under the new program.


  • Currently, SPG cards earn 1 SPG point per dollar which is equivalent to 3 Marriott points per dollar for all spend.  Starting August 1, they will earn only 2 points per dollar in the new program.  This has big implications for those who do SPG spend primarily to transfer points to airline programs.  If that’s you, the SPG card is being devalued.
  • Most Top tier Marriott properties will probably be a bit more expensive, and some will likely be much more expensive
  • Ritz Carlton is still not on board with free breakfast or lounge access for elites. This is kind of weird since top tier Starwood properties, some of which are much higher end than most Ritz properties, do offer free breakfast.

Cons (specific to current SPG elites):

  • It will no longer be possible to earn Platinum status through 25 stays as is possible with SPG today.
  • Can no longer earn elite nights with multiple rooms booked during same stay
  • Platinum upgrade to standard suite no longer guaranteed when available
  • 50 night elites will get 5 Suite Night Awards instead of 10
  • 75 night elites will no longer get Your24 benefit
  • 100 night elite status will now require $20K spend

Short Term Opportunities

Before May 3rd:

  • Sign up for the personal Marriott card as it might not be available after May 2. Too late.

Before August:

  • Earn 3X now, get Platinum Elite status in August: Spend $75K on consumer SPG card (in order to earn 3X points per dollar), then upgrade to the SPG luxury card in August. Spend will carry over and will give you Platinum Elite status.  Note that all spend that posts through July 31 will earn 1X Starpoints (3X points) even if your statement close date is in August.
  • Earn status by booking multiple rooms:  SPG currently offers elite night credits for up to 3 rooms at a time, but as of August we’ll only earn credit for 1 room at a time.
  • Get 15 Suite Night Awards: Earn 50 SPG elite nights by August in order to get Platinum status and 10 Suite Night Awards.  You can then get 5 more Suite Night Awards if you earn 75 elite nights across SPG and Marriott by the end of the year.
  • Platinum status & 2 free nights anywhere: Sign up for the Ritz-Carlton card before August in order to get Marriott Gold status which will then translate to Platinum status in August.  Also, meet spend requirements to get 2 free Tier 1-4 nights.  Before August, those free nights can only be used at Ritz Carlton hotels.  In and after August, they can be used at any Marriott / SPG / Ritz property.  Even better, between August and early 2019, those free nights should be valid for booking even the most expensive properties in the world.  More here: Earn up to 15 Suite Night Awards with Marriott SPG this year onlyThe Ritz card is unavailable for new signups as of July 26 2018.
  • Platinum Premier Elite (75 night) status with Ritz card and $75K spend:  Spend $75K on your Ritz-Carlton card by the end of July in order to get Marriott Platinum status which will map to Marriott Premier Elite status in August.
  • Book top tier Marriott properties with points since they are likely to jump from 45K points per night to 60K points per night.
  • Specific bookings to make before August for travel before or after August (this list will be updated as more info becomes known):
  • Platinum Elite status thanks to United status: If you have United Premier Gold elite status or higher, join RewardsPlus before August.  This way you’ll get Marriott Gold status which will become Platinum Elite Status in August (but only through Jan 2019). More here: United Premier Elites: Sign up for RewardsPlus before August.

Before 2019:

  • Get all four current Marriott & SPG cards in order to earn 40 nights elite credit.  Elite night credits will not stack after this year.
    • Elite nights earned from these credit cards after the August transition but before Jan 1 2019 will stack.
    • The Marriott Business card still offers 15 nights elite credit even though the application page doesn’t mention it.
  • Earn SPG Platinum status with 25 stays.
  • Earn SPG Platinum status with 50 nights in order to get 10 Suite Night Awards.
  • Earn SPG Platinum 100 status in order to get Platinum Premier 100 status without the $20K spend requirement.

Between August 18th and expected award chart changes in early 2019:

  • Award chart temporarily tops out at 60K points per night, so make all of your top-tier award bookings during this time.

Q & A (Questions and Answers)

Q: I currently have Marriott Rewards Gold status because I have SPG Gold status from my credit card (e.g. Amex Platinum, or SPG w/ $30K spend) and I linked my Marriott and SPG accounts.  What status will I have in August?

A: You will have Gold status.

5/9/2018: We had previously received conflicting information about this, but this interpretation has now been confirmed.

Q: Is there a way to ensure that my Marriott status matched from a credit card will remain intact in August and beyond?

A: Yes, sign up for and complete a Marriott Platinum challenge. This will require 9 stays or 18 nights to be completed in about 3 months.  If you complete it successfully, you’ll have Platinum Premier status in the new program which will be good for the rest of this year, all of the 2019, and through February 2020.

Q: What happens to status obtained through the Ritz Carlton card?

Background: the Ritz-Carlton card currently offers automatic Gold status first year, then you can keep Gold status with $10K spend or Platinum status with $75K spend per membership year.

If you obtain status before August with the Ritz card, then your new status will map as follows:

  • If you are Rewards Gold by August, you will be Platinum in the new program
  • If you are Rewards Platinum by August, you will be Platinum Premier in the new program

If you obtain status in or after August, then:

  • $10K spend gives you Gold status in the new program
  • $75K spend gives you Platinum Premier status in the new program

Q: I’m trying to spend $75K on my Ritz card to get Platinum status before August (so that I’ll end up with Platinum Premier status).  What happens if I complete spend before August, but the status isn’t granted until August or September?

A: You’ll still get Platinum Premier status as long as you complete the spend by July 31. That is, all charges should post to your credit card account by July 31. It is OK if your statement closes later.

Q: I’m trying to qualify for high level SPG status this year. Do I need to earn 25 stays (or 50 nights, 75 nights, 100 nights) before August 1?

A: No, you have until December 31st to earn status the old way.  Keep in mind that Marriott stays will count towards the combined program’s rules, but not towards SPG status rules.  So if you’re hoping to get Platinum Premier 100 status from 100 nights without the new program’s $20K spend requirement, for example, your Marriott nights won’t help.

Q: If I earn SPG-specific elite status after August 1, will the mapping to the new program be the same?

A: Yes. For example, if you complete your 25th SPG stay in December, that will give you the equivalent of SPG Platinum status which is new program Platinum Elite.

Q: When will we know for sure which categories each hotel will be in when the programs merge?

A: We have been told that a complete list will be made published about a month in advance (e.g. around the beginning of July).

Q: 5 Night Travel packages are currently available to Marriott Timeshare owners. Will they be available in the new program?

A: I expect so, but this hasn’t been confirmed.

Q: Can we still earn 10 elite nights per meeting in the new program?

A: Yes

Q: Platinum Premier (75 nights) doesn’t seem to offer much above Platinum. Is there any big benefit to Platinum Premier over Platinum?

A: Yes. With Platinum Premier you get free United Silver status just for signing up each year with RewardsPlus.

Q: I use my SPG card only for the ability to transfer to airline programs at a good ratio. What should I do when the card devalues in August?

A: See this post: Spending for miles. Best SPG alternatives.

Q: What will happen with Amex Membership Rewards transfers to SPG (currently 3 to 1)?

A: Membership Rewards will transfer 1 to 1 to SPG / Marriott Rewards in the new program.

Q: What will happen with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers to Marriott (currently 1 to 1)?

A: Chase Ultimate Rewards will continue to transfer 1 to 1 to Marriott Rewards in the new program.

Related Posts by Frequent Miler

The following posts relate to the Marriott / SPG loyalty program merger.  Most recent posts are on top.

A complete list of related posts can be found here.

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David Newman

Do you have a list of SPG hotel categories prior to merger? I think I was charged too many points for a hotel I booked prior to August 2018. Thanks.

[…] confusion brought on by the Marriott merger, all of us have had questions. Early on, we published a Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide with answers and information we were given directly by Marriott higher-ups. Most of the information […]

[…] the loyalty programs are set to merge in August (See: Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide), the name of the new combined loyalty program will not come until 2019. Therefore, I expect that […]

Brian P

I completed a Platinum status challenge In March of 2018. Based on one of your Q&As above it sounds like earning Platinum in the old program that way should have converted to Platinum Premier but I’m only showing Platinum right now. Did you have anything definitive on this that I could go back to Marriott and claim I should be a level higher? Or was this just speculation that it should map to Premier?


So I just got off the phone with the Marriott customer service trying to make a reservation using my free anniversary night certificate and after 2hrs on the phone was told that the certificate was downgraded and possible to use only for hotels that need not more than 25K points. Which is just stupid! First my certificate says i’m entitled to hotels 1-5 with no mentioning of points and I see no reason why they’re not able to honor at least the existing certificates. Second, the inability to upgrade it by partially paying cash for above 25K is another stupid behavior, and finally, in the long run – the downgrade to 25K points only with a fee of $95/year erases any reason of still keeping the card.


Has anyone actually had any luck using a Marriott anniversary certificate on an SPG property? I was also on the phone for the past hour, and the SPG agent I spoke with said that it’s not possible to book SPG properties with the old Marriott certificates. Either the merger is still working out its kinks, or the agent I spoke to is incompetent.

[…] Much more can be found here: Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide […]

[…] Full Marriott Transition Guide […]

Mary Jane

Dear Nick or Greg, In the above article, you mentioned (regarding the Ritz card), “This card will carry a $450 annual fee and will come with: a free night award worth up to 50K points. I was lucky and just got this card last week but I didn’t see any mention of the free night. I saw the two free Ritz tier 1-4 nights included. Is this a yearly anniversary bonus and does it apply to people who got the card in July? Mary Jane

Nick Reyes

The free night benefit begins at your first anniversary after the new card benefits go into effect on August 26th:

So you won’t get a free night worth up to 50K points until you pass your anniversary next year.

Mary Jane

BTW, this is Mary Jane again. I wanted to tell you that the above article that you wrote was truly analytical, informative, as well as, understandable. That is the reason why you guys are my favorite!

[…] same card earned 1 Starpoint per dollar.  If you haven’t been following the details of the Marriott & SPG transition to one rewards program, it might sound like the card has gotten better.  It […]


Is there anything in Marriott’s guidance (or in another respect, like basic logic) that prevents Marriott from treating existing floater certificates as follows: Redeem them for new (i.e., 25K, 35K, etc.) free night certificates (7-day = 6 free night certificates), each of which expire on the same date as the original travel package hotel certificate?


Greg: Since AMEX points take at least a month or more to post, and if we use our SPG cards up to July 31st to get the 3 to 1 rate on points, should we hold off on combining our SPG and Marriott accounts until those points post in September (if not October)? Or, will Marriott be able to track this and award such points at a 3 to 1 ratio in our newly combined account?

[…] Unified award chart […]

[…] You can read more about Suite Night Awards here. […]

[…] Check out our updated Marriott SPG Transition Guide. […]

Wayne Kerr

If you earn elite nights through booking meetings at Marriotts will this entitle you to the suite awards upgrade?


Will I be able to use my unused SPG Suite Night Awards for Marriot properties after August 1?

[…] sue me. I figured out some parts of it from other bloggers, anyway. The Points Guy and Frequent Miler have some good posts on this shit if you want to read […]


I got the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Card in December 2017. Am I supposed to get 15 elite night credit on card’s anniversary in December this year? This would help me figure out whether to shoot for qualifying on nights or stays.


Can someone please give me the bottom line for booking the Hotel & Air packages now or after August? Thanks


If you are doing it for airline miles, do it now. In August you get less miles (in almost all cases) for more points (in all cases). Another reason to do it before August is to potentially get a points based conversion of the hotel 7-night certificate that will be significantly more than if you cashed the certificate in today for points.


Thank you Bob, any advice on which Hotel category?


That’s a tougher call and dependent upon your objectives. In my case, I have 550k Marriott points. I’m after United miles, so I’m redeeming them for 2 cat 1-5 travel packages (i.e., 270k United miles and 2 each 7-nite certs). Greg has done an analysis earlier (which may need to be updated) that, if you’re speculatively after securing the best points conversion of the 7-nite certs, one might want to book a cat 8 certificate. Some have suggested, in such a case, to redeem for a cat 1-5 cert and, once the point conversion ratio becomes known, upgrade it to a cat 8 (if Greg’s analysis proves correct). YMMV.

Sam Palmer

FYI, I just signed up for RC CC last week and in my MARRIOTT account up popped the RC benefit of 3 “Club Level Upgrades up to 7 nights.” Soooo, not limited to RC anymore. This could be more valuable now (bc you can use it at RC, Marriott, and SPG) than only at RC. Waddya think?

[…] Point transfers to Airline Miles […]

[…] Lifetime status transition […]

[…] Unified award chart […]

[…] Travel packages […]

[…] Here’s a quick post today about new information about the Marriott / SPG merger.  As always, you can find complete details here: Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide […]


Greg, thank you for the detailed guide. Quick question: “Earn SPG Platinum status with 50 nights in order to get 10 Suite Night Awards.” – does this mean that if after August 1, I have 25 nights from 3 credit cards and 25 nights from staying at hotels, I will get SPG Platinum which transitions into Marriott Platinum Elite *and* I get 10 Suite Night Awards?


There is information on Flyertalk that seems to indicate that earning 50 nights between August 1 and December 31 will get you 5 SNAs though, since you’re basically qualifying under new program rules.
Is that correct?

[…] You will earn automatic Marriott Gold status, and in August when Marriott/Ritz and Starwood Preferred Guest merge their rewards programs that will convert to Platinum Elite status that should last until February of 2020. That being said, you won’t earn Suite Night Awards. […]

[…] for another year when asked.  So, many of us will have 7 night certificates in their accounts when Marriott and Starwood merge programs in August.  What will happen to those certificates […]

[…] point to 3 Marriott points, so 30K Starpoints is really 90K Marriott points down the road. See our Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide for more on the future of the […]

[…] 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 this chart, please visit our transition guide: Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide. […]


Can someone help me out here- I’ve read a lot of this but it’s not sinking in. I have Marriott personal since 1/14, Marriott Biz since 6/16, Ritz since 1/15, SPG personal since 1/12, SPG Biz since 1/12. I am Marriott Gold Elite (match) and SPG Preferred Guest Plus. Where do these credits put me after 8/1 and for how long?

[…] 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 […]


Hi Greg, I’ve read most of the posts.

so I currently have spg gold from the amex platinum=marriott gold. That will stay gold. Sad.

Ok, so if I now open this ritz card and get gold–will that transfer over to the new platinum 50? IE will they ‘give me gold credit’ from the ritz card? Or will it be still from the amex platinum/spg gold?


[…] merger that’s been on our minds as of late has been the Marriott-Ritz-SPG merger, but in other merger news, Wyndham and La Quinta announced yesterday that thanks to their merger […]


I have the Ritz card and before the merger spent $10k to keep gold status with Marriott. I stopped doing that once Amex plat backdoor method became available and I Linked my SPG. I didn’t think that ritz card gold status would get plat in new program so now I wonder what to do. I called Marriott, and looking at my account they see that I’m Starwood gold and also see that I’m gold because of the ritz card. I haven’t spent more than $1000 per year on the Ritz card so Chase has not been feeding any information to keep me gold. Could it be that they have just rolled my original Ritz card gold status because of SPG every year. So somehow I’m still tagged as gold is via Ritz vs a SPG-er? If that’s the case then I should be getting the new platinum. If not I guess the best thing for me to do would be to unlink the two accounts and try spending $10k in time. Does $10k need to be spent by July statement or as long as the spend posts before end of the month. IF your statement closes early August that would make a big difference. Thank you.

Nate Nate

I think I read all the previous comments, so hopefully not a duplicate question. I just want to confirm how to maximize the number Suite Night Awards from the Annual Choice Benefits. I’ll likely hit over 50 SPG nights in June, so I should get 10 SNAs. Should I hold off on getting past 75 SPG nights before Aug 1? I can stay at Marriotts so not a big deal. Then, when the programs combine, I’ll have 75+ SPG-MR nights and should get another 5 SNAs. Is that right?


Greg: If I shoot for 100 elite nights by the end of this year (mostly based on SPG and Marriott card holdings and spend, and event hostings), do I need to also hit the $20k spend requirement to get Platinum Premier 100 for 2019-20? Your response above suggests “maybe not.” I’m less interested in getting an ambassador and more on keeping Platinum status through 2022 via “soft landing” policies . . .

[…] 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. […]



Greg, you may want to get some clarification via your contact, as Starwood Lurker William has updated this in the Wiki of the Sticky thread, and it is BAD news.

10. Question on the “floater certificates” being canceled and points redeposited into the account on Aug 1st. Does this include outstanding Marriott Travel packages here: Flight and Hotel Packages Marriott Hotel Packages

Floater certificates, including outstanding Marriott Travel Packages, will be cancelled and converted to equivalent points, credited to the member’s account for future redemption.

Currently you only get back 45K pts on a canceled Cat 1 to 5 cert when you cancel. It is not even good for 2 nights Cat 5 under the current chart. Your Cat 8 cert would only get back 45K + 30K + 30K + 30K, = 135K, just over 3 nights worth of a Cat 8 stay.

We need a definitive answer to the above as soon as possible.


What do you mean Floater Certificate? So all vacation package certificates devalued on Aug 1st, so book before Aug 1st to maximize?


Greg/Nick, I commend you for keeping up to date on all of this. Very helpful, indeed!

Something I haven’t seen asked, but is, of course, pure speculation:

What do you think the chances are of seeing a 50% SPG point discount again before August 1st? It’s currently 35%, but I can’t quite pull the trigger. I was fortunate to be targeted for the 50% in Nov ’16 and bought several for the Marriott travel packages.


Thanks for the great summary, Greg. I was very curious about one thing, though. You state “Spend $75K on consumer SPG card (in order to earn 3X points per dollar), then upgrade to the SPG luxury card in August. Spend will carry over and will give you Platinum Elite status.” under Short Term Opportunities above.

I’ve asked Amex this question, and they keep telling me to ask again later as they are not sure yet. Because this one is extremely important to me (combined nights just over 40 but not possible to hit 50), I’m curious as to whether it was Marriott or Amex that confirmed that for you because I haven’t seen that stated anywhere else. Assuming spend so far in 2018 will carry over to the Luxury SPG, is it safe to assume that meeting that spend at any point after August would also count toward the $75k? I don’t think I’ll quite hit that mark prior to August, but will at some point in the fall. Thanks!


What happens to status obtained through the Ritz Carlton card?

For the above question , u have mentioned

f you obtain status in or after August, then:

$10K spend gives you Gold status in the new program
$75K spend gives you Platinum Premier status in the new program – Here i think you mean Just Platinum ( 50 nights ) Status ?

Also , how long these status are going to be valid Jan/Feb 2019 or till 2020 ?


Similar to your question about Marriott Vacation club (i.e. some get elite status based on points), I have a similar question about existing Starwood Vacation Club (now Vistana). Currently, 5-star elites in that program automatically get platinum status with Starwood. Is that going to remain the case in 2019+? What happens in August? Platinum or Platinum Premier? Thanks!


I will have platinum premier status after the merge on Aug which will expire in Feb 2019. What status will I have for 2019? Automatic one level down to platinum 50 or is it going to be based on # of nights in 2018?



Question regarding the strategy you outlined on how to reach Lifetime Platinum if you have the 750 nights with Marriott but are short of hitting the 2 million points. I’m currently at about 1.3 million points and 770 nights lifetime, but currently have only about 100k points to transfer to a household member from my account via SPG. With the 50k transfer limit, do you think I could keep transfering around 50k points until I reach the 2 million? If not, do you have any other ideas? I would really like to get grandfathered into Lifetime Platinum Premiere ;).


If I have spent more than 10k on the ritz card this year, under the old system, I should have Marriott gold through early 2020, right? So does that mean after August, I will be converted to Platinum through early 2020? or just early 2019


what is considered “off peak” & “peak” season? what are the months?


I would assume that it would depend on the location of the property. Ski resort properties would be when those properties are in demand. For their Hawaii properties, I’m hoping that it would not be year-round. I’m also hoping that when one property is not in “peak” season in Hawaii, for example, that the other properties would also not be in “peak” season.


good inference. thx


Greg can you please add to your list of questions to the Marriott folks: benefits of lifetime plat premier vs lifetime plat.

As followup from my question on prior post, getting this answered would help me decide whether or not to mattress run for 150 nights. Thanks.


Is the transition August 1 or sometime in August? This is significant as I would likely want to book five weekdays or seven night stays using the current chart , and Marriott allows bookings approximately fifty weeks in advance , and Starwood it seems to me close to 50 weeks. So I can probably book July 1-5 , 2019, and July 8-12, but not July 15-19 unless I am miscalculating , or the Debka is just a little bit later than August 1. (Advice to Marriott — delay implementing almost all parts of the new world of Marriott program to January 1, 2019. You will get compliments from everyone and it will be actually doable. Consider the August attempt to be a rough draft and a learning experience.)


The Canadian American Express spg card issues category 1-4 one night certificates usable on a Friday , Saturday or Sunday , based on 40000$ spend. If used after August 1-4, conjecture is that these certificates convert to 30000 Marriott points. Is this correct? If not, they can be used for what category hotels ? Presumably they can also be used for hotels that were formally Starwood?


I hope I understand it correctly on the SPG pts status
1) existing SPG pts in the account up to July 31st will be 3x automatically. There is no need to transfer to Marriott account to avoid the devaluation to 2x.
2) the devaluation comes in the earning structure in a round-about way – as of now $1 spend outside hotel stay on SPG earns 1x, which converts to 3x in Marriott program. Effective Aug 1, the conversion is ELIMINATED, and the $1 spend outside hotel stay on SPG would earn 2x – hence the devaluation.

What about booking award stays after August 1, is that ALL properties under ALL brands are bookable from either Marriott or SPG accounts based on the new charts?
If so, there is another reason no need to transfer SPG pts to Marriott pts prior to August 1.

Do I understand the above correctly? Thanks for clarification.

Patrick Oh

Any news on the Chase Ritz Carlton card?


Legacy lifetime earning methods are still available for the rest of the year, including 750nights+2mm MR.

Once accounts combine in August, will SPG points earning get added to this counter, enabling the 2mm prem plat lifetime earning through December?


So if I have gold status through the ritz card, I will have play in August? But it will turn into gold starting 2019 correct ?


Hi Greg,
Thanks for all the details. 4 open questions:
1) you stated that Marriott will count the years of status from the SPG match. What about the half year (2016) when the first match happened? Will they count this as a full year of status?
2) will transfer between family members still be possible?
3) what does the 20k for Plat-100 include? Only room cost or also taxes and restaurants charged to the room?
4) SNA: if I have suite night awards leftover after Aug 1st, can i use them in a Marriott property as well?
Thank you!


I am Marriott Gold, matched from SPG Gold as a benefit my Amex Platinum card. I have a couple of nonrefundable OTA reservations made prior to April 6, for stays in August and after. I booked these rooms expecting to receive elite benefits, which Marriott Rewards always provided for third party bookings (and made it clear in their T&C that this is indeed the way Marriott Rewards program is intended to work).

I can’t see how Marriott get away with not honoring elite benefits for these bookings? They advertised the benefit when I was making the booking, I bought it and made the booking. Now if they decide to switch the terms and not provide the elite benefits, that would be bait and switch! Specifically when I don’t have the option of cancelling the reservations.

Will Marriott honor elite benefits, which were in effect at the time of booking, for such nonrefundable third party reservations?


Thanks for the answer Greg! Though I disagree with your perspective. Be it a glitch or a right, they advertised something and customers made decisions based on that and paid for rooms. They later decided not to deliver what they advertised. This is as straightforward as a case of bait and switch can get.


then show us where Marriott referenced OTAs and “made it clear in their T&C that this is indeed the way Marriott Rewards program is intended to work”…


Quoted from Marriott Rewards T&C:
“In order to qualify for the Elite Benefits Guarantee, the Elite Member’s Membership Number, Elite Membership status, and bed type preferences must be included with the reservation. Reservations made through meeting planners, travel agents, wholesalers or other third party sources must include this information in order to be included in the Guarantee.”

See full terms here:


I am at 13 nights (which I complete in June) to get to the 250 nights required for SPG Lifetime Gold, but I am 4 years old elite. That is to say, in June it would be with more than 250 nights and 4 elite years.
At the same time, when completing those nights, in June I would qualify to be a Platinum SPG in 2019, that is to say I would have guaranteed “my fifth year elite”.
My question is: when the program is unified, in 2019 I will become Lifetime Gold or Lifetime Silver ?. If it happens to be Lifetime SIlver, it’s a big devaluation in this case.


Greg, Thanks for the good work! Can you please confirm that nights and spend at Marriott Vacation Club will count towards status in the future?


In addition to Jeepie’s question about nights and spend at MVC, have you got any answer to the question of what elite status MVC Destination Point owners will map to?


MVC issues have been discussed extensively by their owners. i suggest you call your rep or visit the deep discussion forums all over the web. there are additional complexities due to deeded club points and different status levels. greg will probably not address that in too much detail because its a big area to cover. i assume you know MVC is a totally different company from marriott. so MVC could might as well be called John Doe Vacations. its that different. and there is much more to discuss that is timeshare specific because of the ILG and Vistana buyout.


greg. the reason why you have not heard anything official is because MVC has not “officially” announced anything yet to their owners. MVC is a different company and the details are still being worked out. many suspect the change will not be good because of a major deval. currently MVC Select and Executive get MR Gold and Presidential and Chairman get plat. this will certainly change.


Understood that if you got SPG gold from the amex platinum, it only gets you marriott gold elite in the new program. But, what if you got SPG gold through actually staying at SPG properties, then matched to marriott gold. Does that count differently than status achieved via credit card? Ie, does that allow you to get platinum in the new program from your marriott gold?


no and no. marriott treats SPG as a black sheep and protects their own. makes sense given who made the acquisition.


I asked this on Twitter, they say there may be other changes but more voices may be helpfull.

“The new $95 Premier Marriott and the two $95 SPG cards will get a free 35K points night per year. The $99 Chase Marriott Business gets a free 25K points night per year. Seems very lopsided, I’m sure there is something in the works to even this out right? Otherwise why hold the card?”
After their reply,

“I saw that the other day, that’s how I saw the discrepancy! Hopefully you all are working to equalize the annual free night at 35K, otherwise there won’t be any reason to hold the Marriott Business card, especially at $99 per year.”


As for now, you can transfer Amex to Starwood (I know at a horrible rate). However, will you still be able to transfer Amex points to Marriott after starpoints currency do not exist anymore in case you need to top off your account?

[…] programs in August, people naturally have lots of questions.  To help with this, I created the Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide.  My goal with this resource is to answer all of your questions, but it is a work in progress.  […]

[…] Quick note here — for the purposes of comparison, I’ll be using the “new” Marriott program even though it doesn’t launch as such until August 1st. You can read all about the transition in our Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide. […]


Greg: I’m confused. Are elite qualifying night (EQN) credits via credit cards still stackable after August 1, 2018 and through December 31, 2018? I have the Marriott Personal Premier Rewards card for which I’ve already received 15 EQN credits for this year (2018). I also have the Marriott Premier Rewards Business card (+15 EQNs), as well as the SPG AMEX Personal (+5 EQNs) and Business (+5 EQNs) cards – all three of which have anniversary dates between August 1st and December 31st. If I understand this guide correctly, I should get a total of 40 EQN credits for 2018 through these credit cards. Is that correct? Previously, I had read elsewhere that August 1st, not December 31st, would be the date where stacking EQN credits via credit cards would end . . .


Thanks, Greg. That makes my life (and Plat 75 for 2018) significantly more manageable.


Any update on the Marriott Biz card. I got it last year when the annual 15 EQN language was still there.


Greg: Now for my “greed” question – given 40 EQNs for cc, as well as other EQNs earned either as rollover or actual (imagine that) night stays, I easily will hit Plat 75 this year. So, my “greed” question is – should I go for Plat 100 and then assume that the “soft landing” will apply for two successive years (i.e., 2019 = Plat 100, 2020 = Plat 75; 2021 = Plat 50), thereby achieving lounge access/free breakfast through Feb 2022? What’s your take on such a plan?


greg. ur new QA update post was very helpful. thank you so much for doing all that work and follow-up. looks like the huge number of complaints about LTPP actually worked. cant say im surprised because it was really dick of them initially. wish i was close to LTPP tho.

but its very clear marriott favors real business vs status matches and that makes sense. here are some additional questions to your “Questions Not Yet Answered”:

1) how does it make sense that Marriott Gold from Ritz Carlton CC will only be gold in AUG but Marriott Platinum status from $75K spend on the RC CC will be PP in AUG? thats stupid IMHO. the rules should be consistent at every level. CC Gold is Gold. so CC Plat is Plat not PP. both require spend to get gold or plat. i guess the initial RC CC sign up gives you gold with MSR only, but thats still BS IMHO. am i missing something here?

the QA even says, “If I earn Gold or Platinum status with the Ritz card once the merged program begins, what status will I have? You will have Gold or Platinum status in the new program.”

OK, so this means that you get a short term boost in RC CC 75k Plat to PP ONLY for this year right? cuz after that, its only plat 50. not PP. this is why you have additional RC CC spend questions because the status lineup is not correct for PP IMHO. everything should just be plat 50. not PP.

2) i like your question about the Annual Choice Benefits because its exactly what I want to know, but its also critical to ask about the AUG cut-over. when do the choice benefits start for current SPG/MR plat 50 or plat 75? do they get anything AUG 1st if they are ALREADY plat 50 or Plat 75? or should I actually wait at Gold/Plat 49 before AUG 1st THEN cross to Plat 50 and shoot for Plat 75 after AUG 1st to max out the SNAs? this is key for SNA hoarding. essentially, should i gun it for plat 50 or plat 75 before AUG 1st?


greg. really appreciate the response, but thats a huge change! haha. holy crap. i had spent too much time thinking about the next steps. now it makes more sense. argh. thanks for the update.


Greg, this guide is fantastic. It answers so many questions that are still unclear elsewhere. One follow-up on the Ritz Carlton CC: If I apply now, I will receive complimentary Gold status for the first year. When that status changes to new Platinum on Aug 1, how long do I retain new Platinum status?




Hey Ninja, my question was how long will I have new Platinum? Is it for my full account year? Or just until Jan 2019?


i see. u get plat 50 until FEB 2020.


Greg –
Thanks for your comprehensive review of the upcoming changes to MR and SPG.
I’m a Marriott Vacation Club owner of two weeks since 2002. Right now I have 335 lifetime nights with Marriott and 1.17M lifetime MR points. Over the last 17 years, I’ve been a MR member with 13 years at Silver status and 4 years at Gold status. As owners with Vacation Destination Points, we are given a MR status according to our ownership level as a long as we maintain ownership with Marriott Vacation Club. My question is this: Will my MR Gold status become Platinum status in the new system?
– Ron


Are we losing airline transfer partners in August? The relevant section above makes it sound like not (it says “point transfers to airlines will continue as is” and onlly mentions gaining partners), but then when I clicked on the “Spending for miles. Best SPG alternatives” link it says that Amex MRs will be the only way to transfer to Delta starting in August. Do we keep the SPG airline partners or only the Marriott ones (plus whatever they add)?


Thanks, that makes sense now!

[…] but find themselves a little short on the points required (you’ll find it referenced in our guide to the transition, but this post lays it out in more detail). This won’t help you earn more nights, but […]


I’ve been puzzling over what they might do with travel packages. Their move toward peak / offpeak seems inconsistent with selling packages based on category alone. But it makes sense if going forward, they allow you to book travel packages based on average cost, i.e., you can get packages with an average of 25K/nt (standard redemption cat 4) OR at 30K / nt (peak cat 4 / off peak cat 5). It doesn’t strike me as crazy to think this can happen; they are otherwise going to need either to upsell for points (if you want to redeem at peak) or allow travel package deals to book at less than the regular points cost.

And if, in fact, they are going to do that beginning Jan 2019, it would only make sense for them to do so for previously purchased points packages in the tweener categories. So if I have a current cat 6 package (30K/nt), they’ll allow me to use for something 30K and below, i.e. cat 4 from Aug-Dec 2018 and then after Jan 2019, to use for cat 5 off-peak or cat at any time (inc peak).

If that guess is right, purchasing into cat 6 or cat 8 will turn out to not be such a good deal; not an awful deal, but one with some downsides. A person could always buy up (I assume), but if you’re not in a position to do so, or if you don’t want to, you’d be stuck either wasting points (redeeming a 40k/nt certificate for a 35k/nt room) or you’d have to wait till January (when you could potentially redeem for an off-peak room in a higher category).

I was planning to buy up to a cat 6 or cat 8, but on further review, I see upside possibility, but also some potential to be stuck in a position. I’m not so sure any more.


Excellent work please. A couple of questions .

I am Starwood 25 stay platinum (2017) , matched to Marriott platinum currently. YTD I don’t qualify as a platinum on stays or nights. For an August stay at Marriott, will I be a platinum?

I already have 15 elite credits posted in 2018 for a chase card. If I get approved for a different chase or Amex card in november or December of 2018, will I get an additional 15 elite credits to be posted in 2018 ? In that case, I might stay additional nights prior to that to make platinum 75.

Finally, the five night suite upgrades that kick in after 50 nights and 75 nights — do they also kick in for nights and status earned in 2018, or does that start in 2019? Do you have any idea of what the alternatives to five suite upgrades are — I imagine that I would value something else higher than a suite upgrade.

Thank you


i assume u didnt see my post above yours. pretty much the exact same question, but it may help if you read (


Yes, we posted at the same time. Your questions are excellent, but I am still unclear. For the most immediate and most important part — starting with spg 25 stay platinum from 2017 currently matched to platinum Marriott — will I still be platinum for early August stays? (I won’t stay my 50th combined night until later in the year).

Thank you


that part is already certain at this point. meaning u get to keep ur SPG plat in Aug until end of 2018 as part of ur SPG 25 stay plat from 2017. u will be marriott Plat 50. nobody gets demoted in Aug. thats simple enough. BS complications occur when ur talking about hitting various elite levels from various sources in 2018 pre/post Aug. thats the key.


greg. this is some good shit. thank u so much for the time and effort. you have answered many of my questions. but i think many are still digesting all the potential fine print issues, but I have a few:

1) Elite Status Transition: I see this addressed in your first Q&A, but it should also be clearly mentioned in the post section. im pretty sure that status matching from anything other than real nights and stays dont count for a higher tier in Aug. they remain the same. meaning SPG gold or plat to Marriott gold or plat then mapping status to the new program which would mean plat or even PP can not be done after Aug. so if you are something like SPG Plat 50 before Aug, which currently means ur Marriott Plat, you dont get Marriott PP after Aug 1st. what do you think? I base this on the FT thread here ( and (

2) im strategizing for MAX SPG Suite Night Awards so im thinking of hitting 50 SPG nights to get 10 in 2018. So in 2019 I get another 5 due to Marriott Plat 50 right? What if I hit SPG 75 this year in 2018? Then what? Do I get another 5+5=10 in 2019? Or do I only get 5 in 2019? I dont get that part. Typically, u get SNA in stages from Plat 50 then to Plat 75 so u get 5 + 5 accordingly in 2019, but what about this year 2018?

3) You should probably emphasize in BOLD that lifetime MR PP elite status can never ever be earned again and anyone close should absolutely gun it for LTPP with all methods possible. max LT is MR Plat going forward. unless the current FT online petition actually makes Marriott rethink their crap. everyone is pissed.

4) This main guide should include an APPENDIX and list all your SPG merger posts for REF. u can leave out the rumor posts if u want. would be a huge help so we dont need to search. all your posts are very detailed so its super helpful.

Will get back to you with more thoughts. Thanks man!


thanks greg. u da man as usual. agree with ur comments. gonna move forward with best guesses especially around SPG SNA. gonna try to hit plat 50 before aug just in case and def try for plat 75 by end of 2018 just as u are, unless i hear otherwise. wish Marriott would give us some straight answers, but at the same time, we dont want to expose unintended super nice sweet spots (aka glitches). haha. TBD.


You only provided the mapping from Marriott to United, but what about the other way around? Will United Gold elite map to Marriott Gold or Marriott Platinum next year?


“There is a lot of red in this chart, but Marriott has asserted that more properties will get cheaper rather than more expensive. So, it’s possible that in many cases properties will map one category lower than shown here.”

I believe Marriott has 13 or so (not including SPG and Ritz properties) in Hawaii ranging from 30k-45k. I don’t think any will go down to 25k let alone the 40k going down to 35k. I bet the 30k will remain 30k and the 40-45k will go to 50k or 60k in 2019. It is Hawaii after all.


For those of us who don’t chase status.
“SPG’s favorable point transfer ratio to airline miles is preserved and new airlines are being added.”
Right now you can transfer a minimum of 2500 Starpoints to 2500 miles. I’ve done this when I had leftover points and had no way to earn more in the foreseeable future (6 months or so). Will Marriott require a minimum of 60,000 points (20k + 5k miles) in order to be able to transfer to airline programs?
Right now SPG members can pool points for free. Will Marriott continue that for free or just their platinum and above?

The current 45k Marriott properties will probably be standard 60k in 2019, not standard 50k. We all know Marriott tend to lump most of their better properties in the top 2 spot even if some are 2- or-star.


Thanks. Hopefully they behave more like Hyatt or Hilton (not IHG) when it comes to combing points


People who own a minimum number of Destination points in Marriott’s timeshare program are awarded certain elite status. Will that status transition in the same manner as if they were earned?


Hi Greg: I sent the SPG customer service a message last week to confirm the ability to qualify for “SPG” Platinum on stays for this year. They sent a reply saying that I would have to complete all 25 stays (for Platinum, at least) before August 1 to do this. That seemed wrong, according to the couple articles I’ve read, but I’ve been unable to find any mention of this in any official way from Marriott or SPG. Was this customer service agent incorrect?


I am Lifetime Platinum Elite and wonder how will Marriott differentiate between Platinum Elite and Platinum Premier Elite in August? Will “LIfetime” and/or “Premiere” no longer be recognizable levels?

FIngers crossed they award us Lifer’s the United Mileage Plus Gold status – that was an awesome perk for the year I actually achieved Premier Elite.


So if I spend 30K on my SPG business card THIS year before August,the gold status I earn (per amex terms) is supposed to last the rest of this year and the subsequent calendar year. So, since that gold will convert to platinum, will the platinum status also apply for all of next year? Seems weird to say, here’s gold, now platinum for six months, now back to gold….I’m so confused!!


it has been confirmed that SPG Gold will be Gold Elite in the new program. Your status match to Marriott Gold will not get you platinum in the new program. That said, your gold status should last for the remainder of this year and next year per amex terms.

Ivan Y

@ Greg — once the details on all-suite and [currently] limited participation properties become available, could you do a post on the best redemptions under the transition award chart?

I’ve been refreshing my memory on some of the ones you includes in your recent post and not all of them are expensive (Westin in Costa Rica) or amazing (St. Regis in Maldives).

So a combined post covering Marriott/Ritz/Starwood properties and would be awesome.

P.S. Al Maha would be nice if they do indeed include it on 60000 level. Ritz-Carlton in Kyoto is something I’m seriously considering since regular rates are $800-$1000 easily.


How confident are you that the Ritz certs will be good for any hotel worldwide? I haven’t seen that posted anywhere else. Thanks


Question about Airline Points Transfers: Platinum SPG members are able to transfer as little as 1 point to an airline partner which is a great way to top up an account for a redemption. Will this option still be available come August?


what happens if one cancels already made spg reservations after august? Let’s say I spent 60000 spg points now (already taken spg points from my account) for a reservation in November and in September I want to cancel it. Will I get 180000 Marriott points back?…Will the reservation show that I spent 180000 points or will show the new chart points?


Are they adding Marriott years and Starwood years for lifetime?


Can you add Marriott elite nights and Starwood elite nights to reach the 750 elite nights needed for 2018 Marriott Platinum lifetime in 2018 (assuming you could get to the 2 million points)? Goal is lifetime Platinum Premier. Thanks.