Marriott SPG transition: More answers & more questions


With Marriott and SPG merging 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.  As answers from Marriott trickle in, I’ve been updating the guide.

Yesterday, Marriott finally answered questions about how elite status from credit cards (e.g. Amex Platinum, Chase Ritz) will transition into the new program.  They also made a positive change in lifetime status requirements.  Here are the details (all of which have been updated in our guide):

Amex Platinum –> SPG Gold –> Marriott Gold –> ??

Q: If I obtained SPG Gold status through a credit card (Amex Platinum card or $30K spend on an SPG card), and now have Marriott Gold status thanks to linking my SPG and Marriott accounts, what status will I have in August when the programs combine? [As a reminder: SPG Gold will map to new program Gold, but Marriott Gold will map to new Platinum]

A: You will have Gold status in the new program.

The above question had been previously answered by Marriott executives, but their answers were contradictory.  We now have a single answer.  It’s not the answer we hoped for, but at least it’s now certain.

Ritz Carlton Credit Card status questions…

Q: If I currently have Marriott Gold status from the Ritz Carlton credit card, what status will I have in August?

A: You will have Platinum status in the new program.

Q: If I currently have Marriott Platinum status from $75K spend on the Ritz Carlton credit card, what status will I have in August?

A: You will have Platinum Premier status in the new program.

Q: If I earn Gold or Platinum status with the Ritz card once the merged program begins, what status will I have?

A: You will have Gold or Platinum status in the new program.

For those watching carefully, the above represents a big devaluation in the Ritz card’s benefits.  Currently, $10K spend gives you the equivalent of 50 elite night status (with free breakfast), but in the new program $10K spend will only give you the equivalent of 25 elite night status (no free breakfast for you).  Similarly, $75K spend currently gives you the equivalent of 75 elite night status, but in the new program it will only give you 50 elite night status.

If you were thinking of spending your way to elite status with the Ritz card, be sure to complete the spend before August 1!

Lifetime Status

In the original announcement, only those with lifetime Marriott Platinum status could get new Lifetime Platinum Premier status.  This irked many long-time SPG elites.  Fortunately, Marriott has listened to the complaints.  Now Marriott has updated the criteria to include a second way to get Lifetime Platinum Premier status this year only: 750 elite nights plus 10 years Platinum status (combined across programs) will get you there.  The new program website now says this:

NOTE: Members that reach 750 nights and 10 years at Platinum by December 31, 2018 will be grandfathered into Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status (notified January 2019). In addition, members that achieve Marriott Rewards Lifetime Platinum under the legacy requirements by year end will also be grandfathered into Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status. And, don’t forget that we’ll combine Lifetime activity across both Rewards and SPG toward qualification when members combine accounts in August. Beginning in 2019, qualification into Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status will not be available.

Questions Not Yet Answered

I’ve submitted quite a few questions to Marriott reps.  Here are the questions that I’ve asked, but that haven’t yet been answered.  Note that in some cases we think we know the answer, but we don’t yet have official confirmation…

  • Marriott Vacation Club questions:
    • Marriott Vacation Club owners currently get elite status based (I think) on how many club points they have.  What will be the mapping of vacation club destination points to elite status in the new program?
    • Will 5 night travel packages still be available to vacation club owners?
  • Points to miles:
    • I see that the minimum transfer amount will be 3,000 rewards points to 1,000 airline miles.  SPG Platinum elites have been able to transfer as few as 1 point to 1 airline mile. Will there be anything similar in the new program?
  • RewardsPlus:
    • How will United Premier status levels map to Marriott status in the new program?
    • How will new program Marriott status map to United Premier status in the new program? [Note: We know that Platinum Premier members will get United Silver, but what about Premier 100 elites? Will they get United Gold?]
  • Annual Choice Benefits
    • Are choice benefits awarded once per year based on your status level, or awarded at the time you reach 50 or 75 nights?  This question is particularly important to lifetime Platinum elites: will they get Choice Benefits each year even if they don’t earn 50 nights?
  • Elite nights from credit cards in 2018
    • I understand that elite nights granted by holding a credit card will add together in 2018 but not in 2019.  Does that hold true after August?  e.g. if someone gets 5 nights from their SPG card, and then in October is awarded 15 nights from their Marriott card, will they then have 20 nights this year?
    • The Marriott Rewards Premier Business card application no longer mentions giving 15 elite nights credit, but it does say that it offers Silver status.  Can you confirm that the card still offers 15 elite night credits each year?
  • Credit card spend cut-off dates
    • I understand that the SPG cards earn base 1X Starpoints / 3X points until August.  Then the cards will earn 2X points.  A number of readers have asked what happens if their statement end date is mid-August?  What happens with their spend that is dated July 31? What happens with their spend that is dated August 1?  My assumption is that their statement date doesn’t matter, but I’d like confirmation.
    • Ritz-Carlton card: What happens if someone begins their $75K spend before August, but completes in after August 1?  Will they get Platinum or Platinum Premier status?
    • Ritz-Carlton card: What happens if someone completes $75K spend in July for Rewards Platinum status, but it takes up to 8 weeks to get that status, so it’s not actually conveyed until sometime in August or September.  Will they have Platinum or Platinum Premier status?

More Questions?

If you have other questions about the Marriott / SPG / Ritz merger, please see our guide: Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide.  If the answer isn’t there, please ask your question in the comments of that post.  Thanks!

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I have read all the posts about the merger. However, I can not seem to find what the points you can transfer to a household member limit will be after 8/1/2018? Currently, SPG is unlimited and Marriott has a 50k transfer limit. Sorry if I missed a post. TNX



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 ;).


so im assuming you do NOT have 10 years Platinum status (combined across programs)?


That is correct. Only have 7 🙁

[…] the recent post “Marriott SPG transition: More answers & more questions,” I presented answers from Marriott about a few key questions, and I listed many more […]


What happens to the 2 elite night credits Ritz members get for each night stayed at a Ritz property? Is that benefit getting cut, being grandfathered over for legacy Ritz members only, or being extended to legacy Marriott Rewards and SPG members also?


greg, nobody talks about it because RCs are expensive in general and it only benefits those who already spend rev. many times, you are paying for 2 nights worth of cheap marriott anyway. but not always so its YMMV. not only that, ONLY rev is 2 EQNs. certs still only give 1 EQN at RC. meaning its good for rev stays and arbitrage is limited. of course, if you find a super cheap RC and get 2 EQNs, sure, its awesome.


Heh, once I lose my Marriott Gold perks through Amex Platinum, I think it will be time to switch back to Hilton. Unless, the packages will still be a go.

[…] However, US site Frequent Miler submitted a written question to Marriott and got this statement back: […]


Just received the benefit booklet today for my new Marriott Premiere Business Card and it does list 15 nights credit toward elite status after the 1st anniversary.

Mike Han

I never opened RC CC yet; so if I open it before Aug 1, I will get new Marriott Plat even I currently have matched gold from Amex Plat?


unfortunately or fortunately, it seems that way because marriott is favoring their own people. meaning RC CC gold will be PLAT but SPG gold will be gold. ARGH! so there should be a huge rush of pple apping the RC CC.

but guess what? i dont know ur stats but many should not risk a chase shut down.

G k

Would getting RCC now make sense? You will get gold status right away which will change to platinum at least untill next year, plus you will get two nights certificate .. seems like a winner to me for 450$. What do you think ?


@Greg, piggy backing off of G k, it does seem like this is a winner for those who are looking for an easy Marriott Platinum for 2019.
1) So just to clarify I understand this correctly, because it’s a new account, we would get Gold for the first year (and not even have to spend $10,000 on it). If achieved before Aug 1, this gold maps to Platinum in the new program.
2) On the application, we simply apply with our Marriott number where it asks for the Ritz number?
3) Not really a question, but like others here mentioned, hopefully not already having Marriott Gold from a SPG linked account messes with the status from this card.

(sorry for not posting this in the other thread!)


1) yes
2) yes
3) YMMV. u never know but it should be an easy fix. marriott CSR is not like IHG altho not at the level of Fairmont or the Hyatt Diamond Desk.

and yes, you should post in the other thread so others can clearly see it. thats why greg was asking people to post there as a one stop guide.


Final q: how long should I expect to have Marriott “Platinum” if I get the card today? I will post my findings to other thread if that helps.


Okay, I just wasn’t sure how that worked and couldn’t find much information researching it. The account website says “Automatic Gold Elite status your first account year”, so I wasn’t sure if it meant Gold until the account anniversary next year.


and in practice it lasts until the end of the next calendar year I’m assuming


Final Q: Do I have to spend 10,000k on the card before Aug 1 of this year to retain Platinum through Feb 2020 or is opening the card merely enough? The terms say the gold for the first year is through account anniversary year, but the 10k is through Dec 31 of the following year. Just slightly confused on this.


Wow the Ritz card is looking like a guaranteed cancel for me. If they were going to beef up that card’s benefits they’d better do it soon.


I have a corporate account at SPG and believe it will be matched to Silver in the new program . Will it remain as Silver if I dont do the normal qualifying nights – What will happen ?


So, it means no way to earn Platinum Premier via Credit Card spend starting 2019.


Hi Greg

What is the source of your Amex Platinum –> SPG Gold –> Marriott Gold –> ??? comment? Did they send this to you directly? I can’t find it on the website or via Google.




so do already gold members with the ritz card become platinum? you contradict yourself in the transition guide




How long until Hilton gets rid of gold breakfast 😉


probably not for awhile. first of all, if a program wants to get rid of mid tier breakfast, HH would be FIRST in line to do it. and they havent done it yet. why? because gold only gets breakfast at Conrad, Curio, DoubleTree, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, and Tapestry. thats pretty limited IMHO.

and now all Waldorf Astoria properties will offer complimentary continental breakfast to all Gold and Diamond members but now that everyone and their dog is Diamond, lets see how HH handles that and devals everything to hell. TBD.