Today is the final day of one of the best loyalty program ever created, Starwood Preferred Guest, or SPG.
Marriott takes over the program tomorrow and while many have praised them for how many SPG features they have saved, I can’t forgive them for the massive devaluation that happened to the SPG AMEX card, with card earnings being devalued by 33%.
Marriott phone reps are also all over the place with bad information provided and offer much less consistency than SPG phone reps. Marriott’s is significantly worse than SPGs and there’s no doubt that I’ll miss SPG.com.
But good things come and go and we’ll just have to adapt.
Today, don’t forget to:
- Book SPG and Marriott hotels that will go up in price tomorrow. On the Marriott side you don’t even have to have sufficient points in your account now to lock in a reservation under the current rates. You can search for current points required and new points required here.
- Book SPG and Marriott hotels that will down in price tomorrow in order to lock in availability before it dries up after pricing drops.
- Combine household SPG points before more restrictive Marriott rules go into place.
- If you are thinking of transferring SPG or Marriott points to miles with United, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Southwest, or Virgin Atlantic, you should call Marriott now to buy a travel package. With just 90K Starpoints you can get 132K miles with United or 120K miles with the other airlines. By itself that’s a great deal, but Marriott sweetens it by also giving a free 7 night hotel certificate at category 1-5 hotels, which will likely become a category 1-4 certificate after the merger. Marriott has several options for how to decide how to map current certificates to the new program. Personally I went with category 9, tier 1-3, and tier 4-5 options and attached them to properties going up in cost.
- Save screenshots of your Starwood and Marriott point balances.
- Buy Starpoints for 3.5 cents each (1.167 cents per Marriott point) if you need points for a redemption.
Tomorrow, Marriott and SPG systems will be down starting at 6am to complete the program merger. Afterward, you can merge your SPG and Marriott accounts and use the new merged website and award chart.
- Your Starwood member number will be retired and the Marriott member number will survive.
- Starpoints will be multiplied by 3 to become Marriott points and elite nights will merge together.
- Airline mileage transfers from Starwood will change from 20K:25K to 60K:25K, tripling the cost to keep parity with the tripling of Starpoint balances.
- New elite status and benefits will go into effect.
- New airline transfer options including El Al will be added.
- You can book awards using the new award chart.
- Find new hotels rates here.
- You can book awards using the new Cash+Points and PointSavers award charts.
- You can call to get an adjustment on hotel awards that go down in price on this date, you won’t need to actually cancel the stay to get a points adjustment.
- New devalued travel packages will be available for significantly more points that offer fewer miles.
What else are you doing today before the end of SPG?