A Week Later, But No Solid Answers To 3 Contradictory Marriott-Starwood Merger Details That Everyone Wants To Know

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Last week was a busy one in the points world thanks to the Marriott-Starwood merger info released on Monday.

I’m not going to rehash all of it, if you missed our coverage of it, you can read all about it here:

Here are 3 critical items that Marriott has provided contradictory information about:

1. Will Starwood Gold members with matched Marriott Gold become Platinum elite in August?

There are currently 2 cards that give Starwood Gold status with no spending required:

Currently, Starwood Gold members are able to match their status to Marriott to earn Gold status.

Marriott’s merger page says that Starwood Gold elites will remain Gold in August with the launch of the new program.

It also says that Marriott Gold elites will become Platinum in August with the launch of the new program.

So where does that leave Starwood Gold elites who matched to Marriott Gold?

Platinum status in the new program normally requires 50 nights and comes benefits like suite upgrades, a 1,000 points amenity or breakfast, lounge access, 4pm late checkout, 15 points per dollar spent, premium WiFi, and more.

Gold status in the new program normally requires 25 nights and comes benefits like 2pm late checkout, 12.5 points per dollar spent, premium WiFi, and more.

I tried reaching out to Marriott, but they have not responded with an answer to the question.

There are some random answers on Twitter, but I wouldn’t read too much into them:

 

 

I previously took David Flueck, SVP of Global Loyalty for Marriott, to task for claiming that the Starwood AMEX will become more valuable in August. It will not be more valuable for spending, though it will be valuable to keep in your sock drawer.

David said in a Facebook live interview with TPG that members that earned Marriott Gold will become Platinum, while members that earned SPG Gold and matched to Marriott Gold, will remain Gold.

That seemed straightforward enough, until the Australian Business Traveler had Marriott dig into this topic further and Marriott told them that SPG Golds that match to Marriott Gold will become Platinum members in the new program!

So which one is correct?

Unfortunately, Marriott has refused to provide clarification.

 

 

2. Will there be a premium up-charge for Starwood’s all suite hotels? 

David Flueck was asked in the same live interview if Marriott would charge extra for Starwood’s all suites hotels. Those include properties like the W Retreat in Koh Samui, the W Maldives, the S. Regis Maldives, the S. Regis Bora Bora, the Le Meridien Bora Bora, and the Al Maha Desert Resort Dubai that can cost anywhere from 40K to 120K Starpoints per night. He answered that Marriott was still determining suite pricing that had previously cost more and will cost more in the new program. He didn’t explicitly say that all-suite hotels will continue to cost extra, but it was certainly implied. David also told other bloggers the same information.

However Bob Behrens, VP of Marriott Rewards, is quoted by Greg as saying that all properties, including Starwood’s all-suite hotels, will be available on the new unified award chart. Greg says that he even followed up and confirmed this information with Bob Behrens via email. That chart’s top price is just 20K Starpoints/60K Marriott points per night for bookings made from August 2018-January 2019.

That would create some insanely generous opportunities and would create a mad rush to book those hotels with points. There already are confirmed bargains coming up, but these would take the cake. Talk about a good reason to build up your Starpoint balance now!

If you lock in Marriott’s nights+miles travel packages you may get the bargain of a lifetime.

Unfortunately, Marriott has not put out any official statement for the public.

On the one hand, it sure seems hard to believe that Marriott would make these ultra-premium hotels part of their regular award chart and this confirms what David has said multiple times. But on the other hand, I trust that Greg has his information from Bob in writing, so I’m torn here.

Will 20K Starpoints land you in a $2,500/night villa here?

 

3. Will the Starwood AMEX, Chase Marriott Business cards be discontinued?

Last Tuesday I wrote about several Starwood and Marriott cards being discontinued.

On Wednesday I shared the news that the Starpoint signup bonuses would be removed by the end of the day and speculated that the consumer card itself may be pulled altogether.

On Thursday AMEX reached out to me to say that the Starwood AMEX would continue to be offered and that AMEX would offer 3 cards even after the programs are merged in August.

Then, more information came out that the Starwood Consumer AMEX would indeed be killed in 2019. I asked AMEX to confirm or deny that the card would be killed in 2019 and the response was that they “can’t comment or confirm whether any of our card products will be available in perpetuity.”

Given that the Starwood Consumer AMEX will be the only Starwood AMEX with no bonus categories outside of Marriott hotels starting in August, it also makes sense that future development won’t involve this card, though current users will be able to keep using it until they close their card.

My current guess: We had previously heard that AMEX would offer a high-end consumer and business card, while Chase would offer a mass-market and premium consumer card. It does make sense that the Starwood Consumer AMEX will go away at some point. As it’s not going away in August 2018, the next obvious choice would be February 2019, when the programs will get a brand new name that has yet to be announced. Marriwood or Stariott anyone 😉

I’d assume that Chase will follow a similar timeline.

 

What are your guesses for the unknowns of the merged programs? Sound off in the comments!

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57 Comments On "A Week Later, But No Solid Answers To 3 Contradictory Marriott-Starwood Merger Details That Everyone Wants To Know"

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Lei

When will I be able to book Marriott rooms with my Starwood points?

Late to the party

A few months ago

Chuchum

My guess is marriwood won’t have more than 2 consumer and 2 business CC in total.

McDougL

Dan, point #3 is interesting. Though after all, they are now introducing the $450 Starwood Card. Pretty odd for a card/program they intend to phase out only 5 month later

Jacob

Do you know if I will still be able to get new lifetime gold status if I will have gold for 5 years? (I’m currently in my 2nd year of spg gold)

Yossi

Will airline transfer be the same value as it’s currently?

Jacob

I think it will be a 3 Marriott points to 1 rate for most airlines.

Josh

My question is, should I book a Starwood hotel now (Westin resort and spa in Cancun) for February, or should I wait till August to book the hotel as they said many hotels will be devalued. The hotel is currently 7,000 a night-4 nights, that’s 28k spg points. When they merge these points will be worth 84k Marriott points. Do you think the hotel will be less than 84k Marriott points for the 4 nights in total? What do you think I should do
Thanks!!!

bb

Dan, so what’s the end verdict?? Do i keep my SPG points as SPG points or transfer all my starpoints to Marriott before August?

Daniel

“Will 20K Starpoints land you in a $2,500/night villa here?” Would 60k Marriott points work the same in theory? I only ask because it’s alot easier to get a Marriott cc with 75k sign up bonus.

yaakov

If I am planning on selling my SPG points do you recommend I sell them now or should I wait till August?

a quick question

whats going to happen with the packages if maldives becomes available at 20k spg will you need the ritz tier 1 through 4 pacakage with 7 nights or the 3 through 5 package?

A

Hey Dan, article from tpg seems to show the St Regis Bali a all suites property at a category 8 costing 60000 pts per night

Q

If you wanted to book a new category 8 hotel (during the period after August)… What category would you lock in with the current nights and flights package.

J

“Given that the Starwood Consumer AMEX will be the only Starwood AMEX with no bonus categories outside of Marriott hotels starting in August, it also makes sense that future development won’t involve this card“

I don’t think that’s a valid reason though, as the new Chase Marriott Premier+ doesn’t have bonus outside Marriott hotels starting in Aug either but obviously the chase card will have future development.

Usernamechuck

Bookable suites may not mean bookable at those generic rates. Seems likely it would be the usual extra spg charges, whereby the points required are related to the chart by using it as a starting point. X2.

I’m wondering how badly they’ll overcharge premium rooms, spg categories were crazy but the difference from room to premium room was not awful.

quick q

dan, when you say 35k anniversary or 50k anniversary for the star wood cards in the new chart what will they be? the peak dates, off peak etc thank s

QUICK Q

NYONE HAVE LUCK GETTING ONLY THE 5 NIGHT PACKAGE?

eli

If I stay 25 times at SPGs before August will I maintain Platinum for 2019? Or do I need 50 nights by year end?

RH

Hi Dan,
Thanks for all the info. Do you know of any Marriot Hotels in Israel?

Chaya

How do I match my current SPG gold status to Marriott gold? I don’t have a Marriott account as of yet.

naftali

if I already earned Marriott gold for next year with 10k on rc card, will I be a gold or platinum after Jan 19?

Abe

I was just offered to apply for the Marriott Reward visa with a 75,000 sign up bonus. 1. Should I take the offer? 2. They informed me that I have 13,000 points with the Marriott program and I am a Gold member. Will I become a Platinum after the change in August? And will my Starwoods points consolidate into one account together with Marriott?

Rissie Stroh

Is it worth it to pay my annual fee for SPG (renews now), just to get one free night for the followings year if they’re planning to possibly shut the card down ?

o

if I have a starwood and a Marriott card, which one is worth to keep, are they both gonna be the same??

NJ

having Both the Marriott and the amex SPG, which card is worth to keep, are they bothe gonna be the same exact?

Sarah

If I am lifetime gold with Starwood, and had matched my gold status to Marriott and am gold Marriott, will I become platinum and have the use of lounges. I know this is up in the air, and you think they may have to honor it, but then after 2019 no more lounge access without 50 nights. Strange how Hilton is giving away diamond status, and I am lifetime diamond with over 3000 nights and it certainly bothers me that these zirconiums have had to nothing to earn their status. Yet I would not c ti ue to stay at Starwood properties if I my lounge access and other perks were not continued, maybe that means there will be more diamonds for Hilton…oy vey……

Alex

Do you know if SPG Lifetime gold will be honored as lifetime gold in the new program?

Sammdaman

Dan – Do you think it would be worth it at this point to transfer some MR points to SPG while its still 1k MR for 333 SPG pts?

dk

HI if have 132 nights with marriott what level of platinum will i get?

Ron

Dan –

Thanks for all your info on the Marriott-SPG merger.

I’ve been a Marriott timeshare owner for 17 years and I have received either Silver or Gold Elite Marriott Rewards status because of that ownership. I have 330 lifetime Marriott nights and 1.14 Million lifetime Marriott points. I have been Gold Elite status for 7 years and Platinum once. I’ve been a member of SPG for three weeks with no nights or points, but fully linked.

1) In reading your post, I believe I will become Lifetime Gold in the new system based on the concessions listed after members objected. Is that right?

2) Marriott Vacation Club (timeshares) currently maps owners to Silver, Gold, or Platinum Marriott Rewards status, based upon number of Vacation Destination points owned in the timeshare portfolio. I currently map to Gold Elite status with Marriott Rewards because I own 5775 Vacation Destination points. Will that map to Platinum status in the new system?

– Ron

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