Trying to make up for lost time, Marriott has wasted none setting up an immediate Status match website between itself and SPG here:
Marriott Silver matches to SPG Preferred Plus
Marriott Gold matches to SPG Gold
Marriott Platinum matches to SPG Platinum
And points can be transferred back and forth at 3 Marriott to 1 SPG.
So transferring 3,000 Marriott will get you 1,000 SPG
Or transferring 1,000 SPG will get you 3,000 Marriott
Since SPG Gold only needs 25 nights and Marriott needs 50 - and by my earn and burn reckoning 1 MR point is worth 2.5 SPG we are getting the thinner end of this wedge, but LOTS more aspirational properties to earn and burn at, so I reckon it's a canny move.
So here's an question. For MR members who are currently not part of the SPG program, how would they determine whether it makes sense to sign up for SPG and get the status match? Other than more places to earn points, what other factors need to be considered?
Let's say I split 80 nights between the programs next year, but fall short of 75 in MR. How might that work for retaining Platinum status for the following year?
bejacob - it's a good question, and one I am sure we will have an answer to soon. My safe bet "thinking" would be to make sure you got your 50 nights or 25 stays in at Starwood to ensure Platinum status there - if you are going to split them up. The obvious optimal answer is to give you a provision for combining nights from both programs to achieve a "lump sum" status
You have to make sure that you qualify at the highest level under one program or the other. Be careful in how you split your nights so that you fail to qualify and wind up with a lower status match. You cannot combine nights in the two programs to achieve a status. Therefore, remain loyal to one program or the other until the programs are combined in 2018.
I totally agree with mustanggt - my thinking about optimal combinations was way, way down the line in 2018, if at all. I was suggesting that, if you are going to split up your 80 nights, make sure you get the 50 at Starwood so you can maintain a matched platinum status. Please forgive a bit of wishful thinking on my part, I wouldn't want to mislead anyone here on the board. You need status in one or the other... the base-level platinum is easier to achieve in SPG.
bejacob - it's easier to get your platinum status at SPG, then match it back to Marriott. That assumes, of course, that the status match will continue until the programs officially become one.
I agree with mustanggt - I will stay with Marriott properties until they totally merge, unless of course there isn't a Marriott where I am going to be. This match won't be forever and 10 nights at SPG won't keep me gold at Marriott in the long run.
I will get plat in Dec of this year so that should hold me over into Dec 2017? right?
I think that will be my strategy as well. I may join SPG if only because I can status match and try out their properties. Other than that I see no reason. In a couple years, I'll be able to do that anyway. This would just give me a head start
If you hit Plat this year, it will hold until Feb 2018.
Another caveat about moving back and forth between programs is how it might affect the pursuit of Lifetime status. I'm not certain, but I doubt Marriott will allow points transferred either way to count, and certainly not combining of nights either.
Again, not sure of the official stance. Anyone know specifics re: Lifetime pursuits?
shakennotstirred, the FAQs document is very clear on this issue. Points will not transfer for lifetime status credit. I love your avatar, it reminds me of what we used for the recent TIPPLE event!
Actually, it's not all that clear. There is currently no guarantee that lifetime status with SPG will translate to lifetime status with Marriott Rewards.
"when the programs are combined in the future, we’ll consider ways that preserve the continued recognition of our most valued lifetime customers."
So to me, that's about as clear as mud. Additionally, for those SPG members who are currently chasing a lifetime threshold, there is no guarantee that their progress towards lifetime status in the future combined program will translate. If I were an SPG member chasing lifetime, and especially if I were at a point where I could see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, and I then found out that none of my SPG nights would count towards lifetime status in the combined program, AND that I would be essentially starting over, I. Would. Be. P****d!
In fact, I might have to re-think my strategy of doing 25 SPG stays come Jan. 1st as an easy means to qualify for Platinum in both programs, IF that means that none of my SPG nights will ultimately count towards MR lifetime status. That would be a deal breaker in terms of exploring Starwood properties until after the loyalty program merge is completed.
I would think that Marriott would want to incentivise MR members to begin using SPG properties, but if SPG stays will not net any progress towards the future combined program lifetime status, then what's the point for many of us at this juncture?
As one who is getting close to lifetime Gold in the MR program, and covets (and is currently strategizing how to get there by the fastest means possible) lifetime Platinum status, I am also concerned that MR will once again move the goal post, but not in a favorable direction. I will be gutted if that happens.
Don't get me wrong... I am excited about the merge. I just hope that MR will not lose sight of our continued loyalty over the long haul, and what we've accomplished thus far to prove it.
Well pluto77 on LTPlat requirements in the 2018 scheme we are into outright speculation territory but I'm inclined to agree with your principal point here. As bejacob and I spent about 30 hours in a car running down different counties we had much time to speculate and both agreed that status matching would be done pretty quickly after approval (though neither of us remotely guessed "day of") and that lifetime rules would change in some way. My view is that Marriott will probably pull in the SPG LT scheme in full, 10 years a plat and 10xplat butt-in-bed nights (ie 750 real nights) plus its own 2million points as well. Looking at the competition, HH requires 10 years Diamond plus 1000 nights stayed and Hyatt $200,000 spend. The current Marriott lifetime is far easier than those.
As for current progress, well I'm not sure Marriott actually keeps a record of pure butt-in-bed nights nor do I know if SPG keeps a lifetime point tally, but I'd imagine both could be mined from their data. In any event I think Marriott will make some kind of grandfathering arrangements for both progress toward and actual lifetime status held in each scheme as at end 2017. The wording of the statement and the differences in lifetime methodogy means this is one area that's bound to change...
They keep records of paid and redeemed nights. Grandfathering arrangements, now there's a Marriott IT challenge (as if they don't have enough already). I have to hope you're wrong on the 10 years and 10XBiB requirement, as if not, it's likely I'll never make LTP.
"Hey, sorry, Pluto, but thanks for playing all these years and just remember, we're going to start personalizing your experiences and improve our customer relationships, so there will always be that..."
Interestingly enough, several of the SPG Lifetimes are worried that they will be the ones on the short stick.
Some fascinating reading on
skiadcock does a great job of walking SPGs through the ins and outs of Marriott Rewards (I wished we had a similar liaison from Starwood doing such a yeoman's job.
Many of the SPGs are quite pleased with the conversion ratio, although several are quite harsh on our man Arne; I actually felt a bit defensive for him (he may be a tough son of a gun, but he's ours ). Remember, there's a reason Starwood's CEO left and they sought a divestiture strategy (they couldn't grow or match earnings of their competitors).
As much as I beat up on Marriott, I compared my 18 upcoming reservations and Marriott beat SPG rates every time (of course, I book 11 months in advance and then often never see that rate again on the Marriott Matrix). I made comparisons out to June '17 and several times Starwood was $50 - $100 more on a brand to brand (Marriott/Ren/JW vs. Westin, Sheraton vs. ResInn, SpringHill vs. FourPoints; often my Marriott rate beat their Aloft and similar brands).
Still studying the website to learn about parking and lounges (heavy Sheraton, so-so Westin's, continentals vs. Marriott's breakfasts etc), but rate so far has been the key factor so far (resorts in locations not available are a Starwood attraction to me).
A thank you to mycatdixie and etwhite for the heads up on the AmEx card. Not the 30k starpoints et got (25, oh well, you snooze, you lose) but still a good 75k Marriott point enhancer along with 3 Marriott points per $ spent (post transfer). I think Chase would send out an auditor if I did any more Chase cards, so I was running out of opportunities. The other good news, the card was approved after 18 seconds of review (I counted).
The SPG gang makes a killing on the Travel Package given their conversion rate and their previous cost of securing American miles. SPG has a deal with Delta that when I'm forced to fly them, I now at least don't have to pay for bags and will get some earlier seating - but filling out another password has taken me to my intellectual limit. So bon voyage, keep posting gang, it's a steep learning curve. We're all in this together (until it comes time for breakfast, and then it's every Insider for themselves).
pluto77, my point here (which was obviously unclear) was intended to be that transferred points will not count toward lifetime status. That very question had been asked and answered earlier, and was validated in the FAQ document as I recall. Meaning, you can't collect your 3 for 1 Star points and transfer them to Marriott Rewards in hopes of it counting for points toward lifetime status in the Marriott Rewards program. Preserving status you have already achieved is something they will look to work through, but gaming the system by transferring points in now won't get you to lifetime status that hadn't been earned. Hope this clears up the point I attempted to make earlier. I completely agree with you - they will obviously need to do something to recognize those who had earned lifetime status or were in hot pursuit. They surely won't want those folks to walk away from that long-term pursuit. Clear as mud? Probably
Since Marriott is listening, I really just wanted to share my thoughts regarding any potential tinkering that they may be considering with regards to their lifetime scheme in the future merged loyalty program. I've got plenty of points. I need nights and have been doing my part to earn them every chance I get (all out of pockets spends, all vacations and trips centered around Marriott, added weekend getaways whenever possible, etc.). If they extend the finish line too far out there, i.e., add 10-12 years to the equation and/or bump the nights back up to 1000 or more, as with the 3 major US airlines, where I've basically given up on loyalty (it no longer pays), well, you can see where I would be going with this, as it would become apparent that I would no longer matter to Marriott (it's all about those 100+ night/year folks). Well anyway, it's still a bit down the road and nothing can be done for it while we wait and see, except to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and hope for the best. First world problems, glass still half full, no worries.
I would be pretty devastated pluto77! I am too new to have any real traction when it comes to LT status, but if I was sooo close and they changed it, I would be incredibly sad...maybe even mad! with some crying mixed in!
How long do you think it will take for you to hit LT? I feel like we have at least a year to stay with how the current program is.
I'll hit LT Gold end of next year. LT Plat would be about 3 years (at an aggressive pace for not being a business traveler) beyond that. If any changes are made to the lifetime qualification matrix, hopefully it won't be until 2018, and hopefully it won't mean taking anyone's lifetime status away if their numbers don't fall in step with the new scheme.
jerryl, I hope you are right, of course, and yet, have you noticed how crowded the CL's are anymore? They're very crowded! And Thom Kozik is talking about going from 50+ million rewards members to 90+ rewards members (with both the projected Chinese expansion Marriott Targets China’s Middle-Class Travelers - WSJ and the SPG merge). They can add another category, but it still doesn't really solve the issue of lounge crowding and upgrade competition for golds and plats, unless perhaps they downgrade gold benefits (or build more lounges - ya, that's not gonna happen , but made you , right? ) To wit, I was in the lounge at the LHR Ren at about 4:30pm one afternoon earlier this month. I think the evening food and beverage service began at around 5-5:30pm. I went back to my room, laid down and fell asleep (was up since 4am after going to bet after midnight) and when I returned to the lounge at 6:30pm, there was nowhere to sit and they had ran out of food. A 15 minute wait solved the issue, but you see my point. When we checked in to the JW Venice Marriott, status was not even acknowledged. I started to accept the basic rooms that we had booked, but then turned to the associate and asked 1) if we could see the rooms before we accepted them, and 2) if there were any upgrades available. She kindly showed us the rooms we were being assigned, (which were basic, the smallest rooms on the property and overlooked the garden), and then programmed the key to access about 3-4 other rooms for us to look at, a junior suite, with no view, and 2 other rooms, which were both larger and at least had a view of the water, even if it was not in the direction of Venice. She explained that the La Residenzia and La Mansionette annexes were more than one upgrade above what we booked, and that they could only give us one upgrade level. We accepted the 2 larger rooms with water view with much thanks for both the upgrades and her time. Later, the front desk supervisor told us that the hotel is full of platinums and that they are really having a difficult time trying to accommodate all of the upgrade requests, being a new hotel and still trying to work through the demands of the rewards program.
So while things have been made easier, it's created problems of it's own, which many road warriors here have complained about as a result. And with programs like Mileage Plus with UA, status matching now with SPG (whose members get the better end of the status match stick) and SPG's status match program with DL, it's going to get worse and no wonder the CL's are crowded and hotels are occupied with mostly, if not all, Golds and Plats. With the SPG status match, the swell in the elite ranks will be temporary (unless SPG'ers step up their game), but still, unless I'm missing something, we've already got some problems. Change is in the wind. We shall see how well we can all adapt! I for one, will adapt with success. I'm just not sure what that adaptation will look like.
you raise all great points. And yes the lounges are getting more crowded with United and now Starwood it will get worse. maybe they don't mind if it does get more crowded as it becomes a benefit you get but can never use. I have lifetime platinum on AA and have like 75 certificates for upgrades but never seem to get to the top of the list. This has caused me to fly SW a lot since the AA level doesn't really get me anything . That could happen with Marriott also. If I can't get into lounges on a regular basis I would also look elsewhere . So what gives who knows. I do expect people like Tom understand they will have a problem to solve.
Short Term - this is really cool. I am currently Platinum Elite - so the account link gives me access to Delta and Emirates to go with my United Status.
Long Term - I am about two years away from Lifetime Gold Elite and maybe 8 years from Lifetime Platinum Elite (Unless I buy more timeshare points on my Marriott Card) but I think they will make it impossible for me to earn lifetime Platinum when they merge.
Assuming they will grandfather lifetime status for those who earned it in either program before the merger (2018) - I would suggest something like this.
* Lifetime Silver - 250 Nights, 1.2 Million Points, 5 Years of Elite Status
* Lifetime Gold - 500 Nights, 1.6 Million Points, 10 Years of Elite Status
* Lifetime Platinum - 750 Nights, 2.0 Million Points, 15 Years of Elite Status
* Lifetime Chairmen Club (New) - 1000 Nights. 2.5 Million Points, 20 Years of Elite Status
So to go from Gold to Platinum you would need an additional 250 nights, 400k Points, and 5 additional years of Elite Status.
I have a SPG account that I had not used in a couple of years. I just did the link with Marriott and I now have Platinum at SPG. One drawback of transferring points from SPG to Marriott is that it has to be in multiple of 1,000. So I have 800 points left in SPG account....
BUt hey, it's all good!!!
Hey bejacob! We took a look into this and found that the two programs won't recognize the other's night total, so if you split the 80 nights between the two you wouldn't meet the 75 night requirement to maintain Platinum Elite status and would be downgraded. Hope that helps!
Not that it really matters to me. It just wondered how it worked. I plan to keep working on my nights and points with Marriott. I will sign up for SPG soon, but I see no reason to invest much time in it. Eventually some form of combined program will emerge.
I've got a fair idea how things look now. Joining SPG will give me a chance to try some properties, enjoy Platinum perks, and earn a few SPG points. Marriott has been fine for my type of travel. That hasn't changed.
bejacob we all know you are a Marriott loyalist through and through Your example just became a nice way to ask some academic questions. Thanks for letting us play along. We know you aren't jumping ship buddy!
We asked our team to provide some clarity around your question, and they have advised that the status match will only match the levels from the other program. For example, if a member is Gold with Marriott, that Gold level will transfer to the SPG account.
The different nights on the account will remain with the program they were earned with. If a member has 50 nights with SPG, they will not transfer to Marriott; they will remain on the SPG account. The same goes for a Marriott Rewards account.
We do not have additional information on how long the status matching program will be available for. Right now, the two programs are separate, however, we will be working on combining them together.
Just saw Arne on Squawk Box, exciting stuff. As our good pal tef6178 likes to say (he's been to over 35 Indy 500's) "Gentlemen and ladies, start your engines".
Paraphrasing those two great motivational speakers;
Norm of Cheers "it's a dog eat dog world, don't wear Milk Bone shorts"
and Sammy Griner the Success Kid, "Stick it to the man",
to optimize this potentially terrific opportunity is going to require some thoughtful legwork.
It appears the Chinese approval delay did Marriott some good as Marriott seems to really have its communication together on this one, a very thorough FAQ and explanation, now, lots to learn. Instead of using intellectual energy moaning about equity among the status trade (for that go to FlyerTalk and besides, it ain't changing, can you say RewardsPlus) I'll be lurking here trying to pick up the best ways to optimize a stay at a Starwood brand property.
As an old fart who recently learned (right after mastering the programming of my VCR) Airbnb, Uber, HotelTonight, etc, I'm eager to dive into the Starwood site and find deals. I'm already tickled pink about them offering up to four price segments at once and would love (along with painedplatinum & pluto77) for Marriott to do that with AAA and Sr. rates.
Ok, Insiders, as always, keep on keepin' on, I've got to go eat a high protein breakfast to take on this challenge - which reminds me, better get to those concierge lounge breakfasts early - ha ha!
erc you're all over this stuff! Have you been staying up nights in anticipation of all this? I agree we've got some great opportunities here to 'spread our (travel) wings' with the new properties SPG brings to the merge!
My sister's hairdresser dates the mechanic who fixes the riding mower for the gardener who cuts Mr. Marriott's yard.
No, fear not, I just happened to see all of this this while watching CNBC and I got all jazzed up about new properties (plus I'm still energized from our Insiders Get Together).
Here I am with regards to staying power on this topic and whether or not we get an Elite night on our birthday;
So love erc playing well on Insiders again, thatsa my boya!!!
As mentioned preivousl, use Starwood in places where no Marriott exists and that is how I'll use my newly matched status for the short term.
This is a good news. However, there will be significant disadvantages for Marriott Gold members since SPG Gold is matched to Marriott Gold. SPG Gold status is equivalent to Marriott Silver status requiring only 10 stays (or 25 nights)while Marriott Gold requires 50 nights like SPG Platinum status.
Will Marriott consider this big difference moving forward? I would appreciate it if you could let us know. This unfair status matching will create significant disadvantages for Marriott Gord since Concierge club will be crowded and room upgrades will be more competitive.
Thanks for sharing droma that was an informative 28 minute interview (on Facebook).
1) At the end (w/ about a minute to go), Big Thom did, as you say, state that the Insiders were really in the know and that Marriott listens intently to them (wheee, that felt good - no, just kidding, Thom's a straight shooter who knows his stuff - frighteningly so) and that they will be monitoring all the social media platforms for additional insights
2) NathalieF is where it's at. She and her competent crew of moderators have actually put the "inside" in Insiders, so keep an eye on her, she's a keeper!
Woken up to a new day of Marriotteering...
AS erc says, Marriott has used the delay to get this right, I can't think of any questions about this match that haven't been covered. Theres definitely some real value redemption opportunities hidden in Starwoods inventory at 3:1, but there's plenty of clunkers too. Do the maths there folks! Of course, like MR, SPG runs 5th redemption night free.
For all you Marriott Golds out there do beware that your match to SPG Gold doesn't mean quite as much, in particular you miss out on lounge access.
Its clear Marriott intends to play a straight bat here, and no wonder, the SPG program membership list is one of the major assets of the deal, less than 20% of SPGers are also Marriotteers, so this is a big high spending addition to its customer base. On the other hand, we should remember what was said on Saturday, SPG was spending far too much on its very top membership. For Marriott this is a difficult balancing act, it knows the very top SPGers are nervous, yet they represent a purchased asset, alas one that can walk away. Marriott also knows SPG is fiscally unsustainable. Of course SPGs generosity is what kept their top echelons loyal, but Marriott can't afford to match SPG long term. Interesting times await...
For those of you looking for an easy way to become Gold ( doesn't work for Platinum ), the American Express Platinum credit card gives you Gold status in SPG and Hilton. You have no yearly stay requirement. This would then staus match you to Gold for Marriott. I know the yearly fee is high, but $200 comes back to you in airline credit , you get Global Entry paid for and if you fly Delta, the lounge access is free. You also get the Centurion lounge access. You might consider the benefits if you travel a lot.
While I'm on the subject of credit card perks, this is an excellent time to apply for the Starwood credit card. You get the current sign up bonus and 1 point for every dollar spent...but you are really getting 3 MR points for every $ spent.
Nice spot there mycatdixie, now all I need is to stop being a whinging Brit and instead become a corpulent American (I've already done the corpulent bit, but the American bit could be about to become far more difficult!)
Yes, if you can get it, the Plat AMEX now confers Gold at Hilton, SPG, and via the new link, Marriott too.
Lots of good advice here. I may decide to sign up for SPG if only to get an early opportunity to try some new places and earn points. The status match helps. I'm still building nights and points towards lifetime at Marriott, so odds are my SPG stays would be minimal while the programs remain separate.
Unless something comes up, I can wait. I have no plans to add any additional nights(beyond what is already booked) this year at either company.
Keep posting the fine print and other insights. I know I'm not the only one curious about this.
Hey bejacob ,
Even if you aren't planning on staying at any SPG properties in order to obtain the maximum number of nights you need to reach Lifetime Status with Marriott, I'd sign up. That would allow you to transfer points to SPG for a free stay and with you status, you might even receive an upgrade!! Nothing Lost, Only Gaining Benefits......
I'm a Lifetime Platinum myself. I signed up for SPG when I first heard about the the possible merger. I then obtained the SPG American Express, that at the time offered 30,000 Bonus Points if you spent $3,000.00 in 3 Months. Now I can use those points as a "Platinum SPG Member" or transfer them to Marriott for 90,000 points. A Win,Win!!!
Also, if you fly Delta, you will receive SPG points for all dollars spent on your Delta Ticket. This will help you build points on SPG even if you don't stay at SPG properties. See below.......
Once Again, Just My Two Cents!!!
Excellent advice. I expect I will sign up, but I'll wait a bit. I'm traveling again this weekend, so I have more pressing concerns. Once I get home, I can let the dust settle and move ahead. There seems no reason NOT to sign up especially as a Platinum in MR. Having top tier perks for even one stay at a Starwood property sounds pretty good.
I do fly Delta a fair bit, but since I have status with Alaska, I get all those benefits already (except the free checked bag). I wonder if I might get bumped up in the upgrade queue. Currently Alaska elites are moved to the back of the line (at least I'm in the line and I did get upgraded just last week ).
Anyway lots to think about. It seems like signing up will be beneficial. I just have to look into all the details on points, transfers, benefits, etc. With a trip starting tomorrow, I don't have time to read the fine print yet.
Just remember, a $1.000.00 ticket on Delta would get you 1000 SPG points. That in turn would be 3000 Marriott points . With the Fall MegaBonus Program that is in place , you can't get that kind of match.... 10 Nights/10000, 19 Nights/Still Just 10000 Bonus.
Safe Travels on you upcoming trip!!!
Points transferred won't count towards lifetime status today, but we’re working on more ways to recognize your loyalty and Lifetime Status as we work towards harmonizing the programs, which we don’t anticipate happening until 2018.
Posted this in the Marriott Insider Announcement. I did link my accounts and got SPG Premier Plat. However, SPG has multiple tiers within plat based on nights stayed. (benefits increase within Plat as your nights increase). This was not recognized for MR members linking to SPG. I have enough nights for "top tier" Plat. SPG members linking to MR get all Plat benefits. I am happy to have more flexibility but, MR has not provided for its top level members IMHO.
This might help:
TPG - The Points Guy
TK - Thom Kozik
TPG: TPG reader Alejandro N. asks: If I have 75 plus nights at Marriott, would I qualify for SPG Platinum 75 nights?
TK: The easiest way for us to treat everybody fairly and to be recognizing the value that an SPG elite has been using in terms of their nights within their brand, we needed to make sure that we didn’t suddenly give somebody who walks in today everything that somebody’s been earning. So a Marriott Platinum who is now status-matched to a Starwood Platinum is a base Platinum within the Starwood program, and any nights they earn will count toward the benefits within the Starwood program.
TPG: So to get to an ambassador they would have to stay 100 nights?
TPG: It’s not like they get 50 night credits?
TPG: So it’s like how most status matches work. The actual status is switched to Platinum but your nights to requalification to 75 or 100 have to be earned. Which is frankly good — as a Starwood Ambassador member, I don’t want the ambassador program to be bursting at the seams and see the service go down. You have to earn 100 nights in SPG to get to that level. Sorry, Marriott Platinums.
TK: Well, we have our concierge program.
TPG: Well that’s true too. And that’s the same there.
TK: We don’t have the same earning tier, but that’s again on the road map of how we’ll map it together.
TPG: It’s not a complete dilution of benefits. It’s always hard to strike that balance, but I think that’s a fair approach.
Don't forget, SPG is going away and will become Marriott Rewards. All those top tier SPG members will have to work even harder to reach plat once SPG goes away. Besides, those nights won't count for Marriott right now anyway. We don't know how SPG nights will be credited to Marriott Rewards later down the line.
With SPG going away (bye bye ambassador program), as a business, I would not put time into matching everything up perfectly for only a year or so. I don't think all those SPG members in the Amb Program will get Marriott's Concierge Program, or PP Status...They would have to reearn it.
To me it matters not the benefits or lack of with SPG at this point. I simply like the opportunity to get points and some extra perks if ever staying at an Starwood property. It opens up a few more spots where Marriott does not have any properties such as St. Maarten or more options in Hawaii to select from and then transfer the points to Marriott Rewards.
Maybe I'm just looking at the glass 3/4 full at this point?
I agree completely IAHFLYR, if not 4/5 full (I'm allowing 1/5 for the unknown impact of the additional numbers of SPGs that might negatively impact the current Marriott experience: award night availability, lounge access - generally, an overcrowding of elite access to amenities).
If we step back just a moment, how many of us have been a part of a merger or acquisition in their own work life? If you are the acquirer, you try to do everything possible to assuage the acquired that things will be fine, life will move to a new normal, help allay the fear of change. It's in Marriott's best interest to attract as many SPGs as possible to stay aboard and participate to allow the new culture to seep in (even be they reluctant participants). Marriott already has those of us who have accepted and become entrenched in the MR program, right? We're not going to jump ship because of this acquisition unless the future brings about some pretty unacceptable changes, which IMO, I don't see happening. So, unless there are some very undesirable changes lurking in our future, the Marriott program appears to have only been improved by the impact thus far (guaranteed late checkout, experiences, concierge, etc.) including a new world of additional properties. Now, before anyone decides to toss out Pollyanna here, remember, it's not full; I've still got my empty 1/5 of a glass staring at me.
Let’s discuss and check reality of point transfer from MR to SGP.
An Example #1. Stay in downtown San Francisco @ Marriott is ~ 40,000-45,000 MR Points
An Example # 2. A stay in downtown San Francisco @ Westin is ~ 22,500 – 30,000 SPG Points
Is seems something is not correct here when you do Apple-to-Apple conversion, what gives?
blava007 I think you also have to take into consideration whether you prefer to use your points for hotel stays, or as we do, mostly for trading in for Business Class long-haul tickets. For example, if you had 140,000 Marriott points and tried to transfer it to Singapore Airlines (like we just flew Business Class from Seoul to San Francisco, and loved it!), Marriott Points would get you 35,000 miles at a 4:1 ratio(4 points to 1 mile). Now take that same 140,000 points and transfer it to your SPG account at a 3:1 ratio, which gets you 46,666 miles, and then take advantage of the 25% bonus when you transfer every 20,000 miles, and this transaction nets you 56,666 miles. A MUCH better deal. That is almost enough a a one-way business class seat on Singapore (our 2 one-way seats cost us 132,000 miles from Seoul).
blava007 We have gotten to enjoy flying Business on cheap mileage awards, and the big value for us is the cost for Business tickets, especially if we had to buy them. And we already get fairly good room rates from using the Prestige Card for 4th night free, and either Military or Senior Citizen discounts.