As we detailed a few days ago, Marriott and SPG have announced many details about the merging of their loyalty programmes (and indeed Ritz Carlton Rewards).
A few details yet remain to be decided. Most notable of these, is the name of the combined programme, which will not be announced until next year. The reason for this is apparently the large amount of marketing collateral that would have to be prepared for all the 5,000+ hotels in the programme, according to Andrew Watson – Vice President – Digital, Loyalty & Portfolio Marketing, Europe for Marriott. Watson, who was previously employed at Starwood Hotels, was clear that the intention behind the combining of the two programmes was to try and preserve the appeal of the SPG programme while adding it to the much larger Marriott Rewards programme.
For many readers, one point of interest may be whether their status in SPG is retained. This is because through American Express Platinum card, one benefit was securing Gold in the SPG programme. This gave the member a late check-out (4pm) and room upgrade, along with complimentary breakfasts.
As can be seen from the table below (supplied by Marriott), it wasn’t clear whether that this SPG Gold status, when transferred over to Marriott Gold, would then become Gold Elite or Platinum Elite in the combined programme.
In the event, we learned that if you are SPG Gold you will go across to the combined programme’s Platinum Elite until the end of the year (so from August until end of December) and then revert to Gold Elite.
Current SPG points will be converted across to the new programme by being tripled (so 5,000 SPG points will be 15,000 points in the new, as yet, unnamed but combined programme).
There is also an emphasis on the ability of members to use their points for Marriott Rewards Moments. These come in two varieties – ones where you can simply use your points to book the events, or auctions where you can bid for events. There are some examples here
Marriott said it has added many hundreds of these events though most of them are still in the US, perhaps because that’s where the majority of Marriott Rewards members are.
You can find more details by logging into your account (whether SPG, Marriott rewards, or Ritz-Carlton Rewards). Until August these websites will continue. Thereafter, you will then select which you want to receive communications from – so, for instance, if you regard yourself as a Ritz-Carlton customer, primarily, then your communications will come from that brand.