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Is Marriott backtracking on 5-months of Platinum status for Amex Platinum cardholders?

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The upcoming merger of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest is, frankly, turning out better than most people hoped.  Marriott is genuinely taking the best of the two existing programmes.  If anything, I think they may have overdone it as the new scheme will be very complex due to the number of benefits and benefits.

I won’t go into the details again but you can find them in my article here.

There has been one big outstanding issue for UK holders of American Express Platinum cards.

Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest merger

American Express Platinum comes with Gold status in Starwood Preferred Guest.

Now (and try to follow this) …..

From August, SPG Gold members receive Gold status in the new merged scheme, which has few benefits (no lounge access, no 4pm check-out, no breakfast)

However, SPG Gold can currently be matched to Marriott Rewards Gold, and Marriott Rewards Gold members receive Platinum status in the new merged scheme.  This has lots of benefits – lounge access, 4pm check-out and free breakfast among them.

From 2019, there is no doubt what will happen.  American Express Platinum will offer Gold status in the new scheme, which gives few benefits.  This is, to be fair, no worse than SPG Gold used to be so no-one has lost anything.

However …. we thought that, from August to December 2018, anyone with SPG Gold via Amex Platinum who had matched to Marriott Gold would receive Platinum status.  That meant five months of lounge access, 4pm check-out and free breakfast.

Marriott itself was confused about this:

In the UK, Business Traveller and HFP were told (separately) that Amex Platinum members would get five months of Platinum in the new scheme

In Australia, local Marriott management told Australian Business Traveller the same thing

In the US, however, a video interview given to The Points Guy said that they would not

Two things now make me thing that American Express Platinum cardholders are going to lose their lounge access, breakfast and 4pm check-out benefits at the end of July:

This statement has appeared on the Marriott ‘merger’ website:

I ALREADY LINKED MY SPG AND REWARDS ACCOUNTS. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY MATCHED ELITE STATUS IN AUGUST?

The current status matching opportunity is tier for tier (e.g. Gold gets Gold, Platinum gets Platinum), even though the qualification requirements and benefits between SPG and Rewards are quite different. Given this, the following Elite status mapping will occur in August (unless a member has also qualified by nights for higher status):

SPG Gold (10 stays/25 nights) is status matched to Rewards Gold (50 nights) and in August will be Gold Elite (25 nights)

SPG Platinum (25 stays/50 nights) is status matched to Rewards Platinum (75 nights) and in August will be Platinum Elite (50 nights)

Rewards Gold (50 nights) is status matched to SPG Gold (10 stays/25 nights) and in August will be Platinum Elite (50 nights)

Rewards Platinum (75 nights) is status matched to SPG Platinum (25 stays/50 nights) and in August will be Platinum Premier Elite (75 nights)

I accept that this is – still – not crystal clear.

Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest merger

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

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.

This seems pretty clear, unfortunately.  If you currently have Marriott Rewards Gold via a match from SPG Gold which you got from American Express Platinum, your luck is out.

Frankly, I am not 100% convinced that it will actually happen.  I’m sure that Marriott can work out which Marriott Gold members got matched from SPG Gold, and then go back one step further to see which of those got their status via American Express Platinum.  Given that the combined scheme has 100 million members you need to question whether they actually will.

However, be prepared.

If your Marriott Gold status comes indirectly via Amex Platinum, do not make any reservations for August and beyond if lounge access, breakfast and a 4pm check-out are deciding factors.  You are probably not getting them.


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Comments (66)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Dave says:

    Doing this mid year. I’ve got 9 nights worth of stays coming up, if I lose the benefits I’ll shift my stays to Hilton or Shangri-la. Flyertalk is full of other people doing the same, I presume Marriott have done the maths but if thy don’t honour existing bookings then they may well see a few cancelled.
    The cost of honouring breakfast and late checkout surely doesn’t outweigh the cost of cancelled bookings?
    Oh and losing the guaranteed 4pm checkout is a big benefit downgrade.

    • Paul Hickey says:

      I’ve pretty much repeated your comments above (without reading this first) 🙂

  • MissGeekChic says:

    What happens from 2019 for those who have not linked their SPG account to a Marriott account? Can these folks still link to a mee Marriott account? and if so, what tier do they get?

    • mark2 says:

      will SPG accounts still exist in 2019?

    • Relaxo says:

      Your SPG account will be automatically linked to Marriot in August if you ave not done so proactively….along with your matching status level

  • r* says:

    Would the platinum challenge need to be completed by August for it to have any benefit, or would starting it in July to complete in October be worthwhile?

    • Rob says:

      We don’t know. For security I would want to be done well before 1st August.

      • mutley says:

        I asked to do the platinum challenge at the end of April, they told me that i had until the end of July to complete. Moxy at Heathrow, Stratford, or Excel can be as cheap as £46 a night so worth a few mattress runs I think.

        • Rob says:

          Moxy gets less cheap as you towards the Summer. Don’t leave it too late.

          I have to say, for the money – as you say, it can be under £50 but I doubt you’ll see that now until Autumn – Excel is astonishingly good value. Rooms are well decorated, more than acceptable size, decent bathrooms, good bed. Only the lack of tea / coffee in the room annoys me. No desk but the ground floor is effectively a clone of your typical WeWork hot desking area.

  • Clive says:

    SPG Gold did have a 4PM late check out guarantee however in the new programme it reduces to 2PM and is subject to availability. Luckily I am currently PLT but also LTG and the loss of some of these benefits when the new programme opens is not cricket dear chap.

  • Waribai says:

    Rob, I recall you mentioning an upcoming visit to JW Marriott in Venice. We are there in late July. With what will be your newly minted plat. card, what are you hoping for there considering it is a resort? Just trying not to get my expectations up!

    • Rob says:

      Under the new rules we will get free breakfast, which is £240 saved over 3 days (and little alternative given you’re on a private island!). That covers my Platinum mattress run costs.

      They never upgrade but will get a hard sell at check-in about paying for one.

      • Waribai says:

        Thanks Rob, that’s really good to know. We’ll be there for a week so that will save us a packet if hopefully they are already doing this in July.
        On TripAdvisor, recently plats mention an upgrade to a junior suite. Possibly not in summer but I will test this out!
        Just a tip about the mattress run, I didn’t always turn up for mine and instead sometimes sent family and friends to places such as the Sunderland Marriott. They never had a problem checking in but a couple of times the points didn’t post as it wasn’t me who checked in. A quick submission of the missing stay form along with the invoice (I always have my settings on “send me a folio copy post stay”) and the points posted and the stays counted for the challenge.

        • Rob says:

          We book a JS in the first place, very nice rooms. I think it is 45k points plus Euro 200 in August.

        • Rob says:

          Not sure they are. Brekky at resorts is part of the new scheme not the old scheme. Same with brekky at Moxy etc.

  • W says:

    So, where I’m the world are the cheapest Marriott hotels for the platinum challenge?

    • Rob says:

      The UK Moxy properties are generally around £50 although Excel has little at that price once you get past mid June. Clearly bits of Asia are the place to go but not exactly convenient – you could book 9 nights in Bangkok and hotel hop every night!

    • Cate says:

      Aberdeen. The Moxy and Courtyard are practically next to each other. The Marriott hotel is also close and has a free shuttle going to/from the airport and will also drop you off at the Courtyard.

    • Jac says:

      Dubai would probably be good this time of the year but 50C and Ramadan do make it a challenge…

  • Jac says:

    I already requalified for SPG plat this year on stays with 49 nights so far. In Augus,t i should qualify for Plat premier in the new scheme when my 25 nights at Marriotts are added. Am i a right to think i should push for one night at SPG before August because then I can choose Plat 50 gift and in Aug Plat 75 Gift or will i still get the SPG plat 50 gift after Aug and after i got the plat 75 gift in the new program?

  • Cate says:

    What became apparent from the 14th April was that different people were being told different things. However Marriott didn’t update their web site confirming that Amex golds would be getting platinum till Dec 31st which is telling.

    Bottom line as I see it – If platinum is important to you then locking those benefits down before August is a no brainer – especially if you are going to do mattress runs in the UK with holiday season looming and prices to start edge up.

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