Marriott publishes a summary of Platinum welcome benefits from August

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Marriott has published a PDF, click here, summarising the welcome gifts and amenities that Platinum members in the new combined Marriott Rewards / Starwood Preferred Guest programme will receive from August.

The bad news is that it now seems that SPG Gold members who have status via American Express Platinum and who matched their Marriott account to Gold will NOT receive Platinum status in August.  This is a reversal of what we were told when the new scheme was announced.

(SPG Gold matches to ‘new scheme’ Gold.  Marriott Gold matches to ‘new scheme’ Platinum.  Marriott is now saying that matched statuses will be ignored when deciding your new tier.  This is important as ‘new scheme’ Gold has very few benefits whilst ‘new scheme’ Platinum is the one that will have guaranteed lounge access and 4pm check-out.)

The PDF needs explaining.  These are ‘welcome amenities’.  So, for example, there is NOT a tick next to ‘free breakfast at Marriott’.  This is because it is already a guaranteed Platinum benefit via the lounge or, if no lounge, in the restaurant.  There is a tick next to ‘free breakfast at JW Marriott Resorts’ because this brand does not automatically give free breakfast but a Platinum can now choose to receive it at check-in.

This chart, and the apparent decision to stop Amex Platinum cardholders getting Platinum in August, justifies my decision to do a ‘nine stays Platinum challenge’ at the moment.  I am currently six down with three to go!  We have three days at the JW Marriott in Venice in August (photo above, review here) and getting free breakfast as a Platinum will, in one go, net off the extra costs I have incurred to push nine hotel stays to Marriott.  Any extra benefits I get from Platinum status over 2019 will be a bonus.

JW Marriott Venice

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Melia Rewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Marriott Bonvoy points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Why Marriott Travel Packages are a great use of Marriott or SPG points - but what happens after August?
New Hertz and Hyatt American Express cashback deals launched

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  1. Cuchlainn says:

    OT ( in case people missed it y’day ) :
    Tesco now charging 3.99% and NO interest free period on cash withdrawals – just got stung for £7.98 using CURVE card in a Tesco ATM to withdraw monthly £200 !!

    • Cuchlainn says:

      Sorry – CURVE linked to Tesco Premium card, for info.

    • James says:

      Hmm, that’s annoying. Will keep an eye on my linked IHG card.

    • I don’t understand how Tesco know it was a cash advance from a cash machine? If you’ve used your Curve card then Curve simply charge your Tesco card for a purchase?

      • That’s my thought. If the Curve conditions are that you can withdraw the cash without incurring fees, surely they should notify you if that’s now changed? Cuchlainn – you haven’t accidentally done 2 cash withdrawals in the same calendar month have you? I keep a close check on mine as obviously you can have 2 statement periods in the same calendar month, which is not the same thing!

        • Genghis says:

          The charge was Tesco’s, not Curve’s.

        • Ghengis – I would still say that unless Curve’s Ts & Cs have changed, they should be addressing this. It’s not acceptable to have a situation where you might get charged for a cash withdrawal but you don’t know until you’ve actually done it!

        • Genghis says:

          Surely Curve can’t be responsible for the T&Cs of all the different underlying cards?

        • Everytime I’ve done an atm transaction it says your card issuer may charge you do you wish to continue?
          Sounds like they have it covered in case you are charged.

          • That is standard ATM language when certain sorts of cards are popped in. Not specific to Curve.

        • RIccatti says:

          From what it looks then, you will be charged for purchases on Tesco credit card (if you swiped Curve card too).

          Below are confirmation cases: people started to get charged by Tesco Credit card on ANY transaction from Curve, which is probably incorrect.

          And yes — coincides with Visa ‘technical issues’.

        • Cuchlainn says:

          2 x cash only transactions – 4th May and 1st June – both @ Tesco ATMs ( pushing for 5,000 points Clubcard bonus lol ! ).

          I ( my wife actually but I do the finances ) did receive correspondence from Tesco on 21st May but it did not state which Tesco card – we have Premium and also no annual fee one. Apparently this notification refers to all Tesco Credit Cards bar none.

          Q. Where do I go now for an underlying credit card under Curve ? Other than the 1% overseas purchase route, I struggle to see a use for it with £200 ATM withdrawals now chargeable.

        • Alex W says:

          I’ve had no problems withdrawing cash with IHG Premium linked to curve.

      • Memesweeper says:

        Well, it was a Tesco ATM so I’m fairly sure they can join the dots on that if they want to.

        They make the rules, and if they want to they could treat all Curve transactions as cash advances, or just block them entirely. Curve might push transactions into the banking system as a purchase but it is at least arguable it’s not. If a very large bank tried to shut out Curve then the CMA might have something to say, Tesco clearly are not concerned about that.

        • Prune says:

          I can also confirm that I have have multiple cash advance charges made on my Tesco credit card via curve purchases but only since the beginning of June

        • Ive been charged the cash fee for a 1st June transaction and it was a Sainsburys ATM. It was the day Visa went down and a large queue had formed at the ATM next to the Pub.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          See article a few days back about tesco charging 3.99% on transactions to fintech companies like revolut etc

          Looks like Curve has been caught up in this, possibly incorrectly.

          However, still no idea why you would link to a tesco debit/credit card vs a virgin/ihg/hilton credit card.

    • Geoff says:

      Not just ATM cash withdrawals. I am now being charged the 3.99% by Tesco on ALL CURVE TRANSACTIONS.

      • Will cover this tomorrow.

      • Will Squires says:

        Same, I’m furious about it. Had a most unsatisfactory conversation with their call centre yesterday. Started by saying it was because I was using it for “cash transactions” (Starling, Monzo). Then I pointed to the charge I’d received for spending £12 in “Kitty Cafe”. Her tune then changed to “because whenever you use an intermediary *like Curve* that’s a cash transaction”. I told her I expect they’ll be applying the same charge to customers using PayPal then – “uhm, uhm….”.

        She then read out a letter they claim to have sent out a letter on May 21st, did anyone receive such a letter? I certainly didn’t.

        Complaint in progress. Whatever the rights and wrongs you can’t start dropping charges on people with no notice. I’ll be seeking a refund of my annual fee since between this and Tesco Direct closing the card is now basically useless to me.

      • Andre says:

        Anyone had any luck with going “back in time” with curve? I’ve just done a test with one of the purchases since 1st June.

    • Craig says:

      If this ends up being the case for all UK credit cards then curve’s business model goes up in smoke. I put a couple of small transactions through to a HSBC WE, I’ll see what happens.

  2. James says:

    This backtracking from Marriott regarding Platinum status for SPG-matched Marriott-Gold’s (mouthful !) is rather mean spirited.

    I have SPG Gold and have never, ever stayed in a Marriott. I was going to switch a number of IHG and other stays over to Marriott in order to enjoy the Platinum benefits. Who knows, I may have enjoyed the Marriott brand and stayed there loads, earning platinum the hard way but now we’ll never know.

    Never mind that then. They can go without my money; The miserable recanterers !

    • Steve-B says:

      Isn’t that the point – why would Marriott extend the benefits to someone who has “never ever stayed in a Marriott”… on the basis that they “may” in future.

      Fully agree that they shouldn’t have set expectations the way they did though.

      • Chris says:

        Because the post-august scheme is not Marriott, it’s (Marriott+SPG) so anyone with lots of SPG stays is therefore someone who *has* made stays at the combined group

    • Tilly says:

      It’s really p’d me off. After my non-redundable booking stay in September they will not get any more from me, i will stick with Hilton. I was considering switching loyalty if I’d enjoyed my stay with them but now I will stay with Hilton.

  3. Prune says:

    OT – I am having issues transferring avios from iberia to avios at the moment- I have tried the methods via the iberia site and the avios site but no joy. I have checked all my details and they match. Anybody else having this issue?

  4. At the risk of defending Marriott a little, there is no ‘backtracking’ here. It wasn’t 100% clear at the time what the position would be after the terms of the new scheme were first announced and it was all a little bit of a mess. Rob was told by one Marriott representative that SPG Gold would become Platinum whilst others were told it would become Gold and clearly jumped too quickly to a conclusion based on this as was pointed out at the time. See the thread in the Marriott forum at Flyertalk.

    Logistically, Marriott has never really been like Hilton (i.e. just giving out status for nothing), so this decision is hardly a surprise.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Agree. For me everything pointed to getting Gold not Platinum.

  5. Morning Rob.

    I also have a six night vacation booked with Marriott, which would be great to put towards a Platinum challenge, but your original article states that this will count as just one stay, yet you allude to your 3 night Venice trip pushing you to he night night threshold?

    Can you clarify please?

    • * Pushing you to the 9 night threshold.

    • KBuffett says:

      I don’t read it that way. He’s saying the free breakfast over those theee nights will cover the costs incurred for paying for 9 nights.

      • But a three night break is only one stay, so how can said three night break complete a 9 stay challenge (6 stays completed already plus an additional 3 Nights/1 stay in Venice) ?

  6. The article doesn’t state that, nor does it in infer that it isn’t part of the challenge.

    Indeed there is a clear correlation that it does, insofar as alluding to 6+3=9!!

    • Genghis says:

      Need to have the status to get the free breakfast. QED

    • TGLoyalty says:

      In order to be Platinum and get the free breakfast he is talking about he would have to complete the 9 stays atleast a week or so before.

  7. In Rob’s defence, my experience of the challenge is you are upgraded to platinum for the length of the challenge, and should you hit, you stay platinum, if you don’t, you keep gold.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Do they? SPG didn’t and only had 3 calender months to complete. You could go back a month though.

    • No, only Hilton dose that

    • Elaine says:

      There are (or used to be anyway) two types of Platinum challenge with Marriott. One upgraded you to Platinum immediately and you had to do the stays to keep it, and with the other you had to do the stays first before you got granted status. The first one was more common a few years ago but it appears the second is more common nowadays.

  8. alan d craig says:

    I think the platinum challenge needs to be completed by end of July, I am four down and plan to finish by 22nd July with two separate nights in Moxy Aberdeen and courtyard Aberdeen.

    • Rob MC says:

      I got accepted for this yesterday and runs til the end of September. I was told that from August SPG properties also count towards the 9

  9. Rachael says:

    We are just about to become platinum members in August and sorry to sound a little green but what is F&B credit / amenity ? Also given the choice which is the best offer, points, breakfast or amenity ?

    • ‘Food and beverage’ so it gets knocked off anything bar or restaurant bill.

      • Rachael says:

        Thanks, which is the best perk to pick ?

        • 1000 points is worth around £5, a $10 F&B credit is worth around £6-£7 and is ‘real’ cash, so probably better.

        • Depends if you would actually be spending time and cash in the on-property bars or restaurants? If I’m travelling on my own I almost never do, so would almost always take the points instead.

  10. mutley says:

    O/T Work takes me to Heathrow area in July/ August. I will be spending approx.20 hotel nights in this period, Any recommendations re; hotels and those to avoid on budget of max £140 nightly?

    • Mark2 says:

      I suggest that you consider hotel-hopping to make as many stays as possible to bag status challenges.

    • The new Novotel on Bath Road is meant to be good and would work with the Accor offer covered in the other article today.

      The Hilton, Marriott and SPG offers a bit dull.

      IHG Accelerate is the wild card – you need to look at your personalised offers. It could work well because you could hit any stay-based or brand-based targets easily by jumping around the various IHG properties.

      • mutley says:

        Thanks for the replies guys, I will probably hotel hop a bit, ( I have Hilton diamond, Marriot gold, Accor gold) and also an accelerate target. I reckon there are about 25 hotels from the major chains dotted around within a mile and half of the airport. I’ll see if I can get through half of them!

    • roberto says:

      And if you looking at saving a few quid the Premier Inn at T4 has rooms from £45 a night on certain days and is mostly less than £80. Covered walkway from T$ plus free buses to T5 ( & onward connections ) and its not a bad place to lay your head.

  11. Adrian says:

    Guys, have any of you recently (in the last week or so) asked Marriott for the platinum challenge? I asked the twitter team this week and was told they “no longer do challenges”. Has anyone been accepted if so how did you do it email/phone? (UK or US?).

    • KBuffett says:

      I was rejected on twitter. Ignored by email twice. Succeeded on the third email request

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