The good and bad of the new Marriott / SPG reward chart, now revealed

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Marriott published the reward chart for the combined Marriott Rewards / Starwood Preferred Guest programme yesterday afternoon.  I did a short extra article on it but this is a deeper look.

Travel Package pricing has also been released but I will focus on that separately tomorrow.

In summary:

Overall, it is a wash.  Some hotels are up, some are down.  Looking across almost 7,000 hotels shows virtually no net change.

Travel Packages are definitely getting worse, although it isn’t yet fully clear by how much because we don’t know how peak pricing will work – details tomorrow

Amazingly, Marriott is putting all the Starwood hotels which were double points because they were ‘all suite’ – some of which were 90,000 SPG points per night (270,000 Marriott points) – in the standard reward pool.  These hotels, such as W Maldives and the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, will be capped at 60,000 Marriott points per night for bookings between August and December.  If you can get availability, this is a remarkable opportunity to visit some ‘once in a lifetime’ resorts.

New Marriott and Starwood reward chart released

Where are the full details?

Full details can be found here on the Marriott / SPG transition website.  There is a simple box where you can search for any of the 6,900 hotels involved.

Marriott says that 69% of hotels will cost the same, or fewer, points.  The full breakdown is 31% up, 52% down and 17% stay the same.  I am guessing this is based on the standard price and not the peak day price.

Here is some sample pricing of hotels we have written about on Head for Points at some point:

Sheraton Grand Park Lane London (review) – remains at 60,000 points

Le Meridien Hamburg – up 5,000 points to 35,000 points

Domes of Elounda, Crete (article) – up a whopping 40,000 points to 85,000 points! (but capped at 60,000 points for bookings made between August and December 2018)

JW Marriott Essex House, New York (article) – up 15,000 points to 60,000 points

The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach (article) – up 10,000 points to 60,000 points

The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert (review) – up 10,000 points to 60,000 points

Sheraton Frankfurt Airport (review) – down 5,000 points to 25,000 points

Marriott Manchester Airport (review) – down 5,000 points to 25,000 points

Aloft Liverpool (review) – up 5,500 points to 17,500 points

Aloft London Excel (review) – down 5,000 points to 25,000 points

MOXY London Excel (review) – down 5,000 points to 25,000 points

St Regis Istanbul (review) – down 1,000 points to 35,000 points

Westin Dublin – no change at 60,000 points

Marriott Berlin (review) – down 5,000 points to 35,000 points

Element Frankfurt Airport (review) – up 5,500 points to 17,500 points

Element Amsterdam (review) – up 5,000 points to 35,000 points

Renaissance Paris Republique (where I am typing this) – down 5,000 points to 35,000 points

It is genuinely a mixed bag.  Whilst four hotels above have gone up sharply – Domes, Essex House and the two Ras properties – you should remember that we only wrote about those because they were exceptionally cheap.  Across the hotels which we have reviewed, there is no trend.

A random big reduction, for example, is St Regis San Francisco which drops from 90,000 to 60,000 points.  The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, a popular option, goes up from 70,000 points to 85,000 points – but confusingly will be a bargain between August and December when it is capped at 60,000 points!  The key London Park Lane hotels go from 45,000 points to 60,000 points.

Remember that the scheme retains ‘five nights for the price of four’ so, on a 5-night holiday, a 60,000 point hotel will only cost you 48,000 points per night.

If you need a summary ….

Someone on Flyertalk has actually crunched every single data point.  In general, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Autograph and Tribute go up the most, whilst Element, Aloft, Residence Inn, AC Hotels and Springfield Suites go down the most.  Almost all top-tier Marriott properties currently at 45,000 points go up.

It isn’t as simple as ‘posh up, rubbish down’ though, because St Regis and W are, overall, getting cheaper.  Westin and The Luxury Collection are flat.  It is true to say that no budget brand has – taken as a whole – gone up in price.

Here are the extreme bargains

These are the Starwood properties currently requiring ‘double points’ because they are ‘all suite’.  At the most extreme, these hotels drop from 270,000 points per night to 60,000 points per night between August and December.  Even when Category 8 launches in January, these hotels remain a bargain at 85,000 points per night off-peak.

There is always a catch, of course.  Reward availability is expected to be substantially worse than it is at present.

St. Regis Resort Bora Bora (currently 270,000 points) and Le Méridien Bora Bora (currently 180,000 points)

W Maldives (currently 270,000 points) and St Regis Maldives (currently 270,000 points)

Sunset Key Guest Cottages, Key West

Mystique, Santorini

Pine Cliff Residences, Portugal

Cala Di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza, and Hotel Romazzino, Porto Cervo, Italy

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai (currently 180,000 points)

W Retreat, Koh Samui (currently 180,000 points) and Vana Belle, Koh Samui (currently 180,000 points)

St Regis Bahia Beach, Puerto Rico (currently 180,000 points)

This list is not comprehensive as the online version is out of date.  We may be missing a couple.

Gritti Palace Venice

Here are the pretty darn good bargains (for August to December bookings)

As a reminder, here is the new redemption chart from August:

Let’s be clear about what this means:

From 1st January 2019 the highest possible reward night will cost 100,000 points per night (Cat 8 peak)

BUT …. between August and 31st December 2018 the highest possible reward night will cost 60,000 points per night (Cat 7 standard)

At present, the highest category Starwood hotels – if we convert to ‘new scheme’ points – cost 90,000 to 105,000 points per night.

This page of the Starwood website (link does not work on mobile unless you use desktop view) lists their current ‘Category 7’ hotels.  These cost 30,000 to 35,000 SPG points per night at present, equivalent to 90,000 to 105,000 points in the new scheme.

Highlights include:

The St. Regis New York  

The St. Regis Aspen  

The St. Regis Florence  

Hotel Danieli, Venice  

The Gritti Palace, Venice  (pictured above)

The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort  

W Verbier  

The St. Regis Bali Resort  

You can find a full list of ‘top category’ Starwood hotels here.  The link does not work on a mobile unless you switch to desktop view.

If you can lock in any of these hotels at 60,000 points for bookings made between August and December, you are getting a steal.  I will try to get St Regis New York for a trip I have planned for September.

Want to know more?

Full details can be found here on the Marriott / SPG transition website.

Tomorrow we will look at what is happening to the popular Travel Package redemptions (answer: they are getting worse).

(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.)

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Comments

  1. Jonathan Cohen says:

    Is my understanding correct that reference to bookings made between August and December means that the “stay” takes place during that period? Or can the booking be made during that period with the stay in February 2019 for the 60k cap to apply? Thanks

    • the real harry1 says:

      Fairly sure I’ve seen that it’s only the booking that needs to take place before December, you can stay in 2019 (availability for 2019 not yet released).

      Somebody will correct me if erroneous.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        Can’t stay if they don’t release availability. With 2019 not that far away surely this is deliberate?

      • Given the booking window is August-December it would be extremely odd if availability were not released for 2019 by December

      • Correct

  2. Patrick says:

    I want to book one night in Bangkok and another in Ho Chi Minh, it looks like the required points will be lower if booked ‘from August.’ We want the hotels on August 10 & 11. Should I wait with the booking and hope the lower number of points works or just book now?

    • Rachael says:

      You could always book now, and if it goes down cancelled and rebook.

    • I don’t think we don’t know when in August the new pricing kicks in yet. I would make the booking now, you could cancel and rebook if need be.

    • If you are considering JW in Bangkok (going down) then I suggest you look elsewhere, the refurb going on there at the moment is very disruptive. The me Marriott Suriwongse looks nice but also best avoided due to lack of public transport. Taxi around there is no good either dye to traffic jams.

    • You can book now, you can call in August and get a refund of the difference apparently.

  3. Do we know the peak/off peak calendars?
    Assume it will vary by hotel, in which case it will only be visible by searching for availability for that hotel once it is active in January?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Pretty sure they have said it will vary by location/area which makes sense as everywhere has different peak times

  4. FlyingChris says:

    Any word on if you can make bookings under the new scheme without having the points in your account? Have my eye on a 240k redemption for 2019 but currently will come up a little short on August 1st. Buy more points now (and potentially spend unnecessary money doing so but have the points ready to go), or get there naturally through SPG Card spend (but risk the ability to book without points changing and all the availability snapped up). Probably better to be safe and ready to book?

    • No news

      • FlyingChris says:

        Looks like Marriott might have *confirmed* this actually. On this link, sent it in an email the other day about the new redemption rates & new combined scheme:

        https://points-redemption.marriott.com/redemption-options?nck=120754071&ck=23625489&lk=1000280155

        POINTS ADVANCE:
        Book a redemption stay even if you don’t have enough points. Reserve your dream vacation today. As long as you earn or purchase the needed points at least 14 days prior to check-in, you’re good to go.

        • just booked 20k redemption with 15k in account, i.e. with 5k points less then required and got option to auto purchase them for about 60 usd
          I think a week ago when looked at the same hotel they were offering cash and points rates , now that rates gone and this option is replacement

  5. Waribai says:

    We loved Domes but it is definitely not once in a lifetime territory which is effectively what is now alongside in redemption terms.

  6. Wivus says:

    I was looking for something in November and never been to the Maldives. Have a BA 2-4-1 too but direct flights are taken. I can see Bangalore is open then an Air India for 2 hours. Anybody know of any other options to Male where I can get best use of the 2-4-1 please?
    In the meantime I will see if any reward availability at Marriott as I believe you have to call them.
    Thanks Rob

    • Chappers says:

      I did this a couple of years ago going to the Conrad. Worked well although you need Indian visa which adds cost and hassle!

      • Wivus says:

        Thanks. Visa needed for Transit? That is unusual and I would not have even though of it. I was there last November but that Visa has probably expired. Cheers

        • Michael Jennings says:

          You can now get an Indian visa over the internet. It still involves cost and hassle, but less of either than the old system

    • try CMB on BA 241. direct flights to male from there for cheap.

      • Yorkieflyer says:

        Sadly this is no more, it was an add-on from MLE and was culled a couple of years ago

    • Rabbit says:

      Hi, we did BA to New Delhi and then Air India from New Delhi to Male (plane stopped somewhere in Southern India to let passengers off, but we stayed on). Flight was approx 5hrs long and worked well for us. Try Kuala Lumpur too, BA always seems to have availability…from there you can probably get to Male indirectly via Singapore. The KL flight is very long though which is why we opted for New Delhi.

  7. Why reward availability will worsen for all suite hotels? I thought the rule was that as long as there is standard rooms/suites available then it can be booked on points?

    • Definitions of ‘standard room’ vary widely. Very easy to start charging $10 per day less for 2 Maldives villas furthest from reception and claim that is now your standard room category. This IS how it works.

  8. Roger says:

    Mild OT

    Are we expecting current Marriott Travel Package pricing to remain same (as they are now) until end of July?

    In hindsight probably should have bought in March when there was 35% bonus offer from BAEC

    • Crafty says:

      Priority for me is understanding what restrictions if any a TP bought today will have. My assumption was there will be no restrictions – I am receiving a voucher for X nights in a category Y hotel that I can redeem when I choose. But there were suggestions in the other thread that this will become invalid (and potentially swapped for points?) from August 1st. Why? I don’t understand what’s going on here.

      • All the categories are changing so clearly you can’t expect a direct copy across. A 1-5 TP May no longer be valid on 1-5 in the new scheme.

      • Looking at the TP table my guess is that from August we will only be able to book the new category 1-4 hotels using pre-existing category 1-5 vouchers. Quite happy if so because there are some decent category 4 hotels in the new charts to redeem without adding extra points. These include Paris Republique which is my target.

    • Alex W says:

      +1 need to understand what new categories you can use TP for if bought before August.

      I also wish i’d bought a TP in March also. Was gambling on another transfer bonus coming along. Looks like time is running out…

    • Yes

    • It would be a real surprise if they didn’t announce what’s happening with travel packages prior to August 1st.
      Im sat with Marriott points ready to either take out another 1-5 package or upgrade an ilexisting 1-5 package depending how how it pans out as the gig is pretty much over on these post July 31st

  9. Rob, do you plan to review your Paris Republique hotel? I am considering redeeming a travel package there.

    • Genghis says:

      +1 I’d be interested too. Had booked a room there for this weekend but Mrs G decided she didn’t want to go. Looks rather quirky.

    • Will do, because it is really nice. Very impressed. A la carte (no buffet) breakfast is how classy it is.

  10. BrianN says:

    Hi, does anyone know if Marriott offer a status match or would it be a status challenge if anything?

    I have Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire and Best Western Diamond Select.

    Thanks

    • I just did a Platinum challenge but you need to be Gold to do that. There is a Gold challenge too if you Google.

      • Dillo says:

        Rob, when does Platinum Elite apply after completing the challenge – I’ve 2 stays left from Amex-SPG status-matched Gold and my last stay will be end of July. Do I need to allow for a couple of days for the stay to register? I’d hate to miss the rollover to the new scheme 1 Aug.

        Cheers

      • heggers03 says:

        Marriott Gold and got refused Platinum challenge earlier this month

        “We appreciate your interest in a status challenge. At this time, because we are combining our three loyalty programs into one, we don’t have an active status challenge promotion to offer. However, please feel free to check back with us after we’ve combined our program in early August”

        • Somebody reported a few weeks ago that they made repeated requests and eventually got accepted.

  11. Bonglim says:

    Am I correct in thinking that you can only book the basic room at these hotels with points?

    For example the St Regis Maldives has a garden villa (with pool). Which I guess would be 60k/ night.
    But if you wanted to book an overwater villa (with pool) would it be possible/ much more etc

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