What you need to know from a leaked version of the new Marriott / SPG scheme rules

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There is still quite a bit we don’t know about the new merged Marriott Rewards / Starwood Preferred Guest programme which launches next Saturday.

A leaked copy of the new terms and conditions has appeared online (click here) which was apparently extracted from the Marriott website albeit not on a published page.  It is almost certainly genuine although whether it is the final version is a different question.

Here are the bits I found interesting, in as much as they differ from current practice or reflect areas where readers have asked me what will happen:

Merged Marriott Starwood terms and conditions

1.3.c.i – you only get free high-speed internet if your elite status membership number is in your booking 24 hours before check-in.  If you turn up at check-in and your number is not in the booking already, you don’t get free high-speed internet (in theory).

1.3.c.ii – if you book multiple rooms and are an elite member you only get free high-speed internet access for one of them.  Worth noting if you tend to book two rooms because you travel with kids or extended family.

1.6.d – points will only expire if there is no activity on your account for 24 months, either earning or spending (a few exceptions apply to what is counted as earning or spending)

2.1.b.d – you can earn points when dining or drinking at a Marriott or SPG property – even if you are not a guest – as long as you spend $10 (the old SPG rule carries across)

2.1.d.i – you can earn points on up to three rooms per stay but NOT elite night credit towards status, which is limited to one room per stay

2.8.a – you can transfer up to 50,000 points per year from one member to another as long as you share an address

2.8.c – once per year you can exceed the 50,000 point transfer limit as long as the points are used immediately for a redemption

3.2.e – resort fees are payable on reward nights, where such fees exist (Hilton does not charge these although this is not a change for Marriott / SPG)

3.2.e.iii – “Free Night Awards at the following locations require a higher amount of Points either because the Participating Property does not have standard rooms or the standard rooms it offers have a mandatory full board requirement in peak seasons:  Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand; The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand; Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas, Steamboat Springs, Colorado; The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal, Costa Rica; The St. Regis Bora Bora and the Le Méridien Bora Bora, Bora Bora, French Polynesia; Mystique, a Luxury Collection Resort, Santorini, Santorini, Greece; The St. Regis Bali Resort, Nusa Dua, Indonesia; Hotel Cala di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza, and Hotel Romazzino, Costa Smeralda, Italy; W Maldives,  North Ari Atoll, Maldives; W Koh Samui, Surat Thani, Thailand; Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, U.A.E.; St. Regis Residence Club, Aspen, Aspen, CO; and Phoenician Residences, a Luxury Collection Residence Club, Scottsdale, AZ.”

We were led to assume that these restrictions on the top SPG hotels were being removed and that no hotels would operate outside the new reward chart.  Perhaps not …..

3.2.n – NO BLACKOUT DATES.  Marriott has adopted the Starwood policy.  If a “standard” room is available for cash, you can book it for points.  Of course, some hotels play games over what they call a “standard” room.

3.3.a.ii – ‘paid upgrade awards’ will continue as an optional feature, where you pay a fixed sum at the time of booking to be guaranteed a better quality room.  This is one of the features of Marriott Rewards I rate highly and ensures you can get a big room if you need to fit in children.

3.5.b – PointSaver discounted rewards will not be offered at ex-SPG hotels for now, although to be honest they were always few and far between.

3.6.b – you can continue to book reward nights if you do not have the points in your account as long as you earn them 14 days before check-in.  However, this feature will not apply to ex-SPG hotels at this time which will disappoint some readers.

4.1.c – you will only receive elite benefits when you book via marriott.com or a similar channel – it is NO LONGER POSSIBLE to book via Expedia etc and get your benefits.  This brings Marriott in line with every other hotel chain.

4.3.c.ii – Platinum members are not guaranteed a suite upgrade even if suites are availableAt The Ritz-Carlton, only Platinum Premier members will be considered for suite upgrades and upgrades will never include club access.  No upgrades will be given at Element or Aloft hotels.

5.3.d – you now only earn 10 elite night credits for your first meeting per calendar year.  It is no longer possible to book a number of 1-hour meeting rooms at your local Marriott and gain elite status purely via that route.

Merged Marriott Starwood terms conditions

There is probably some stuff that I have missed, or which simply didn’t interest me but might interest you.  Click the link at the top of the page if you want to read the whole document ….. but it is long!

Please note that this may not be the final version of the terms and conditions so things could still change between now and Saturday.

(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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  1. OT: Need to buy DOH-LHR ticket on BA. Got a BAPP and a PRGC. Transaction will go through in QAR as it’s a DOH starting point.

    PRGC gets me 2 points/GBP as foreign spend.

    Will my BAPP give me 3 points/GBP as it’s BA spend? Amex site says “3 Avios for every £1 spent with British Airways”. Does this include foreign currency too? Or only charges in GBP?

  2. Out of interest – has anyone successfully used Curve to pay off Virgin CC?

  3. Here we go. There was so much hype (more so on other blogs rather than HFP) about all these amazing hotels we could book for 60k points… it was all rubbish. This merger is just getting worse and worse for me.

    • totally agree alex w, that is exactly what I said last week in the comments. this was always going to turn out to be pie in the sky. what rewards scheme is going to let you book hotels where the cash rate is up to 2,000 usd/night for as little as, in this case, 60k Marriott/ 20k spg points?

      personally I cant complain as I am one of the lucky ones who got comped Marriott platinum simply by signing up to the Marriott challenge at the right time, and doing no stays.


      • Lets see what happens on the 18th!

      • The scheme pays them and is happy to pay them because it entices stays in the first place. If you don’t believe that, ponder why we are discussing a list which comprises literally 0.01% of hotels in the new Marriott portfolio.

  4. Jet driver says:

    I’ve been charged Hilton resort fees on my last 4 redemptions.

    • You shouldn’t. It is now specifically written in the terms and conditions:

      Resort Fees

      At hotels with resort fees, members on reward stays booked using all Points, or using a Promotional free night reward (e.g., issued by credit card partners, etc.) will not pay resort fees.

  5. fivebobbill says:

    OT, but hotel related.
    I’m looking to book the Adelf Rome for a couple of nights in November, the Hotel in a member of the “Curio by Hilton Collection”. My wife and I are both Gold HH members, and in the list of benefits over on HH it states:

    Curio – A Collection by Hilton
    ◾Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
    ◾1,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay OR a complimentary continental breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay

    The hotel isn’t coming in cheap, even for the HH members sale rate excluding breakfast. However, as Gold members I know breakfast is supposed to be included anyhow. But does the above mean we get to choose between the 1,000 points OR comp breakfast, or does it mean the hotel does?
    I would certainly be looking for breakfast given the price.

    Sorry if a stupid question, never really stay at Hilton, so at a loss…

    • Genghis says:

      You choose.

    • You choose, via the settings in your HH account on the My Way page.

      • fivebobbill says:

        Been a HH member for 7 years and had no idea about that – just now ticked the breakfast option! Don’t know what I would do without this site!
        Thank you again.

      • And some hotels ignore that you’ve set it and add breakfast charge on to your bill anyway.

    • MyWay prefs is your friend (can set it for all the other brands too), although hotels can change it for you on the fly too. I remember that historically some happen to overlook that you’d set it to 1k points (or change it) and still give the breakkie 😉

  6. OT – but Melia finally updated its rubbish website to something slight slicker that actually works!!
    I have 9800 Melia points which are expiring tommorow. I wont be staying there anytime soon, but what is the best transfer out / redemption? I recall seeing some shopping vouchers before but this seems to have gone?

  7. What’s the thoughts on getting the 10 nights credit for a meeting room if the room is booked before the 18 but to use afterwards? The website still states you get them, don you think they will honour it?

  8. Michael Jennings says:

    OT: No Bits today? Has anyone heard anything about an IHG Q3 Accelerate Promotion? Presumably we will be hearing something soon if it is going to be September-December?

  9. Completely OT but am I the only one receiving 3 emails a day in this 2-emails-a-day-season?

    • We haven’t run out of content yet 🙂 I am away for 2 weeks from Friday so it should start dropping next week.

  10. KBuffett says:

    Does Hilton Gold allow lounge access?

    • Genghis says:

      Only if upgraded to an exec room

      • AndyGWP says:

        Depends on the hotel as well – some let Golds in to lounges still (a few in the US that I have stayed in seem to allow this)

    • Try. My key usually lets me into the lounge at the Doubletree Islington whether or not I’ve been given a room upgrade.

      • If you get a room facing Pentonville Road, give Old Me a wave – I used to live directly opposite ????

  11. OT (no Bits today) – VS Money credit card spend bonus. Has anyone received their first bonus yet? I had 18th June to 6th Aug for first qualifying period – spent the required £500 but no bonus points showing up for my second statement in the period…

    • I found the same thing and called them. CS said that the bonus is added the month after you’ve actually earned it, so hitting the three targets in Aug/Sep/Oct will show on Sep/Oct/Nov statements

    • I believe there will be a lag as this is all being done manually.

      • Sheesh, hadn’t realised they were doing it manually! Their Twitter team are looking into it for me too. Thanks to DaveA too for the reply.

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