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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:

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 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.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (December 2023)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

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 Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

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

Comments (118)

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

  • fivebobbill says:

    I currently have Marriott Gold courtesy of Amex Plat, and like most on here in my position, plan on moving my custom to Hilton after the merger. I currently have Hilton Gold thanks again to Amex Plat, but am I reading correctly over on Hilton Honors that Diamond can be ‘earned’ by acquiring 120,000 points?
    I’m confused, as I have a HH Barclaycard Visa, and although I have amassed over 30,000 points through spend this year on the card (and showing in my points total), i am showing ZERO points acquired in my Elite Loyalty Progress bar!?
    Am i missing something, when are points not points?

    • Rob says:

      All chains work like this. Only ‘base’ spending points count for status – even bonus points earned on stays don’t count.

      If you are putting a lot on your credit card then look at the IHG cards – uniquely, the points from these DO count for status.

      • fivebobbill says:

        Ahh thanks Rob, I very rarely ‘pay’ and stay at Hilton, as been pushing Marriott for years since I got Gold with all the perks. Gonna have to do some serious thinking now where to push my spend, and although as you say IHG status is attainable that way, the lack of breakfast/lounge etc is really putting me off.

        • KevMc says:

          I got Spire through a combination of stays and credit card spend and then once I had it, used it to do a Hilton Diamond status match.

        • fivebobbill says:

          Ahh, now that’s much more interesting! However doesn’t that only last you for 90 days or so…? I seem to remember that being the case for me years ago when originally matching to Hilton Gold from Club Carlson.

        • fivebobbill says:

          Sorry KevMc, just googled it there and got up to speed, Thanks again

        • KevMc says:

          You get 90 days to complete 8 stays (and are promoted to Diamond temporarily during this period). Once you complete your 8 stays (redemption nights count, so look for some 10k options if you don’t have enough paid stays planned), then they will send you an email telling you it is extended for 12-18 months (I got mine in April/May, which now expires in March 2020

        • BJ says:

          Be aware that you only need IHG platinum (fee credit card), not spire, to match to Hilton diamond.

        • Adam says:

          To BJ. I was denied a diamond status match with IHG plat level.

        • BJ says:

          @Adam, sorry to hear that. Did you already have status with Hilton by any chance? Perhaps you need to be gold to get diamond from platinum, I don’t know. When I put my request in I had seven IHG stays in the preceding month showing on my screenshot so perhaps that helped. I recall one comment some time ago when a reader said they were rejected several times but just kept making requests and were eventually accepted.

  • mike says:

    hi rob,

    I understand that creation will be relaunching the Marriott credit card. would you happen to have heard on which date they will be accepting applications?


    • Rob says:

      No, not heard anything despite badgering my contacts at Creation. It can’t be that difficult given that the card already exists for those of us who had it in ‘the old days’.

    • S**mo says:

      Waiting on this for a ‘large’ purchase!

  • David says:

    OT but help needed: which is the best (better?) Priority Pass lounge in Heathrow T3 please. Will be there 0830-1030am Wednesday so breakfast is the key priority! Thanks!

    • Lady London says:

      I believe No. 1 is the highest rated.

      • Rob says:

        It’s bigger certainly and No 1 food is generally better than Aspire – although if No 1 is full you won’t have a choice unless you pay £5 to reserve. Or, of course, visit both!

  • Russ says:

    The lack of SPG PointSavers and ability to reserve without ready points could just be an IT issue. If so they could implement later if fixable, should we still be around!

    But which demographic are they going for here because they don’t seem to have a shred of understanding how savvy, non loyal business customers and affluent leisure travelers are? if Hilton did nothing they’d start soaking up Marriott’s customer’s. You can gleam that from the comments on here alone.

  • Axil23 says:

    St Regis Maldives isn’t on that list?

  • The Original Nick says:

    OT: Amex Offers. £30 back of £100 Spend at Radisson Blu hotels on BA Amex and PRG card. Not on Platinum card though.

    • Rob says:

      Handy, thanks.

    • Roger1* says:

      … when I ‘book, rent and pay’ … I’ve not rented at a Radisson before.

      Also, the list of qualifying hotels looks a little sparse.

      • Crafty says:

        Apologies, I’ve double posted this in today’s other thread.

        Yes, the participating hotels conveniently exclude the one where i already have a £100 stay booked (East Midlands Airport) and the one where i regularly stay (Bristol). Bit annoying. On the other hand it’s a great deal if you can use it.

        Radisson underrated as a loyalty scheme in my view. Had some good upgrades and nice in-room gifts as a lowly gold.

  • Mark2 says:

    just been to Tesco and received a 10p per litre off fuel voucher with £100 gift card purchase.
    You can get the voucher until 26th Aug and it lasts for another fortnight.

  • N says:

    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?

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