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Ever since Marriott and Starwood announced their merger, I’ve had many questions. What will be the new loyalty program? How will status work? How will lifetime status work? What will change? What will be the same? So many questions that I am sure you are all wondering as well!
Yesterday, Marriott and SPG announced a few new updates, although it does not come even close answering every single question. But there are a few things we do now know. In 2018, the two programs will continue to remain separate. That means we will not see a combined program until 2019 or maybe even 2020 – timing is still TBD.
Here are the changes we will see in 2018:
- New Hertz benefits: Beginning in early January, Marriott Platinum members can register to receive Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® Five Star® Status, and Marriott Platinum Premier members can register to receive Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® President’s Circle® Status. Remember, SPG Platinum members can match status to Marriott Platinum.
- Rollover Nights: 2017 is the last year members can earn Elite Rollover nights. This means any 2017 nights earned in excess of Elite requirements will roll over toward 2018 status, but excess nights earned in 2018 will not roll over toward 2019 status. This is actually a great benefit for many as it can definitely help folks earn Gold or Platinum status. This benefit came in quite handy for me years ago when I literally lived in a TownPlace Suites for almost an entire year. I earned over 200 nights and that allowed to me to earn Platinum status a few more years in a row since I was not longer staying at Marriott properties as much.
- Buy Back Status: In the past, Marriott typically offered an opportunity to “buy back” your status using points. If you did not earn the same status you had the previous year, you could use up to 40,000 Marriott points to keep that status. I personally never took advantage of this offer, but I know many people did especially if they were to stay at Marriott properties often. Between my husband and I, someone always seemed to have Marriott status somehow or another, so it never mattered to us. Unfortunately, this promotion will not return in 2018.
For me personally, these are not huge changes, but for many it will make it harder now for them to earn status.