Ever since Marriott and Starwood announced their merger, folks have been very anxious to know what will come of the program. At least I know I am! I have a ton of points in both programs and am very close to earning Marriott Lifetime Platinum.
Well… it looks like many questions will be answered in about 24 hours! Tomorrow, on April 16, Marriott International is making a huge announcement during a special event in New York City. While I was invited to attend to hear the news first hand, I will be exploring Disneyland with my 4 year old so will not be present. But fortunately, they have opened up the viewing to everyone via a Facebook livestream (just go to the Marriott or Starwood facebook page). If you want to learn more about the updates to the person firsthand, join the livestream at 4:30pm. There have already been many rumors flying around, some which I believe to be true, others which I do not believe at all. But here are some things I am personally wondering along with some of the rumors that I’ve read:
- What will happen to earning lifetime status? Will Marriott and Starwood combine the points/nights in both program towards lifetime? How many points/nights will you now need to earn lifetime status?
- What will happen to those that have already earned lifetime status?
- What will the new status tier structure be? There are currently rumors flying around that there will be a new 5 tier structure.
- What will the benefits be at each status level? Although there are rumors of the 5 tier structure and the number of points/nights to earn them, nothing has yet been leaked about the benefits at each level.
- Which Marriott resorts give complimentary breakfast to those with status? It has been leaked that 25 out of the 30 brands will give breakfast and “resorts” have been specified, so I am hoping that is true!
- What will the new earning structure be? Currently at most Marriott hotels you earn 10 points per dollar – will that stay the same?
- What will the new redemption structure be? There are rumors flying around about “dynamic” award pricing. This means the number of points you use to redeem a free night depends on the price of the hotel. I really really really hope this is not true.
- Will Marriott still have Flights + Points as one of their award redemption options? Rumors are saying that Marriott will get rid of this, but I am not quite sure. This is a great redemption for those looking to transfer points to a partner airline and getting a Marriott certificate as well.
- Will Starwood get rid of the option to transfer points to partner airlines? Starwood has one of the more generous transfer ratios and my assumption is they will be getting rid of it in the near future.
I am very excited (although slightly scared) to see what the new program will bring. They are saying that the program should fully align in August, so hopefully any drastic changes do not take place until then which gives loyal members the opportunity to make any desirable redemptions by then.
I’ll program be riding It’s a Small World (one of my favorite Disney rides!) during the livestream but will make sure to catch up with all the news afterwards and put together a blog recap. Fingers crossed for good news!