Leaked Marriott Program Terms Have Some Surprises

Filed Under: Marriott

Marriott’s new loyalty program launches August 18, 2018. In many ways the implementation of this program feels very rushed, as the program is now less than a week from being introduced, and there are some questions we still don’t have answers to.

Marriott still hasn’t officially published the terms & conditions for the new program, though FlyerTalk member phltraveler found a link to the terms. These are very interesting, and in some ways surprising.

Let me start by noting that since these terms have’t officially been published yet, it’s possible that these aren’t accurate. It could be that they’re an earlier version of the terms, and that there are still updates they’re going to make. Nonetheless there’s some potentially interesting stuff in here. For example:

Are Platinum suite upgrades actually guaranteed?

Up until now I’ve always been told that Marriott plans to adopt the Starwood way of providing suite upgrades. That’s to say that Platinum members are entitled to suite upgrades subject to availability. In other words, as long as a suite is available, a Platinum member is entitled to it, and it’s not at the hotel’s discretion to deny that.

However, the terms state the following:

Complimentary Enhanced Room Upgrade for Platinum Elite Members.  Based on room availability at check-in and limited to a Member’s personal guest room at no additional charge.  Enhanced rooms may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites.

This reads very differently than Starwood’s old terms. It gives the hotel the discretion to upgrade Platinum members to suites if they want to, but it doesn’t guarantee it. This reads more like the old language from Marriott and Hilton, rather than the language from Hyatt and Starwood.

Are Marriott suite upgrades not actually a benefit

Ritz-Carlton suite upgrades are limited to Platinum Premier members

In theory Marriott Platinum members and above are entitled to space available suite upgrades, though it looks like the Ritz-Carlton brand has added further limitations (which is hardly surprising, given how stingy Marriott is with this stuff). According to the terms:

At The Ritz-Carlton, suites are only included for Platinum Premier Members and rooms with direct Club access are excluded.

So it’s interesting that suite upgrades are only available at Ritz-Carlton properties to Platinum Premier members and not to Platinum members.

Ritz-Carlton suite upgrades will be limited to Platinum Premier members

Can we not redeem at Starwood’s top properties after all?

We’ve been repeatedly told that all Marriott and Starwood properties will fall under the new award chart. This is different than Starwood’s old program, where some properties were designated as not having standard rooms, and therefore all the pricing would be double as high.

While we’ve been told that practice won’t continue, it looks like it might. Here are the new terms:

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.

I’m quite suspicious of all of this, especially since the W Maldives is on the list but not the St. Regis Maldives, for example.

Will Al Maha not actually be bookable for 60,000 points per night?

Bottom line

These leaked terms are interesting to read, though personally I wouldn’t panic too much just yet. After all, these aren’t officially published, so it’s possible that this was an earlier version of their working terms, and they just haven’t updated them yet.

While I’ll reach out for comment, I suspect Marriott won’t officially comment on anything, since we’re going on leaked terms here.

Anyone notice anything else interesting in the new leaked terms?

(Tip of the hat to Frequent Miler)

  1. I think Gary always insisted that SPG Limited Participation will continue. So now it is true. Sadface.

  2. Rather disappointing news on multiple fronts.

    Westin Playa Conchal and Al Maha were some of the places we’ve been considering.

    The fact that even Platinum Premieres do t get Club access at RC is beyond lame.

  3. I still say step back and chill. History has shown on mergers don’t believe anything until you see it officially printed especially “leaked” doc’s. Sometimes “leaked” are trial balloons to test reaction.

    As a LFT Marriott PLT I have enjoyed the program throughout the 420o rooms nights ( damn I am getting old)

  4. Despite clear evidence debunking the claim, @Lucky continues undeterred:
    “This reads very differently than Starwood’s old terms. It gives the hotel the discretion to upgrade Platinum members to suites if they want to, but it doesn’t guarantee it. This reads more like the old language from Marriott and Hilton, rather than the language from Hyatt and Starwood.”

    Hyatt??? Until they migrated their program to WoH, Hyatt did not offer their top elites any complimentary suite upgrades. HGP Diamonds had 4 DSUs/year after which they had to pay out-of-pocket to see the inside of a suite again. The NEW WoH policy on Globalist complimentary suite upgrades reads just like Marriott’s or Hilton’s.

    As for the SPG (R.I.P) policy, individual Starwood hotels always had the discretion. I can post the full T&C AGAIN, but travel bloggers simply decided to ignore parts of the policy so that they could push the bogus meme that SPG suite upgrades were “guaranteed.” They never were. They were exactly like all other elite complimentary suite upgrades, or simple common sense says that there would not have been all the jeremiads accusing SPG of violating their own policy.

    The facts won’t change simply because one chooses to ignore them. Self-anointed ‘thought leader in travel’ had boldly promised or predicted that Marriott would soon be introducing a better elite suite upgrade policy than Hilton’s, but what we SEEM to have goten is exactly the same the policy as any other program’s always had, include SPG.

    There is no surprise here at all. The policy is exactly as what any **dispassionate** observer would have known it would be.


  5. Lifetime Platinum. I qualify every year, but have decided to make Marriott my tuck in program along with Hilton (diamond via Amex ex).

    I’ll cash out for mikes under the old Marriott, a tier 2, cat 9, cat 7 and cat 5

    Though if no lounge access at RC, booking there is less interesting.

    Hyatt adjusted perhaps these guys will as well though with there footprint it’s not as important.

    Good luck all.

  6. As a weekly traveling business consultant who is both platinum with Marriott and SPG I never receive a room upgrade. In fact, while checking into a Sheraton my Miami International for the night I read a white board from an open office. It said “do not upgrade anyone to suite”. Suite upgrades are for Lucky’s and Travelguy’s of the world/

  7. Mark me unconvinced. Seems odd that only former spg properties would fall into this. No rc reserve properties?

  8. I recently posted the FULL SPG complimentary room upgrade policy that stated that “best room” is identified by each property. Here’s WoH’s full policy:

    “(c) Best Room Available: Globalists will receive the best room available at the time of check-in at Hyatt hotels and resorts, including standard suites and rooms with Club lounge-access. The best room available will be determined by the applicable hotel or resort in ***its sole discretion*** and may vary from stay-to-stay. The “best room” may, but will not necessarily be, of a room type/category higher than that booked by the Member. Best-room-available benefit includes only standard suites (where available), which are defined as rooms within each participating hotel’s or resort’s introductory suite category. Specialty, Premier, Presidential, Diplomatic, and other suites other than standard suites are not included in this benefit. Not valid at Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, or Hyatt Residence Club hotels and resorts, Oasis Homes, or M life Rewards destinations.”

  9. @Lucky I have cancelled a cat 1-5 hotel certificate that was part of an air+hotel package and gotten 45,000 points back. I noticed that seem to be explicitly not allowing refunding of these certificates in the new program.

  10. RIP Starwood, welcome Marriott takeover, equals below market elite benefits based on the last 5 years. Hyatt is now #1 in top tier elite benefits now and I don’t think it’s really close. Marriott is acting like American Airlines now I think, devaluing loyalty because they have the biggest network. Think it will decrease enthusiasm for their program in the long run. Just my honest two cents.

  11. DCS take your trolling elsewhere. You keep quoting yourself when in reality we all know you are a blustering idiot. You seem incapable of not derailing a thread any time SPG is mentioned and you hate that Hilton gets no coverage whatsoever.

  12. Second benefit listed on SPG Platinum benefits page:

    Upgrades to best available room at check-in, including Standard Suites.

    If your feeble mind can’t comprehend this is distinctly stronger and more program loyal-friendly language than the Marriott and lowly Hilton terms (which hint at a suite being a possibility, hotel discretion only, buried deep in the T&Cs), there is no helping you.

  13. LOLL DCS the ultimate troll! I wish he had his own blog. It could be called “Hilton points” and he could compete with Rene (formerly “Delta points”) as the most obnoxious character in the blogosphere?

    @UA-NYC he’s helpless. Probably works for Hilton, is underpaid, and hopes boosting Hilton’s rep in blog comment section will somehow lead to a pay raise.

    @Lucky do you happen to know cert refund policy once new program hits?

  14. These companies rely on bloggers to “test the water” regarding program changes; the conga line of brown nosers, led by TPG, in respect of the merger is a case in point.

  15. Predictably and on cue, like a Pavlovian poodle, @UA-NYC sez: “DCS take your trolling elsewhere. You keep quoting yourself when in reality we all know you are a blustering idiot. You seem incapable of not derailing a thread any time SPG is mentioned and you hate that Hilton gets no coverage whatsoever.”

    Calling me a ‘blustering idiot’ would have to be the most idiotic thing that anyone who regularly reads the comments section of this blog and is truly unhinged and a bona fide troll could write.

    FYI: My comment had nothing to do with SPG, the now dead and buried program, per se, but with debunking a claim that was made by someone else about Hyatt and SPG, the now dead and buried program. That’s easy for anyone who is not a ‘blustering idiot’ and a troll to see…

    Please either write something smart or write nothing at all, and that goes for you also, @SB. I’d hoped that with the demise and now entombment of SPG, the days of childish insults and ad hominems were over, but it was clearly too much to hope for.


  16. Only a “feeble mind can’t comprehend that the following FULL policy, rather than one that’s cherry-picked, is identical to what was and would seem to be the new Marriott policy, are the policies of Hilton and WoH on complimentary room upgrades.

    “Platinum members receive upgrades to the best available rooms, including Standard Suites, subject to availability for the entire length of stay at time of check-in…

    …for the length of the stay, provided the room was not booked through a pre-paid third-party channel. Specialty Suites such as, but not limited to, premium view, Presidential, Honeymoon, and multiple bedroom suites are excluded. This benefit does not apply to all-suite hotels. ***BEST ROOMS ARE IDENTIFIED BY EACH PROPERTY*** and may not include upgraded Towers level accommodations unless Towers level accommodations are booked originally. The upgrade benefit is available for one room for the personal use of the Member only, regardless of the number of additional rooms purchased by the Member. This benefit is not offered at Aloft and Element properties.”

    The consequence of making up or misinterpreting that policy is all over the web and it’s not pretty [just cut and paste the title of any of the following in a search engine to go to the source]:

    2014 — Starwood Platinum Suite Upgrades: Why Does It Have To Be A Fight?
    2012 — I am Sick of Arguing for Starwood Upgrades.
    2013 — Platinum SPG, best room upgrade: please change the language.
    2015 — Destroying Loyalty: Starwood’s Lies & Expectation Management.

    The ultimate proof of what the policy is, rather than the verbiage in the policy, is experience with the implementation of the policy [as reflected in complaints like those above], but especially your own experience. It tell you all you need to know…


  17. @DCS
    You must enjoying hearing yourself talk, seeing as 25%+ of this comment section (before this post) are posts by you.

    I suppose one way to make the Hilton program look better is to try to badmouth every other program.

  18. Lucky. How the policy reads makes ZERO softened so who cares. I’ve been to 20 SPG hotels this year and I have gotten 1 suite upgrade. I’ve been to 30-40 Marriott’s and received about 10. It’s all luck of the draw. Every hotel does their own thing. Stop worrying so much about how it’s worded. You’ve made too many posts about that considering it matters zero.

  19. @David – I am sorry that I did not ask for your permission before posting and I exceeded my allotted comments quota, but it’s funny that you would make that statement because it is so content-free that the only possible rationale for making it must be that you like to hear yourself talk.

    FYI – Hilton does not need me to say anything for it to look good. It ALREADY looks good. The last time I checked, it was a thriving program (and company), when the competition was either dead (and buried), moribund or floundering. Another funny thing is that the converse of what you accused me of may actually be closer to the truth: every travel blogger from here to Timbuktu has been telling their readers for years that Hilton Honors is a “weak” program, but that it’s likely because they were trying to make their favored programs seem better than they were in reality — ultimately a futile exercise that did keep those programs from dying (and being buried) or floundering. That you should consider my trying to set the record straight (read: shoot canards dead) as “badmouthing” is more a reaction to your being allergic to facts that you do not wish to hear than to anything disparaging I write.

    Now, if you’d like to say something substantive to challenge the CONTENT of my posts, you might gain some credibility, otherwise the word ‘troll’ comes to mind, and I like going after trolls with all barrels blazing, as I just did here.

    So be a troll at your own peril…

  20. Too early on a weekend morning. Let’s try that again:

    “…but it’s likely because they were trying to make their favored programs seem better than they were in reality — ultimately a futile exercise that did NOT keep those programs from dying (and being buried) or floundering.”

    Time for some coffee…

  21. @DCS, In the interest of full disclosure, do you work or have you ever worked for Hilton? Or does a family member or close friend of yours work for Hilton?

  22. @Chuck – he has years and years of history of deranged posts on InsideFlyer ranting and railing against the positive coverage SPG always gets and cries out for more love to be paid to the endlessly mediocre and bland Hilton. He likes to quote himself to keep pretending he is making a point. It is both amusing and sad. Nobody will ever think Hilton is best in class in anything other than giving away weak top tier benefits via a CC.

  23. @UA-NYC – I wish you were wrong. He does fixate, doesn’t he? The thing is, with all the vitriol and vehemence, he actually turns people away from Hilton. I wonder if he realizes this?

  24. @Christian – this thread is a perfect example. Lucky was (rightfully and quite obviously) pointing out the differences between the (stronger, more unique to SPG) suite language and the weaker one with Marriott (not dissimilar to Hilton). Heck, SPG mentions it as the #2 benefit of Platinum. There is a difference. And Marriott had indicated it would be adopting the stronger SPG language…until this document was unearthed.

    Yet that of course triggers DCS and then he has a multi-post rant on SPG, quoting of course himself (narcissism at its finest), which he has done year over year, hundreds or thousands of posts worth. And this of course isn’t the point of this thread in the first place. It would be hilarious, chalked up to another internet nutjob, except for a fine institution of higher learning actually pays this deranged stiff.

  25. Personally, I was not a fan of SPG due to its higher room rates, not so large footprint (1500 properties), and the relative difficulty of hacking into elite status. Sure, SPG’s inflation of C & P and Marriott’s mass category increase of 2013 were shameful, but the ultimate betrayal was by Hilton Honors that same year which has some reeling until today. It was a major Hilton HH devaluation whereby aspirational awards became twice as expensive, new categories and seasonal pricing were introduced. The HHonors Award Chart was literally destroyed by this devaluation which came after they sold us on many of their credit cards (Citibank & AMEX) and offering points on sale only to be devalued soon afterward.

    Although this was painful at the time and caused many to unload their HHonor points, it taught us all a lesson not to get emotional about the hobby, collect all, and be loyal to none.

  26. @UA-NYC lies: “He has years and years of history of deranged posts on InsideFlyer ranting and railing against the positive coverage SPG always gets and cries out for more love to be paid to the endlessly mediocre and bland Hilton.”

    My “years and years of history of deranged posts” on InsideFlyer is lie: I started using InsideFlyer as a forum to debunk ANY number of travel-related bogus claims, not just about SPG, after I started posting on travel blogosphere, which full of and fertile ground for bogus dogma. My posts here would predictably seem “deranged” because I post in a virtual “lion’s den” of brain-washed HGP or SPG sycophants, unlike most on IF who have common sense and can appreciate a good argument. I have linked most of my RELEVANT IF posts here and will do so again for anyone who wishes to evaluate that ‘deranged history’. However, I have thousand of posts on IF, only a minuscule percentage of which is about SPG (but would seem like “years and years of history” to an unhinged sycophant.)

    The effort to make about Hilton my debunking of bogus claims that you mindlessly accepted as gospel truth is ridiculous, especially with clear evidence that I redeem my points with any program that would gives me value (“an equal opportunity opportunist”), which SPG (R.I.P) never came close to doing, based on simple modeling that anyone can do for themselves.

    If I thought other programs were better than Hilton, I could very easily join any because if anyone can afford do so I can, as someone who travels mostly for business. In the meantime, we have witnessed programs that were touted as the “best in business” collapse, while Hilton Honors has gotten even more rewarding. Imagine that…

    Use your head before making easily debunked claims. I see that instead of attacking the substance of my arguments, you and other sycophants are attacking me personally — a sure sign of people who are losing an argument.

  27. @Christian sez: “The thing is, with all the vitriol and vehemence, he actually turns people away from Hilton. I wonder if he realizes this?”

    LOL. And why should I care since I am not here to lure anyone to Hilton? In fact, the last time I checked, Hilton had added 15-20% more members in just a year. I could claim credit for achieving that, the opposite of what you think my “vitriol” (that’s a fact that one does not want to hear) is accomplishing, but I can’t because there is a logical reason for Hilton’s tremendous growth: the collapse of the competition.

    Besides, would not turning people away from Hilton be desirable because it would mean more perks for me? Think before posting garbage..


  28. LOL. “Lucky was (rightfully and quite obviously) pointing out the differences between the (stronger, more unique to SPG) suite language and the weaker one with Marriott (not dissimilar to Hilton)”

    Except that is the very claim that I have challenged WITH FACTS that remain the elephant in the room that no one wants to touch, while I am being personally attacked!

    The policy of every program is freely available and a simple lexical and syntactic analysis would show that they state exactly the same time thing with respect to elite room upgrades. To continue to claim a benefit that SPG never promised in their policy is simply madness. Do you think you could win a case in court that claims that, based on theirstated policy, SPG breached their “guarantee” of suite upgrades to Plats? It is pure mindlessness and sycophancy taken to the extreme.

    If SPG wanted to guarantee their Plats suite upgrades, they would have said so explicitly, like they did for late checkout. To claim a guarantee that was never written in the T&C is worse than ridiculous because it leads to this type of jeremiads:

    2014 — Starwood Platinum Suite Upgrades: Why Does It Have To Be A Fight?
    2012 — I am Sick of Arguing for Starwood Upgrades.
    2013 — Platinum SPG, best room upgrade: please change the language.
    2015 — Destroying Loyalty: Starwood’s Lies & Expectation Management.

    With that I am done here. All I know is that again and again and again, history has ultimately proved me right, but at the cost being targeted by unhinged elements.

    The soapbox is yours; knock yourselves out defending demonstrably bogus claims.

  29. As a 7 year Platinum with Marriott and recent Platinum with SPG, I have found with both, you may get some limited upgrade proactively, but if you want a better upgrade (e.g. suite) you have to ask for it at the desk and it is based on “availability” at time of arrival. Availability means whatever the property wants it to mean. I know some have been lucky by showing suites for sale online and pressing the point but I have had properties resist saying that “what is shown online is not necessarily what is available, it is not always up to date”…blah blah…
    Anyone at any level can press for better and they may or may not get it. Platinum guarantees NOTHING as far as upgrades are concerned.

  30. Marriot might have wanted stronger language but if member hotels indicated that they wouldn’t honour it, and weren’t contractually obliged to do so, then Marriot simply couldn’t.

    And why would hotels volunteer to guarantee suites and club access to guests unless contractually obliged to do so?

  31. @dmodemd – Everyone who makes claims of “guaranteed” suite upgrades knows what you just stated to be the case. @Lucky knows it better than most, which is why he felt compelled to write a whole blogpost on it (“Starwood Platinum Suite Upgrades: Why Does It Have To Be A Fight?”).

    Brandishing a laptop at the front desk to prove that suites are available is not the kind of etiquette that anyone would want to encourage or adopt for this hobby. It’d kill it. Ask gently. It works for me. If they say ‘no’, then move on…

    Off to Central Park for a matinee theatrical performance a la fresco!


  32. I hope this turns out as the pseudo-leakage before presenting the new programme. Leak the worst case and then present a mediocre programme and everyone applauds. So let‘s see, how this turns out. David Flueck reiteratively confirmed that the new policy was the stronger spg approach. If it doesn‘t he will be proven a liar or a weakling as head of loyalty. He has been in this industry for too long to risk either of them.

  33. @DCS — I preface this by saying I have no opinion on hotel loyalty programs—I truly do not care. My question is this: why do you defend this giant corporation’s loyalty program so much? Surely they have a marketing program that can do that themselves. Why engage in these endless debates? You seem to have a job that requires lots of travel, and thus I imagine you’re a fairly busy person. Why not just rest contented that you’re part of a loyalty program you really enjoy, instead of continually trying to spread the gospel?

  34. @QR – The premise of your question is wrong. I do not defend Hilton, although the end result is the same thing. I just debunk bogus claims about Hilton based on made-up and self-serving standards (like the bogus superiority of SPG upgrades) by mostly clueless self-anointed travel gurus. They used to make the same claims about Marriott until the demise of the two programs that they’d touted as the “best in the business”, and suddenly Marriott Rewards is no longer so awful, and they’ve been busy amending their standards to elevate MR it to fill the void for their imagined perfect hotel loyalty program. They’ll, of course, be disappointed, as they already are with the easily predictable lack of change in the MR suite upgrades policy, because Marriott managers are shewd operators (notice how efficiently they crippled the transfer of points to airline miles.)

    To know why I bother, you would have to go back 3-4 years ago to the attempt to ridicule me after I revealed in my very first post my patronage of HHonors. I vowed then to debunk every bogus claim, and promised I would have the last laugh. Thus was born DCS, “the rebel with a cause.”

    With the fall from grace of the two “best programs in the business”, I pretty much had my last laugh, but the crusade continues because it is too much fun to stop.

    Now you know everything…

    G’day from Central Park!

  35. Confirmed by GM at a property. This is true! We will be getting the sub par rooms and service of Marriott at a 4 Seasons price. Points at properties raised from 5,000 to 30,000 per night.

  36. @Kalboz – It’s time to drop the much hyped HHonors’ 2013 thermonuclear “devaluation”. Simple modeling showed a while back that after that “devaluation” Hilton’s award costs simply increased to almost exactly match those of HGP and MR, all of which were almost an order of magnitude cheaper than SPG’s. I’ll post links the foolproof math evidence, not all mine, if you’d like.

    Translation: Hilton awards got so cheap that all a thermonuclear “devaluation” of its currency could achieve was to raise their costs to match those of their competitors. It was a course correction that made the program competitive again and put it on the path to its current growth, dominance and vibrancy.

  37. It is a crock that Lifetime Platinum Premiers don’t get all of the benefits every annual entry level PP gets including the gifts and Suite Night Awards. (SNAs aren’t much of a benefit though because they are giving you something you already have – a chance a a suite upgrade. And they clear like three days before arrival so it is not like anything that can be planned for.) LPPs don’t even get all of the benefits of everyone who qualifies for annual P.

    The purported “decoupling” of these benefits that are in fact part and parcel of annual status “decouples” the loyalty behind years of stays to achieve lifetime status. It also may “decouple” me from Marriott and bring a lot more Hyatt stays into play again.

  38. @John – it sounds like you were a Marriott loyal before. The benefits you will now be enjoying have been elevated thanks to SPG. You will have other options besides SNAs if you hit 50/75 nights. That is through value of choice.

    It could be worse – it could be Hilton. Guaranteed 4pm check out? Nope not a part of the program.

  39. @UA-NYC, I’m a SPG guy but also have several hundred Marriott nights from years back. I don’t see much if anything positive about this merger (especially new Your24 and ambassador requirements). And if some of these T & C concerns are valid, it is looking worse and worse.

    Here’s something I’d like to see – a published and enforced upgrade policy. Airlines have them. Hotels ought to. Maybe there could be a post on this.

  40. @DCS: here is a good one for you Hilton shills: In 2009, I spent 2 full months at the Waikiki Hilton. I rented two rooms, parked my car there, ate mainly in their restaurants, and wound up spending close to $25,000 over the 2 months period. When I checked out, I was informed that the rate I paid did not qualify for any points or nights credit. I negotiated a good rate with Hilton because I was going to spend in excess of 60 nights there, but no one told me that this would disqualify me for points and status. Hilton eventually gave me a one-year Diamind status after I complained on FlyerTalk, but I got nothing for the $25K spend. This would never have happened at Marriott.

  41. @Jerry – that is tough to hear. But this company now gives away Diamond for in effect free with a credit card so not sure what else you can say about them.

  42. @Jerry – What you just proved is that you are careless or worse. What happened to you would’ve happened with any chain, as well as in life in general. You didn’t read the fine print. The one-year Diamond status you got was undeserved. I would have given you nothing if I were the manager of Hilton Waikiki (I just spent 5-days at HHV last month.)

    It is like booking through “opaque” channels and getting to a hotel and getting no elite benefits. Every single program tells you upfront that you would get no recognition or benefits for such bookings, so what do you expect when you go ahead and book it anyway?!

    Folks, please spare the stupid scenarios!!!


  43. The HH Diamond status thru the Aspire card does not do one any good unless one actively patronizes the program. It should be obvious but I’ll be happy to elaborate.

    On the other hand, we’ll find out a week from tomorrow if UA elites will be matched to the MR Platinum Elite status… (if I were Marriott I would match UA 1K and GS to MR Platinum, and UA Platinum and Gold to MR Gold elite, to limit the number of Plats, but that is self-serving).

  44. Apparently DCS is unaware that come Feb 1 UA Golds and up only get MR Gold. Announced on Marriott site weeks ago. Whoops. You didn’t read the fine print. LOL.

  45. Not aware of it at all. @Lucky, in his ‘opus magnum’ about clarifying the
    new MR program, had indicated that UA elites would be matched to MR Platinum Elite. Do you have a link to the contrary, so that you’d be credible, for a change?


  46. It’s the first I have seen anything on that, despite searching. I was ready to consign MR to the non-grata status I’d reserved for SPG, but relented after it seemed that UA elites would be matched to the MR Plat status. If that is not the case, then MR will replace SPG as the “bete noire.”

    For my 2018 Year-end Escapade, I didn’t redeem a stay at a single MR property. Last YEE might thus remain as my last to interact with MR Rewards, and I could not care less, as it is tough to serve two interests equally well.

    I pick HHonors. MR, now with the distinction of having the most expensive awards, is history, like SPG was…


  47. BTW, despite the fact that the source was ‘Loyalty Lobby’ rather than MR, I gave it the benefit of the doubt because LL has earned my respect as the most “agnostic” travel blog: it’s like, here is what I know; this is what I think; make of it what you think. Period.

  48. Lucky, like you I was hoping that Marriott would be generous with unattached certificates. Now it looks like that won’t be happening. Likewise, it is beginning to appear that aspirational properties won’t have standard rooms available (or they will be very few and far between for purposes of redemption). Redeeming my 5 unattached 7-night certificates for 225K Rewards points now and having enough miles from that for a one-way first class flight on JL sounds a lot better than the possibility of being stuck with 5 weeks of free stays at Fairfield Inns.

  49. Have mergers “ever” provided more value to the consumer? There’s your answer. Who he all you want.

  50. I will miss SEG a lot. As a PLT I always had more than 50% suite upgrades. My biz trips were all around Asia and I very often had suite upgrades at LM, Westin And sheraton. Even at some FP that had suites. RIP SPG.

  51. OMG, @DCS is just too much. Give it a rest!

    WoH has consistently provided free best room upgrades to me as a Globalist and more often than not, to a standard suite, pretty much across the board. SPG, on the other hand, did that less than 50% of time to me as Platinum under the old system. I would always go out of my way to stay at a Hyatt and am thrilled that SLH is joining their program.

  52. @Willing — You are barking up the wrong tree, then. I am not the one making all the bogus claim, and I am with you that it should largely be YMMV. I clear better than 90% of my suite upgrades as a HH Diamond, and, yet, folks who clear significantly fewer upgrades either as SPG plats or WoH globalists have the gall to call my HH status and the program “weak.”

    THEY should give it a rest. Facts aren’t with them, so they are constantly compelled to make things up.


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