So, How Did Marriott’s Loyalty Program Integration Go?

Filed Under: Marriott, Starwood Preferred Guest

Marriott integrated their three loyalty programs last weekend, so it has now been over a week since the new program was introduced. Now that they’ve had several days to figure things out, I thought I’d write this post to reflect on their performance, and I’m curious to hear how you guys feel.

I get that this is a massive project

Let me start by acknowledging that combining three loyalty programs of this size is a massive undertaking. Combined the programs have over one hundred million members, so I wasn’t expecting this to go all that smoothly, and no matter what, I was expecting there would be some hiccups.

Marriott was off to a very strong start

Marriott’s takeover of Starwood closed in September 2016, and they were off to one of the strongest starts I’ve ever seen when it comes to combining loyalty programs. From day one they offered reciprocal status matching and points transfers, which we’ve never seen from programs of this size before.

They were off to a really strong start. Then they took their time with integrating, which I appreciated. I’d rather they integrate the programs correctly and take their time, rather than rush it along.

So earlier this year it was looking like they wouldn’t be integrating before 2019, and then suddenly they announced that they’d be integrating as of August 2018, which caught many of us off guard. A mid-year transition? That’s odd.

My guess is that this was rushed along due to their co-brand credit card agreements, and specifically how American Express and Chase would be introducing a new portfolio of cards, and that would be easier to do with a single program.

At least that’s the only logical answer I could come up with, or maybe there’s something else I’m missing.

Marriott’s loyalty program integration has been incredibly disappointing

Let me start with the positives. I’ve been impressed by how little downtime Marriott’s website had following the transition. Online bookings were back almost immediately, which is hardly surprising, since it’s clear that was a priority. After all, there are huge costs to having their booking system down, since they can’t make money then.

Still, that could have gone horribly wrong, and it didn’t. Unfortunately it seems that smooth transition was mostly limited to revenue bookings, and not to things associated with the loyalty program. Of course there are going to be minor hiccups but there continue to be major issues more than a week into the program merger. Where do we even begin?

  • Going in we didn’t realize that we’d still need to combine points after the merger, and many of us are having major issues with that; my first name appears slightly differently on my Marriott and SPG account, and I’ve called four times asking them to fix it, and every time they say it’s fixed… it’s still not fixed
  • If you cancel an SPG award booking, the booking will cancel just fine, but no points will be redeposited, so your points will go into a black hole
  • For several days it hasn’t been possible to convert Marriott points into airline miles
  • It’s still not possible to redeem points at former Starwood all-suites properties online
  • Marriott announced we’d be able to make Travel Packages changes, which was great news, but almost everyone has reported that frontline agents are saying that this isn’t possible, in direct contrast to what Marriott management told us
  • There are countless reports of inaccurate points balances and elite nights even after combining accounts
  • For the most part stays in July and August haven’t been posting to accounts correctly
  • Marriott’s terms when it comes to their Platinum suite upgrade policy still hasn’t been updated to what they claim it should be

This is only a small sampling of the issues that readers have shared with me. Let me acknowledge that I’m not an IT guy, but I feel like surely there must have been a better way to go about this. Shouldn’t they have had people formally link accounts so that they would automatically be combined before the programs merged? Maybe they should have done this in stages rather than all at once?

We’ve seen all the major US airlines go through mergers, and I don’t recall their loyalty program integrations ever having this many issues.

Bottom line

I recognize that Marriott combining loyalty programs was no small task. While they were off to a good start in terms of allowing people to match status and transfer points from day one, I really think they should have done better with the actual integration.

There are so many issues that still haven’t been resolved more than a week in, and as members we’re not really sure what we should do. Should I call in because my points haven’t redeposited for reservations I canceled? Should I wait and assume it will happen automatically? I have similar questions in so many areas.

Marriott has the site, which was supposed to keep us updated about known issues. However, according to this site, “reservations, members accounts, and other major systems functionality are all up and running at this time.” Clearly that isn’t the case. You’d think they could have used this site to actually list known issues, and the status of fixing them, rather than just claiming everything is great.

I’m curious where you guys stand on this. How would you rate Marriott’s performance in the past week since the programs have been integrated? Have you had major issues, or have things gone fairly smoothly for you?

  1. I don’t know if this is new or not, but my SPG account says my points will expire if I don’t stay or use points by 2/28/2019. Seems odd since I have been earning and using SPG points all year.

    Any ideas? Is that just the standard date and it will automatically reset or something?

  2. Marriott stays, points, elite nights accurate as of today. SPG points accurate as of today, but only showing 17 elite nights versus the 19 I have earned. Not sure if the missing elite nights are from stays or the 5 SPG Amex nights.

  3. I combined my accounts, ended up with 750+ nights and 14 years platinum and still not lifetime platinum premier. Ugh

  4. Also not possible to use Marriott 7 night hotel certs at SPG hotels. Marriot routes me to SPG and it’s like SPG has never heard of these and sends me back to Marriot. Circle of fun.

  5. I have ten nights of stays at former SPG properties from the first part of August that haven’t posted to my new combined Marriott account. When I called, the rep told me to log in to my SPG account and so I had to tellnher that since they have been merged there is no SPG account to log in to. So I’m just sitting here waiting for my nights and points to post. Doesn’t seem like Marriott is in any rush to get this worked out.

  6. Can we still see our “old” spg account info. logging in to seems just to show my marriott info.

  7. Combined my accounts a week ago, all reservations have disappeared. That’s a fail in my book.

  8. Agreed. I have several open issues with elite nights being wrong, status being wrong, points not posting etc. When I called last week the rep said there was no point to trying to fix it since they know about these issues and will be done correcting them “by the end of the week” and here it is Sunday, nothing fixed and their status website says everything is hunky dory. I guess the status page is just another secret we don’t get to know like the travel package conversion was a big secret we didn’t get to know either.

  9. I cancelled a reservation since the hotel I was going to stay went down in points (previously I made a new one with the new point amount). I had no issues with points going instantly back to my account. The main problem I have encountered is for 12 nights stays at 3 different spg properties the first 2 weeks of August have not posted. Only the name of the hotel posted but neither nights nor money spent is posted. Also money spent in an autograph collection hotel with my Marriott card did not post at 6x but 2x.

  10. My account showed up as Platinum Premier with Ambassador, which I was pleased with. I’ve been a high high volume Marriott member for 15 years and wasn’t selected as one of those in the pilot Marriott Ambassador program 2 years ago. Even with friends who got an Ambassador with lesser usage.

    Anyway, now it just says Platinum Premier. No idea what happened.

    I’m not a high mantainence guest. But the handful of times a year I have an issue I’m annoyed having to jump thru hoops and wait for help. I was actually looking forward to this perk and, even tho I’ve already spent 20K this year much last last year, I still don’t have it.

  11. Yes a difficult task. Marriott continues to fix items. Overall – consideration the complexity, I think Marriott did a good job.

  12. They don’t have any of my 33,000+ SPG points. It’s even worse than the Accor takeover of Fairmont, which is still totally screwed up!

  13. On FT we have been wondering where this type of post was all week from the leading bloggers. Felt like an embargo. Better late than never.

    As for the issues – to be expected. Too many but I kind of get it. What is NOT acceptable at all is the radio silence from Marriott. Exactly what SPG loyals were fearing. In other companies heads would roll over this.

  14. Another issue that cropped up — Marriott point reservations without eCertificates attached (i.e. not enough points in account at time of booking), now show new award rates instead of old ones.

    No stays coming up soon so will give it some time before combining accounts and verifying everything is correct.

  15. No stays in August have posted, and frequently my reservations don’t display.
    Hope they get this worked out soon, as I have a lot of stays coming up in the next couple weeks…

  16. Very frustrated! None of my nights from 7/18 forward have posted, so missing 16 nights as of today. My Marriott account was correct until this morning, but then lost a night. I’m not going to combine accounts until correct! I’ve called twice and can’t get good info.

    I’m starting to lose confidence in Marriott. I might start booking Hyatt and Hilton until things are fixed. I work in IT and this would be considered a cluster f*%k at my employer.

  17. it’s a total CF. i’ve gone from a couple stays from ambassador at spg to them ‘losing’ so many of my previously posted stays that i am not even spg 75 anymore, so they won’t let me use ‘my 24’ right now.

    i had just made lifetime platinum thru marriott; so i should be lifetime PP now, but they’re only showing me as lifetime platinum. i bought a tier 4/5 travel package for 540,000 points, 120,000 more than a tier 1-3, yet new cat 8 is off limits for me. they are making an effort with tier 1-3, but nothing for the ppl that bought the only package with a huge jump above the next lowest tier.

    combine all that with the new platinum upgrade terms, and i’ve moved all my upcoming stays to hyatt. f marriott

  18. Moved my SPG points to MR before the 18th. That went fine. But after joining my accounts, my lifetime SPG nights have gone missing. My status is wrong on Marriott app but was correctly recognised at a hotel on Tuesday.

  19. This is a real mess and causes me to move more of my stays to Hilton. Am on hold for 35 minutes with SPG line before I give up. No apologies. Just ads for the glories of their program. Contacted them via website. A case was opened and no followup.

    Example: Made booking at LHR property for 7000 SPG points. Was charged 21,000 Marriott points. Fair enough. I then cancelled. Was charged (not credited) another 42,000 points for the confirmed cancellation.

  20. Prior to August 19th, the SPG app and website was excellent. It had a ton of features, including a lot of detail about a specific hotel, it’s location and even transportation options. Marriott seems to have all of a sudden thrown that out the window and forced their pretty basic app on us, hiding that downgrade with familiar SPG branding and graphics. Shame on Marriott, this is not how you earn loyalty.

  21. I wonder what the reasoning was for not eliminating SPG during this process. In practice, the 2 programs mirror each other exactly. Why add the complexity to the backend required to maintain 2 separate programs.

  22. I got bed bugs at a Marriott a couple days ago. Haven’t heard from them on that (in addition to these issues) so it seems they’ve become too big to give a shit about anything. That’s greeeeaaat.

  23. As a program manager dealing with system integrations, this one, from a customer side was poor. Things happen, and mistakes are made. One thing I’ve learned over the years is to communicate with customers who get concerned/upset more and more on a daily basis. My SPG reservations are not showing up on my merged account, and no points were posted from the night I spent last Saturday (merge day). Calls to customer service have gone unanswered which isn’t their fault, but rather management’s fault. They should have the staff to support the integration. After watching American/US Air merge almost flawlessly (kudos to them for getting 1 thing right in their airline), I had high hopes for this one. But it was a mess to begin with. There was cryptic information regarding certain items such as lifetime status and the need to manually merge accounts (WTF???). Anyway, they could have done much better, but where the epic failure lies is in the lack of communication.

  24. A horrible integration! I did all the pre-emptive stuff with name matches so I could avoid issues and i get the fail error when trying to merge! Stinks to be a ”Jr” when it comes to this kinda thing. What made it worse was 20-Mins on hold with Customer service then click – disconnected. Called back, and rewards customer service # auto routed me to room reservations….

  25. @Gregg same issue after merge 762 nights and 16 years platinum but still platinum. The web site faq’s and the reps say that will change to platinum premiere January 2019 – have to wait and see. I’m in the minority everything pretty much posted correctly. Even the points from my SPG AMEX credit card posted to my Marriott account yesterday

  26. My SPG points are lost. Status is wrong. Can’t turn points into Airline miles. I am about to start a 7 week business trip to Asia. I was going to book 90% Marriott family hotels. Now It’s Hilton.

  27. My AMEX SPG card still says loyalty number not available. I applied and got instantly approved a week ago. It asked for marriott, spg, or ritz carlton rewards number so I put my marriott number. Still does not show up on my SPG card. AMEX says it is “coming as the merger continues.” An updated article with all of the user data points would be nice to read to see what all issues are still around.

  28. I recently got an Amex SPG credit card, knowing about the merging of hotel brands. Although I wasn’t an SPG member, I was told my Marriott Rewards number would remain the same, which it did. The problem now is that I can’t link the new Amex card to the Marriott Rewards, since American Express tells me they only recognize SPG accounts. SPG tells me the problem should be fixed within a week so American Express recognizes my Marriott Rewards number as an SPG member. Confusing and frustrating to say the least!

  29. Don’t have enough points to worry about right now, however, the reservation I have (?had) for 9/5 has vanished & that IS worrisome!

  30. My status showed correctly as Platinum Premier then randomly downgraded to just Platinum a few days ago with no change since then. None of my Starwood reservations (even newly made with my Marriott number) are showing up.

    I get the complexity but neither United nor American had issues of this magnitude or length of time when they integrated equally if not more complex systems so I don’t have much sympathy for Marriott. Combine that with the ABYSMAL communication (after what seemed like a lot of communication and messaging that made it seem like the integration would be done in a day) and I’d say this is a disaster.

  31. disappointed!
    august stays at marriott – not posted
    upcoming stays at all properties (specifically SPG) – not posted
    i done combined the accounts but even after 72 hrs – its not up to date

    and….when will they recognize someone with 804 liftime nites, 10 yrs PLAT as a new super duper whatever platinum (Grandfathered) that we are supposed to get to
    Its not happening

  32. This one has been a total CF in my opinion. Plus, my Platinum upgraded room at a Renaissance on Tuesday had peeling paint and a view of only a big kitchen exhaust duct. Still have yet to see the to be emailed final receipt or the points posted for that stay. Can’t wait to see the Book of Mormon in my favorite Westin room (just kidding).

  33. Lucky thanks for posting this. But I have to wonder did anyone from Marriott tell you to put the brakes on posting anything because it seemed like all of a sudden we didn’t hear anything from bloggers such as yourself.

  34. It’s a complete disaster. Innumerable reports of wrong status. Many reports of status updated, then clawed back. Points from cancelled awards and airline transfers in limbo. All SPG stays from mid-July on have disappeared. Recent Marriott stays not posting. Basic award functionality (e.g., booking awards) missing. Total uncertainty on key points (will we get SNAs if we already had 50/75 nights?) . CSRs who can’t fix anything and give false and conflicting information.

    Lucky, if you spend 30 minutes on the FT threads, you will see ALL of these, and more, reported multiple times over.

  35. @lucky you missed the worst part… THE PHONES!!! 45 minutes or longer, even for a Platinum Premiere to talk to anyone and this has been going on for 6 months!

  36. My issue is that no points have posted from my SPG business AMEX card with a statement closing date of 8/20. I have a decent amount of spend prior to 8/1 so those should post at a 1-3 ratio. No idea when that will happen. The statement does not even show how many points I earned in the period. I’m sure it will be worked out, but would like the points to hit ASAP.

    Other than that my nights and points are accurate.

  37. Bad. Worse than the United/Continental systems conversion to SHARES.
    Nine years of Marriott platinum show as silver. Not happy.

  38. I thought I read somewhere there was a way to keep my old SPG # in the transition, does anyone have any info on how to do that? I dont want to lose my stay history with SPG hotels.

  39. I have only experienced a few issues in finding available accommodations. I was able to get a room at the best price by continuing to use Marriott and SPG apps. A few minute wait would produce different results, but any budget shopper has dealt with that shortcoming in the pre merger. My accounts merged properly, all internet advise on merging accounts was WRONG. All in all, I’m a big fan of the reduced costs by having a larger pool of rooms to select from.

  40. I’m just glad that I have no upcoming stay with Marriott. I think I’ll be staying away for a while…

  41. I has about 17k spg points. Logged in my spg account and the website has changed to marriot without me knowing, my SPG points have been changed to marriot points and I now have about 43K points. My spg points, now marriot points were gonna expire in 3 days so I booked hotel award 10 hours ago for future stay, but my points expiration didn’t get extended and it still expires in 3 days.

    What should I do?

  42. @Ivan Y – that’s always been the case. You need to call Marriott Rewards to get the old rate.

  43. Still missing more than 105k points from cancelled award reservation, and I need those to book another award before availability goes away. Phone reps are have no idea when the system will be fixed, and none will say that SPG or Marriott will do anything to help me if the award availability is gone once they get their system figured out and find my missing points. I’m platinum, and don’t feel very valued here.

  44. “Marriott’s terms when it comes to their Platinum suite upgrade policy still hasn’t been updated to what they claim it should be.”

    If they change it at all, they will likely stick “best available room” in there somewhere, but I also suspect that they will clarify what they mean by adding something like:

    “Best available rooms may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites” and that “best rooms are identified by each property”,

    which are the parts that were abstracted in the SPG policy, causing it to be misinterpreted. The result was was a disconnect between what actually happened in practice and what bloggers and their sycophants thought they were promised. Marriott managers must have consulted with former SPG managers so they are fully aware of the can of worm that they would open if their policy does not state exactly what is intended. What they initially put out is the policy that will be implemented regardless of how it will ultimately be worded.

  45. First off, thanks for giving the coverage to the Marriott integration. Despite now being the most massive hotel conglomerate, I’m shocked how little negative press Marriott has gotten the past week. Coming from the SPG side, I’m not making a single new booking until this mess is cleaned-up. Here are my outstanding issues:

    1. SPG Lifetime Plats (750+ nights) were promised Plat Premier when the programs were merged yet that promise has apparently disappeared. So, I went from Lifetime Plat in SPGs’s system (arguably top tier) to just a standard Plat now, meaning I’ve effectively dropped tiers. And now we’re being told that we won’t get the Plat Premier status until Jan 2019, despite Marriott lifetime Plats already getting it. This is absurd, mostly because this is an easy fix (if they want it to be) & again more proof that SPG is the red-headed stepchild in this merger.

    2. We were told we could keep our SPG numbers, since many of us have memorized them. Yet, once again, when SPG members log-in, we see “previous number” listed, however there’s currently no way to revert back to it, despite being promised the opposite a few weeks ago.

    3. SPG members can’t cancel award reservations. Or, more specifically, we can but the points simply disappear.

    4. I had suite upgrade certs somehow remove themselves from reservations and now can’t be re-added.

    5. I waited until a few days after this mess was integrated (Aug. 18) and emailed Marriott with issues #1 & #2. Despite being top-tier lifetime member, I have yet to even receive a RESPONSE much less a resolution.

  46. Worst. Integration. EVER.

    No communications. Just lies. Haven’t had any loyalty programs treating customers like Marriott does during this transition.

    I am lifetime Marriott Platinum Premier and just cancelled all my upcoming reservations and moved to Hilton. Enough is enough.

  47. Multiple agents have tried to attach a Chase free night to an existing reservation but can’t get the system to do it. They tried making a new booking and still couldn’t get the computer to use the free night. Since the stay is tomorrow it’s unclear what will be the result.

  48. Longtime Plat50/75 here. T&C in general are still a mess and have a lot of copy-paste errors, as if they were a start-up of 14 year-olds.
    Nights from spg count incorrectly even though July/August nights now appear in the record, they just don‘t add up to the total. Complete mess.
    When trying to edit existing spg bookings I am sent back to the great former spg platform but can‘t change anything because it asks for new log-in and the reservations have my old spg number (before merger) on file but I can‘t log in using this number anymore because I was given the new one. No way to add SNAs to Marriott property bookings, terms for award bookings (cancellation etc.) still
    differ among programs… why call this an integration if everything is a complete chaos with different rules according to each legacy program with a lot of exceptions regarding benefits etc.
    Plus, communication is a nightmare.
    So knowing they pay more attention to getting out this stupid books of mor(m)ons upsets me enormously.
    I really know why I had avoided them all the time.

  49. Prior to The Merge… SPG individuell hotel sites had an “offer”tab, where they sometimes offered more attractive room rates (2f1, family packages, second room 50% off etc etc) all gone now

  50. I’m very unhappy and cornered about all the problems I’ve got with my account, and Marriott’s total lack of communication on these issues.

    I’m still missing 14 nights from my YTD total despite the fact my stays are showing on my activity. Why can’t Marriott count??

    I’m waiting in stays to post from 15th-17th August, 17th-21st August and 21st-22nd August.

    610k points have disappeared down a black hole!! I’m left with less than 10k.

    At the weekend I stupidly wanted to book a Marriott but the login feature on the Marriott site was unavailable so I booked a Hilton.

    My biggest concern right now is obviously my missing 610k points! No one at Marriott seems to care.

    I’m moving all my future stays away from Marriott. I recently did the Hilton status match so have Diamond with them now. If they impress me then goodbye Marriott.

  51. No joke, I spent 5 hrs on the line for customer service and was “somehow” disconnected 3 times by different reps who, when learning that I was missing 8 stays couldn’t help me get them added to my account. Even the final rep who did help me acted like I was a thief trying to get free nights. I’ve stayed at Marriott 2-3 nights a week for years! Not anymore.

  52. To be fair, this is only one of several tech integrations they are leading this year and possibly the least important of them. The Marriott reservations system is still literally based on the same infrastructure that was adapted from paper punch card reservations. They’ve never bothered to do a wholesale redesign, and the SPG brands start migrating reservations platforms this fall. Getting that right is much more important, and it will make the loyalty integration more effective.

    But 100% agree with the assessment. Strong start, very disappointing IT integration. I think the program itself is still compelling, but the tech was internally expected to be a clusterf**k. Not as bad as the teams said it could have been, but still pretty bad.

  53. I only managed to get into my new account thanks to Face recognition on the SPG app on the iPhone. No idea how it that happened. Scribbled down the new number very quickly.

    Have three stays from the conversion weekend; one Ritz Carlton, one W and one Luxury collection. None of the stays have hit my accounts yet. Am holding off merging the accounts until then

  54. @DC-PHLyer I totally agree that apparently their priority is not on loyalty but at their core process of sales and yes, the Marriott IT basically seems to be based on an archaic platform.
    Nonetheless, they should have run a lot more tests and have prepared this a lot better plus I still don’t get why they didn’t take the opportunity to learn from the acquired IT department and develop everything towards the far better platform of Starwood and not vice-versa. Yes, it’s probably cheaper to change the platform of 1.200 hotel instead of the one in 4.500 but it would have been a far better move with regards to the future.
    And yes, the fact that Marriott cares a sh** about loyalty compared to other things is nothing new either. Maybe we just fell for the smoke and mirrors of putting ex spg-people as heads and now realized that little can they do without getting line authority and without senior management willing to make cultural changes to Marriott. From the perspective of someone used to customer centricity, they really, really, really suck. And they do this as part of their culture and heritage so we shouldn’t be expecting too much anytime soon.

  55. What a disaster. I have the SPG Amex and I recently hit my $30K in spending which gives me gold elite. Of course I am now on my 3 week European vacation where I booked Marriott properties for 90% of my nights. But I don’t have gold. Called Amex, they said call SPG. Called SPG, they said call Amex. Gave Amex Marriott rewards number, they said it’s invalid. I demanded they call SPG and apply it immediately. After being on hold for 25 minutes, AMEX rep says “SPG rep is here on the phone, they will help you”. SPG asked me if I combined my accounts since Aug 18 I said no Then they proceeded to tell me that my SPG number, which I have had for 5 years, is invalid. Then hung up on me. I went online and tried to combine accounts and it says “Sorry, this service is unavailable right now, try again later.” But Marriott status site says everything is up and running, what
    a LIE! in addition to all of that, I have been at 3 different Marriotts for the past 5 nights and I have had to change rooms twice. Maintenance issues like crazy: broken AC, broken TV, loud room that was an “upgrade”. Probably going to just say f Marriott, f SPG, and cancel my SPG card at this point. What a fing disaster. They really are underestimating how much they are fing over their loyal customers. They need to seriously extend some benefits to customers that were affected by this.

  56. Cancelled SPG reservation on 8/25 – only got 880 points back in my account. Where is the other 8.5k? Not returned. Limbo. Who knows. I need the points to book another reservation at same hotel, but don’t want to deal with the 45 minute wait times. Also, the hotel I’m rebooking, went up ANOTHER 8.5k in points to rebook it now at the new point values (Sheraton). Almost exactly twice the price. Nice! Tons of fun.

  57. Status is wrong…..I was SPG gold….changed to Marriott Platinum….then downgraded back to gold. I contacted Customer service…..the didn’t do nuff’in. Answer is wait about a month. My Amex credit card points did not pos as it always has. The answer….?? I contacted Amex… confusion….they claim they made transfer as they always have. Marriott didn’t do nuff’in.

  58. Apart from missing nights…. some spg properties with previous stays keep on to the old spg number… so you have to enter a request for missing stays to get these credited to your account number.

    The SPG crowd is a loyal bunch, it is a bit mind boggling how luke warm Marriott is… after the botch up at Hyatt with their new loyalty programm it is hard to find a chain that is deserving.

    I for one am convinced that we are overplaying our hand at these programs.

  59. Appalled by the lack of communication about ongoing post integration issues. My accounts would not combine because the site no longer recognized my Marriott user id+pass, only legacy SPG. Spent a collective 6 hours on the phone with Marriott attempting to resolve unsuccessfully. Now, I can log into my SPG account, but it has been drained. I cannot log into my Marriott account at all. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. SPG agents are particularly uniformed in the process. Also, I was trying to move Marriott points to United. Only after 4 separate calls (wasting 6 said hours due to long wait times) did I learn that transfers to airlines have been temporarily suspended. For how long? Who knows, and certainly not Marriott and SPG phone agents or Loyalty support representatives (after a long frustrating call, I was finally transferred to one of these people). Why aren’t the bloggers calling out Marriott more strongly on this radio silence issue? Ben, where are you? Appreciate the post, but it needs to MUCH more strongly worded to get Marriotts attention.

  60. DCS – seriously, piss off, you don’t need to derail every thread with your SPG jealousy / anger that nobody ever talks about Hilton. They have always had better upgrade language (and observation in reality) and Marriott have indicated they will adopt said language and intent.

    Such a troll.

  61. UA-NYC, I am completely with you. But honestly, just like me you will be bette off just ignoring a post if it has his name on it. Simply don’t read it and thus don’t react. There is absolutely no benefit in either of both and you will feed his ill soul by giving him attention. Just relax and ignore.

  62. Attitude, it seems like Marriott has a narrow view of their customers. You win loyalty, you can not force it. Too big to fail is not a good way to market a spoilable commodity when there are many alternatives.

    One would expect that the other hotel loyalty programs are taking notes and looking at how to capitalize on Marriott’s missteps with their frequent travelers. Former SPG members may be weighing more options as SPG was usually more responsive program.

  63. @Gregg
    At least your numbers are correct. Based on the rule posted I believe your nights and years of Platinum should give you Lifetime Platinum Premier in Jan 2019.

    I found the issues are mostly with SPG accounts. My SPG account is showing 0 lifetime nights and 4 years as Platinum. (Not sure how that would be possible.)
    My Marriott account has exactly the same numbers of nights and status years post migration.
    Needless to say that I’m not ready to merge the two accounts and risk losing the final chance to become LPP.

  64. A litany of things wrong ( nights, years, no contact numbers outside the US, etc). You would think that someone in their SPIN department might have advised them to say something like ” Oops, we seemed to have effed this up a bit but we are working flat out trying to fix it”, but NO, just the same silence that there was for weeks when the April announcements started to go sour. Either they have clueless spinmeisters or ( and) the bosses are truly arrogant.
    One booking issue: I like to use the SPG senior rate. Whilst it’s not always cheaper, it is flexible and usually better that the best standard flexible rate. In the new system the old choice of ‘senior rate’ has disappeared and been replaced with the Marriott one: senior discount. Unfortunately one consequence is that most SPG hotels do not show up using this selection, they are mostly Marriott…and I don’t want to stay in Marriotts , at least for now.

  65. This program only benefits Marriot elite members, I am a gold spg member I have lost my points and my elite nights and stays as well as my credit card points from three points per dollar to two, however Marriot gold members are platinum now while we stay the same.

  66. Booked a hotel with a one night cert and points. Cancelled it. Points back, Cert not, and rep can’t find any evidence of it. Terrible.

  67. This is a total dumpster fire. Marriott must have a great communications/PR department because I haven’t see any negative press, which is astonishing when you have so many people who can’t access their points and accounts.

  68. @lucky – Have they acknowledged or given any ETA on resolution? It’s been over 2 weeks now and my account is incorrect, missing points, nights, etc!

  69. @UA-NYC et al – It is called anger management and you need a heavy dose of it, or quit frequenting discussion boards where people will post comments that rub you the wrong way, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

    I did not derail this thread. You did by turning a comment that was on top into another opportunity to launch gratuitous insults and ad hominems. You seem to think that this blog is like FT. It ain’t. There is a lot more civility here.

    In general, I just make what are some of most reasoned comments you will find here. The fact that they do not agree with you is no reason to get unhinged. I addressed a statement that was in the blog host’s post:

    “Marriott’s terms when it comes to their Platinum suite upgrade policy still hasn’t been updated to what they claim it should be.”

    That was the statement I addressed. My comment was pretty much on top, unless it is your view that I must take cues from you before I comment. You did not like my comment, that is hardly surprising, so please just get lost and remember what I said about anger management.


  70. @Ben1982 — How I wish he’d listen to you, but I won’t hold my breath. At least I can count on never having to address you.

  71. This is truly rich

    “DCS – seriously, piss off, you don’t need to derail every thread with your SPG jealousy / anger that nobody ever talks about Hilton”

    …considering how negative most of the comments are. Not only is SPG dead and buried, there is hardly anything to be jealous/angry about. The converse (i.e., how stable Hilton has been in comparison) is what should drive you up the wall.

    I am done here.

  72. I had 67 nights in SPG before the merger. I actually stayed in a W the 18th. After the combining happened my points tripled but it said I only had 49 nights. The W stay just popped still missing the other nights. The Spg site still has the banner, “due to the merger, some nights may be missing g… blah blah blah. This is why I always get a folio at check out and ask for one to be emailed. My Spg had about 150k-ish points in it before, now it has 438k ish

    My Marriott account remained unchanged. I had 16 nights, I am actually in the middle of a 4 days stay now. I figure if it is not worked out by mid- sept. I’ll call

    They do not seem to be in a hurry to work things out.

  73. @Lucky

    I booked 5 nights at the St. Regis Maldives for an overwater villa and was charged 85k points a night. However, I just found out that some others were only charged 80k a night for the same room type. Any idea why we were charged different prices for the same room? Seems like I should be able to at least get back 20k points here, right? My stay shows up as two separate charges in my account activity; one that says “Standard Redemption Rate” and another that says “Upgraded Room Points”. Has Marriott said any thing about this “Upgraded Room Points” charge?

  74. I am a Marriott employee who is facing all your issues on the other side. While i empathize with these issues it would be nice if some of you could breathe. I only say this because there is only so much some of us can do. My regulars have been amazing though through this, realizing that the number of members is staggering. Every single change a life has its snags or drawbacks but almost every time works out for the better in the long run. I truly hope that everybody can get through this with as little stress and frustration as possible because I think that in the end it really is going to be a fabulous program. Just remind yourself you are not the only person having issues to deal with and that if this is the worst thing you have to face then life really is OK.

  75. @Erin, I am sure all of us feel compassionate for you and your colleagues. The complete lack of communication, chaos and lies about the new program come from the very top of the company you are working for. It‘s certainly not the agents‘ fault if everything is messed up and there has not been sufficient training.
    Probably most of us were just spoilt by the treatment of a company that was far better in nearly everything from a customer perspective and now feel betrayed, lied to and have cero trust in Marriott. But again, not towards individual agents but towards the company as a whole and this is proven absolutely right during these days.
    Of course, you are right, if the merger of a loyalty program is the only problem one has, then we shall be very happy. On the other hand, this is a platform to exchange ideas on this topic and not on others. And Marriott is currently losing sooooo much credibility that given the topic on this blog, it‘s an outstanding event in this industry that many people want to talk about….

  76. Both my SPG and Marriott accounts mirror each other, and my old SPG account balance is still missing…good thing for screenshots I guess. You can tell I’ve not been in a hurry to sit on hold either, I’ll wait this out a bit before screaming for my points…

  77. I have not been able to log in since August 18th

    This should have been escalated to the development team
    My password has been changed 5 times
    I’m using the marriott portal NOT Spg
    I have waited for more than 72 hours 8 days in fact for this resolve itself – Nothing
    my browser and cache has been cleared updated and reset still nothing.
    Everything is in limbo…

  78. My combined account shows 1134 lifetime nights, 13 years elite, 11 years platinum and that I’m on my way to earning lifetime silver status. What a joke!

  79. But my bigger issue is that I have two Chase free night certificates that I want to use at a SPG property in October and no one knows how to attach these certs to a SPG reservation and they have no clue when it might be possible. We were told that we could use these at SPG properties after merger.

  80. I just combined my accounts, even though I’m pretty sure I did that already, but whatever…now it’s showing Lifetime Silver, 374 nights, & Gold Elite currently. Pretty sure none of that is correct!

  81. I have enough qualifying nights this year for Platinum Premier Ambassador, but am unable to figure out how to check my qualifying spend. I should have met the $20,000, but want to check to be sure- how is this done?

  82. I am a Marriott Gold member. Last May my wife and I spent a week at the Charleston Marriott. Lovely hotel with well trained staff ( I posted a review). We had access to the lounge , nice breakfast.

    When I made my reservation for the Baltimore Harbor Marriott, I asked about access to the lounge. I was assured of course I qualified. I am now at the Marriott and was informed, that the rules had been changed. Gold , no longer qualifies but you do get free internet. Beautiful facility and friendly staff. I still have a burn though of changing the rules after you booked your reservation. In a larger context this is not a big thing, however there are other chains that make it a point to honor what they said.

  83. I booked two travel packages on Aug 15, prior to the merge. Aeroplan miles still not posted. Any one else have this issue???

  84. Because I wanted to book a Lufthansa award I transferred 60k SPG on August 18. Got confirmation of the request and reduction in account and my balance after merger is 3x so all that’s good. But

    My miles haven’t posted on Lufthansa. Grumble grumble

  85. As someone who worked for Starwood and is in a relationship with a man who quit last week, I want to let you all know that the lack of communication is also on the employees side. The employees get just as blindsided by the changes as the guests and they don’t give any information, minimal training, and they lie to the employees saying everything is running smoothly when employee systems are broken too. We love Starwood but we don’t want to give Marriott a dime.

  86. Thank you lucky for calling Marriott out. I agree that they have dramatically under delivered on this merger. Their obvious priority was cash bookings, the loyalty program was not.

    Even over a week out from the merger where point bookings were supposed to be up by “2pm Saturday 8/18”, we still can’t make point bookings at spg properties.

    Even worse is the hold time. 30+ minutes to talk to the first tier, then another 30+ on hold to speak to a supervisor. You’re looking at over an hour of hold time to ATTEMPT to get anything done. Usually they can’t do anything.

    What a horrible experience this merger has been.


  87. Same as many others. Stays from early August at SPG not showing up anywhere. Spg doesn’t seem to exist and not incorporated into Marriott. Very frustrating
    Checked into an spg property on aug 21. Res under spg number. What should I do about this one or the next one at an spg property? I thought accounts stayed separate until combined but spg has disappeared. I have a lot of points and some nights in spg that have not transferred over to Marriott and don’t appear in Spg since no spg acct comes up.


  88. They’ve sent out an email basically saying it’s all go, go, go and happening. No acknowledgement of the obvious fact that ,for many people at least, there’s a lot of chaos and confusion. I wanted to suspend judgement but this doesn’t bode well for the merged program.

  89. The”account professionals” seem to have no information about all the problems and claim the computer system that contains the info on the changes is locked and “suspended”…….wtf?

  90. Wasn’t Marriott Gold supposed to chart as Platinum Elite until the end of 2018? My account still says Gold – did the change work for anyone else yet?

  91. I for one would wait a bit more before I combine my accounts as it seems to be an utter mess and chaos here.

  92. Those who are smart will shift their spend to Hilton or IHG. Maybe Hyatt, but the footprint is small. Teach Marriott a lesson, thus it will teach other programs a lesson in how not to dilute good loyalty programs or treat longtime guests. Withholding information for the wrong reasons (hotel certificates) was a direct shot at us, trying to figure out how much they can gamble with. There will be more to come. It’s Marriott people, what do you expect?

    This is exactly what I feared when Anbang lost the deal and Marriott won. In the end they probably paid too much for SPG. They’ll create a good program but it won’t be what SPG was in terms of uniquely caring about the loyal guests. At first I was pissed because all Marriott’s hotels are the same bland hotels. Kind of like the bland meal option on a flight…who the heck wants that!? SPG was awash with unique hotels that had distinct style. So I was mad knowing that slowly over 10 years the hotels and the plan would shift to Marriotts abysmal standard. No I know it’s much worst and happening much faster.

  93. Here’s my situation: I’m platinum with SPG & diamond with Hilton. Having issues with my new Marriott account like everyone else. So, for a 1-night stay the other day; instead of going with Sheraton I crossed the highway & stayed with Hilton.
    Booking was made the same day as arrival and saw lots of availability for upgraded rooms and suites. On arrival, I was told that it was hotel policy NOT to upgrade – just to get the same room on the Honors floor. *WTF* I’ve never felt very lucky with my Hilton upgrades compared to Sheraton. I sincerely hope that Marriott gets their issues resolved!

  94. Apparently the only news outlet that ran a story about the “glitches” is (as far as Google search results are concerned). Did anyone know about the insiders dot marriottrewards dot com page? I certainly did not. Now that I’ve signed up to voice the grievances, let’s see if top management gives a flying fudge.

    The bs at The Points Guy has lost me as a reader for its lack of coverage. Lucky’s site is the only one that you can go to now.

  95. I had the same problem as Ivan Y:

    “Ivan Y says:
    August 26, 2018 at 8:52 pm
    Another issue that cropped up — Marriott point reservations without eCertificates attached (i.e. not enough points in account at time of booking), now show new award rates instead of old ones.”

    Further down I read this response from Points Adventure:

    “Points Adventure says:
    August 27, 2018 at 12:50 am
    @Ivan Y – that’s always been the case. You need to call Marriott Rewards to get the old rate.”

    I’m going to be 60,000 points short for a 4-night reservation coming up in November so I called. After an hour and 5 minutes all I could get from the Marriott CSR was “that’s the way it is”. Can someone please advise? I tried “Ask Lucky” but no replies. Thanks in advance.

  96. I am platinum premier. My SPG points came over; however, they have not been added to my lifetime total. Also added together, it should move me to lifetime gold on marriott under the old criteria. This should crosswalk to lifetime platinum. You mentioned it in your blog and I spoke to 3 different Marriott people before the recent integration. Now on multiple calls they are denying that it works this way. Help!!!

  97. “Gold” status in new program is a fake “gold”. The only benefit of old Marriott Gold that I was using and that was worth striving towards was the lounge/free breakfast, it is gone now. I’m “lifetime silver” and within 30 nights of “lifetime Gold” with 14 years of Gold status in SPG. They can stick both the Silver and the Gold you know where. The Feds should have never approved the merger, clearly this will lead to increased prices and diminished options. In my case, Marriott just this year lost roughly 15 nights to Hilton and AirBnB, and we are only 8 months in…

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