Status Of Redeeming Points With Marriott’s New Program

The integration of Marriott and Starwood is taking place this weekend, and short term this opens up lots of opportunities when it comes to redeeming points. That’s because Marriott isn’t introducing Category 8, as well as peak and off-peak pricing, until next year.

So many of us have been wanting to lock in reservations now. You can get the current pricing as long as you book by the end of 2018, even if you’re actually traveling in 2019.

Marriott is making updates to their website throughout the weekend, so it could be that we see their site and mobile app go down a few more times over the coming hours and days.

So, what’s the general status of redeeming Marriott points for hotel stays?

Most hotels are bookable at new award costs

There are some incredible opportunities to redeem at Starwood’s top properties. These used to cost up to 35,000 Starpoints per night, which is the equivalent of 105,000 Marriott points (given the 1:3 transfer ratio). Now they’re bookable for 60,000 Marriott points per night, with the possibility of a fifth night free.

Want to lock in the St. Regis Aspen, St. Regis Deer Valley, St. Regis New York, etc.? Book now, as 48,000 points per night (after factoring in the fifth night free) is an exceptional deal.

These hotels largely seem to be bookable directly through the Marriott website as of now.

Some hotels only show points available through mobile app

While most hotels are bookable through Marriott’s website, some only display points availability through the mobile app (but even the apps have issues with confirming these bookings).

For example, the St. Regis Maldives shows as being available for 48,000 points per night (when factoring in the fifth night free) when you go to the website, but when you click through you won’t actually see any award availability.

I imagine this is a website glitch, because the Marriott and SPG mobile apps do show awards. Just select that you want to make a points redemption.

Then you should see the St. Regis Maldives displayed for an average of only 48,000 points per night when staying in increments of five nights.

In this case you’d get a Garden Villa with a private pool.

The catch is that while the app shows award availability, it mostly seems to error out when you actually try to book, so it seems that they’re still working out some kinks.

Some hotels still show no points availability

One of the exciting developments with the new program is that all hotels are supposed to have “standard” room availability, even properties that were previously considered to be “all suites.”

I’ve been told that these properties should be bookable with points soon, but as of now they still show as “sold out.” Even the contact centers can’t see availability at these hotels as of now. I suspect it could be a couple more days before some hotels are actually bookable with points.

Have you made any bookings since the new program went into effect? What did you book, and what was your booking experience like?

Comments

  1. The St Regis Maldives doesn’t seem bookable on the app either, clicking through makes the points option disappear. Some properties aren’t showing up at all in search, while others are showing up without points and still others with phantom points. Such a mixed bag

  2. From my (truly tireless) research, it appears that all five of these hotels are still unbookable: St. Regis Bora Bora, Le Meridien Bora Bora, St Regis Bali, St Regis Maldives, W Maldives.

  3. Apparently availability at the St. Regis Maldives only for off-season. Can’t find anything outside May- Oct. Anyone had better luck?

  4. Lucky,

    Many of us that had SPG Gold via the AMEX Platinum, and linked to Marriott accounts, are showing Marriott Platinum as our new status in our Marriott accounts (with Gold in our SPG accounts). Do you know how long this will last?

  5. Lucky, St Regis is phantom availability, on more than a few 5 day ranges where there has been availability shown the reservation confirmation doesn’t happen, it errors out.

  6. My points were earned through SPG. When I logged in this morning through SPG.com, i was redirected to my Marriott account which is showing that I have no points. Anyone else encounter this? Not sure if this is part of the upgrade or if I should contact Marriott.

  7. Hey Lucky I noticed my SPG points have not been moved to Marriott yet which is affecting my ability to book awards, any ideas on what I should do? Can anyone confirm if their SPG points have been automatically transferred to Marriott yet?

    In hindsight I should have converted them myself last week.

  8. StR Maldives is not actually bookable on the app, it errors out on last stage of reservation (after clicking “book now” button). On the web version the award rate is not showing up at all.

  9. Still not possible to transfer points to airlines. Still utilizing SPG rules and capping at 80k points per day instead of the new 240l.

  10. If that new home page is the best Marriott can come up with we are all in trouble. That is “butt ugly” but also so uninviting. Yes I seemed to have “lost” two reservations and SPG points did not “port” over. Those will work themselves out but that home page is terrible

  11. As for category 7 hotels, shall they be bookable with points if a standard room is bookable with money? I assumed that to be the case, but the call center confirms availability with money, but not with points.

  12. StR Maldives shows availability on points but the terms mention these bookings are all non refundable. Is this an error?

  13. Pigs get fed. Hogs get slaughtered. Never seen so much anxiety over booking hotels at these suddenly “great” rates. Maybe stop writing about it and people will find availability.

  14. Really mad to see that even by achieving SPG Platinum through stays for 2019 it now shows I am still 15 nights to became Platinum Elite for 2019 under the integration. Also, all nights I got by having the Amex SPG are gone. Also noticed both apps still work and all my SPG points were converted 1:3 to Marriott points on the SPG app but if I go to the Marriott app I only show the points I had on my Marriott account.

  15. Hi Lucky,
    If some of us transistioned to Platinum Elite as of yesterday when would that be valid till? Dec 31 2019 ?

  16. Everyone is fighting over the same reward bookings, this should be exciting to actually try and land one and then get the popcorn out for no rooms and or hotel Blocking

  17. For me, the SPG app doesn’t work yet, and none of my SPG activity shows in Marriott yet. Marriott app will at least open, but won’t refresh and show a future stay I have).

  18. Don’t know if anyone can shed some insight on this.. but why are Marriott members with 50 nights being moved up to Platinum Premier but SPG members with 50 nights are remaining Platinum. How does that make any sense considering it’s ONE program?

  19. @Santastico – Same for me. I now have a new Marriott number on the SPG account with everything combined, minus the Amex nights, and also my lifetime status doesn’t seem to be right.

  20. @Neil S.: How about achieving SPG Platinum for 2019 under stays prior to the integration? Won’t they honor that as Platinum Elite for 2019? I understand stays are no longer a thing under the new program but if I achieved that status under SPG they should take that into the new one. I am very mad since I targeted SPG properties so I would achieve that but now it says I still need 15 nights to be Platinum Elute for 2019.

  21. Hmm… Had SPG Gold -> Marriott Gold from Amex Plat and, like another poster above, Marriott app shows Platinum for me. Starwood app still shows Gold.

  22. This is a mess. Specifically:

    1. My accounts were linked before August 18, but they didn’t combine and now I have a new Marriott number in the SPG app.
    2. Platinum status combo isn’t right.
    3. Lifetime Gold in SPG now shows as nothing in either app.
    4. My two stays are still in SPG and not in Marriott.

    How long do we give it before calling?

  23. @nawaff – last night around 1am EST, there was some peak availability. For example, Feb 1 – 6 was available for a 5-night booking. However, that all seems to be gone now. Don’t know if it’s because a lucky few were able to book, or if they pulled it, or what.

  24. What Daniel said

    I was watching a feb 1-feb 7th available range at str Maldives but it disappeared as the night went on

  25. Lucky, did you know the travel package mapping chart before 8/18?

    If you got it so soon on 8/18 maybe you had it before under embargo? And you redeemed both your packages at the perfect sweet spots.

    You need to tell marriott people are not happy with their underhanded tactics.

  26. @lucky

    I was looking to book a last minute Ritz stay. I have been a Ritz Platinum Elite for years through $75k spend on Chase Visa. New status is showing as Platinum Elite. It looks like 48 hour guarantee benefit is gone at the new level and is only available on the Platinum Premiere Elite level. Have you confirmed that this is the new level for Ritz platinum members and at some point can you comment on status benefits lost (or gained) between old and new programs, particularly at the higher levels?

  27. So Marriott said they would make standard award available at all properties? How many? When? One room, one day? Idle promise.

  28. So many complaints (likely almost all from former SPG loyalists known to have poor or no ability to manage their expectations) despite a large banner on the site stating:

    “New loyalty benefits are on the way! Until then, you may experience a temporary disruption accessing your account and other features. Thank you for your patience.”

    Folks, the system is literally just now coming up. There remain many loose ends to tie. One would think that a little patience is a sound request. Error messages while booking, messed up account info, etc, are all clear signs of loose ends that need to be tied. Just chill…

  29. Has anyone actually managed to book any award stays via the app? When I get to the final Book Now screen it says “this card isn’t accepted at this property”, no matter what card I add to my profile. And this is for any property too.

  30. FYI, for those that have Amex Plat and are newly minted Plats.. this is only until year’s end. From Jan 1 2019, you’ll be Gold Elites in the new programme as well.

  31. With everyone and their dogs trying to snatch an award stay at one of the suddenly-affordable “aspirational” properties at the same, and award inventories likely to be very limited, things should be very interesting.

    I’ll get the popcorn ready… 😉

  32. As of Sunday 12:00 EDT…

    I was able to book a Marriott property on marriott.com
    I was to cancel a Marriott booking on marriott.com
    I was NOT able to book a Four Points property, said invalid member number
    I was NOT able to combine my SPG points into Marriott points when I clicked on the link.

  33. @Andrei – Yep, that’s the universal error, and AFAIK nobody has been able to get around it. I went so far as to download an Android emulator on my computer last night to see if maybe it was a bug specific to the iPhone app….but Android would conk out too on the last step with a different error.

    Feels so close though!

  34. FYI: Logged into Marriott today and my SPGx3 was there. BUT my M points are missing! Hopefully they will reappear soon.

  35. Booked a night at marriott property last night using points. Cancelled another reservation this morning all points returned. Marriott app now shows SPG hotels in my search.
    Under the new tier structure I noticed the hotel I previous booked then cancelled cost 5000 more points. During my search of the same area there were many more hotels available vs 2 weeks ago .
    My SPG app now shows my previous points converted to marriott points 3 to 1 conversion.
    So far, appears this massive conversion is progressing well. Yes occasionally I get the network connection list banner, otherwise I’m pleased.

  36. @andrei I was able to book a couple of reward reservations last night around 11pm for Hong Kong and Tokyo. The Marriott app was glitchy, but I managed to make the reservations on the website using my iPhone. Just now I had success booking a reward stay for Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong using the spg app.

  37. So many people speculatively booking cash rate thinking they’ll be able to switch on over to points. This will be interesting

  38. I have a one-percenter question: If I was Marriott Gold day before yesterday and consequently Marriott Platinum today AND I have 50+ nights Marriott and SPG combined stays for the calendar year 2018, do I get 5 Suite night awards for 2018 post today, and 5 SNA for 2019?

  39. Good thing that I booked Conrad Maldives OW and Conrad Bora Bora with points some time ago…because seems that St Regis won’t be happening…

  40. @Lucky

    Do you know whats going to happy with all these speculative bookings on cash rates/old point rates that people are hoping they’ll be able to just call in and switch to new point rates?

    Clearly all award availability is being tied up by these types of reservations, as I watched it get dwindled down all night at the STR Maldives for example

  41. I was able to book the St Regis Mallorca with points via the Marriott website, so some stuff is working. The app kept timing out for me, I suspect it’s broken for the time being.

  42. My SPG points were converted but what happened to my Marriott point? they don’t show up anywhere.

  43. This is another question about status that I am not sure I have seen before. I am looking for United Silver status this year. I believe 75 nights at Marriott gets you United Silver. I have:
    Marriott: 38 nights + SPG 47 nights.
    When the merger is completed, will i receive United Silver via my 75 combined nights?
    Will I qualify for SPG / Marriott platinum for 2019 based on the above night stays?

  44. Brian, Megs – yesterday around midnight PST, on the new site, when I logged on to Marriott, I saw only my (very low) Marriott point balance. When I used my old SPG username/password to log on, I got a new Marriott account number linked with my SPG account number, with my correct converted SPG point balance. I was able to book 5 nights at St. Regis New York on points (240,000 points for the five nights – showed as 48,000 points/night) without any issues.

  45. @Neil S. — I’m in the exact same boat as you. Luckily I have enough Marriott points to make the bookings I want for now, but it’s annoying that I can’t seem to combine my points.

  46. I was Marriott Platinum going into this merger and I still am Platinum. Shouldn’t I have been upgraded to Platinum premier?

  47. Just booked 4 nights at the Kyoto Ritz for only 240k marriott points which is of course a steal when paid rates are well over $1k per night. Yes it took a day to get the kinks out and the program is still understandably having problems, but the redemptions at top tier prices are absolute steals so take what you can get and be satisfied.

    I was hoping to split the stay between the Ritz and Suiran but no Suiran award availability (as of now) for a single day in November so I’ll have to wait and see if that changes.

  48. Such hogs. Downloading an android emulator?? Wow. People really need to find better things to do with their time.

  49. @brian,

    Thanks for the comment. I don’t know your financial situation, but for me, a ~$10,000 booking is worth going through a few extra steps to secure.

    While certainly not a normal step for me, several unique factors (late at night, iPhone app was pricing out the award and getting an error, etc.) made it worth the extra 20 mins for me for what I thought was a reasonable chance of securing the booking.

    There is also a fair bit of irony here for someone taking the time to read *and* comment on a miles and points blog that people are spending too much effort on miles and points. Perhaps we should find something better to do, but posting negative comments on hobby-based blogs about people partaking in those hobbies makes me wonder if you should perhaps reflect yourself on what the best use of your time is.

    Thanks again for your thoughts on me as a “hog” and I wish you well.

    Daniel

  50. I called spg this afternoon and it says press 2 for st regis properties. Woman told me that the spg properties still arent bookable on their end, give it more time. My spg upcoming stays were not showing up in my list of upcoming stays, but she did confirm they were there.

    Also I have 2 ritz certs, which now say up to 60k points. I tried to use them for an spg property, but the “apply certificate” button was not there online. I asked about that, she said same thing, more time.

  51. I didn’t try to make a cash booking speculatively… but I called in and begged and pleaded with a Marriott rep for any ideas on how I could “hold” award space at the St Regis Maldives. She connected me to an SPG agent who made a cash booking for me and insisted I’d be able to call and change to points once the dust settles on this. I don’t know if that means other people will be able to or if I’ll have to get them to pull my call, but you don’t get what you don’t ask for in this hobby

  52. @Daniel54321 Your comment to @Brian – *mike drop* BOOOOOOOOOOOM

    @Brian seriously mate, please be mature with your comments here. Daniel was smart & inventive enough to think outside the box and attempt a workaround – does this truly therefore require that he be called insulting names?

  53. Have we all forgotten United and Continental merge?

    What else could be expected?

    Lets hope and pray they have good management in place to solve it all.

  54. Anyone else still waiting for their SPG points, future reservations and nights earned this year/lifetime to show up in the new merged website? My accounts have been linked for at least a year and my elite status level is still correct, but nothing else has moved over.

  55. Booked two nights at Prince Gallery Tokyo yesterday and one night at St. Regis NYC today, both by calling 866-500-8320. This is after trying a million times to make bookings this weekend via the Marriott app, website, etc. Thanks OMAAT!

  56. @Lucky… I was able to book the St. Regis Maldives with points today by calling the old SPG Platinum line. The attendant booked me in an over-water villa, but I was charged 85k points per night (with the fourth night free) instead of the 60k. He told me that was the rate due it being a category 3 suite (no idea what that is/means?). Does this sound right to you? or should I be trying to get those extra points back?

  57. @Lucky… I was able to book the St. Regis Maldives with points today by calling the old SPG Platinum line. The attendant booked me in an over-water villa, but I was charged 85k points per night (with the fourth night free) instead of the 60k. He told me that was the rate due it being a category 3 suite (no idea what that is/means?). Does this sound right to you? or should I be trying to get those extra points back?

  58. @ David I am waiting also no SPG points have shown up in my Marriott account. They do have the correct elite level showing that’s it.

  59. @aaron –

    I called twice and spoke with two different agents. Both tried to book while I was on the phone and said, “it’s still showing as ‘suppressed’ which means we can’t book it.” This was after calling 866-500-8320 and selecting st. regis. They sounded genuine and the system sounded like it wasn’t pricing out. Any ideas? Thanks so much.

    Daniel

  60. @daniel

    I called in at about 11am EST today and got right through to a representative who did the booking for me. I booked for the first week of April (1st through the 6th). When I searched those days in app and on the website it would come up as 48k points a night for the 5 nights, but when I would click on it I couldnt see the room. I told the representative this and he just went right through and did the booking, and he didnt appear to have any issues doing so. I am still not sure of the reason for 85k price vs. the 60k though. Maybe, because its an over-water, but I am curious as to what others have gotten?

  61. @aaron

    Thanks for looping back.

    I agree that when you search on the website, it seems to indicate availability (I.e. the 60k/48k miles showing when there is availability, and says ‘sold out’ when there is not). I took almost the exact same steps as you. Though when I specifically called the SPG number the second time, the availability I was seeing on the website disappeared while I was on hold.

    The lady read the disclaimers about a sea plane and seemed pretty confident she could book it, until she couldn’t.

    Good on you for getting it, and I hope the Overwater villa is awesome!

  62. A SPG agent quoted me 85,000 points per night for St. Regis Maldives (Overwater) BUT 182,500 points per night for St. Regis Bora Bora (1br Ovrwtr Supr Lagn Vw Vla)! I called again and another agent repeated the same thing. Anyone else have something similar?

    If true, I am very disappointed with the St. Regis Bora Bora quote. I understand non-standard rooms are higher but 182,500 points is insane and more than the cash-booking value of the room for my dates.

    Above points quote is excluding 5th night free. If you book 5 nights, you will get 5 nights for the price of 4 nights.

  63. Alex, had the same thing happen here. I don’t get it. I was just in the maldives so really wanted bora bora to work out.

  64. @Tim and @Patrick

    After noticing that the ‘integration in progress’ message was off the website and I still had no access to my SPG points, etc I finally called SPG today. I was told that despite having linked my accounts months ago, I was issued a new Marriott number for my old SPG account separate from my existing Marriott account as part of the integration. The agent told me that they didn’t have a fix for combining them at this point and I should call back in a few days as they would not be automatically combined. While the agent was very polite I found that to be a pretty frustrating response! I’ve reached out to my SPG ambassador to see if she can expedite the issue, but otherwise it appears to be a wait and fix later situation.

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