That’s a lot of people, and a whole lot of Marriott Rewards points…

The biggest hotel loyalty program in the world is set to kick off. 127 countries, 6,500 hotels and 110,000,000 members later, Marriott Rewards will officially take flight, with the combined loyalty program of Starwood (SPG) and Ritz Carlton on August the 18th, 2018. Though much has been revealed, the final details are now set in stone, so here’s a look at everything you can expect before August 18th, and everything thereafter. This is going to be big…

a bed with pillows and a lampOfficial Date

The technology behind Marriott, SPG and Ritz Carlton will officially combine into the Marriott Rewards program on August 18th, 2018 – creating one gigantic loyalty program. Marriott found that rewards members were very partisan to either the “SPG” or “Marriott” booking platforms and therefore members will still be able to utilize the or websites, as well as both mobile apps, indefinitely – even though it’s all Marriott Rewards now.

New Account #’s

SPG members will receive new 9 digit account numbers when the platforms merge on August 18th. Passwords will remain the same, unless a member elects to change it themselves. These new account numbers will be the permanent Marriott Rewards account number, which members will input when staying at any of the 29 brands under the new Marriott Rewards Program to earn points and benefits.

a pool with white beds and white curtainsWinning In 2018

Marriott has confirmed that an 8th reward category will be added, requiring more points for free nights at the highest end hotels. The good news, is that if you currently have SPG or Marriott Points, high end hotels which were in the SPG program will be an absolute STEAL through 2018. The new prices won’t kick in until January 1st, 2019, so booking now will lock in the best rates for stays in 2019 at many properties. SPG points will automatically convert at a 1:3 ratio, meaning if you have 10,000 SPG Points today, you’ll soon have 30,000 Marriott Points on the 18th of August. Through 2018, the most you can pay for a single night in a hotel is 60,000 Marriott points, which is 30,000 points fewer than present for many St. Regis and Luxury Collection hotels from the SPG portfolio.

Travel Package Details

One of the most lucrative games in points and miles has been redeeming Marriott Rewards points for travel packages. These packages allow you to exchange Marriott Rewards Points for a set number of airline miles and a number of days in a Marriott hotel of your choosing. Marriott has confirmed that these packages will be bookable as is, until the 17th of August 2018. If you have use for one of these, get things in order ASAP, because after that date, the value dwindles considerably.

a fountain in front of a buildingEasier To Achieve Elite Guest Status

The thresholds may change slightly in both positive and negative directions, but the ease of earning elite guest status, by staying at hotels will soon be much easier. All 29 hotel brands in the program will count toward elite guest status, making it roughly 3x easier to find a hotel in which you can earn status in one program. Think of it like all three major airline alliances merging into one, where you can pick from virtually any airline and still earn points with one program.

Numbers And Figures

In the new Marriott Rewards program, all members will earn at least 10 points per dollar spent at Marriott properties. This includes all brands which were previously part of Starwood Preferred Guest or Ritz Carlton, bringing a total of 29 brands from Ritz and St. Regis on the high end, to Town Place and Residence Inn style properties. Marriott cites that 50% of hotels will require fewer points than before, and overall 72% will remain unchanged, with only 28% rising in category and thus requiring more points when the changes take place in 2019.

How does the new program work for you?

Featured image courtesy of the Ritz Carlton Riyadh. 

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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