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The always excellent Rob/Raffles over at HFP has just confirmed something very interesting in the comments there: If you currently have Marriott Rewards Gold status via SPG Gold from holding an American Express Platinum card, you will receive Platinum status when the new Marriott /SPG/ Ritz Carlton loyalty programme launches in August.
(UPDATE:It seems that Marriott’s European Head of Loyalty was incorrect and that status will in fact be Gold from August. This is disappointing news.)
As you can see, this comes directly from Marriott’s European Head of Loyalty, so I think we can consider this to be (almost) as good as official written confirmation.
Why does this matter?
Basically, Gold in the new programme is pretty weak and Platinum is brilliant! You can take a look at the full status benefits chart on the Marriott website, but here are the highlights:
GOLD ELITE 25-49 NIGHTS/YEAR
- 25% Points Bonus
- 2pm Checkout
- Welcome Gift = Points
- “Enhanced Room” upgrade
PLATINUM ELITE 50-74 NIGHTS/YEAR
- 50% Points Bonus
- 4pm Checkout
- Welcome gift = Points, Breakfast, or “Amenity”
- Upgrades include select suites
- Lounge access
- Annual Choice Benefit (5 Suite Night AwardsTM or Gift Option)
Crucially, Platinum status means you get free breakfast (or other options if you prefer) and lounge access – which is what the current Marriott Gold status gets you.
Note that this will only apply until the end of this year – SPG Gold is supposed to map across to Gold in the new programme, not Platinum. The issue was that because the new loyalty programme starts in August rather than at the beginning of a new status year, members may have already made bookings after August based (at least in part) on the status benefits they were anticipating.
Hats off to Marriott for doing this (and to Rob of course for getting the info!!!) – it’s the smart play in my opinion, but they didn’t actually need to do it. In fact, earlier today I rated it as being about a 20% chance. Clearly I should have had more faith and doubled down on my optimistic view of the Marriott Rewards/SPG merger.
Whether this is just for SPG/Marriott Golds who have status via the UK Amex Platinum, or is available to all SPG Golds who have matched their status across to Marriott Gold, remains to be seen.
Great news in my view! – what do you think?