Well this was developing FAST! A couple of days ago we shared the news that the SPG website will go down on August 1st. Back then we were wondering why Marriott and SPG had not made any official announcement, particularly given how close we were to the purported deadline.
Now, two pieces of new information just emerged and may shed light on what will happen next.
Around 3 am EST today, a FlyerTea user zimintam posted a message he received from Marriott Rewards’ Facebook account. In the screenshot below, we could see Marriott is planning to announce “some exciting changes” to the program. Based on the language, however, it is hard to gauge what will actually be announced.
Then a FlyerTalk user, coltonatx, shared “the following details about the merged program” from “a good source”. There will be five tiers in the merged program!
The chart itself is quite self-explanatory so I wouldn’t re-iterate, but the resemblance between current SPG program is quite interesting. For now, you need to stay 25 nights to reach Gold status at SPG, and 50 nights to Platinum. Then SPG offers some incremental benefits (such as additional points per dollar spent and Your24 benefit) once you hit 75 nights and 100 nights.
By comparison, currently at Marriott you need to hit 50 nights to reach Gold status and 75 nights to hit Platinum. In other words, Marriott Gold is harder to qualify. No wonder Marriott Gold members have access to lounge while SPG Gold don’t. If history is any indication, I speculate that only Platinum and above can have free breakfast in the new program, because they hit the 50 night mark.
Taken together, the two pieces of news seem to hint that Marriott will announce the details of the merged program at some point next week aimed at the re-alignment of member benefits. What remains to be seen is whether Free Breakfast will be offered to Gold members. My personal feeling to this question is negative, but we shall wait and see. Clearly one shining point in Marriott’s current program is the benefit of lounge access for all Gold members. It would be a great shame if this is taken away in the new program.