The Marriott and SPG Merger Happened This Weekend

Hotels & Lodging
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In 2015 Marriott announced that it will buy SPG. Beginning with August 18, 2018, Marriott started to merge their websites, apps and loyalty programs. Besides SPG, Marriott will also merge the Ritz Carlton into the same system and all will be on one central website and app.

When you log in to your SPG account you will be prompted with a new 9-digit account number. Since the announcement, Marriott gave you the option to link your SPG and Marriott account to match your status and transfer points between the two programs.

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The merging of the IT infrastructure is still going on and there are still system outages and glitches on the website, app and with the backend-systems at the reservation hotlines. Marriott set up a website which will give you an overview of ongoing issues and you can even report your own issues if they are different from the once on the status page.

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The merging of the accounts is also rolling out in batches right now and might already show up in your account. If not give it some time until they have all the issues sorted out. Marriott will not merge the accounts automatically and will give the users the choice to merge it and which account number they want to keep. If you want to keep your SPG account number, use your SPG account otherwise use your Marriott account.

This will also affect some ways how to qualify this year. You can still qualify for elite on either programs conditions, depending on which one you choose.

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Lifetime status can also still be earned on either programs conditions but only this year. This year is also the only year in which members can qualify for Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status. From next year on you can only achieve Lifetime Platinum Elite status.

NOTE: Members who reach 750 nights and 10 years at Platinum by December 31, 2018, will be grandfathered into Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status (notified January 2019). In addition, members that achieve Marriott Rewards Lifetime Platinum under the legacy requirements by year-end will also be grandfathered into Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status. And don’t forget that we’ll combine Lifetime activity across both Rewards and SPG toward qualification when members combine accounts in August. Beginning in 2019, qualification into Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status will not be available. See FAQs for details.

In my case, I am lucky enough to qualify for the grandfathered Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status. Members will be notified at the beginning of 2019.

Please be patient for the next few days as the team is working hard to resolve all the issues still going on. I would assume everything will return to normal by the end of the week, maybe even earlier.

What do you guys think about the merger? Are you happy or unhappy? It has one advantage for me, maybe more for others. I have one hotel less in which I have to re-qualify for the status year after year. In my case even better as I will achieve my special lifetime status. Unfortunately one of the best benefits Marriott offers is only available with Ambassador status, which can only be achieved with 100 nights a year + $20,000 spend in a year. I am talking about the My24 benefit, which will give you 24 hours at a hotel for a stay and you decide the check-in and check-out times. Maybe I will hit that threshold one day, but highly unlikely.

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