Everyone that follows me, knows that I am , by far, a Die-Hard SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) fan! SPG, and Starwood properties, got me excited about traveling, and has always enticed me to stay in hotels even when I don’t need to, just to re-qualify for status or gain bonus SPG points.
A Little History
Back in 2016, Marriott International announced the completion of the acquisition of Starwood Hotels, and SPG. For the last few years, I and almost every other loyal SPG fan was in panic mode. SPG and Marriott rewards (The loyalty programs for each) are two completely different programs. Marriott is not a bad program, and its far from a bad company, its actually a very good company, my worry was, and is that Marriott will take the WOW out of SPG.
That now brings us to today at 3:30 (central time). SPG and Marriott Rewards will be making a big announcement, but all we have is rumors, its sort of like when a new iPhone is being released ( genius marketing on Marriott’s part if you ask me).
The announcement will be made live on Facebook, click the picture or link above to watch it live!
Of course, just like with a new iPhone launch, the rumor mill is churning! Some probably are true, and others may be floated purposely to gauge the response, who knows, but here are a few of the rumors
- The new program will start August 1, 2018. I find this hard to believe as its mid year and would be hard and unfair for qualification reasons, but we will see
- The new combined program will have 5 levels. This is believe! Supposed to be Silver, Gold, Platinum, Platinum 75 , Platinum Ambassador (I have heard many names so these probably are not accurate)
- There will be a spending requirement to reach some or all levels. This I am not sure about, but I certainly hope its not the case. This would be more like the airline industry and make it way to hard to reach the highest levels. I am hearing $20,000 a year spend to reach top Ambassador level. This is stupid and wont work!
- You will be able to book SPG and Marriott stays using one platform, immediately. This is probably true and much needed!
- Night credits earned at SPG and Marriott properties will now count toward qualification . Probably true and much needed also, and will make me, and others stay at many more Marriott properties, as I currently don’t because I only earn points and Marriott night credits, not SPG night credits.
- Free Breakfast at almost all combined properties for Platinum’s. Probably true, and good, as Marriott isn’t very consistent or generous in this aspect.
I am scared! This announcement is a big deal to me, and some people wont understand it, but SPG is a HUGE part of my wanderlust, and always dictates many aspects of where, and when and how I travel! If things change drastically, no, my life will not end, BUT I don’t want things to change.
I have heard that today’s announcement is HUGE and I have heard its NOT, so lets just wait and see. In a way I’m glad to finally get some answers and alleviate some anxiety, but I’m still dreading it!
I have almost 20 nights booked in the next month for my big 40 Birthday celebration in Las Vegas, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Columbia and more, and I want this big event to be in SPG style!
Wait for a post after the announcement with my thoughts!
Thanks for reading, and PLEASE, TRAVEL MORE!