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Marriott Platinum Status Easily Attainable in 2018

Marriott Pronunciation

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***UPDATE*** As of 6/4/18 Marriott has confirmed that linking your SPG status and matching will not result in Platinum status in the new program. Read our post on this topic here

Yesterday, Marriott rolled out the full details of their new combined loyalty program which will launch on August 1st, 2018. There are a number of changes coming, almost all of them are positive.

When we see mergers of this size and scope, there are often sweet spots that can be taken advantage of; whether the benefits are short-term or for the long run. In this post, I will cover how easy Marriott has made earning their new platinum level of status for the remainder of 2018 (starting August 1st, 2018).

 

Marriott Platinum Benefits

Before we walk through the ways in which you can easily earn Marriott Platinum status for the remainder of 2018, lets first take a look at the benefits Marriott Platinum members will receive in the new unified program.

  • Room upgrades (subject to availability). This includes standard suites
  • Executive Lounge Acess
  • The Ability to choose free restaurant breakfast as your welcome amenity at most brands
  • 15 points per dollar spent at Marriott properties (50% bonus over the base rate)
  • Guaranteed late check-out at 4 PM. This will not be guaranteed at Marriott resorts.

 

The New Marriott Elite Membership Tiers

Come August 1st, 2018, your Marriott Rewards Elite status listed on the left-hand side of the chart below will convert to the elite status listed on the right-hand side. The biggest sweet spot here is for current Marriott & SPG Gold members as their status will convert to Platinum for the remainder of the year.

 

Marriott Platinum Status

 

How to Earn Marriott Platinum Status from August 2018 through January 2019

Between August 2018 and January 2019, Marriott is making it very easy to earn Platinum status as they transition into their new loyalty program. I will walk through the ways in which this can be done below:

  • If you hold the American Express Platinum Credit Card, one of the benefits is free SPG Gold Status. Since the Marriott & SPG merger, it has been possible to link your accounts and SPG Gold Status can be matched to Marriott Gold Status. Just for holding the Platinum Card, you will receive Platinum Status in Marriotts program starting on August 1st.

 

  • If you hold either the personal or business version of the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, it is possible to earn SPG Gold status if you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year. Again, SPG Gold status matches to Marriott Platinum status come August 1st, 2018.

 

  • If you have United’s MileagePlus Premier Gold status (or higher) and are registered in the RewardsPlus program with Marriott & United, you will receive Marriott Rewards Gold status. As previously discussed, Marriott Rewards Gold status will convert to Marriott Platinum status come August 1st, 2018.

 

  • It will also be possible to earn Platinum Status on qualifying stays. If you stay 50 elite qualifying nights between the two programs (Marriott & Starwood) you will receive Marriott Gold Status which will convert into Marriott Platinum status in the new unified loyalty program.

 

Our Analysis

The path of least resistance to earn temporary Marriott Platinum status is by holding the American Express Platinum Credit Card. The card does carry a $550 annual fee, but I find the benefits far outweigh the annual fee and it is the reason I continue to keep this card open.

With how easy Marriott is making it to earn Platinum Elite status come August 1st of this year, there is likely going to be a large influx of new Platinum members. Because of this, I wouldn’t count on scoring too many upgraded rooms during your travels. However, the free breakfast benefit is great and a fantastic way to save money while traveling.

Long term, The Amex Platinum Credit Card will offer Gold Status in the new unified program (After January 2019). This is a downgrade from the current offering of SPG & Marriott Gold status as Marriott Gold currently receives free lounge access and breakfast. However, this was a temporary sweet spot created by the merger and the ability to link your SPG & Marriott accounts, so I won’t lose too much sleep over it.

 

Bottom Line

When big changes come to loyalty programs like we saw yesterday with the new Marriott Rewards program, there are often temporary sweet spots to take advantage of. Grabbing the American Express Platinum Credit Card will give you Marriott’s new Platinum Elite status for the remainder of 2018.

 

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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