Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

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VictoriaF
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Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:25 pm

Several travel/credit card bloggers have posted about an upcoming 16 April 2018 announcement related to the Marriott and SPG merger (see, for example, Frequent Miler's today's post https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/ ... hats-real/). They predict that the joint rewards program will commence in August 2018.

Someone has spread a rumor that transfers of Marriott and SPG points to airlines will be terminated. Bloggers insist that this is not likely, but hedge with "never say never."

I have just transferred 40,000 SPG points to 50,000 American Airlines miles. I have more points to transfer and might do it before the 16th.

The purpose of this post is to alert Boglehead Players to a potential threat and get comments on how people are preparing to it.

Victoria
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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by Freefun » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:48 pm

I've found Marriott travel packages better value and I can transfer SPG to Marriott. Of course that can change as well. Programs always get devalued- just a matter of when.
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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:10 pm

I currently have way more airline miles (and flexible UR/MR points) than I have hotel points, so my 50k SPG will stay where they are for the time being. I am looking at whether the Marriott hotel/travel packages would be useful for me.

I am not sure how a joint program could take place in the middle of the year. Usually massive changes are announced with an effective date at the beginning of a new membership year. It would seem unfair to impose a new program with yet unknown features on members effective Aug 2018 because it basically means that the points/night credits people have earned up until the announcement will now be subject to different rules.

All that said, I am a free agent and dabble a bit in most programs but don't earn status in any of them via spend/stays (I have status in many via credit cards), so I am mostly going to be observing this from the side lines.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by Chicago60 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:13 pm

I have seen no reliable source that the airline transfer will be eliminated without notice. I plan on holding on to my Marriott and SPG miles....for now.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:23 pm

Chicago60 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:13 pm
I have seen no reliable source that the airline transfer will be eliminated without notice. I plan on holding on to my Marriott and SPG miles....for now.
I fully agree that the rumors about termination of transfers are unreliable. However, I am thinking of this as a Pascal's Wager. If the transfers are NOT terminated, I will still have the miles. If the transfers ARE terminated, I would lose several hundred dollars of potential travel.

If Marriott/SPG wanted to terminate transfers, they would probably do it suddenly, to prevent a mass exodus of points.

Victoria
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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:27 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:23 pm
Chicago60 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:13 pm
I have seen no reliable source that the airline transfer will be eliminated without notice. I plan on holding on to my Marriott and SPG miles....for now.
I fully agree that the rumors about termination of transfers are unreliable. However, I am thinking of this as a Pascal's Wager. If the transfers are NOT terminated, I will still have the miles. If the transfers ARE terminated, I would lose several hundred dollars of potential travel.

If Marriott/SPG wanted to terminate transfers, they would probably do it suddenly, to prevent a mass exodus of points.

Victoria
How would you lose several hundred dollars of potential travel? Would you not be able to use the hotel points?
Perhaps you've concluded that the difference in value between Airline points converted from SPG point is in the hundreds of dollars - can you share this math?

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:34 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:27 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:23 pm
Chicago60 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:13 pm
I have seen no reliable source that the airline transfer will be eliminated without notice. I plan on holding on to my Marriott and SPG miles....for now.
I fully agree that the rumors about termination of transfers are unreliable. However, I am thinking of this as a Pascal's Wager. If the transfers are NOT terminated, I will still have the miles. If the transfers ARE terminated, I would lose several hundred dollars of potential travel.

If Marriott/SPG wanted to terminate transfers, they would probably do it suddenly, to prevent a mass exodus of points.

Victoria
How would you lose several hundred dollars of potential travel? Would you not be able to use the hotel points?
Perhaps you've concluded that the difference in value between Airline points converted from SPG point is in the hundreds of dollars - can you share this math?
My math is peculiar to my travel patterns. I fly a lot but seldom stay at large hotels. If my points remain with Marriott/SPG, I may not be able to use them before their expiration. For as long as I could transfer points back and forth between SPG and Marriott, these (artificial) transfers kept both programs active. I was also opportunistically transferring to airlines when transfers came with additional bonuses, e.g., 25% for American Airlines several months ago.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:38 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:34 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:27 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:23 pm
Chicago60 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:13 pm
I have seen no reliable source that the airline transfer will be eliminated without notice. I plan on holding on to my Marriott and SPG miles....for now.
I fully agree that the rumors about termination of transfers are unreliable. However, I am thinking of this as a Pascal's Wager. If the transfers are NOT terminated, I will still have the miles. If the transfers ARE terminated, I would lose several hundred dollars of potential travel.

If Marriott/SPG wanted to terminate transfers, they would probably do it suddenly, to prevent a mass exodus of points.

Victoria
How would you lose several hundred dollars of potential travel? Would you not be able to use the hotel points?
Perhaps you've concluded that the difference in value between Airline points converted from SPG point is in the hundreds of dollars - can you share this math?
My math is peculiar to my travel patterns. I fly a lot but seldom stay at large hotels. If my points remain with Marriott/SPG, I may not be able to use them before their expiration. For as long as I could transfer points back and forth between SPG and Marriott, these (artificial) transfers kept both programs active. I was also opportunistically transferring to airlines when transfers came with additional bonuses, e.g., 25% for American Airlines several months ago.

Victoria
Thanks for the quick response - last time I ran the math on transfers it kind of seemed like a wash (and also my situation is different - I tend to use up all my hotel points before using up all my airline points).

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:03 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:38 pm

Thanks for the quick response - last time I ran the math on transfers it kind of seemed like a wash (and also my situation is different - I tend to use up all my hotel points before using up all my airline points).
In my experience hotel points are easier to use (almost always possible to find an award), but result in lower redemption value. I try to use my airline miles for international business class travel or unusually expensive domestic travel. That is, I think, why many SPG members love the transfer option.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by THY4373 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:04 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:38 pm

Thanks for the quick response - last time I ran the math on transfers it kind of seemed like a wash (and also my situation is different - I tend to use up all my hotel points before using up all my airline points).
The math on this is going to be highly dependent on where you stay, whether you do cash + point redemptions, and how you use your airline miles (particularly what cabin). Most of my SPG points have been going to Marriott travel packages usually when there is some transfer bonus to a particular airline (most recently it was BA at 35% but I have also done United several times and AA). My 90k SPG became 162k BA miles + a seven night say in a Cat 5 or below Marriott that I'll probably use to stay in Istanbul early next year saving me around $800 in lodging costs. I also burned up a ton of SPG when Alaska acquired Virgin America and there was a great limited time effective bonus from going to Virgin and then transferring to Alaska.

Ironically I actually prefer to stay at Marriott vs SPG because my SPG Gold (thanks to spend on SPG card) got me Marriot Gold which gets me free breakfast and executive lounge access. I suspect that loophole is not long for this world.
Last edited by THY4373 on Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by THY4373 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:08 pm

I honestly don't buy the rumors that transfers will be killed on 4/16 though I don't blame folks for transferring in advance if it makes sense just in case. I have personally been clearing out my SPG points several times a year when I hit 90k (for Marriott travel package) usually when there is some airline transfer bonus. I am currently at 70k ish and will be back to 90k+ after next CC statement cut which unfortunately is after 4/16 so I am going to take the risk. That said in general I expect there to be negative changes in the next few months through next year. Marriott has a huge footprint and I expect that gives them the power to make the program more cost effective for them. If anybody has significant SPG points I would giving some thought to what you want your exit strategy to be if you don't like the outlines of the new program.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:43 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:23 pm
Chicago60 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:13 pm
I have seen no reliable source that the airline transfer will be eliminated without notice. I plan on holding on to my Marriott and SPG miles....for now.
I fully agree that the rumors about termination of transfers are unreliable. However, I am thinking of this as a Pascal's Wager. If the transfers are NOT terminated, I will still have the miles. If the transfers ARE terminated, I would lose several hundred dollars of potential travel.

If Marriott/SPG wanted to terminate transfers, they would probably do it suddenly, to prevent a mass exodus of points.

Victoria
I don't believe that transfers will be eliminated without notice. I'm sure that Mariott would face lots of lawsuits and negative publicity if it did that. There is a negative to transferring in haste -- you are then locked into a particular airline. That is fine if you expect to use only that airline for redemption, but not for those who prefer flexibility.

I can see transfers being eliminated, but I would expect a notice period of 60 days or so.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by Chicago60 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:29 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:43 pm
I don't believe that transfers will be eliminated without notice. I'm sure that Mariott would face lots of lawsuits and negative publicity if it did that.
I agree completely. However, those lawsuits, though likely to be filed if no notice is given, might be unsuccessful. I assume Marriott's terms and conditions provide they can change the program without notice in any way they desire. Surprisingly, and wrongly in my opinion, United's terms of service which contains that type of language has been upheld by the Seventh Circuit. There have been a couple of cases as I recall against United Airlines for changes made without notice, and the lawsuits by consumers were lost.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:45 pm

THY4373 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:04 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:38 pm

Thanks for the quick response - last time I ran the math on transfers it kind of seemed like a wash (and also my situation is different - I tend to use up all my hotel points before using up all my airline points).
The math on this is going to be highly dependent on where you stay, whether you do cash + point redemptions, and how you use your airline miles (particularly what cabin). Most of my SPG points have been going to Marriott travel packages usually when there is some transfer bonus to a particular airline (most recently it was BA at 35% but I have also done United several times and AA). My 90k SPG became 162k BA miles + a seven night say in a Cat 5 or below Marriott that I'll probably use to stay in Istanbul early next year saving me around $800 in lodging costs. I also burned up a ton of SPG when Alaska acquired Virgin America and there was a great limited time effective bonus from going to Virgin and then transferring to Alaska.

Ironically I actually prefer to stay at Marriott vs SPG because my SPG Gold (thanks to spend on SPG card) got me Marriot Gold which gets me free breakfast and executive lounge access. I suspect that loophole is not long for this world.
Thanks for these points. I travel on business frequently so I'm not typically short on any points (I'm biased to Marriott as well being a lifetime-platinum member). I think Marriott give nearly everyone with status free concierge access these days.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:49 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:03 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:38 pm

Thanks for the quick response - last time I ran the math on transfers it kind of seemed like a wash (and also my situation is different - I tend to use up all my hotel points before using up all my airline points).
In my experience hotel points are easier to use (almost always possible to find an award), but result in lower redemption value. I try to use my airline miles for international business class travel or unusually expensive domestic travel. That is, I think, why many SPG members love the transfer option.
Great point. I have never seemed to have trouble using Marriott points but airline miles are a different story - I always seem to have to use "anytime" rewards (or whatever your airline of choice calls is) which means having to spend double the points for ticket than what they advertise (on at least one airline it meant using the # of points that I could have used to get a first-class seat on the flight just to get an economy seat). Or there is some crazy 2-stop route they try putting me on. 20 years ago it certainly wasn't like this (there were some blackout periods with some airlines but other than that - things were pretty easy if you booked far enough in advance).

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by seawolf21 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:07 pm

OP is speculating upon a speculation.

There is some event soon but it is speculation that it is about SPG/Marriott program and it is speculation program will merge August and it is also speculation no airline transfer option. It's also speculation that program award chart will be dynamic priced based. There's also speculation about lifetime members not being grandfathered if they don't meet new program requirements; assuming of course there is a lifetime program.

Discussion at this point is premature.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by sil2017 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:26 pm

Hoping the Marriot travel package will last for awhile. I am short on points but should have enough by July 2018.

I have Marriot Gold and have reservations for October in hotels with club lounge . I hope the free breakfast and club lounge perk will at least last till February 2019, expiration date.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:00 am

seawolf21 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:07 pm
OP is speculating upon a speculation.

There is some event soon but it is speculation that it is about SPG/Marriott program and it is speculation program will merge August and it is also speculation no airline transfer option. It's also speculation that program award chart will be dynamic priced based. There's also speculation about lifetime members not being grandfathered if they don't meet new program requirements; assuming of course there is a lifetime program.

Discussion at this point is premature.
As the OP, I have fully acknowledged that upcoming Marriott-SPG changes are speculative. However, considering that hotels (and airlines, and banks) can make some changes abruptly to prevent undesirable mass actions, I have brought it up to the Forum's attention.

The majority of respondents so far are unperturbed. They have plans for using Marriott-SPG points even without airline transfer. But for me, airline miles are more valuable and thus I have acted on the rumor. If there are a few Bogleheads (or lurkers) who value airline transfers and don't want to risk them, they may want to act on the speculation.

Victoria
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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by WildCat48 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:03 am

I'm buying the rumor of them ending transfers on Monday so I have transferred about 75% of my points out to some of my favorite programs, OZ, JL, SQ and KE before the potential armageddon.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:15 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:00 am
The majority of respondents so far are unperturbed. They have plans for using Marriott-SPG points even without airline transfer. But for me, airline miles are more valuable and thus I have acted on the rumor. If there are a few Bogleheads (or lurkers) who value airline transfers and don't want to risk them, they may want to act on the speculation.

Victoria
I use airline miles for international business class travel, so they are a great value for me. The problem is the lack of flexibility after moving to an airline. For instance, I like to book the top Middle Eastern airlines via AA, Alaska etc. But I think the probability of AA or Alaska falling out with Etihad or Emirates is far greater than the possibility of Mariott cancelling all transfers without notice, so I'm not willing to jump the gun here and move to a airline program that may not prove to be useful.

Beyond that -- is there a precedent for any large hotel program or one of the major CC programs (UR, Membership Rewards, ThankYou) dropping even a single transfer partner without some notice ? [ I exclude cases such as bankruptcy or serious geopolitical issues with foreign airlines]. if not, this nuclear option would seem even less likely.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by THY4373 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:42 am

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:15 pm

I use airline miles for international business class travel, so they are a great value for me. The problem is the lack of flexibility after moving to an airline. For instance, I like to book the top Middle Eastern airlines via AA, Alaska etc. But I think the probability of AA or Alaska falling out with Etihad or Emirates is far greater than the possibility of Mariott cancelling all transfers without notice, so I'm not willing to jump the gun here and move to a airline program that may not prove to be useful.

Beyond that -- is there a precedent for any large hotel program or one of the major CC programs (UR, Membership Rewards, ThankYou) dropping even a single transfer partner without some notice ? [ I exclude cases such as bankruptcy or serious geopolitical issues with foreign airlines]. if not, this nuclear option would seem even less likely.
I don't blame you on holding on to your points in SPG as long as possible. AA's view of Etihad award space is so variable you are never sure what you might be able to get until you try to get it (never mind the risk of the relationship ending). I will say I did thoroughly enjoyed my Etihad first class flights on their 787 and A380 (shower class) this past March.

As to your question remember though SPG acts like UR/MR/TYP it is a hotel program NOT a bank program. I think in general hotel programs are somewhat more prone to short notice/no notice changes. In fact last year SPG seemingly cut off Virgin American (VX) redemptions (at least online) for several days. They were later restored with them blaming it on an IT issue which is certainly possible but most folks think it was to close the overly generous loophole to Alaska miles it created (after this outage they quickly announced a sunset date for those transfers). All that said I really doubt MR/SPG would cut off all airline transfer partners with no notice. The outcry at that would put to shame the outcry over the VX issue which if it was intentional they quickly backed down on.

Right now I am taking a break from generating SPG points until the announcement is made. Also there are now scattered data points of SPG points not posting for some purchases on the Amex co-brand cards.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by sperry8 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:05 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:25 pm
Several travel/credit card bloggers have posted about an upcoming 16 April 2018 announcement related to the Marriott and SPG merger (see, for example, Frequent Miler's today's post https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/ ... hats-real/). They predict that the joint rewards program will commence in August 2018.

Someone has spread a rumor that transfers of Marriott and SPG points to airlines will be terminated. Bloggers insist that this is not likely, but hedge with "never say never."

I have just transferred 40,000 SPG points to 50,000 American Airlines miles. I have more points to transfer and might do it before the 16th.

The purpose of this post is to alert Boglehead Players to a potential threat and get comments on how people are preparing to it.

Victoria
It seems unlikely to me they are "pre-announcing" a removal of the Airline benefit, and then without notice. Just makes no sense. If they wanted to do that, they would've done it without the pre-notice.

That said, I think it unwise to hold any substantive amount of points in SPG/Marriott until post merger. A devaluation is coming, even if the airline benefit stays. Perhaps they 5k bonus will go away? Or something like that. My point is, these programs all devalue every year. Holding large amounts in any hotel or airline program unused is unwise.
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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by theplayer11 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:04 pm

sperry8 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:05 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:25 pm
Several travel/credit card bloggers have posted about an upcoming 16 April 2018 announcement related to the Marriott and SPG merger (see, for example, Frequent Miler's today's post https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/ ... hats-real/). They predict that the joint rewards program will commence in August 2018.

Someone has spread a rumor that transfers of Marriott and SPG points to airlines will be terminated. Bloggers insist that this is not likely, but hedge with "never say never."

I have just transferred 40,000 SPG points to 50,000 American Airlines miles. I have more points to transfer and might do it before the 16th.

The purpose of this post is to alert Boglehead Players to a potential threat and get comments on how people are preparing to it.

Victoria
It seems unlikely to me they are "pre-announcing" a removal of the Airline benefit, and then without notice. Just makes no sense. If they wanted to do that, they would've done it without the pre-notice.

That said, I think it unwise to hold any substantive amount of points in SPG/Marriott until post merger. A devaluation is coming, even if the airline benefit stays. Perhaps they 5k bonus will go away? Or something like that. My point is, these programs all devalue every year. Holding large amounts in any hotel or airline program unused is unwise.
if you are accumulating points by high spend or sign up bonuses and not using them all by your travels, I wouldn't call that being unwise. I'd rather have more points than less even if they do devalue.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by sperry8 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:23 pm

theplayer11 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:04 pm
sperry8 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:05 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:25 pm
Several travel/credit card bloggers have posted about an upcoming 16 April 2018 announcement related to the Marriott and SPG merger (see, for example, Frequent Miler's today's post https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/ ... hats-real/). They predict that the joint rewards program will commence in August 2018.

Someone has spread a rumor that transfers of Marriott and SPG points to airlines will be terminated. Bloggers insist that this is not likely, but hedge with "never say never."

I have just transferred 40,000 SPG points to 50,000 American Airlines miles. I have more points to transfer and might do it before the 16th.

The purpose of this post is to alert Boglehead Players to a potential threat and get comments on how people are preparing to it.

Victoria
It seems unlikely to me they are "pre-announcing" a removal of the Airline benefit, and then without notice. Just makes no sense. If they wanted to do that, they would've done it without the pre-notice.

That said, I think it unwise to hold any substantive amount of points in SPG/Marriott until post merger. A devaluation is coming, even if the airline benefit stays. Perhaps they 5k bonus will go away? Or something like that. My point is, these programs all devalue every year. Holding large amounts in any hotel or airline program unused is unwise.
if you are accumulating points by high spend or sign up bonuses and not using them all by your travels, I wouldn't call that being unwise. I'd rather have more points than less even if they do devalue.
Nothing wrong with accumulating points via any method. But if you are hoarding them and save them for years later... that is simply unwise. I see it every year when devaluations hit... people complain and gripe about how they just "lost" so much. You don't have to lose anything... earn em via any method you can, and then burn em in somewhat short order.
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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by THY4373 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:56 pm

sperry8 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:23 pm
Nothing wrong with accumulating points via any method. But if you are hoarding them and save them for years later... that is simply unwise. I see it every year when devaluations hit... people complain and gripe about how they just "lost" so much. You don't have to lose anything... earn em via any method you can, and then burn em in somewhat short order.
I most certainly don't hoard points. I burned up seven figures worth each over the past two years but that is less than 50% of my earn rate over the same time. So one doesn't have to hoard miles/points to have a large balances. Until I retire or start giving them away it will likely stay that way. On the bright side it is a nice problem to have.

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Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:03 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:00 am
seawolf21 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:07 pm
OP is speculating upon a speculation.

There is some event soon but it is speculation that it is about SPG/Marriott program and it is speculation program will merge August and it is also speculation no airline transfer option. It's also speculation that program award chart will be dynamic priced based. There's also speculation about lifetime members not being grandfathered if they don't meet new program requirements; assuming of course there is a lifetime program.

Discussion at this point is premature.
As the OP, I have fully acknowledged that upcoming Marriott-SPG changes are speculative. However, considering that hotels (and airlines, and banks) can make some changes abruptly to prevent undesirable mass actions, I have brought it up to the Forum's attention.

The majority of respondents so far are unperturbed. They have plans for using Marriott-SPG points even without airline transfer. But for me, airline miles are more valuable and thus I have acted on the rumor. If there are a few Bogleheads (or lurkers) who value airline transfers and don't want to risk them, they may want to act on the speculation.

Victoria
I agree with VictoriaF. Get the points out of SPG and into the airline frequent flyer programs. Airline miles are almost always more valuable than hotel points. SPG has been a hybrid, a hotel points program that has functioned like a bank points program. Those days are ending, and SPG will fold into Marriott which is just another hotel program.

theplayer11
Posts: 399
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by theplayer11 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:33 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:03 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:00 am
seawolf21 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:07 pm
OP is speculating upon a speculation.

There is some event soon but it is speculation that it is about SPG/Marriott program and it is speculation program will merge August and it is also speculation no airline transfer option. It's also speculation that program award chart will be dynamic priced based. There's also speculation about lifetime members not being grandfathered if they don't meet new program requirements; assuming of course there is a lifetime program.

Discussion at this point is premature.
As the OP, I have fully acknowledged that upcoming Marriott-SPG changes are speculative. However, considering that hotels (and airlines, and banks) can make some changes abruptly to prevent undesirable mass actions, I have brought it up to the Forum's attention.

The majority of respondents so far are unperturbed. They have plans for using Marriott-SPG points even without airline transfer. But for me, airline miles are more valuable and thus I have acted on the rumor. If there are a few Bogleheads (or lurkers) who value airline transfers and don't want to risk them, they may want to act on the speculation.

Victoria
I agree with VictoriaF. Get the points out of SPG and into the airline frequent flyer programs. Airline miles are almost always more valuable than hotel points. SPG has been a hybrid, a hotel points program that has functioned like a bank points program. Those days are ending, and SPG will fold into Marriott which is just another hotel program.
obviously depends on what kind of value you get on the airline points..but a simple transfer of SPG points to Marriot at 1:3 is not a bad option.

THY4373
Posts: 703
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:47 pm

https://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com ... m-details/

Honestly not that bad. Note some travel packages may be changing in price in the near future.

SlowMovingInvestor
Posts: 649
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:27 am

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:49 pm

The new plan keeps the airline transfer, and at the same rates, including the bonus. You can also convert Mariott into airline miles at a 3:1 ratio (as now, it seems).
.
A lot of other changes, but (as I thought) the rumot that Marriott might cancel all transfers turned out to be wrong.

TravelGeek
Posts: 2021
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:04 pm

THY4373 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:47 pm
Honestly not that bad.
The big loss for me personally is that Marriott Gold no longer gets executive lounge access. I am currently Marriott Gold via the Marriott/UA RewardsPlus tie-up as well as via the Amex Plat card.

head gamez
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:30 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by head gamez » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:07 pm

sperry8 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:05 pm

That said, I think it unwise to hold any substantive amount of points in SPG/Marriott until post merger. A devaluation is coming, even if the airline benefit stays. Perhaps they 5k bonus will go away? Or something like that. My point is, these programs all devalue every year. Holding large amounts in any hotel or airline program unused is unwise.
I’m usually sitting on between 300K-1M MR points and AA miles. I try to use them as much as I can, but I earn them by living in the air and in a hotel. No manufactured spend points here. I’ll gladly hold on to my miles / points and use them when the schedule and my sanity allows.

MR points are easy to use, and we burn through quite a bit annually at east coast beaches. AA miles require a long night of drinking to figure out the best use, and I end up hung over and just booking the AAnytime award the next day AAnyway. It stings a little, but I guess that’s why it’s nice to always have a good supply....


THY4373
Posts: 703
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:14 pm

The biggest negative changes I can see from my perspective.

1). As I am not surprised they are pretty much gutting Marriott Gold so no more free breakfast/lounge access. Even the "super premium" card from Amex only gives you gold. Though $75k in spend on card can net you platinum.

2). It looks like that the they are going to gut the underlying non-bonused earning on legacy SPG cards in August 2018. Basically the cards today earn 3x MR on every dollar spent and that is going to drop to 2x. That effectively makes they cards unattractive to me unless I find some interesting angle I am missing at this point. I guess I'll be cancelling those when my AF fee comes due. Going to have to figure out where to shift my unbonused spend to.

3). Amex SPG business card is losing lounge access at Sheratons. Minor loss to me but I used it a few times. This take place in August 2018 as well.

Personally my initial take is unless I see some angle I am currently missing, I'll be exiting SPG/MR by August. Overall I think the changes are fairly moderate but the drop in earnings on unbonused cred spend mostly kills the program for me.

THY4373
Posts: 703
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:16 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:04 pm

The big loss for me personally is that Marriott Gold no longer gets executive lounge access. I am currently Marriott Gold via the Marriott/UA RewardsPlus tie-up as well as via the Amex Plat card.
Yeah that is a big loss for me as well (Gold via Amex plat + 30k spend on SPG cards) but honestly it was almost guaranteed they were going to kill it so not surprised.


TravelGeek
Posts: 2021
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:20 pm

THY4373 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:16 pm
Yeah that is a big loss for me as well (Gold via Amex plat + 30k spend on SPG cards) but honestly it was almost guaranteed they were going to kill it so not surprised.
Actually, according to https://members.marriott.com/marriottrewards/ in the section "HERE’S HOW MEMBER TIERS WILL CHANGE IN AUGUST":

Current Gold will map to the new Platinum

Not sure if that will be for the initial conversion only, or if Amex Plat and/or UA Elite RewardsPlus will in the future map to Marriott Plat or Gold (my gut feel is that it's gold given that the new Luxury Marriot Amex only includes Gold unless you spend $75k per year). Or go away completely ;)

Freefun
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:55 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by Freefun » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:24 pm

Wouldn't be surprised if they change rates of Marriott points and flights packages. Just booked some and value is quite good.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

seawolf21
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:33 am

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by seawolf21 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:25 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:49 pm
The new plan keeps the airline transfer, and at the same rates, including the bonus. You can also convert Mariott into airline miles at a 3:1 ratio (as now, it seems).
.
A lot of other changes, but (as I thought) the rumot that Marriott might cancel all transfers turned out to be wrong.
According to TPG, seem like not only is airline transfer staying the same, there is a net gain of 10 Marriott airline partners not currently available to SPG.

THY4373
Posts: 703
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:26 pm

Freefun wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:24 pm
Wouldn't be surprised if they change rates of Marriott points and flights packages. Just booked some and value is quite good.
One of the blogs states there will be "repricing" of some in the near future but offered no details.

Freefun
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:55 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by Freefun » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:30 pm

head gamez wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:07 pm
sperry8 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:05 pm

That said, I think it unwise to hold any substantive amount of points in SPG/Marriott until post merger. A devaluation is coming, even if the airline benefit stays. Perhaps they 5k bonus will go away? Or something like that. My point is, these programs all devalue every year. Holding large amounts in any hotel or airline program unused is unwise.
I’m usually sitting on between 300K-1M MR points and AA miles. I try to use them as much as I can, but I earn them by living in the air and in a hotel. No manufactured spend points here. I’ll gladly hold on to my miles / points and use them when the schedule and my sanity allows.

MR points are easy to use, and we burn through quite a bit annually at east coast beaches. AA miles require a long night of drinking to figure out the best use, and I end up hung over and just booking the AAnytime award the next day AAnyway. It stings a little, but I guess that’s why it’s nice to always have a good supply....
This is why I have used award booking service. They have far more patience than I do and worth it for me to pay around $100 to save 100k miles off long haul J/F (avoiding AAnytime award)
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

rich126
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by rich126 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:38 pm

Freefun wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:30 pm

This is why I have used award booking service. They have far more patience than I do and worth it for me to pay around $100 to save 100k miles off long haul J/F (avoiding AAnytime award)
I've done that a few times as well. I've also booked my own awards but when you don't do it frequently, it is hard to stay on top of all of the alliances and partnerships and know the best award seats.

DrGrnTum
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:22 am

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by DrGrnTum » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:39 pm

Dr of Credit write-up on new Chase and Amex cards

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/marriott ... esFeed.com

head gamez
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:30 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by head gamez » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:46 pm

Freefun wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:30 pm
head gamez wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:07 pm
sperry8 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:05 pm

That said, I think it unwise to hold any substantive amount of points in SPG/Marriott until post merger. A devaluation is coming, even if the airline benefit stays. Perhaps they 5k bonus will go away? Or something like that. My point is, these programs all devalue every year. Holding large amounts in any hotel or airline program unused is unwise.
I’m usually sitting on between 300K-1M MR points and AA miles. I try to use them as much as I can, but I earn them by living in the air and in a hotel. No manufactured spend points here. I’ll gladly hold on to my miles / points and use them when the schedule and my sanity allows.

MR points are easy to use, and we burn through quite a bit annually at east coast beaches. AA miles require a long night of drinking to figure out the best use, and I end up hung over and just booking the AAnytime award the next day AAnyway. It stings a little, but I guess that’s why it’s nice to always have a good supply....
This is why I have used award booking service. They have far more patience than I do and worth it for me to pay around $100 to save 100k miles off long haul J/F (avoiding AAnytime award)
I cosidered that in my most recent search. Luckily the CFO just decided to go to OGG so it ended up being pretty simple.

Curious if you have a particular one you recommend?

I fly every week.... A LOT, but can’t get up on all the reward booking strategies.

Freefun
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:55 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by Freefun » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:06 pm

head gamez wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:46 pm
Freefun wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:30 pm
head gamez wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:07 pm
sperry8 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:05 pm

That said, I think it unwise to hold any substantive amount of points in SPG/Marriott until post merger. A devaluation is coming, even if the airline benefit stays. Perhaps they 5k bonus will go away? Or something like that. My point is, these programs all devalue every year. Holding large amounts in any hotel or airline program unused is unwise.
I’m usually sitting on between 300K-1M MR points and AA miles. I try to use them as much as I can, but I earn them by living in the air and in a hotel. No manufactured spend points here. I’ll gladly hold on to my miles / points and use them when the schedule and my sanity allows.

MR points are easy to use, and we burn through quite a bit annually at east coast beaches. AA miles require a long night of drinking to figure out the best use, and I end up hung over and just booking the AAnytime award the next day AAnyway. It stings a little, but I guess that’s why it’s nice to always have a good supply....
This is why I have used award booking service. They have far more patience than I do and worth it for me to pay around $100 to save 100k miles off long haul J/F (avoiding AAnytime award)
I cosidered that in my most recent search. Luckily the CFO just decided to go to OGG so it ended up being pretty simple.

Curious if you have a particular one you recommend?

I fly every week.... A LOT, but can’t get up on all the reward booking strategies.

I used someone who is now at PointsPros, which i think is run by the same blogger at OMAAT. If you search flyertalk forum for award booking services you may find others. There's likely different folks good at specific things, depending on which alliance you want to use.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel- ... views.html
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

mrb09
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:02 am

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by mrb09 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:53 pm

Per flyertalk, airline transfers remain, SPG transfer rate changed:

https://www.flyertalk.com/articles/ever ... ogram.html

TravelGeek
Posts: 2021
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:02 pm

mrb09 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:53 pm
Per flyertalk, airline transfers remain, SPG transfer rate changed:

https://www.flyertalk.com/articles/ever ... ogram.html
I think the article is confusing.

However, transfer rates are changing.

You will be able to convert 3 Marriott points to 1 airline mile. When you think about it, 3 Marriott points equal to 1 Starpoint, so the transfer ratio technically remains the same.


In other words, nothing really changed here. :oops:

What did change, however, is the earnings rate for the SPG Amex card. The unbonused spend now (August) earns 2 Marriott points instead of one Star Point. Since 1 Star Point equals 3 Marriott points, that is a loss of 1/3 of value when transferred to airlines.

BlackcatCA
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:55 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by BlackcatCA » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:20 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:20 pm
THY4373 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:16 pm
Yeah that is a big loss for me as well (Gold via Amex plat + 30k spend on SPG cards) but honestly it was almost guaranteed they were going to kill it so not surprised.
Actually, according to https://members.marriott.com/marriottrewards/ in the section "HERE’S HOW MEMBER TIERS WILL CHANGE IN AUGUST":

Current Gold will map to the new Platinum

Not sure if that will be for the initial conversion only, or if Amex Plat and/or UA Elite RewardsPlus will in the future map to Marriott Plat or Gold (my gut feel is that it's gold given that the new Luxury Marriot Amex only includes Gold unless you spend $75k per year). Or go away completely ;)
Thanks for the link.
The one downgrade that caught my eye is that one can no longer qualify for Elite by # of stays; only # of nights will count moving forward. # of stays was easier.

THY4373
Posts: 703
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:11 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:02 pm

What did change, however, is the earnings rate for the SPG Amex card. The unbonused spend now (August) earns 2 Marriott points instead of one Star Point. Since 1 Star Point equals 3 Marriott points, that is a loss of 1/3 of value when transferred to airlines.
I think Amex is the big loser in this. SPG has been the go to card for many (myself included) for non-bonused spend. Come 8/1 that is going to stop for many. My spend will shift to other cards (some Amex some not). I haven't decided if I'll keep the cards for the free night cert or not but I'll put no spend on them come 8/1. Between now and 8/1 I am going to pound those cards like I stole 'em, might as well see off the old SPG cards the only way I know how :-) . I do find it amusing though not unexpected that most of the bloggers are underplaying the earn rates changes on the legacy SPG cards.

I am not terribly impressed with the "super premium" card from Amex either. I mean do we really need another card that gives us Priority Pass and Global Entry? The hotel credit could certainly be useful to some but the elite status you get (unless you spend $75k) is pretty much useless. And while I could spend $75k that status just isn't worth it compared to other places I could put the spend.

THY4373
Posts: 703
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:24 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:20 pm
THY4373 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:16 pm
Yeah that is a big loss for me as well (Gold via Amex plat + 30k spend on SPG cards) but honestly it was almost guaranteed they were going to kill it so not surprised.
Actually, according to https://members.marriott.com/marriottrewards/ in the section "HERE’S HOW MEMBER TIERS WILL CHANGE IN AUGUST":

Current Gold will map to the new Platinum

Not sure if that will be for the initial conversion only, or if Amex Plat and/or UA Elite RewardsPlus will in the future map to Marriott Plat or Gold (my gut feel is that it's gold given that the new Luxury Marriot Amex only includes Gold unless you spend $75k per year). Or go away completely ;)
Marriott Gold maps to Platinum. But it is not clear to me that those of us who are Marriott Gold because of match to SPG Gold will get Platinum. From what I have read it looks like we are good through this year but not in 2019. Basically I have seen no evidence that one cat achieve Marriott Plat in 2019 except from staying 50 nights or putting $75k in spend on one of the premium cards. But I'd love to be wrong too.

seawolf21
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:33 am

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Post by seawolf21 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:40 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:25 pm
Several travel/credit card bloggers have posted about an upcoming 16 April 2018 announcement related to the Marriott and SPG merger (see, for example, Frequent Miler's today's post https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/ ... hats-real/). They predict that the joint rewards program will commence in August 2018.

Someone has spread a rumor that transfers of Marriott and SPG points to airlines will be terminated. Bloggers insist that this is not likely, but hedge with "never say never."

I have just transferred 40,000 SPG points to 50,000 American Airlines miles. I have more points to transfer and might do it before the 16th.

The purpose of this post is to alert Boglehead Players to a potential threat and get comments on how people are preparing to it.

Victoria
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:03 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:00 am
seawolf21 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:07 pm
OP is speculating upon a speculation.

There is some event soon but it is speculation that it is about SPG/Marriott program and it is speculation program will merge August and it is also speculation no airline transfer option. It's also speculation that program award chart will be dynamic priced based. There's also speculation about lifetime members not being grandfathered if they don't meet new program requirements; assuming of course there is a lifetime program.

Discussion at this point is premature.
As the OP, I have fully acknowledged that upcoming Marriott-SPG changes are speculative. However, considering that hotels (and airlines, and banks) can make some changes abruptly to prevent undesirable mass actions, I have brought it up to the Forum's attention.

The majority of respondents so far are unperturbed. They have plans for using Marriott-SPG points even without airline transfer. But for me, airline miles are more valuable and thus I have acted on the rumor. If there are a few Bogleheads (or lurkers) who value airline transfers and don't want to risk them, they may want to act on the speculation.

Victoria
I agree with VictoriaF. Get the points out of SPG and into the airline frequent flyer programs. Airline miles are almost always more valuable than hotel points. SPG has been a hybrid, a hotel points program that has functioned like a bank points program. Those days are ending, and SPG will fold into Marriott which is just another hotel program.
And OP just lost out the 25% bonus (10K AA miles) for acting on a rumor. 10K is not that much but it would have hurt if it was a 400K SPG to AA without the bonus.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-prog ... -miles.jsp
25% conversion bonus for 5 hotel partners
Promotion Period: 4/15/18– 5/31/18
From April 15, 2018 at 12:01 a.m. Central Time through May 31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time (“the Promotion Period”), AAdvantage® members must preregister at [website] and opt in to receive marketing communications for the opportunity to receive bonus American Airlines AAdvantage® miles (“Offer”). To qualify for this AAdvantage® 25% bonus mile offer, member must initiate the AAdvantage® mileage conversions with participating eligible AAdvantage® program hotel participants (“Hotel Partner(s)”) during the Promotion Period, must provide their AAdvantage® number, and must be in good standing in the AAdvantage® program.

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