Marriott Rewards, SPG and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards program

From free nights to room upgrades and frequent flyer points, explore the benefits you can get with the 29 hotel brands linked to this rewards program.

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Launched on 18 August 2018, the Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards program combines benefits from each brand’s previous loyalty schemes. If you were a member of any (or all) of these rewards programs, you can combine your accounts into this single program that offers a wider range of benefits.

Depending on status and points in your account or accounts, you could also get additional points or status upgrades when the features and benefits of each program are combined. Use this guide to learn more about the merger between Marriott Rewards, SPG and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, including key changes for existing members and the benefits you can get if you’re thinking of signing up.

Program changes to Marriott Bonvoy

As of 13 February 2019, this rewards program has rebranded as Marriott Bonvoy. The information below relates to the previous version of this program and has been left for reference.

What you'll find in this guide

man's hand handing over gold card to another man's hand

What is the Marriott, SPG and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards program?

This program gives you a way to earn and use points when you stay at one of the 6,500 participating hotels around the world. This includes well-known hotels such as Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Westin, Sheraton and St. Regis, with a total of 29 brands available.

As well as points and rewards, the program gives you access to special offers and privileges based on your membership status. If you’re not a member of any of these programs, you can sign up for free by visiting marriott.com.au/loyalty.

man's hand handing over gold card to another man's hand

Key changes for existing Marriott, SPG and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members

If you were a member of any of these individual programs, the merger could affect your account in the following ways:

  • Account access. During the transition period, there may be times when you can’t log in to your account or make bookings with points.
  • Suite upgrades and free night benefits. If you have Suite Night Awards from an SPG account or Free Night Certificates from Marriott Rewards, they will be combined on your new membership within 72 hours from when you combine your accounts.
  • Status and tiers. When the tier system changes, you’ll either remain in the same tier or be upgraded based on the number of nights you have stayed with eligible hotels across each portfolio. For example, if you were previously a Marriott Rewards Silver Elite member but have stayed between 25 and 49 qualifying nights in Marriott Hotels, you’ll be upgraded to the new program’s Gold Elite Status. A similar approach applies to lifetime status.
  • Existing point balance. If you were a Marriott Rewards member, your point balance will remain the same. If you were an SPG member, your Starwood Points will be converted to reward points at a rate of 1:3 (meaning you’ll get triple the points you had in SPG).
  • Frequent flyer partners. As part of the merger, you’ll gain access to a wider range of frequent flyer partners, including Virgin Australia’s Velocity and Air New Zealand Airpoints (previously only SPG) as well as Qantas Frequent Flyer and JetBlue’s TrueBlue (previously only Marriott Rewards).
  • Reward bookings. Any existing hotel reward bookings made with points will be honoured. New bookings will be subject to the terms and conditions of the merged program, which may mean a different amount of points is required for a room or upgrade.
  • Manual account merging. To get the benefits offered in this new, single rewards program, you will have to manually merge your Marriott Rewards and SPG accounts, even if they are already linked. Note that The Ritz-Carlton Rewards benefits were already managed through Marriott Rewards, so there is no need to link these two accounts under the new program.

How do I combine my accounts under the new program?

If you have both a Marriott Rewards and SPG account, you can combine them online in a few steps.

  1. Go to the Marriott Rewards account merging page.
  2. Scroll down and click on the “Get started” button.
  3. Follow the prompts to log in to your Marriott Rewards account. You’ll then be asked to enter the login details for your SPG account.
  4. Review the details of each account and what benefits are being merged, then click “Next”.
  5. View your new profile details and follow the prompts to confirm the merge. Note that your Marriott Rewards account number, email address and password will now be used for the single, combined account.
  6. Allow up to 72 hours for all your details to be combined on your account.

If you would prefer to keep the login details for your SPG account (instead of your Marriott Rewards account), you can go to the account merging page for SPG and follow the steps from there. If you have any questions or want help combining your accounts, you can call the Member Services team on 02 8298 5250 (formerly for Marriott Rewards) or 1800 450 010 (formerly SPG).

man handing credit card to woman in front desk

How to earn points

To earn points through this loyalty program, you need to include your membership number on your hotel booking or provide it when you’re checking in to the hotel. You’ll then earn points for both the room rate and any qualifying incidentals added to your bill, with the following base earn rates:

  • 5 points per US$1 spent at Elements, TownePlace Suites and Residence Inn properties.
  • 10 points per US$1 spent with all other hotel brands.

If you have Silver Elite, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite or Platinum Premier Elite membership status, you’ll also get a point bonus worth between 10 and 75% of the base points earned on each stay. Other ways to earn points include booking meetings at participating hotels or spending with travel partners, such as Hertz, although you’ll typically get the highest rate of points through hotel stays.

Find the latest deals on Starwood Hotels

Can I earn points with a credit card?

As of October 2018: Only American Express credit cards that earn Membership Rewards points offer transfers to this program, with a minimum 600 Membership Rewards = 400 Starpoints.

Before October 2018: For reference, in the past you also had the option of transferring points to SPG at a rate of 2.5 Diners Club points for 1 Starpoint. However, the Diners Club website did note that this option was “extended by popular demand” before cancelling it on 25 October 2018.

man handing credit card to woman in front desk

How to redeem points

Hotel stays

The number of points you need for a hotel stay vary based on the hotel and the type of room, with seven different redemption categories available in 2018. In 2019, an eighth category will be added, along with peak and off-peak point rates. You can use the following table to browse different point requirements for each category based on when you want to book.

Point costs for free night awards in 2018 and 2019

CategoryStandard points (effective from August 2018)Off-peak (effective in 2019)Peak (effective in 2019)
17,5005,00010,000
212,50010,00015,000
317,50015,00020,000
425,00020,00030,000
535,00030,00040,000
650,00040,00060,000
760,00050,00070,000
8 (effective in 2019)85,000 70,000100,000

Book premium award nights before 2019

Until Category 8 is rolled out in 2019, you’ll be able to book any hotels slated for this rewards tier for the same price as Category 7 hotels. This means you could save 25,000 points on the standard redemption cost for premium hotel stays.

Other hotel rewards

As well as free night awards stays, you can use your points for the following rewards at participating hotels in the Marriott, Starwood or The Ritz-Carlton portfolio:

Room upgrades. Upgrade rewards start from 5,000 points depending on the room type. However, they are subject to availability, so make sure you check before assuming you’ll get this type of reward.
Complimentary nights for longer stays. If you use points to redeem a five-night stay, you’ll get the fifth night at no charge.
Instant in-hotel redemptions. You can instantly redeem points for food, drinks, spa packages and other costs that would usually be charged to your room. With this option, every 250 points gives you US$1 of value towards the hotel service.

Frequent flyer rewards

You can transfer your points to a linked frequent flyer program, with partners including Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Asia Miles, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Air New Zealand Airpoints. The key details are:

Transfer rate: 3 reward points for 1 frequent flyer point.
Transfer limits: A minimum of 3,000 points and up to 240,000 points per day.
Transfer bonus: For every 60,000 points you transfer, an additional 15,000 points will be added to your transfer. This bonus is capped at 25,000 frequent flyer points.

Based on the standard earn rate of 10 points per US$1 spent on your hotel, this conversion rate means you’ll basically earn 3.33 frequent flyer points per US$1 spent on hotel stays. So, for a $300 hotel booking, you’d get 1,000 frequent flyer points.

Other rewards

As well as hotel and frequent flyer benefits, you could use your points for any of the following options:

Cruises
Car rental
Gift cards, travel gear and other merchandise available through the rewards website
Point transfers to other eligible members (friends and family)
Charity donations

man handing credit card to woman in front desk

Member benefits and status tiers

The range of perks you get as a member varies based on your status tiers. This starts with complimentary in-room Internet access, member rates and mobile services, then progresses to point bonuses, late check-out and room upgrades, depending on your tier. Below is a snapshot of the requirements and benefits for each tier.

TierNumber of qualifying nights required (annually)Key benefits
Member0–9 nights
  • Complimentary in-room Internet access
  • Member rates
  • Mobile check-in and services
Silver Elite10–24 nightsAll the benefits of standard members plus:
  • 10% point bonus
  • Reservation guarantee
  • Priority late check-out
  • Dedicated Elite reservation line
Gold Elite25–49 nightsSimilar benefits to lower tiers, plus:
  • Enhanced in-room Internet
  • 25% point bonus
  • Hotel welcome gift of additional points
  • Enhanced room upgrade
Platinum Elite50–74 nightsSimilar benefits to lower tiers, plus:
  • 50% point bonus
  • Hotel welcome gift of points, breakfast or amenities
  • Room upgrades include Select Suites
  • Lounge access
  • Guaranteed room type
  • Annual benefit of 5 Suite Nights or a gift option (awarded with 50 qualifying nights)
Platinum Premier Elite75–99 nightsSimilar benefits to Platinum Elite, plus:
  • 48-hour guarantee
  • Additional choice benefit of 5 Suite Nights or a gift option (awarded with 75 qualifying nights instead of 50 in Platinum Elite)
Platinum Premier Elite (lifetime)100+ nights plus a qualifying spend of US$20,000 annuallySimilar benefits to Platinum Premier Elite, plus:
  • Ambassador Service: A dedicated team member to manage your bookings, rewards etc
  • Your24: A service allowing you to choose when you check in and out (eg check-in at 9am and check-out at 9pm)

Keep in mind that some of these services will be subject to availability and may also vary by hotel brand. But in general, the higher your Elite status, the better the perks, including priority over members in lower tiers.

Lifetime Elite status

Lifetime Silver, Gold or Platinum Elite status is awarded based on how many nights you have stayed throughout your time as a member and how long you have had Elite status. The requirements for each lifetime option are:

Lifetime Silver Elite: Stay at least 250 nights and have at least 5 years of Elite status.
Lifetime Gold Elite: Stay at least 400 nights and have at least 7 years of Gold Elite status or higher.
Lifetime Platinum Elite: Stay at least 600 nights and have at least 10 years of Platinum Elite status.

As of August 2018, the merger between Marriott Rewards, SPG and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards still has a few kinks. This includes not being able to sign up as a new member of the single rewards program (although you can still sign up with one of the previous three programs). If you’re already a member, make sure you stay up-to-date on the changes in 2018 and 2019 so you can get the most out of your hotel rewards.

Images: Shutterstock

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