Here's what we know:
- If you have a Ritz Carlton membership, Marriott membership, and SPG membership, they will be merged into the Marriott system for points and elite nights.
- There will be a new name in February for the combined points program
- If you have earned elite nights through credit cards, be it through nights stayed or credit card nights that are given on anniversary dates, they will all be merged towards achieving silver, gold, or platinum status--and there will now be a higher status than platinum--platinum premier
- In February 2019, the category chart for the two will merge. Instead of 14 categories with Marriott (category 1-9, then Tier 1-5 for Ritz and other pricey hotels), it will apparently become 7. This will match up with SPG's current 7 categories. This means a current Marriott category 6 may turn into a category 5 under the new system. Some will be rounded down, some up. It hasn't been made clear yet as to how that will pan out exactly.
- I spoke to a supervisor tonight at AMEX Canada--they have been left in the dark as to what will happen with the CDN AMEX SPG cards--whether they will be discontinued, whether they will begin giving 2 (like in the US) or perhaps 3 Marriott points per dollar spent on everyday spending
- For very complex questions and answers to the merger (lifetime status requirements, elite nights you earn for several rooms per night, etc.) go to DansDeals.com and see his latest posts
We know the Chase Marriott Visa in Canada is history as March 2018 as are all Chase Canada cards. The only credit card option for getting SPG points or Marriott points is currently through the AMEX SPG card or by transferring your Membership Rewards points to SPG at a 50% loss (SPG points are the most valuable hotel points of all).
We also know that as of August 1, 2018, your SPG points will switch over at a 3:1 ratio into Marriott points, so the points will be totally merged. On top of that, any points that one would earn with the US SPG AMEX card will only give you 2 Marriott points, a decrease of 33% (instead of 3 Marriott points). Will that happen in Canada?
The best option is likely Miles and Nights. With that option, you transfer Marriott points into points for your favourite airline, and then get a certificate to spend a week at a Marriott property. Starting at 270K Marriott (90K SPG) points, for a category 1-5 stay, the talk is that with the merging of the categories in August, you will be better off making the transfer before August 1st, and then using your certificate at a Marriott or SPG property with 12 months--apparently the new certificates will NOT be allowed to be extended another 12 months as they used to be (and still are) allowed.
The reasoning being that, as I wrote about in the bullet info section, the categories for Marriott properties may be rounded up or down to match the new 7 category scheme. You will only lock yourself in to saving points under the old plan. It's highly unlikely the new plan will cost the same or be less than 270K points for a 1 week certificate, category 1-5.
Here's the current Miles and Nights offer: