Travel blogs are going crazy over an impending Marriott announcement with regards to the new combined loyalty program. When it comes to loyalty programs, changes almost always mean less benefits/perks. The term I usually hear is devaluation, points are worth less(in the case of Hilton and IHG worthless). In this case my biggest concern is not about points losing value, but about status. We have enjoyed gold status with Marriott thanks to matching such status with SPG’s which one gets automatically via the Amex Platinum. The ability to get gold status with Hilton, SPG and Marriott has been one of the few advantages the Amex Platinum Card has had over other premium cards like the much beloved Chase Sapphire Reserve. I’ve experienced this downgrade in status before with Hyatt, we used to get mid tier status through the Hyatt credit card, but when the program changed to World of Hyatt, the mid level became something slightly better than the lowest level.
If my SPG gold status becomes bronze in the new program, I would seriously question keeping the Amex Platinum at $550 a year ($150 after airline and Uber credits). I would perhaps consider a hotel premium card from Marriott if it came with the current equivalent of gold or better yet platinum. It appears the announcement will be coming very soon. Let’s be positive and hope something good comes along, but I would not hold my breath.