As a Lifetime Plat moving to Lifetime Plat Premier, I must say my pals at Marriott were correct in saying I would be pleased. Having said that, I do feel for the SPGers, who as predicted, give up a good amount of ground in several aspects, but of course, that's because they had more to begin with - for example SPG AmEx going from 3 pts. per dollar to 2 per dollar is a decrease - but to us Marriotteers who were fattening up on the arbitrage, it was a 'fun while it lasted' event (and there are several other examples, where I can see where SPGers would be disappointed).
We (well, me at least) often hammer the bloggers for just repeating the obvious and then adding insult to injury by siding with their advertising sponsor with statements like, "well it could be worse" but giving credit where credit is due, here IMO, is an excellent analysis by The Points Guy of the changes (with in depth sidebars) Marriott and SPG Announce Details of Their Unified Loyalty Program if you haven't seen it, give it a glance and dive deep to your areas of interest.
Still a lot of questions to be answered. I'm fascinated by how much 'speculating' is still going on and people, even after seeing inaccurate predictions up to this point are still biting, apparently in the belief that "if I want it bad enough and believe the speculation, it will occur" we have seen repeatedly that's not the case - oh well.
Here's the chart of greatest interest to me - in spite of all of the Marriott warm fuzzies about more will go down than up, and other statistically misleading (yet true) statements, we really won't know the overall impact of the new combined program until these numbers roll out - the good news for me - I'm usually an off peak player and Marriott to their credit, is providing a bit of a window to 'act now'.
and here's the important 'opportunity' I was talking about above;
However, only Categories 1-7 will be used starting in August — Category 8 rates will not be used for reservations booked before 2/1/2019. Also, peak and off-peak pricing won’t be implemented until February 1, 2019. In the meantime, all hotels will be priced at the “standard” rate.
Ok - I'm driving the lovely California Interstates today so I won't be able to play - but I thought The Points Guy deserved some air time on Insiders.
Keep on keepin' on Insiders - Great day to be alive and be thoughtful to those who take it on the chin with these changes