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We’re now less than 10 days away from the Marriott/SPG loyalty program merger. On August 18, the new combined award chart will go into effect, new elite status tiers and perks will apply, SPG balances will be multiplied by 3 and a whole lot more. Be sure to take Nick Ewen’s advice to heart, and check out 6 Tasks to Complete Before Marriott and SPG Combine on August 18.

One of those tasks is booking award stays at properties that will go up in price on the 18th — and there are quite a few. If you do plan to make those bookings, though, you have an even narrower window than we thought. Marriott reached out to clarify that some transitions have already begun, and as a result, accounts may be inaccessible during the overnight hours (US Eastern Time) even before August 18.

As Marriott explains:

“Starting tonight, leading up to August 18 members may experience temporary disruptions logging into their Marriott Rewards or The Ritz-Carlton accounts or when using points. These system transitions, scheduled during the overnight hours Eastern Time (ET) will impact members ability to access their accounts on Marriott.com and the Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton mobile apps. Associates at our call centers will also not be able to access member account information during these times. We don’t anticipate these outages will impact SPG.com or the SPG mobile app. In order to minimize disruption as you make your travel plans, we recommend North America customers book during normal business hours.”

So if you do plan to book a stay online or over the phone before August 18, your best bet is to do so during regular ET business hours. Additionally, as Marriott reps previously explained, multiple systems will go offline for extended periods on August 18, so I wouldn’t expect to be able to access your account next Saturday.

For more on what to expect from the program merger, see:

Featured image courtesy of the JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.