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Saturday’s loyalty program merger has been more than two years in the making. As part of the Marriott Rewards-Starwood Preferred Guest integration, various websites, apps and booking platforms will go offline throughout the day, making booking or changing a stay all but impossible at times. If you’re hoping to avoid some potential headaches tomorrow, now’s the time to act.

Planned downtime aside, Saturday will bring higher rates at many properties around the world. Some will drop, but if a hotel you’re planning to book will increase in price, you’ll need to act today if you’re hoping to lock in the more affordable rate. Families looking to visit Disney World or resorts in Hawaii and beyond will be especially hard hit, as Summer Hull outlines in her post, 10 Marriott and SPG Properties Families Should Book Before Award Rates Skyrocket.

The Hotel + Air Package rates will also increase dramatically, across the board — they’ll be far less appealing come tomorrow. Note that if you purchase one of these packages today but don’t attach your certificate to a stay, you won’t be able to use it until September 18.

It’s not all bad news, of course. Many hotels will be dropping in price — in which case you’ll want to call to request rebooking at the new, lower rate — and a huge number of Marriott or SPG loyalists will get a big elite status bump, both when it comes to annual status and lifetime tiers.

We’ll be back with posts detailing our experiences with the new Marriott loyalty program over the days to come, but for now, I’ll leave you with some required reading, ahead of tonight’s looming deadline:

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
  • 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
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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.