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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:

Know before you go.

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