Marriott

Late checkout in the new Marriott program

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Now that the dust has settled on the Marriott / SPG program merger, there are a few things I want to highlight. I’m doing individual posts so topics are clear.

Under the SPG program, nearly everyone could have a *guaranteed* 4 pm checkout.  Every single program tier from Preferred Plus up to Platinum received it. And you needed only a AAA membership to qualify for Preferred Plus.  Perhaps that was “too easy” but many loyal SPG members, certainly perennial Gold members, are used to it. I know I am after about 15 years in the SPG program myself, always with access to the late checkout benefit. This also made me chose SPG properties whenever possible. It was a great benefit to have the room for a day before a flight.

Under the new combined Marriott program, late checkout requires real status.

One thing I haven’t seen blogged too much about (not ignored, just not emphasized) is that you will need Platinum in the new program, requiring 50-night credits or $75,000 in annual spend on the SPG Luxury American Express card. You can earn 15 nights via any co-branded credit card, but that will still mean you’ll need 35 nights in Marriott properties to get guaranteed late checkout.

Marriott Silver confers only “late checkout subject to availability.” That means if you ask nicely you can get an extra hour or two, and who knows, maybe an odd lucky 4 pm, but you’re actually not guaranteed anything whatsoever.

Marriott Gold (25 nights + a year) offers a 2 pm checkout. But that is still subject to availability. So sure, a nice property playing by the rules that isn’t sold out will likely give Golds 2 pm checkouts, but you can’t count on it. And that’s a BIG deal to me.

Only once you hit Platinum is the word “guaranteed” in the program terms. I did reach out to Marriott and they have confirmed for me that I am reading this correctly. Only Platinum and up have “guaranteed” late checkouts.

It’s a big deal to me, personally. But is it as big of a deal to you?

How does this affect your stay patterns?  Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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