The upcoming changes to SPG and Marriott Rewards have been written about extensively. I recommend Matthew's post here, Lucky's post here, and TPG's post here. I wanted to write about how it would affect me.
First of all, I pretty much consider SPG points to be airline miles. My biggest redemption of Starpoints so far was converting 100k to 125k Alaska miles and booking CX F. (technically, I've only confirmed one CX F seat at the moment, but I keep watching for that second to open). I've probably used about 50k for some points for redemptions in Mexico City, among other places, but I mainly use them as airline miles.
I have gold status due to my American Express Platinum Card, this means between August 1st and February 2019 I will have Platinum status with the "new Marriott Rewards". However, I don't think I'll use it very often, my fiance holds legitimate platinum status at the moment, and we've been reserving our hotel rooms under her account. Although the temporary bump in status is a short-term windfall, I don't think it will benefit me as much as it will benefit others.
My biggest gripe with the new program are the changes to the American Express SPG card and the American Express SPG Business card. Currently, this card earns 1 Starpoint per dollar, the equivalent of 3 Marriott Rewards points. After August 1st, the card will earn 2 Marriott Rewards points per dollar, a devaluation of 33% to every day spend. The Business card will earn 4 Marriott Rewards points per dollar on restaurants, gas stations, and wireless providers and 2 Marriott Rewards points on all other purchase. (Both cards will earn 6 points per $ at Marriott properties)
These opportunities aren't compelling for me as far as continued use as my non-bonused daily spender. Using TPG's valuations of about 2.7 cents per Starpoint, and .9 cents per Marriott Rewards point, I can get better value out of using my no-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited and earning 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar.
I am excited about the free-night (up to 35k points) that card members will receive, but that is likely the only reason I will keep the card around. My suggestion to you guys would be to pick up the card now, and hit your bonus spend before August 1st. Those 25,000 points will convert to 75,000 Marriott Rewards points. Next year, you can keep it around if you'll use the annual free-night certificate. What are your plans with the upcoming Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest program combination?