Marriott acquisition of Starwood is complete – You can already link accounts, status match and transfer points!

The acquisition of Starwood Hotels by Marriott has now closed. The
company will still be called Marriott International Inc. and it brings
together 30 hotel chains with over 5,700 hotels making it the largest
hotel company in the world.

The news has been much anticipated and many were wondering how the two
loyalty programs, Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest would
work in the acquisition. The news that came today about the loyalty
programs is quite exciting in fact. The two programs will continue to
run separately as we already knew until sometime in 2018. Then late
yesterday some news leaked about the transfer rate of transferring
Starpoints to Marriott would be 1:3. And that has been confirmed now and
it is a decent rate. We give Marriott Rewards points a value around 0.8
cents which means Starpoints transferred over would have a value of 2.4
cents. Now you can pull greater value than that out of Starpoints but
you can also pull greater value than 0.8 cents out of Marriott Rewards
points.

Today with the acquisition that transfer rate has been confirmed but
what is even more exciting is that you can immediately transfer points
between Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest accounts (in
either direction) and you can status match immediately between the
programs.

We want you to take advantage of the best of both programs. That means a few things:
• You can now link your Rewards and SPG accounts.
• Your highest status level* will now be matched across all of your accounts.
• You can transfer points between your accounts.

This is huge, I spoke Marriott Rewards and SPG Executives Thom Kozik and
David Flueck this morning and they were excited that never in history
have two programs of this size come together to be able to offer and
unlock benefits as what they’re offering on day one.You could hear the
excitement in both their voices even though they know they have lots of
work ahead of them on how to bring the best of both programs together.
Their next step is to work on harmonization of the programs on the back
end and to start looking at the data and behaviour of the 85 million
members they have worldwide. The good news for them is that can now see
how each others program works to solve challenges, appease their
customers and more. It really is about bringing the best of both worlds
into one huge rewards program. Finally they also mentioned that you
should see even more benefits out the rewards program in the future
since the scale of the programs now makes them the most desirable
partner in the industry which should allow them to do bigger and better
things.

Do your account linking now! Don’t wait as you’ll want to enjoy benefits of both programs! 

Essentially you can now ‘choose’ to earn Starpoints or Marriott Rewards
points for your stays at anyone of the 5,700+ hotels since you can
transfer back and forth between the programs. This is awesome as there
are places where Starwood does not have hotels so you can stay at a
Marriott hotel to earn Marriott Rewards points and then transfer them to
your SPG account or vice versa!

On the elite end, if you hold status with either program or both
programs, the highest level you have will now be your highest level in
the other program

This is a boost for Marriott Platinum members since SPG Platinum is such
a strong elite level and its a boost for SPG Gold as they now get 
Marriott Gold which provides Club Lounge access for stays at Marriott
locations!

The other benefits afforded by the elite status match are as follows:

  • Marriott Rewards elite members now have access to the Starwood Delta
    Airlines crossover rewards option and the Starwood Emirates Your World
    Rewards option
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum members will now have access to
    the Marriott United partnership giving them Silver Elite status in
    MileagePlus

Then we can go on to the airline mileage conversion, SPG has tons of
airline partners so you now can convert your Marriott Rewards points to
SPG to convert to one of more then 30 airline partners (with the 5,000
bonus miles if you convert 20,000 Starpoints at once), SPG now has
access to Marriott’s amazing travel packages for award nights+airline
miles. The possibilities go on and on with this unexpected combination
of programs today!!

On the Credit Card front both Amex and  Chase will run simultaneously
for the time being and there is no word on which card partner will be
chosen when the programs combine in 2018. So our word of advice is to
get  cards for both
programs!  It also means you can
now convert Membership Rewards points to Marriott via the SPG program.

There is so much happening with the news today that I’m sure we may have
missed something in the excitement so be on the lookout for more posts
potentially on this topic!

Finally our congrats to Starwood and Marriott! FrequentFlyerBonuses.com has been
partnered in various ways with both companies for well over 10 years and
we look forward to working with them for many more years!

What are your thoughts on today’s announcement? Are you excited? What
are you most looking forward to with the linking of the programs? Let
us know in the comments below!

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