RewardsPlus Partnership Between United Mileage Plus & Marriott Rewards

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Marriott and United jointly announced today a new partnership called RewardsPlus that gives Marriott Gold status for United Premier Gold/Platinum/1K/GS members and Premier Silver on United for Marriott Platinum or Platinum Premier members. You can access Marriott’s web page for this announcement here and United’s one here.

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This partnership resembles one that Starwood and Delta launched earlier this year called Crossover Rewards. You can read more about Delta/SPG partnership here.

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United Premier Gold/Platinum/1K/GS Marriott Gold Benefits

United Premier Gold or higher members will receive Marriott Rewards Gold status that normally requires 50 nights during a calendar year, although you can get it for 6 stays within the month you signed up + the following three months by signing up for Marriott Taste of Gold challenge (you can read more about the Marriott challenges here)

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Marriott Rewards Gold status comes with tangible benefits such as:

1. Concierge lounge access at full service properties. Note that lounges are often closed during the weekends in the United States and members are then eligible for breakfast in the restaurant (some exceptions). This benefit doesn’t apply at resort properties

2. Marriott Ultimate Reservation guarantee in case the hotel walks you (better benefits for Marriott Platinum members), guaranteed room type in case hotel tries to downgrade you (Gold and higher members are entitled to cash) and the lounge access/breakfast benefit. You can read more about the Ultimate Reservation guarantee here.

3. Room upgrades, complimentary internet & late check outs. Gold members can expect to get an upgrade to a club/concierge floor. Internet is complimentary at many of the Marriott brands already and for all Rewards members in Asia Pacific. The late check out is based on availability and is not very well defined.

Marriott Platinum and Platinum Premier United MileagePlus Silver Status Benefits

Marriott Platinum and Platinum Premier members get United Silver status that is Star Alliance Silver at the same time.

The main benefits of the Silver status are:

1. Economy Plus Seating + one companion but only at the check in.

2. One free bag at 23 kilos (50 lbs).

3. Some reduced award fees.

4. Premier bonus award miles 25% on United and select partners.

Other benefits:

United Premier members at all levels can convert 50,000 United miles to Marriott Rewards at one-to-one ratio points per year. This rarely, if ever, would make any sense

All members are able to convert Marriott Rewards points to United Miles at 20% discount and United calls this “exceptional” value, but it most definitely is not. You should not convert Marriott Rewards points to United miles at this ratio.

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What you should do, is to issue a Travel Package that comes with variable miles component. You can read mote about Marriott Travel Packages here. You will receive 10% bonus on number of miles converted via Travel Package route.

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If you convert at the 132,000 miles level and at the category 1-5 hotel, the points to miles conversion rate is 2.05 points to a one mile and you will get one week award at category 1-5 hotels thrown in as well. When you do the straight conversion, the ratio is 2.24 Marriott Rewards points to a mile and nothing else.

You are normally always better off by issuing Marriott Travel Package, when an airline partner is offering transfer bonus from hotel programs. These tend to happen yearly, but occasionally exclude Marriott conversion done vie Travel Packages.

Note that you can buy up to 50,000 Marriott Rewards points in a calendar year at 1.25 cents each. This is a good way to top up your account in order to issue Travel Package.

Conclusion

I know both of these programs extremely well. I have Million Miles status with United that gives me a Premier Gold for life (mine or United’s). And I have had in excess of 500 nights with Marriott and on my way to lifetime Platinum status with them at some point in the not so distant future.

One could say that this RewardsPlus arrangement is lopsided. United Premier members at the Gold or higher level will receive more benefits at matched Marriott Gold status level than Marriott Platinum or Platinum Premier members at being United Silver elites (nothing really besides the bag and 25% bonus on award miles).

To have more equal partnership, Marriott Gold, Platinum and Platinum Premier members should have received United Premier Gold. Now Marriott Rewards Gold members don’t receive anything.

This arrangement is bit different to the Delta & SPG Crossover Rewards hook up earlier this year. Delta Platinum & Diamond Medallions receive SPG Gold type benefits at Starwood hotels and SPG Platinum members receive Delta Silver Medallion type benefits besides upgrades, when flying on Delta.

All Delta Medallions earn one SkyMile per USD spend at Starwood properties and SPG Gold & Platinum members receive one Starpoint per USD spend on Delta flights. To get these extra miles & points, you don’t have to do anything else than link your SPG & Delta accounts and to be an elite member.

One can only imagine that American Airlines and Hilton HHonors will have some sort of similar arrangement coming at some later time. Airlines and hotels tend to copy the benefits that other programs are offering and this United/Marriott partnership seems to be reaction to Delta/SPG one.

Here are the frequently asked questions by Marriott about this partnership:

1. What is RewardsPlus?

“RewardsPlus” is a new partnership with Marriott’s loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® , offering new and enhanced benefits.

Marriott Rewards members receive:

  • Complimentary Premier Silver status in MileagePlus (open to Platinum Elite members and above, registration required)
  • 20% discount when converting Marriott Rewards points MileagePlus miles (open to all members, registration not required)
  • 10% more MileagePlus miles when redeeming Marriott Rewards points for flight and hotel Vacation Packages (open to all members, registration not required)

MileagePlus members receive:

  • Complimentary Gold Elite status in Marriott Rewards (open to MileagePlus Premier Gold members and above, registration required)
  • Conversion of MileagePlus award miles into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio (open to Premier Silver members and above, registration not required)
  • 20% discount when converting Marriott Rewards points MileagePlus miles (open to all members, registration not required)
  • 10% more MileagePlus miles when redeeming Marriott Rewards points for flight and hotel Vacation Packages (open to all members, registration not required)

Eligible Marriott Rewards members can register for complimentary MileagePlus Silver status at marriottrewards.com/rewardsplus.

Eligible MileagePlus members can register for complimentary Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status at united.com/rewardsplus.

2. Why is Marriott Rewards partnering with MileagePlus?

United Airlines is one of the worldâ??s largest airlines with support for international gateways to Asia and Australia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East with non-stop or one-stop service from virtually anywhere in the United States. Marriott’s global network of over 3,600 hotels and resorts aligns well with United’s comprehensive global network, meeting the needs of our frequent travelers. This partnership enhances the travel experience for members of MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards.

3. What status levels are offered through RewardsPlus?

For MileagePlus members who are Premier Gold and above, the RewardsPlus program offers complimentary Gold Elite status in the Marriott Rewards program (registration required). The status is valid through January 31, 2014. MileagePlus members who have trial Premier Gold or above status due to the MileagePlus Premier Status Match Challenge program are not eligible for RewardsPlus complimentary status.

For Marriott Rewards members who are Platinum Elite (including Platinum Premier and Ritz Carlton Rewards Platinum), the RewardsPlus program offers complimentary Premier Silver status in the MileagePlus program (registration required). The status is valid through Jan 31, 2014. Marriott Rewards members who have temporary Platinum Elite status due to the Marriott Rewards Taste of Elite program are not eligible for RewardsPlus complimentary status.

4. What are the benefits of Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status?

The benefits of Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status* include:

  • lounge access/complimentary continental breakfast1
  • room upgrades2,
  • complimentary Internet access,
  • priority late check-out3,
  • 25% points bonus per stay

*Benefits vary by hotel brand. For more information on the full benefits of Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status, please visit marriott.com/rewards/member-benefits.mi

  • Available at participating JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance Hotels®, and Marriott Hotels®. Resorts are excluded.
  • Based on room availability at check-in and limited to a Member’s personal guestroom.
  • Priority late check-out based on availability.

5. What are the benefits of MileagePlus Premier Silver status?

The benefits of MileagePlus Premier Silver status include:

  • complimentary access to Economy Plus at check-in (when available);
  • Complimentary Premier Upgrades (when available);
  • Premier Access(SM) travel services, which include designated ticket counter check-in lines, priority security lines, priority boarding and priority baggage handling;
  • one complimentary checked bag; and
  • 25% Premier bonus award miles on United flights.

For more information on the full benefits of MileagePlus Premier Silver status, please visit www.united.com/premier

6. Does a customer have to be a member of both the MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards programs to participate in RewardsPlus?

Yes. Members may join MileagePlus at www.mileageplus.com or Marriott Rewards www.marriottrewards.com.

7. Is RewardsPlus open to members who reside outside the United States?

Yes.

8. How do members register for RewardsPlus?

  • MileagePlus members who have Premier Gold status or higher can register at united.com/rewardsplus, while Marriott Platinum Elite members can register at marriottrewards.com/rewardsplus.
  • Member logs in with their member number and PIN/password
  • Once member is authenticated, the site will display the member’s corresponding Marriott Rewards / MileagePlus number. If the corresponding Marriott Rewards / MileagePlus number is not found the site will prompt the member to enter it. Member must accept the terms and conditions of the program, and then their request will be processed.
  • Member’s account will reflect the updated status in 7-10 days. Members can expect membership credentials to arrive in 4-6 weeks.

9. Do members who receive MileagePlus Premier Silver status through the RewardsPlus program have the same benefits as other Premier Silver members?

Yes. However, the Premier Silver status through RewardsPlus is effective for the current program year only, meaning through January 31, 2014. Details on RewardsPlus in 2014 will be released at a later time.

10. Do members who receive Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status through the RewardsPlus program have the same benefits as other Gold Elite members?

Yes. However, the Gold Elite status through RewardsPlus is effective for the current program year only, meaning through January 31, 2014. Details on RewardsPlus in 2014 will be released at a later time.

11. Once a member has the complimentary MileagePlus Premier Silver status, can they reach a higher Premier status?

Yes, but only by reaching the published requirements. For example, to reach Premier Gold, a member must earn 50,000 Premier qualifying miles (or 60 Premier qualifying segments) and have at least four paid flights operated by United, United Express or Copa during a calendar year. For more information, please visit www.united.com/premier.

12. Once a member has the complimentary Marriot Rewards Gold Elite status, can they reach a higher Elite status?

Yes, but only by reaching the published requirements. For example, to reach Platinum Elite, a member must stay 75 nights. For more information, please visit www.marriott.com/rewards/member-benefits.mi

13. Can Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite members use their Marriott Rewards membership cards at the airport to enjoy the benefits of Premier Silver, like Premier Access and EconomyPlus?

No. Eligible Marriott Rewards members who wish to enjoy the benefits of MileagePlus Premier Silver status must register and be confirmed for the RewardsPlus program at marriottrewards.com/rewardsplus to obtain their MileagePlus Premier Silver status. To enjoy Premier Silver benefits, Premier Silver members must enter their MileagePlus number when booking flights with United.

14. Can MileagePlus members who are Premier Gold or higher use their MileagePlus membership cards at Marriott hotels to enjoy the benefits of Gold Elite status, like room upgrades and complimentary breakfast?

No. Eligible MileagePlus members who wish to enjoy the benefits of Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status must register for the RewardsPlus program at united.com/rewardsplus to obtain their Gold Elite status. To enjoy Gold Elite benefits, Gold Elite members must enter their MileagePlus number when making reservations with Marriott.

15. What hotel brands are in the Marriott Rewards family?

Marriott features the largest portfolio of award-winning hotel brands in the industry. The brands are The Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott, EDITION, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Gaylord Hotels, and Marriott Vacation Club.

16. In addition to the status benefits, what are the other “points and miles” benefits and how do they work?

All members will enjoy 20% discount from their Marriott Rewards points when they convert them into MileagePlus award miles. For example, a member will now use only 8,000 Marriott Rewards points to receive 2,000 MileagePlus award miles, instead of 10,000 points required with most other airlines.

In addition, all members can earn 10% more award miles when points are used for a Marriott Rewards Vacation Package which includes MileagePlus award miles and hotel accommodations –a bonus of up to 12,000 MileagePlus award miles.

Moreover, MileagePlus Premier members can convert their MileagePlus award miles into Marriott Rewards points at a ratio of 1 mile to 1 point (max of fifty thousand miles per member per year).

Registration is not required for the enhanced points and miles offerings. Customers must be members of both the MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards programs to take advantage of the RewardsPlus points and miles offers.

Here are the terms and conditions of this program from United:

RewardsPlus Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions (the “RewardsPlus Rules”) form the basis of the RewardsPlus Program offered by Marriott Rewards and MileagePlus. Your registration and participation in the RewardsPlus Program will be governed by the RewardsPlus Rules, the “MileagePlus Program Rules” and the “Marriott Rewards Program Rules” (as such terms are defined below), which it is your responsibility to read and understand. By submitting a registration request for RewardsPlus, you agree to be bound by the RewardsPlus Rules, the MileagePlus Program Rules and the Marriott Rewards Program Rules.

General Conditions of the RewardsPlus Program

1. The RewardsPlus Program is offered by Marriott Rewards and MileagePlus.

2. Miles accrued, awards, and benefits issued, including those issued pursuant to the RewardsPlus Program, are subject to change and are subject to the rules (“MileagePlus Rules”) of the United MileagePlus program, including without limitation the Premier® program (the “MileagePlus Program”), which are expressly incorporated herein. MileagePlus has the right to terminate the MileagePlus Program or to change the MileagePlus Rules, regulations, policies, procedures, conditions of participation, benefits, awards, and special offers, in whole or in part, at any time, with or without notice.

3. The RewardsPlus Program is also subject to the terms and conditions of the Marriott Rewards Program, including without limitation the elite membership program (the “Marriott Rewards Program Rules”), which are expressly incorporated herein. Marriott Rewards has the right to terminate the Marriott Rewards Program or to change, limit, modify or cancel the Marriott Rewards Program Rules, regulations, policies, procedures, conditions or participation, benefits, awards, and special offers, in whole or in part, at any time, with or without notice, even though such changes may affect the value of points or miles.

4. Marriott Rewards and MileagePlus have the right to terminate the RewardsPlus Program or to change the RewardsPlus Rules, regulations, policies, procedures, conditions of participation, benefits, awards, and special offers, in whole or in part, at any time, with or without notice.

5. Registration and participation in the RewardsPlus Program is subject to your compliance with all of the RewardsPlus Rules, regulations, policies, procedures, conditions of participation, benefits, awards, and special offers, as applicable, that Marriott Rewards and MileagePlus may, in their discretion, adopt from time to time, and which Marriott Rewards and MileagePlus have the sole right to interpret and apply. Any failure by you to comply with the RewardsPlus Rules, the MileagePlus Program Rules or the Marriott Rewards Program Rules, or any action or conduct by you that is detrimental to Marriott Rewards and/or MileagePlus may result in the suspension or termination of your participation in the RewardsPlus Program.

6. All calculations and determinations made in connection with the RewardsPlus Program, including without limitation with respect to the accumulation of mileage, points and the satisfaction of the qualification requirements for Premier or Elite status in connection with the RewardsPlus Program, will be made by MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards in their discretion and all such calculations and determinations will be considered final. MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards reserve the right to request further supporting documentation from the member to validate the satisfaction of the Criteria, but shall have no obligation to do so. MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards reserve the right to revise or reverse their determinations.

7. Bonus award miles, award miles, or any other miles earned or otherwise received through the conversion of Marriott Rewards points through the RewardsPlus Program (or through any other non-flight activity) do not count toward qualification for Premier status in the MileagePlus Program, unless expressly stated otherwise.

8. The accumulation of mileage, points, RewardsPlus Premier status or any other status does not entitle members to any vested rights with respect to the RewardsPlus Program, the MileagePlus Program or the Marriott Rewards Program.

9. Achieving higher status levels:

a. In the MileagePlus Program: Members who receive complimentary Premier Silver status in the MileagePlus Program through the RewardsPlus Program may reach higher Premier status levels, but only by reaching the published qualification requirements as set forth in the MileagePlus Premier program. Premier Silver status in the MileagePlus Program that is granted through the RewardsPlus Program may not be combined, added or stacked with any premier qualifying miles, premier qualifying segments or other qualification requirements to achieve a higher Premier status level in the MileagePlus Program. For more information, please visit www.united.com/premier.

b. In the Marriott Rewards Program: Members who receive complimentary Gold Elite status in the Marriott Rewards Program through the RewardsPlus Program may reach higher Elite status levels, but only by reaching the published qualification requirements as set forth in the Marriott Rewards Elite program. Gold Elite status in the Marriott Rewards Program that is granted through the RewardsPlus Program may not be combined, added or stacked with any elite qualification requirements to achieve a higher Elite status level in the Marriott Rewards Program. For more information, please visit www.marriott.com/rewards/member-benefits.mi

10. No mileage, points, benefits or awards issued pursuant to the RewardsPlus Program may be transferred, sold, bartered or assigned except, as expressly permitted by Marriott Rewards and MileagePlus.

11. By participating in the RewardsPlus Program, you consent to Marriott Rewards and MileagePlus each sharing and receiving your MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards member data with and from Marriott Rewards and MileagePlus and their respective, subsidiaries, affiliates and agents. Such data will be used by Marriott Rewards and MileagePlus in connection with the RewardsPlus Program and will be used individually by Marriott Rewards and MileagePlus in accordance with their respective privacy policies which can be found at http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/privacy.aspx and https://www.marriott.com/marriott/privacy-us.mi .

12. MileagePlus and its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products or services of Marriott Rewards or its subsidiaries, affiliates or agents, or of any other participating companies or partners. Marriott Rewards and its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products or services of MileagePlus, its corporate parent United Airlines, Inc., or any of their respective subsidiaries, affiliates or agents, or of any other participating companies or partners.

13. Information contained herein that relates to the MileagePlus Program or the Marriott Rewards Program does not purport to be complete or comprehensive and may not include all of the information that a member may believe is important, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to all of the information on the United.com website, the Marriott.com website, the MileagePlus Program Rules and the Marriott Rewards Program Rules. For complete details about the MileagePlus Program, go to www.united.com, and for complete details about the Marriott Rewards Program, go to www.marriott.com.

14. MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards are registered service marks.

Eligibility and Registration for the RewardsPlus Program

1. To participate in the RewardsPlus Program, you must be a member of both MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards.

2. To register for the complimentary status offerings of the RewardsPlus Program, you must meet the following qualification criteria (“Criteria”):

a. To register your request for complimentary Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status: A MileagePlus member must hold an active, validated account with either Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, Premier 1K, or Global Services status in the MileagePlus Program. If so validated by MileagePlus, the MileagePlus member will be able to register to request complimentary Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status through the RewardsPlus Program. MileagePlus members who hold Premier Silver or General status in the MileagePlus Program are not eligible to register for complimentary Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status or any other status in the Marriott Rewards Program through the RewardsPlus Program. Members who meet the Criteria as a result of holding trial Premier status in MileagePlus, including without limitation as a result of a MileagePlus Premier status match challenge program also are not eligible for complimentary status offerings through the RewardsPlus Program. Registration requests from members who otherwise meet the Criteria for complimentary status offerings through the RewardsPlus Program will not be granted such status in the event the member already holds equivalent or higher status in the Marriott Rewards Program.

b. To register your request for complimentary MileagePlus Premier Silver status: A Marriott Rewards member must hold an active, validated account with either Platinum Elite or Platinum Premier Elite status in the Marriott Rewards Program (and/or The Ritz Carlton Rewards Program) to register to request complimentary MileagePlus Premier Silver status through the RewardsPlus Program. If so validated by Marriott Rewards, the Marriott Rewards member will be able to register to receive complimentary MileagePlus Premier Silver status through the RewardsPlus Program. Marriott Rewards members who hold Gold Elite, Silver Elite, or basic status in the Marriott Rewards Program (and/or The Ritz Carlton Rewards Program) are not eligible to register for complimentary MileagePlus Premier Silver status or any other status in the MileagePlus Program through the RewardsPlus Program. Members who meet the Criteria as a result of holding trial Elite status in the Marriott Rewards Program (and/or The Ritz Carlton Rewards program), including without limitation as a result of the Marriott Rewards “Taste of Elite” program (or similar The Ritz Carlton Rewards Program “Taste of Elite” program) are not eligible for complimentary status offerings through the RewardsPlus Program. Registration requests from members who otherwise meet the Criteria for complimentary status offerings through the RewardsPlus Program will not be granted such status in the event the member already holds equivalent or higher status in the Marriott Rewards Program.

3. Completed registrations from members requesting complimentary status offerings through the RewardsPlus Program are subject to review and determination by MileagePlus and/or Marriott Rewards as to whether the member meets the Criteria, and status grants from such registration requests are not guaranteed.

4. Members who register requesting complimentary status offerings should allow 7-10 business days for their accounts to reflect the new status, if granted.

5. Complimentary status offerings are valid through January 31, 2014.

6. Members of the Marriott Rewards Program who meet the Criteria for the RewardsPlus Program and who wish to enjoy the benefits of MileagePlus Premier Silver status must register their request through RewardsPlus at www.united.com/rewardsplus.

7. Members of the MileagePlus Program who meet the Criteria for the RewardsPlus Program and who wish to enjoy the benefits of Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status must register through RewardsPlus at www.marriottrewards.com/rewardsplus.

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