Marriott Rewards & SPG Program Integration Begins: Linking Accounts, Status Matching & Moving Points Between

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Later this morning, Marriott is taking over Starwood and the long process of combining the two companies and their loyalty programs begins.

marriott-spg

Marriott has now enabled linking your Marriott and SPG accounts, matching status, and moving points between them to take advantage of awards from both programs.

You can access Marriott’s website for linking accounts here:

Here’s the most relevant information:

1. One SPG Starpoint point = three Marriott Rewards points

3-1

Marriott Rewards and SPG have decided that the conversion ratio between programs is one Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints for three Marriott Rewards ones.

2. Status matching

match

You can match your SPG status with Marriott and vice versa per the following schedule:

Marriott Rewards Silver = SPG Preferred Guest Plus

Marriott Rewards Gold = SPG Gold

Marriott Rewards Platinum = SPG Platinum

3. Linking accounts & moving points

link

You can now link your Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest accounts for status matching and transferring points between them.

This means that you can use your Marriott Rewards points for award stays and all other SPG rewards after converting points and vice versa.

Marriott & Starwood milestones

Download (PDF, 3.84MB)

Conclusion

I have to give Marriott Rewards and SPG credit that they have allowed status matching, linking accounts and transferring points from day one.

This allows Marriott Rewards and SPG members to start earning points for stays at each others’ properties by matching status and then combining points for awards in either of the programs.

SPG members will have access to Marriott Travel Packages and Marriott Rewards members to more reasonably priced lower category SPG awards and airline partners.

The SPG program will continue to exist until the end of 2017. Nothing is going to happen overnight.

I will have separate posts later today about a call that I had on Thursday with Marriott and SPG representatives and questions I had asked regarding the loyalty program merger. Just go ahead and explore the site that I have linked above with more detailed information about the issues on hand.

Here’s the press release regarding the program merger from Marriott:

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL’S EXPANDED PORTFOLIO OF 30 LEADING HOTEL BRANDS SETS NEW GLOBAL STANDARD FOR UNRIVALED TRAVEL EXPERIENCES AND EXPANDED LOYALTY BENEFITS

Starting Today, Loyalty Members Can Link Their Accounts to Receive Recognition at More Hotels and Redeem Points for Travel to More Destinations Than Ever Before

Bethesda, MD, September 23, 2016 – Today, the most iconic and visionary name in hospitality, Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), expands to include 30 of the most desirable and prestigious hotel brands with the addition of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts portfolio.

At a time when travelers place even greater emphasis on enriching and personal experiences, they can now choose from the most diverse selection of hotel brands ever. With more than 5,700 hotels and 1.1 million rooms in over 110 countries across the globe, guests now have access to the best hotels and resorts wherever they travel. Marriott International’s portfolio now includes a series of quintessential luxury and lifestyle names. The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott, The Luxury Collection and EDITION define a new era of luxury travel, with dynamic brands such as W Hotels, Westin and Autograph Collection occupying an evolving lifestyle category. Premium brands like Marriott Hotels and Sheraton anchor the portfolio and provide a broad array of choices around the world for business and leisure travel. And new, fun, accessible experiences at Moxy Hotels, AC Hotels and Aloft add to the portfolio, ensuring our guests have whatever they want, wherever they are in the world.

The marriage of these two leading hotel companies means Marriott will deliver an unparalleled guest experience with more hotels in more global destinations, an unrivaled range of comprehensive accommodations to suit every traveler, and the industry’s best loyalty programs,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International. “Providing such a wide selection reinforces our enduring commitment to offering guests an even greater world to explore with Marriott at their side.”

Expanded Loyalty Benefits

Also starting later today, members of Marriott’s leading loyalty programs, Marriott Rewards – which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards – and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), are invited to link their accounts at members.marriott.com to enjoy the benefits, recognition and experiences each program has to offer. Members will have their status matched across programs and be able to transfer and redeem points across programs for travel to more destinations than ever before. Members who link their accounts will be able to transfer points at a three-to-one ratio (three Marriott Rewards points = one SPG Starpoint) between the programs for redemption stays or on the Marriott Rewards Experiences Marketplace or SPG’s Moments platform.

Marriott’s and Starwood’s guests have shown tremendous loyalty to our brands and now that we are one company, we are seizing the opportunity to reinforce our loyalty to them,” said Stephanie Linnartz, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Commercial Officer. “Beginning now, we’re drawing upon the best of our loyalty programs by enabling members to join or link their accounts and immediately receive reciprocal status and benefits.”

Members of Marriott Rewards – which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards – and SPG will immediately be able to take advantage of these benefits:

Status Match: Receive immediate status match across programs to take advantage of robust member benefits and recognition.

Points Transfer & Redemption: Transfer points between programs to access new and exciting redemption opportunities. Redeem points to visit new destinations, indulge interests with exclusive experiences, and purchase merchandise through the loyalty shopping mall.

Moments / Experiences: Gain exclusive access to money-can’t-buy events and experiences powered by our combined portfolio of exciting global partnerships in music, sports (including professional football, baseball, basketball, and tennis), and entertainment.

Access to More Destinations: Now Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members can use points to travel to new, sought-after destinations such as the Maldives; Santorini, Greece; and Bora Bora, while SPG members have access to popular locales such as Aruba; Tuscany’s Serchio Valley; and Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Member Rates: Members of the loyalty programs who link their accounts will be able to take advantage of exclusive Member Rates – our lowest guaranteed rates – when they book direct on the Marriott mobile app or SPG app, on Marriott.com or SPG.com, through a call center or with a hotel. (Note: Marriott Rewards Member Rates are only available on Marriott booking channels, SPG Member Rates are only available on SPG booking channels and both are based on hotel availability.)

Mobile:  When members book their stays directly with Marriott, they can use the Marriott mobile app to check in and check out, receive an alert when their room is ready, as well as make service requests directly to participating hotels using Mobile Requests before, during, and after their stays. Similarly, SPG’s mobile app allows guests to use SPG Keyless to check in, get their room number and unlock the room door using their smartphone or Apple® Watch at participating hotels.

Free Wi-Fi: When loyalty members book direct through the Marriott mobile or SPG apps, on Marriott.com or SPG.com they will always receive free in-room Wi-Fi.

Introducing Global Travel Day

Marriott International will officially launch Global Travel Day inspired by the spirit of travel and created to highlight the extraordinary travel experiences brought to life through the new Marriott portfolio of hotels. Global Travel Day will come alive on Friday, October 14, 2016 at New York City’s iconic Rockefeller Center® with a 4,140-square foot interactive map showcasing Marriott’s now more than 5,700 properties worldwide – unveiled for visitors to explore and celebrate all the places they can now travel with Marriott. In addition to the map experience, Marriott will place larger-than-life push pins in front of all Starwood and Marriott properties in New York City marking the breadth of Marriott’s new portfolio.

Loyalty members in the U.S. will also have a chance to win one of 30 travel packages through a unique social media sweepstakes. Beginning on October 14, loyalty members will be able to enter by sharing their dream destination with @MarriottRewards and @SPG on Twitter or Instagram, along with the push pin?emoji and #YouAreHere #Sweepstakes.*

In addition to the social sweepstakes, members of Marriott Rewards and SPG can also access an array of unique global experiences, such as:

  • Super Bowl LI party and suite at the game exclusively for Marriott Rewards members, and other unique NFL experiences such as exclusive tailgate experiences and meet-and-greets with NFL Legends for UK-based Marriott Rewards members at the NFL International Series
  • Tickets and meet-and-greet opportunities with NBA Legends for Marriott Rewards members at NBA Global Games China 2016: Houston Rockets vs. New Orleans Pelicans at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and LeSports Center in Beijing
  • SPG members-only dining experiences including kitchen tours, cooking demonstrations, signed cookbooks, photos and autographs with chefs at some of the world’s best restaurants, including Minibar (Washington, DC), Alinea (Chicago), Trois Mec (Los Angeles), Craft (NYC), Quintonil (Mexico City), The French Laundry (Napa), and L’Arpege (Paris)
  • Tickets to the 2016 World Series and other exclusive Major League Baseball (MLB) ballpark experiences including tickets, batting practice viewing and more during the MLB Postseason, including the American and National League Wild Card games, Division Series and League Championship Series
  • SPG Luxury Suite at Madison Square Garden in New York City, STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, The O2 Arena in London and Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai for concerts and sporting events available exclusively to SPG members

For a comprehensive list of all the experiences available to loyalty members please visit the Experiences Marketplace and SPG Moments websites. To join Marriott Rewards – which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards – or SPG, and to see full rules, please visit members.marriott.com.

*No Purchase Necessary. Open to Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards members who are residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) and at least 18 years old. Enter Sweepstakes from 10/14 – 10/21. Rules will be available before promotion launch for all details, including prize descriptions and odds.

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  • Phong Huynh

    Not familiar with Marriott… Is this conversion rate interesting or is it better to burn them as SPG points before end of 2017?

    • Phong Huynh

      I think I just answered my own question…. They are not merging the programs yet… No cross benefits yet either. 🙂

      • You get cross benefits by linking your accounts. They will automatically match the highest status between programs. You can then redeem in either program and move points when required.

  • I have the Starwood Business Amex that allows access to the club lounge. I wonder if it will work at Marriotts?

    • No. You would need to get SPG Gold status that they would match to Marriott Gold that comes with lounge access and/or breakfast benefit.

  • KMIA

    SPG Gold = Marriott Gold, I really like that.

  • disqust101

    3:1 is a reasonable transfer ratio. Better than I expected.

  • Mr SPG meet Mr Marriott

    NOT LIVE YET … website says …. “Coming Soon”

    • They seems to have some issues with the website at the moment. Try again in few hours time. It was shortly down too after going live.

  • John Polley

    It seems it will be later than day one for linking accounts. When I go to the Link Accounts site it says “coming soon.”

  • Mr SPG meet Mr Marriott

    What are your thoughts on using this ‘opportunity’ to move Amex > SPG > Marriott in terms of point value ?

  • Can I do a status match right now from HHonors, LCAH, IHG to SPG/Marriott

    • Neither Marriott nor SPG do straight status matches but rather offer challenges. SPG Gold, however, is very easy to get.

  • Austy

    I hope Marriott takes on some of the benefits offered by SPG at Gold/Platinum and Ambassador level. That selection of choices looks pretty good and likewise the Your24 option at Platinum. The deal with Uber for Platinums looks good too. Here’s hoping Platinum is achieved through the 50 nights ala SPG, but I fear with so many SPG now holding the same status with Marriott, if anything platinum requalification will become more difficult.

  • LVO

    Till when is the new status valid?

  • Fletch

    What about qualifying nights? I will likely end up at 65 nights with Marriott this year and I’m concerned about renewing my Platinum status which I’ve had for years. I do have 10 nights at SPG as well, would they consider combining them for status renewal? Also how will lifetime status work? Will they combine total stays somehow?

  • William

    Any idea how Marriott is treating SPG members with lifetime status? The press release did not address that.

    • It was covered on my interview with them. Gold and Platinum SPG lifetime statuses honored.

      • JC

        Wish that were true, but how to interpret this sentence in the email sent to SPG Plats? “Please note that linking accounts will not result in a Lifetime status match in the other program.”

  • It is refreshing in the current climate to see this announcement. As an SPG Platinum and Marriott nothing I have enjoyed spending an hour looking at some of the new options. It was really easy to link and match the accounts and I have decided to let Accor Platinum status slide and switch that portion of our business to Marriott. Pleased to see that Marriott Plats get free breakfast. Still keeping Hilton Diamond and IHG Spire though, just in case things change.

    Hats off to the new Marriott!

  • David

    Linked accounts now and as a SPG Plat, my MR Gold was immediately shown as Platinum. It will be interesting to see what the new 2018 program will be like (particular because MR Gold has better benefits than SPG Gold…in fact its benefits are what SPG Plat offers), and what tier qualifications and benefits will be.

    In my initial email from Starwood this morning (nothing yet from Marriott), I found the reference to Lifetime status reference to be a bit ambiguous.

    “Since you’re currently Platinum with SPG® — as well as an SPG Lifetime™ Gold member — when you link accounts or join Marriott Rewards®, you’ll instantly receive Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite status and benefits. You’ll continue to enjoy your SPG Lifetime status, and if you’ve already earned Marriott Rewards Lifetime status, you’ll keep that too. Please note that linking accounts will not result in a Lifetime status match in the other program.”

    I understand I don’t automatically get Marriott Lifetime [Gold] status being a Lifetime SPG Gold. But will the new program have Lifetime status?

    But so far, it appears Marriott is being quite generous…though expect a flood of elites now and more crowded club lounges (particularly given the UA Gold/Plat/1K comps to MR Gold…though that raises the question of what happens to the SPG/Delta tie-in).

  • Chad

    Is there a benefit to waiting to link accounts? If we link today, lets say to improve SPG status with a superior Marriott status, how long will the new SPG status be valid for? The end of this calendar year? Or should we wait and we will be able to keep status all throughout 2017? I ask this question based on a Marriott status that was earned in 2016.

    • David

      Can’t see any benefit in waiting. If your current status tier in one program changes, i.e. goes from Gold to Plat, it will be reflected in the other program almost immediately. It means you can hold the higher of the two program tier statuses you may have at the moment, as well as what you might earn through the balance of this year. However, it will also change in 2017 based on what you qualify for in each program…though it will reflect the higher tier. So if this year you’re a SPG Gold and qualify for Plat in 2017, and you’ve matched this year to MR Gold, you’ll also move up to MR Plat for 2017. So can’t see any reason not to match ASAP.

      • Andy

        What if my SPG elite status expire soon? say I have SPG gold, then I link to my Marriott to become Marriott gold. Soon after I no longer SPG gold, will they automatically downgrade my Marriott gold?

        • David

          Both program benefit years run from March through February so if you lose your SPG Gold status on February 28th 2017, you’ll no longer have the matched MR Gold status. Not sure if Marriott would drop you down to MR Silver as there is no SPG tier below Gold other than basic, but unless you earn the qualifying nights/stays in the MR program for Gold or Silver, you’ll find yourself without elite status. (And for 2017 qualification, it appears you can’t add your Marriott and Starwood nights to achieve status. That would likely only come during 2017 for the new merged program in 2018.)

    • Anonymous Writer

      This may be a long shot, but I’m keeping my accounts separate (already Platinum with both) in the hopes that they will total up the elite years in both programs for the benefit of calculating lifetime status. There is no info on this yet, but the potential benefit is there versus no benefit for me as transferring points is not necessary on my end.

  • This is good news! Thanks.