SPG & Marriott Rewards Loyalty Program Merger Now Pushed To 2019?

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Forbes yesterday published a piece on its website about a chat that one of its editor had with the CEO of Marriott in New York forum.

Starwood & Marriott Merger Disaster

Seems that the CEO had been in the good mood and opened up on the ins and outs of merging the Starwood into Marriott’s platform. It appears that the loyalty program merger may not happen before 2019.

You can access Marriott’s page here and SPG’s here for linking accounts for status match purposes.

You can access the Forbes article here of which below is an excerpt:

Loyalty members build up points for upgrades, free room stays and perks like free Wifi and late check out among other benefits. There are currently 99 members who hold platinum status with both SPG and Marriott Rewards, but thousands who are staunchly loyal to SPG alone.

This really doesn’t make any sense. I am 100% sure that there are more than 99 members that have both Marriott and SPG Platinum status. Perhaps there are only 99 that have lifetime with both programs?

It is true, however, that SPG has had far better guaranteed benefits compared to Marriott Rewards.

For now there are still two loyalty programs, SPG and Marriott Rewards. The accounts can be linked but the long-term goal is to offer a single program. “That requires a lot of technology; reconciliation of rules, bonus points, black out dates. We’re a good year away from that,” Sorenson says.

Here’s the CEO states that they are good one year from creating one program. I guess that this means that we won’t see combined program before 2019?

Marriott Rewards advertises that they don’t have blackout dates that is false. They don’t merely have company wide blackout dates but individual properties may blackout dates for months at a time…..

The brand wasn’t performing as well as it should have been. Starwood had at one point considered dropping Sheraton. In fact, that was still a possibility when Marriott took over but it ultimately decided to hold onto it and bring it up to standards.

They really should look into the JW and Marriott brands too. There are too many properties that are allowed to carry their flags that are nowhere near fulfilling the brands standards (goes with all the chains and not with just Marriott.

Conclusion

I just made the SPG lifetime Platinum last month (read more here) and waiting for the lifetime credentials to arrive (let’s see if they really take 12 weeks to arrive). I have already made lifetime Gold with Marriott and will need to spend another 100 or so nights with them before lifetime Platinum is bagged with them as well (points are in already).

It is really difficult to satisfy SPG members with this merger. Many basically loath everything that Marriott and Marriott Rewards represent. The culture with these two programs is the polar opposite.

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