October 19, 2016
Marriott and Starwood Credit Cards now offer reciprocal benefits!

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Straight to the Point

Marriott completed its merger with Starwood in late September to create the world’s largest hotel chain with over 5,700+ properties in 110+ countries. Recall that the new chain combines Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Starwood properties. You can review the key highlights of the merger here. Well, Marriott and Starwood are now bringing their credit cards closer together in a fantastic way!

Key Points

  • Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express cardholders will now earn 2X Starpoints per dollar on all Marriott hotel spending. They will continue earning the same 2X Starpoints per dollar on all Starwood hotel spending.
  • Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card and Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card cardholders will now earn 5X Marriott or Ritz-Carlton points per dollar on all Starwood spending. They will continue earning the same 5X Marriott or Ritz-Carlton points per dollar on all Marriott & Ritz-Carlton hotel spending.
  • Thom Kozik, Vice President of Loyalty at Marriott, stated: “Today, we are giving loyalty Card Members more flexibility to earn points no matter where they stay with us. By making our credit cards even more powerful and attractive for them, they’ll earn points more quickly and enjoy travel even sooner.”

Volkswagen Beetle and St Regis Hotel in Mexico City


Maximizing Value

  • Remember that SPG and Marriott points can now freely be transferred to one another at a 1:3 ratio.
  • That means you can maximize Marriott spending by charging it all to your Starwood Preferred Guest card. You will earn 2X SPG points per dollar spent at Marriott properties, which you can then transfer to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio. This would bank you 6 Marriott points per dollar. If you had instead directly charged your Marriott card, you would have only received 5X Marriott points per dollar.

Final Thoughts

  • This is a great move for Marriott and Starwood. It allows their customers to earn reciprocal benefits from the entire new Marriott family of properties with all of the various Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Starwood credit cards.
  • Customers can now transfer points back and forth between the programs and earn valuable points regardless of which chain they choose to stay at.
  • I look forward to seeing how Marriott and Starwood will merge their criteria for earning status among their three programs in the future.