October 6, 2016
Marriott & Starwood Merger Overview
Straight to the Point
Marriott and Starwood have officially merged to create the largest hotel company in the world with over 5,700 properties in 100+ countries! As with any merger, there’s always the fear of rewards devaluation due to less competition. That being said, so far Marriott and Starwood appear to be sending all the right signals to travelers of their loyalty programs.
Marriott breaks down its now 30 brands into the following four categories
- JW Marriott
- Luxury Collection
- W Hotels
- Marriott Vacation Club
- Delta Hotels
- Le Meridien
- Autograph Collection
- Design hotels
- Tribute Portfolio
- Gaylord Hotels
- Four Points
- Springhill Suites
- Protea Hotels
- Fairfield Inn & Suites
- AC Hotels
- Executive Apartments
- Residence Inn
- Towneplace Suites
- Members of Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards are able to link their accounts here
- If you have elite status with either Marriott, SPG, or Ritz-Carlton, you can now instantly match it to the other programs.
- This is the status matching chart per Marriott’s website:
- Key features to note: SPG Gold and Marriott Gold match to one another, SPG Platinum and Marriott Platinum match to one another
- Members can transfer points from Marriott to Starwood 3:1 or Starwood to Marriott 1:3
- This is a decent transfer rate consider the value of the respective points
- There isn’t one clear transfer direction that gives you a greater benefit from moving points, it really depends on what you’re redeeming for. For example, there’s great value to be had in moving points from Starwood to Marriott to book Ritz stays or transferring from Marriott to Starwood to book first class air travel.
- For now, Marriott and SPG will remain separate programs aside from the linking, status matching, and points transfers.
- You will still earn Marriott points & stay credits for nights at Marriott properties and SPG points & stay credits for nights at Starwood properties. Marriott has indicated that these programs will be more deeply integrated in the future.