The Marriott Starwood Merger Is Complete-What Does That Mean For Us?

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It’s official!  Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts merged into one company.  Now members of SPG, Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards are able to link their accounts at members.marriott.com.

Despite the union, Marriott doesn’t expect to have a fully combined loyalty program until 2018, so the loyalty programs are still separate and will operate the same as they always have, for now.  However, if you link your accounts you will be able to transfer points on a three-to-one ratio, that is, three Marriott Rewards points for one SPG point.  Given that SPG redemption amounts are often 1/3 of Marriott redemption rates at similar level resorts, I think this 3:1 ratio makes sense.

It was quite simple to follow the prompts and link my accounts.  It took about 30 seconds. I immediately received the below email after I completed the linking steps…

“Your accounts are now linked!

You’ve been upgraded! Thanks to your SPG® status your new Ritz-Carlton Rewards® status is:
Gold Elite”

As noted above, after linking your accounts, your status will be matched across programs.  For me, I had SPG Gold status so after linking my accounts, I now have Ritz Carlton Rewards Gold Elite Status.  FYI-I am a Ritz Carlton Rewards member instead of a Marriott Rewards member because Rob belongs to Marriott Rewards.  (You cannot be a member of both).  The programs are virtually identical other than a difference in promotions.

You should link your accounts too.  If you are a member of SPG and not Marriott/Ritz or vice versa, join the other.  Who knows when you may want to take advantage of the point transfer between programs.

As members of both, we have just gained access to SO MANY MORE resorts that we can book for free on points.  I am excited!