SPG/Marriott Merger Overview and What To Expect
On August 18th The Starwoods Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards program will be combined in to one new program. The reason for this merger goes back to September of 2016 when Marriott acquired Starwood Hotel and Resorts at a price tag of 13.6 billion dollars. Ever since this purchase, it was expected that the company would begin work to merge their credit card and reward programs. Between SPG and Marriott, the two reward programs account for over 100 million customers which means a merger of this size is no small task. Fortunately for customers the process will be largely automated and your merged account will automatically be created.
For the time being, customers can continue to book their reservations using their current reward programs and point values. This will be the case through August, 17th 2018. The good news with this option is that customers have access to the new reward rates now so you can compare redemption values and make your booking decision based on whichever rate is more advantageous. The chart (available here) provides the rates for all 6,500+ properties which participate in the program.
On August 18th SPG customers will be assigned a new account number which will be provided to them on that date. This account number will apply for all reward purposes and will be the number to use moving forward. The account number will automatically be linked to your SPG Credit Card so no changes need to be made on the customer end to make sure they continue to earn reward points. A rollover of points will occur on the 18th and customers who have Starpoints will see their rewards converted to “points” at a 3x rate (for instance, if you have 10,000 Starpoints, you will see your account will now have 30,000 points). The conversion rate is used to account for the previous difference in point values between the two programs.
On August 18th the new program will be live and Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, SPG Reward accounts will all be able to be combined in to one new account. The best news about this combination of accounts is that if you had significant points with multiple reward accounts you may be eligible for a status upgrade upon combining your new accounts. The Elite Status is eligible for guests who have booked the necessary nights to qualify for a particular elite level tier.
For more information, consumers can visit the official Marriot/SPG Merger Page to receive more details about the changes they can expect when the merger takes place. Overall, the process should be mostly painless for consumers. The most important thing to keep in mind with this merger is that if you are in the process of planning a trip you should check your redemption rates before the merger to determine which rate will have the best value. In the meantime, you can relax and wait until your new account goes live on the 18th of August.