Over the weekend I posted about how United hinted at a new “rewards experience” coming soon, which to me (and hundreds of people on FlyerTalk) sounded like a hint at a negative change. How jaded we’ve become with the industry, eh?
Anyway, the good news is that it looks to actually be a positive change, and a new partnership between United and Marriott. Earlier in the year Delta and Starwood hooked up to offer reciprocal benefits, and it looks like United and Marriott are one upping them here, at least for elite members.
The key benefits of the partnership are as follows:
- MileagePlus Gold members and above get Marriott Gold status. This is huge, given that Marriott Gold status gets you free internet, lounge access, and room upgrades, so that’s a pretty darn valuable benefit to have just for having elite status with an airline.
- Marriott Rewards Platinum members will receive United Premier Silver status. Not as rewarding as the status that MileagePlus members get in the Marriott Rewards program, but better than nothing.
- United MileagePlus miles can be converted into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio. That’s not a good deal, but better than before I suppose.
- 10% bonus points when redeeming Marriott Rewards points for a travel package.
- 20% discount when converting Marriott Rewards points into MileagePlus miles.
The partnership is effective immediately, so if you’re a MileagePlus Premier Gold member or above, be sure to register for your Marriott Gold status match.
Anyway, the key benefit here is the Marriott Gold status match, and to be honest that almost seems overly generous. I have to imagine that Marriott is potentially doubling their number of Gold elite members with this change, and I’m guessing some Marriott Rewards members earning status the “hard way” won’t be thrilled about that.
So, American and Hyatt, when are you going to announce your partnership?
(Tip of the hat to Gary)