Overnight the merger between Marriott and Starwood was finalized, and amazingly enough the two companies are offering reciprocal benefits for their customers from day one:
- Members of Starwood Preferred Guest, Marriott Rewards, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards can link their accounts, and can receive instant status matches
- Members can transfer points between Starwood Preferred Guest, Marriott Rewards, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards; the transfer ratio is one Starpoint per three Rewards points
It’s worth noting that this functionality is already live. You can now status match and transfer points between accounts by visiting members.marriott.com. Marriott doesn’t plan on integrating programs until 2018 at the earliest, so we’re talking about quite a while where this account linking and points transfer option will be useful.
How to match your status
Getting your status matched should take less than a minute, and your updated status will post instantly once complete. Just visit this website and click “Link Account” at the top right of the page.
Once there, you’ll be prompted to choose the program from which you want to start (presumably the program with which you have the highest status and are looking to match). In my case, that would be SPG.
Since I selected SPG as my program, on the next page I was prompted to enter my SPG username and password.
On the next page I was given the option of linking to either Marriott Rewards or Ritz-Carlton Rewards. Keep in mind that you can only be a member of one program or the other, so you can’t match to both Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
I chose to link to Marriott Rewards. Amazingly enough the next page already had my Marriott Rewards information pre-populated, even though I didn’t do anything to link it. I guess they matched the name, email address, mailing address, etc. Impressive! I then clicked “Finish Linking.”
The next page confirmed that I had been upgraded to Marriott Platinum on account of my SPG Platinum status.
Sure enough, when I logged into my Marriott Rewards account it confirmed that I’m already a Platinum member. Dang, that was fast!
As a reminder, status can be matched between programs as follows:
|Marriott Rewards/Ritz-Carlton Rewards||Starwood Preferred Guest|
|Gold Status (usually 50 nights)||Gold Status (usually 10 stays or 25 nights)|
|Platinum Status (usually 75 nights)||Platinum Status (usually 25 stays or 50 nights)|
However, even if you don’t have status you can still link your accounts, as it gives you the opportunity to transfer points between accounts.
How to transfer your status
You can freely transfer your points between Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Rewards. You get one Starpoint for every three Reward points. You can transfer points as often as you’d like, so your points don’t lose any value once you transfer them, since you can always transfer them back.
You first need to link your accounts, which can be done as explained above. Once you’ve done that, you can transfer points either through the same site as above, or you can use the Marriott or Starwood websites directly.
Using the SPG site as an example, you can click on “Redeem Points” and will then see “More Options,” which specifically mentions the possibility of transferring points to Marriott Rewards.
On the next page you’ll see “Access More Possibilities Worldwide,” which is what you’d want to click.
The next page gives you the option to transfer points between programs, and as you can see, the 1:3 transfer ratio automatically auto-populates. Since your accounts are linked, you just need to click “Transfer Starpoints Now.”
It’s worth noting that points transfers aren’t instant, but rather take a few hours.
It’s amazing how quickly Marriott has implemented the functionality to status match and transfer points. Instant status matches from day one are fantastic, especially in my case, as I have several Marriott stays coming up over the next few weeks. The ability to freely transfer points between accounts is great as well.
Have you matched your status between Starwood and Marriott/Ritz yet? Was it as seamless as my experience?