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It’s now possible to link your Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest accounts. You can also request status matches between programs, and even transfer points.
The “new Marriott” isn’t planning on launching a single loyalty program until 2018 at the earliest, so in the meantime there are tons of sweet spots for both programs to consider. Of course it’s entirely possible that over time they’ll start to align aspects of the programs, but in the meantime there are some great opportunities.
Anyway, I figured it would be interesting to look at some of them. I’m sure there are plenty more, but these are some of the first that come to mind. In no particular order:
Get Marriott Gold with the Amex Platinum
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers SPG Gold status for as long as you have the card. You can sign-up for the status here. That status can now be matched to Marriott Gold, which I’d argue is significantly more valuable than SPG Gold, since it comes with breakfast and/or lounge access at many properties.
Earn 3 Marriott points per dollar with the SPG Amex
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offer one Starpoint per dollar spent on everyday purchases, making it one of the best cards for everyday spend. Well, now that Starpoints can be converted into Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio, this is an opportunity to use this card to earn three Marriott points per dollar spent.
As a point of comparison, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers one Marriott point per dollar spent on non-bonused purchases.
Earn 29,000+ Starpoints with the Marriott Card
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card has a sign-up bonus of 80,000 Marriott Rewards points after spending $3,000 within three months, plus an additional 7,500 bonus points when you add the first authorized user and they make a purchase in the first three months. That’s a total of 87,500 Marriott Rewards points.
Once you earn those points you can always convert them into Starpoints at a 3:1 ratio, potentially making that sign-up bonus worth ~29,200 Starpoints.
Get SPG Gold (or Platinum) with the Ritz-Carlton Card
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card offers Gold status for the first year, and Platinum status if you spend $75,000 on the card in a year.
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Gold status that you get right away will give you SPG Gold status. However, if you spend $75,000 you’d get Platinum status, which could be matched to Starwood Platinum.
There’s not another credit card that can earn you SPG Platinum status through spend alone.
Convert Starpoints to United at a favorable ratio
While Starwood has a few dozen airline transfer partners, United is one of the few partners that doesn’t have a 1:1 transfer ratio. Instead the ratio is 2:1, which is a very bad use of Starpoints.
However, due to Marriott’s partnership with United, you can transfer Marriott Rewards points into United miles at a pretty favorable ratio. 112,000 Marriott points transfers to 50,000 United miles. That means transferring 38,000 Starpoints to Marriott will get you 50,000 United miles, which is a very good ratio.
Starwood Platinums get United Silver status
Along similar lines, thanks to the RewardsPlus partnership between Marriott and United, Marriott Platinum members get United Silver status. Since Starwood Platinum members can match to Marriott Platinum, those members now get United Silver status as well.
United Golds get SPG Gold status
The inverse of the above is that United MileagePlus Gold members and above receive Marriott Gold status, so by connection they’ll now receive SPG Gold status.
Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest are very different programs, so there are a lot of new opportunities for members of both programs, especially given how differently they’re structured. There’s a good chance these opportunities will change over time, especially as partnerships start to change.
However, in the meantime this presents some great opportunities.
Can you think of any other great new opportunities thanks to Marriott and Starwood account linking?
For more coverage on the Marriott/SPG merger see:
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