Marriott & United Add Reciprocal Benefits For Invitation-Only Elite Members

Over the years we’ve seen some airlines and hotels partner in order to offer reciprocal benefits for members. This is a concept that Delta and Starwood pioneered when they introduced Crossover Rewards in early 2013. It’s a great way to cross-promote, given that people who are frequent flyers are often also frequent hotel guests, and vice versa.

One of the next big airline and hotel partnerships was between Marriott Rewards and United MileagePlus. It was introduced in mid-2013, and is called RewardsPlus. Among other benefits, Marriott Platinum members receive United Silver status, and United Gold members and above receive Marriott Gold status.

Marriott-RewardsPlus

Well, Travel Codex is reporting that Marriott and United have taken this partnership to the next level, and are now offering reciprocal benefits for the invitation-only elite members of both loyalty programs:

  • Marriott Rewards Platinum Premier members now receive United MileagePlus Gold status
  • United MileagePlus Global Services members now receive Marriott Platinum status

These are both invitation only status levels. Platinum Premier status is for Marriott’s most valuable guests, without any published qualification criteria. However, in practice there’s often little difference in elite recognition between Marriott Platinum and Platinum Premier members.

Meanwhile United Global Services status is invitation only and based on revenue or travel influence, and offers quite a few benefits over Premier 1K status.

Ultimately this is a net positive for invitation only members of both programs, though I definitely think Global Services members are getting the better deal here, as they’re getting top tier status with Marriott. However, there’s not all that much of a difference between Marriott Gold and Marriott Platinum status, in my experience.

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Marriott Platinum members are more likely to get suite upgrades at hotels 

Furthermore, keep in mind that Marriott Platinum status can also be matched to Starwood Platinum status.

Kudos to Marriott and United for their creative thinking with this expanded partnership.

Will any Platinum Premier or Global Services members get value out of this expanded partnership?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Wunderbar! This can only mean that the UA-MR joint venture known as RewardsPlus is getting stronger, ensuring the continuation of my MR Gold status and suite upgrades, especially in my favorite Asian destinations, as a UA 1K/1MM and lifetime UA Gold and *G… 😉

  2. As a Lifetime Marriott Platinum I rarely get a suite upgrade. Marriott hotels have few suites. Times I have gotten in Asia and South Pacific – I have had to ask – since these two regions are the only two areas where Marriott says based on availability.

    I don’t see much additional benefit here. Not really much difference between Marriott Gold, Plat or Plat Premier. And what does United Gold give you – I guess the biggest item is Star Gold.

  3. It is a fantasy to keep believing that any top elite who does not request COMPLIMENTARY suite upgrades will see the insides of very many suites. I suspect that the tacit rule is that unless a property is wide open and full of empty suites, complimentary suite upgrades should not be offered proactively. It is one way properties can manage the volume of suite upgrades and “prioritize” them. Those who do not request have no priority or it’s close to nil. Where I am seeing many who do bother to request suite upgrades go wrong, is that they seem to approach it as an “entitlement” and that get sensed and they get rejected…

    I have been upgraded to suites at JW Marriott BKK and Renaissance BKK twice, with the second at the latter hotel being proactive this January.

    Lastly there is no additional benefit here for anyone but for UA GS and MR Premier Plat members. However, the fact that RewardsPlus now covers both programs’ most exclusive members means that the UA-MR partnerships got stronger and not weaker, and tha the RewardsPlus will be with us for some time to come. Unlike you, I find my MR Gold status to be valuable and worth having.

  4. This is good to know now. I am GS and Marriott Platinum already, but this means I can focus on my Hyatt stays this year to renew Globalist, rather than Marriott.

  5. I am both a Marriott and SPG Platinum member. Very rarely do I ever get a suite with Marriott (even when requested at time of check in) however with SPG I get it at least 60% of the time! With all these partnerships, aren’t they just further diluting our chances of upgrades at any of the hotels?

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