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.
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.
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?