7 New Opportunities Thanks To Marriott & Starwood Account Linking

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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.


Bottom line

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:

Official: Marriott & Starwood Introducing Reciprocal Benefits As Of Today Are Marriott Elite Members Getting The Short End Of The Stick?
How To Link Your Marriott And Starwood Accounts What Can Newly Minted Marriott Platinum Members Expect?
7 New Opportunities Thanks To Marriott & Starwood Account Linking Should You Link Your Starwood Account To Marriott Or Ritz-Carlton?
Can You Now Earn Marriott Elite Nights At Starwood Hotels (And Vice Versa)?

Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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  1. Lucky

    If I get the Ritz Carlton Credit card, will I then be able to get Marriot gold status and thus get United Silver Status?

  2. Ok now, I’ll apply for the Ritz Carlton card and the Marriott business card, but are these two cards still exempt from 5/24?

  3. There’s another opportunity so to speak.. for those that exchange SPG to air miles of some sort at 1:1, let’s say 90k will get you including bonuses 110k for .. Aeroplan or something else. But now SPG converts to 1:3 for marriot. So if you take advantage of one of the Marriot Packages that include miles you are golden, essentially you would be getting a 7 night hotel stay for free. A cat 5 hotel prob isnt worth much but at minimum that is a $700 USD value right there. And 90K SPG miles would net you in most programs 120K miles with this package thing that Marriot has, is already 10k more than you would usually get for a direct SPG transfer. And the hotel stay is just icing on top.

  4. The biggest prize is a Tier 5 Ritz Carlton with Nights + Flights @ 540k MR. At the most expensive properties (Central Park and Bachelor Gulch), a seven night stay could exceed $8k all in. You would also land 120k miles (say Alaskan for the purpose of valuation @ 1.9c each). Nearly $11k worth of travel for 180k Starpoints–better than 6 cents bet SPG point.

  5. Since this isn’t finalized until 2018 based on your earlier post, that is a long time to take advantage of some fun opportunities, so I’m fairly pleased with it! Love how easy it is to do, too.

  6. Great information! Can I Marriott Platinum member receive “night credits” this year by staying @ a Starwood Property?

  7. @tommy trash problem with that is I am gonna assume a 7 night stay is not going to be easy to redeem at those properties all at one go

  8. New benefits on Delta for Marriott Platinum!

    Marriott Platinum -> SPG Platinum -> Delta Crossover Rewards!

    SPG Platinum elite members receive
    Priority Check-In
    Priority Boarding
    Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades
    first checked bag free

    Priority is whatever. But unlimited complimentary upgrades and first checked bag free is a pretty nice new benefit!

  9. Great Information. Worked like a champ. I’m glad I got the Marriots card a few months ago when they were offering a 80,000 bonus. Transferring those to SPG and then to United will be excellent.

  10. Also you could now transfer your Membership Reward points to Marriott 1:1 by transferring first to Starwood at 3:1, then from Starwood to Marriott 1:3.

  11. The funny thing here is this: I think this is the best solution for MR & SPG, if the current system stays in place.

    Now, will there be a bonus for achieving ALL of MR & SPG brands? That is a huge one!
    (MR & SPG loyalty folks, issue the challenge ! )

    Also, @Lucky, how does the new arrangement impact your loyalty pattern? Will you shift some Hyatt stays away, and into Marriott?

  12. Getting American miles will be cheaper transferring 60K MR points to 20K SPG getting 25K miles instead of 70k MR points through MR.

    Also, a question…. Will the highest Lifetime status transfer across all platforms?

  13. Just spoke to a Marriott Rewards rep over the phone who told me that Lifetime status with SPG will NOT transfer over to the new program once it is fully merged.

    Whatever status we have with SPG will stay in place until the loyalty programs are merged (sometime in 2018)… then new Marriott status will have to be earned.

  14. Wow — was just about to buy E+ seats on some upcoming United flights and now I think I’ll wait and see if they are available at check in, thanks to getting United gold by virtue of SPG Plat to Marriott Plat.

    Does anyone know how long it generally takes for United status to upgrade to gold once you’re linked through RewardsPlus? It says 7-10 days and I’m wondering if that’s accurate.

  15. @Luis — right, I knew that, just used the wrong metal! But silver still allows E+ at check in, I think, which is the benefit I’m most interested in and the one I’m hoping is available to me relatively quickly.

  16. I just made SPG Platinum this weekend. I am most excited at getting United Silver again after losing it a few years ago!

  17. Regarding the 80,000 point Marriott sign-up bonus, don’t forget the 3,000 points just for meeting the minimum spend. So including the authorized user bonus, it would be at least 90,500 MR points, or 30,000+ SPG points.

  18. Thank you so much for all of the info about the account reciprocity!! Matched my SPG Gold to Marriott already. Looking forward to trying it out!

  19. As far as I can tell transferring to UA with that RewardsPlus chart requires being eligible for RewardsPlus and not everyone is. I haven’t seen bloggers acknowledge this. Have I misunderstood?

  20. Question on timing of linking SPG to Marriott combined with getting cards. A bit of a newbie to this so appreciate any input to this overall plan. I just turned Silver SPG:

    Most things I read seem to imply you may as well connect accounts now, but I keep doubting that since – why not wait until next calendar year as status may carryover better in that regard?

    Also, splitting which hotels you stay at doesn’t seem to make sense yet at 5 nights SPG and 5 nights at Marriott equals no status right?

    Anyway, thinking of adding SPG card now or in January and really focusing 2017 on SPG optimization and THEN in late 2017 link accounts and then move over more to getting the Marriott card instead and optimize on Marriott heading into 2018 and shifting where I stay even as a result until programs are fully merged.


  21. Great post, great article. I have been needing to achieve Marriott Gold / Platinum for awhile. Already have Diamond with Hilton, needing to diversify.

    Can someone walk through exactly the steps I would need to take to achieve Marriott Gold, if wanted to get it with the Amex Platinum, SPG, and Marriott rewards card? Should I apply for the Amex Platinum first, which will already get me SPG gold, then open a Marriott rewards card?

  22. @ Doug — You can apply for the Amex Platinum Card, and once approved you’ll be able to go to the Amex website and enter your SPG info, which will get you instant Gold status. Then you’ll go to the SPG website to instantly match to Marriott Gold status. It can all be done pretty quickly. 🙂

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