July 15th marks a sad day for Delta Medallion and Starwood Preferred Guest members, as it is the final day of the Crossover Rewards program. The program launched in 2013 as a way for Delta and SPG members to earn reciprocal benefits. But as SPG reminded me yesterday:
As a reminder, members who have linked their SPG® and Delta SkyMiles®accounts can continue to enjoy reciprocal benefits before the program ends July 15, 2018.
Through this date, qualifying Elite SPG members will continue to receive in-airport benefits and earn Starpoints® when flying with Delta, and qualifying SkyMiles Medallion® Members will continue to enjoy in-hotel benefits and earn miles for SPG hotel stays.
After July 15, 2018, members can continue to earn miles on SPG stays by selecting miles as their preferred currency or can convert hotel points to miles.
Who is impacted?
Right now, all registered Delta Medallion members earn one mile for every dollar spent at Starwood properties, which has historically been a nice – if not tremendously lucrative – way to double-dip. Diamond and Platinum Medallion members have also received select SPG benefits upon check-in, including 4 PM late checkout and complimentary upgrades (in theory if not in practice…)
Conversely, SPG Gold and Platinum members have received one Starpoint per dollar spent on Delta flights, which has been really nice. Platinum members have also received select Medallion benefits, including priority check-in, a free checked bag, and complimentary upgrades (again, in theory…).
So to recap, the following groups will be impacted, to varying degrees, by this change:
- SPG Platinum elite members (Medallion benefits and miles)
- SPG Gold elite members (Medallion miles only)
- Delta Diamond and Platinum Medallions (SPG benefits and points)
- Delta Gold and Silver Medallion members (SPG points only)
If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can read the full details of the program in its current existence here.
Oh, and if you’ve never heard of this program before, you can still register and enjoy the perks for the next…two-ish weeks or so.
What if my hotel stay or flight extends across July 15th?
As we know, travel typically extends over multiple dates, so putting a hard end date on a program is kind of like asking a kid what grade they are in in the middle of July. Luckily, Delta and Starwood have been pretty transparent on this front.
Crossover Rewards End Date for Hotel Stays
If you have a hotel reservation with an SPG property with a checkout date on or before July 15th, then you are good to go. However, if your checkout date is on July 16th or later, then you will not receive Crossover Rewards benefits for your stay.
So, in practice, if you have a hotel stay booked with a check-in date of July 14th and a check-out date of July 15th, then you are good to go. However, if your check-in date is July 13th and your check-out date is July 16th, then theoretically, the Crossover Rewards program will not be honored.
I imagine that if your reservation falls into the latter category, you won’t be turned away from the priority check-in line, but you shouldn’t expect to earn any SkyMiles for your stay.
If you do have a reservation that stretches across the program’s end date, you could break up your reservation across two separate hotel stays if you want to squeeze those last SkyMiles out of the program.
Crossover Rewards End Date for Delta Flights
If you’re an SPG Gold or Platinum member looking to earn those last Starpoints on a ticketed Delta flight that extends across July 15th and beyond, you should be eligible to earn Crossover Rewards Starpoints on any flight or segment that departs on or before July 15th.
So, for example, if you are on a redeye that takes off at 11 PM on July 15th and lands at 6 AM on July 16th, you’re good to go. That said, if the flight in question has a connection that departs at 8 AM on July 16th, the connecting flight will not be eligible for Crossover Rewards.
Sadly, this part remains unclear. According to Delta’s website:
We remain committed to ensuring that SkyMiles Members enjoy a rewarding loyalty program. Stay tuned for details as we continue to work towards improving your SkyMiles experience and find new ways for you to earn miles and enjoy added value with our program and our partners.
To me, this “remain committed” language sounds pretty noncommittal, so SkyMiles members will have to wait with baited breath to see if Delta is able to replace this program.
Life should be better in the near future for SPG members who aren’t necessarily loyal to Delta. SPG has confirmed that they will continue their partnerships with Emirates and China Eastern.
To their end, Marriott has a great partnership with United in place – my husband was able to earn MileagePlus Silver status without ever setting foot on a United flight last year, and it’s been really nice to have for 2018.
So, whether Delta and Marriott make friends or Delta goes a different route remains to be seen, but both Delta and Starwood have implied that the program will be replaced. Somehow.
Time will tell if this change is a net positive or not. In the meantime, it may be worth checking those-mid July reservations (and making any necessary adjustments) to see if they are still eligible for elite perks and bonus miles.
R.I.P., Crossover Rewards.