You Can Now Link Your Marriott And Starwood Accounts

With final approval having been granted, Marriott and Starwood have started the integration process. And now, you can link your accounts.

Benefits Of Linking

It'll be that much easier to get to the St. Regis Maldives now

It’ll be that much easier to get to the St. Regis Maldives now

Linking your accounts will let you move points back and forth between the Marriott Rewards (MR) program and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). You can also match elite status between the program. To get started, head here and enter your account information. The sites will walk you through the process.

  • Points will transfer between accounts at a ratio of 1 SPG point equals 3 Marriott Rewards points. In terms of value, that number is about right. And it makes sense from a corporate point of view. If consumers sensed an arbitrage opportunity, they would move points from the expensive program to the cheap one.
  • The programs themselves are not merging until at least 2018 and may never merge, although I believe that they eventually will. There’s no real downside to merging your accounts now.

Elite Status

You can also match your elite status from one program to the other. It’s a bit of an odd construction, although they make it work. Here is the exchange:

Marriott Rewards Silver <–> SPG Preferred Plus
Marriott Rewards Gold <–> SPG Gold
Marriott Rewards Platinum <–> SPG Platinum

Neither of the lower levels gets you much, but it gets interesting at the Gold level. Starwood Gold members, who traditionally don’t get much in terms of benefits, get a hefty increase by moving to the Marriott Gold level. In particular, Marriott Gold members receive guaranteed lounge access, which is not available to SPG gold members.

The Platinum levels also match. One thing to note: If you have Marriott status and match to Starwood, you will only get the lowest of the three SPG elite levels (discussed in the link above).

What You Don’t Get

You can’t earn points at each others’ programs, i.e., no SPG points at Marriott properties and vice versa. Likewise, you can’t spend points at the others’ hotels. You can, however, transfer points between the two and then use those points for a reward. So if a particular Marriott reward costs 30,000 points, you can get those points by transferring in 10,000 SPG points, at the 3 to 1 ratio.

 

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