Reasons You Should Merge Your Starwood (SPG) and Marriott Accounts

We’re over two weeks out from the merger of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) into the Marriott Rewards (or whatever the new name will eventually be) program. Members of both programs were asked to “link” their accounts together months ago. Linking accounts had several advantages:

  • Matching status from one program to the other
  • Point transfers between the two programs with 1 SPG point = 3 Marriott Rewards points

Besides these reciprocal perks, the programs remained separate. Points earned at Starwood hotels were added to your SPG balance and the same for Marriott hotel stays earning Marriott Rewards points. You weren’t able to combine the stays or nights from both hotels to achieve a higher loyalty status level, a lingering problem that left many travelers who stayed at both brands feeling a little left out.

While the plans merged in August 2018, you are now able to “merge” your accounts. What’s the difference between “link” and “merge” and why didn’t they do this automatically? Here’s what Marriott’s saying:

Yes! Account linking offered a status match between the programs. But by combining your accounts, your earnings will be added together. So rather than just a match, you may get a status boost.

 If you already linked your accounts, that’s a great start. You created a connection – but they’re not yet one account. Now, by combining, you’ll only have one login to remember and be able to earn and redeem points across all 29 participating brands with that single account.

Heck if I know what that means. What I do know is that Sharon and I merged our accounts already and everything seems fine. While that’s not the case for everyone, here’s why I went ahead with merging our accounts.

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Act Now! Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards Merge Tomorrow!

In September 2016, Marriott completed the purchase of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Since then, the two hotel brands have been owned by the same company, but the loyalty programs of Starwood and Marriott have operated independently. There’s been some work to bring the products in line with one another by allowing you to transfer points between programs and matching status earned with one program with the other but you were still earning either Marriott points or Starwood points with each stay. Earlier in 2018, the date for the actual merger of the two programs was announced and the date is finally arrived and it’s only one day away. What should you do to make sure your accounts are prepared for the merger?

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Does British Airways Owe You Money?, Changes To Epcot’s Illuminations Show & More!

Hi everyone – I hope you’re all enjoying your Sunday!

I want to start this week by remembering the tragic death of Anthony Bourdain. Many travel writers have written about how he was an inspiration to them to get out into the world and share what a wonderful place it is. Of all the articles I read, I was particularly moved by this post from Mommy Points. I encourage you to read it, as it sums up so many feelings people have nowadays.

Getting back to the travel posts….

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The Hotel Merger That No One Cares About

I was shocked to find out there was a TWO BILLION DOLLAR hotel merger announced last week. The collective sound from the miles and points blogosphere could could be described as “meh” (with shoulders raised and then lowered for dramatic effect).

Sorry if I seem cynical but IHG’s $430 million purchase of Kimpton caused palpitations from Kimpton loyalists. When Marriott purchased the Starwood hotel brand for $13 billion dollars, you’d have thought the world was going to come to an end because it would be harder for Platinum members to get suite upgrades. Instead of the multitude of articles those mergers created, this one barely got a mention (excepting the ones from One Mile at a Time, Loyalty Traveler and Miles to Memories).

I’m referring to Wyndham’s purchase of La Quinta for $1.95 billion dollars  This will bring the nearly 900 mid-scale, upper mid-scale and economy La Quinta locations into the Wyndham portfolio of hotels. When this merger is complete, Wyndham will have over 9,200 locations worldwide, making it the largest chain if measured by number of hotels and the third largest chain measured by number of hotel rooms, at over 800 thousand.4052682395_df0ce5d7d9_o Continue reading “The Hotel Merger That No One Cares About”