Looks like Marriott has released some information regarding the Reward Program integration between Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest.
There isn't a whole lot in there we didn't already know or assume, but there are some admissions regarding the two programs and their strengths & weaknesses. But, like Ben states at the end, I will always be skeptical until the end... and even a bit after. He references the US airline mergers, which is fair in my opinion. Let's just hope Marriott doesn't go full Delta on us and try to effectively kill the program. Not to say UA and AA haven't gutted their programs either!
kharada46, I fly DL a lot and find it to be a very good airline. But I hate routing through MSP (too far out of the way), and SkyPesos are basically worthless. So I hope we keep our United perks. United is not perfect, but MileagePlus is still a viable frequent flyer program. I just redeemed MR points for a air+hotel package since UA has a promotion on now.
They are! So good that they feel people will fly them regardless is their FF program is garbage or not, hence SkyPesos... Oh and the fact that they want you to redeem them for drinks at the SkyLounge and want to stop allowing award flights. Hopefully this doesn't happen!
I am pretty sure I want to eat everything on that table in the picture! I spent my birthday at the JW in Houston (Galleria) and they did something similar for me.
I read an article (much shorter) from The Points Guy:
A ton of the comments were SPG members worried about their life time status. I think their Gold is equal to Marriott's Silver, at least when it comes to how many nights one must stay. SPG gold: 250 and Marriott Silver 250.
Marriott uses points (1.2 Mil) and they use years (5). I'd rather points.
Both get points, late check out, and internet.
Marriott gives a room type guarantee, special offers and rewards. Maybe SPG does too, but its not stated as a benefit. There is nothing about any lounge on SPGs benefit listing site, or breakfast. I also could not find anything similar to Marriott's Ult Reservation Guarantee, not even for SPG's Plat!
I think those SPG Gold Member's should get Marriott's Silver. They really aren't losing anything benefit wise. SPG doesn't have silver, they just have Preferred which is basically Marriott's Member. Maybe they are too wrapped up in the word "Gold" and haven't compared the two programs.
I just started to look at the SPG program so maybe some members here have a better idea and can contribute to SPG's Gold vs Marriott's Silver. Integration will be interesting!!!
most mergers keep the programs separate for some time and this looks the same. At some point the systems will be separate but with reciprocal benefits that is you can use points from Marriott at Starwood and the reciprocal. Then the final stage would be full merger. How they do stage two and three have yet to be answered
Yes true! I was just comparing the two programs and if SPG members REALLY sat down and compared the two, they might see Marriott is not so bad.
If they want to keep the two programs separate, yet reciprocal, I am fine with that. And yes I am quite sure you are right in that they will be separate at least for some time if this deal goes thru.
I'm the opposite. I'd much prefer years to points for lifetime qualification. I'm past the nights for lifetime Silver yet only about half way on points.
I didn't read your link but most of the complaints I've seen are regarding the value you get for points which seems to be a fair bit higher in SPG than MR.
@7 <--- won't let me tag you as too many people have 7 in front of their name!
Doesn't SPG have less properties? Maybe this is why they get better value....less places to spend them on so you are confined to those places? I don't have the numbers in front of me. Of course Marriott isn't everywhere either. I am planning a trip to Europe for 2017 and there was no Marriott in Salzburg. but there was a Sheraton!
Only being a rewards member for about 2.5 years, I haven't really thought about the ratio of points to nights. So now that I am thinking, I too will most likely be behind in points when I hit my 250 nights.
I just might accomplish 250 in the next 4 years. *must spend more on chase card!*
Good point on the points value. I will have to see what someone can get from SPG. I didn't even think to look at that!
7 you are making me to do a lot of research! lol - A good thing!
I just checked out some New Orleans Hotels as that is what I am most familiar with. Marriott's category points do not even come close to what SPG offers.
There is nothing below cat 6 for Marriott in Nola... that's 30k or 25k (point savers).
SPG's highest I found was 25k in points. Their high was our low.
BUT if you don't stay in New Orleans, then there are no other options for SPGs members.
I am starting to see! Well maybe it's time Nola gets some lower categories! I sure would LOVE LOVE to use my certificates there and Moxy is listed as a 6, 30,000 points... just out of Cert reach...
Starwood's Aloft in Nola is Cat 4, 10,000 points. Pretty much what I consider similar to Moxy. Big difference in points.
SeaTexan, Ben (Lucky) is travel royalty, so I'm not sure we'd get the same treatment at Starwood
But from what I understand, their elite benefits are really strong. While they benefits might not be easy to find, they do have lounges (in Hawaii even!) and I've often heard much praise about their breakfast benefits and other elite perks. Elite status is much easer to attain with them simply because they lack the footprint of Marriott/Hilton, though their lifetime elite status, as you've explained, is pretty difficult to attain. However, Starwood is often out of my price range, and to be honest, the ability to earn and use points with them STINKS! I know their points are very valuable when you calculate out the cash value, but with my limited budget, it doesn't work for me.
I have been gold with Starwood more then once and have not found much in the way of benefits. One must get higher. As mentioned, there are less properties. Marriott has a whole lot more. They continue to deflate the points as Marriott has but for a resort that I was saving for, it seemed faster since it kept getting out of reach.
Yes, I agree californian. SPG is only really good if you're a Platinum, likewise Hyatt is best as a Diamond, though you at least get free internet and upgrade opportunities as a Platinum. Marriott is great with their mid-tier status, but it is difficult to attain for the infrequent traveler such as myself. I really only had status from events, but since the property I worked with is now gone, so is my ability to retain status.
It is hard when you get a taste of the elite benefits and then loose them. I think they do bring loyalty in hotels and airlines too. It is hard to fly sitting in the back of the "bus" and having to pay for luggage, etc. On the other side, you had a really nice honeymoon that must have been close to free. It may take time, but you may regain the status that you lost. You are smart and can look for ways to gain back without paying too much.
Well said californian! And yes, the honeymoon was just about free, save for a couple of nights. I am actively trying to figure out how to regain status or at least maintain gold, but we'll see. I certainly don't want to go the Ritz-Carlton Visa, though I won't rule it out Hopefully I can figure something out! But we'll see what changes come after integration too.
At any rate, I'm still trying to attain lifetime gold status at least too
Woa! That's quite a stash of of Starpoints Kingfish45!! You've got an immense amount of value there!! Especially since those points are so hard to earn... Looks like this merger will definitely work out in your favor