This is a great question, pilam76! The loyalty programs will continue to operate as separate entities for some time - we don't anticipate combining the programs until 2018. Your Rewards account will have its own login, points balance and associated hotels. The same goes for your SPG account. Now that the two companies have merged, you can link your Rewards and SPG accounts. So, when staying at a Marriott property, you will earn Rewards credits and vice versa.
My understanding is that the two rewards programs will continue to operate separately until 2018.
You have to maintain both accounts to earn both SPG and Marriott Reward Points.
You should link your accounts together, then you can transfer points back and forth as you like. Every SPG point equates to 3 Marriott points. So if you transfer 1,000 SPG points, that will yield you 3,000 Marriott points. However, each Marriott point is 1/3 of an SPG point so if you transfer from your Marriott account to your SPG account, you lose 1/3 of the value.
They are also status-matching. If you are a Gold Marriott Member, you will now also be a Gold SPG member and vice versa (they highest level is matched).
Until they are combined, you can only earn and use Marriott points at Marriott hotels and likewise with SPG points. However, you can transfer them back and forth as/whenever necessary.
I hope this helps answer your questions.
Thank you for clarifying that but how disappointing that there isn't parity between the Marriott and SPG points. It feels like we are the poor relations in this deal.
Living in the UK I was delighted about the "merger" as I expected to have more hotel choices in Europe during 2017 when we have decided not to make any long haul trips. But clearly I would need many more Marriott points than I have in order to stay at SPG hotels as I was planning.
I was delivered a further blow this morning when I called Marriott to request taking my points next year instead of staying at our timeshare property, only to be told that I would not be able to use these points at SPG hotels at all.
So I feel I have l have not benefited, yet at any rate, from this business decision.
I would be interested to hear other people's views on this.
I agree, sandyco, it really does feel like MR loyalists are getting the short end of the benefit stick with this merger. I too was excited about it until after it happened and I realized this is really only a benefit for SPG members who have built up a lot of points already. I already had Marriott Gold status, which has better benefits than SPG Gold, so that status match was a wash.
The problem is that Marriott was so worried about making the SPG members happy that they forgot about their own MR members' happiness. We really don't get anything out of the merger but for about 1,800 more hotels to choose from (albeit at a aignificant devaluation if we transfer our MR points). The industry and the Points bloggers have always valued the SPG points as worth more so I guess Marriott had to take that into account even if that meant discounting their own loyal rewards members. So that is sad.
One thing you can do to make the best out of this situation (from an MR member perspective) until they merge the two companies and reward programs is get the SPG AMEX. The current sign up bonus gives you 25,000 SPG points, which turn into 75,000 MR points once you transfer them over to your MR account. Even though the SPG Amex only gives you 1 point per dollar spent in all categories, that 1 point equates to 3 MR points. If you use it for all non-bonus category expenditures (and continue to use your MR card for other bonus categories), then you can net a significant amount of MR points over the next year (give or take). The first year's fee is waived on that Amex too, so the timing may work out if you want to cancel the card when the programs merge in 2018 and not have to pay the fee (which is my plan).
I can direct message you (or anyone else here) a referral link for the SPG AMEX if you are interested (I don't want to be accused of spamming the discussion thread by including it here).
I'm certain that the SPG members also feel like they are getting the short end of the stick in this deal. It's human nature. In reality =, it seems to me that the temporary setup is equitable. I don't care how many points I get. I care about the value I get for each dollar spent and that seems equitable.
I spent a considerable about of time looking at some SPG properties where I have future plans which includes stops in US, Asia and Europe. I have to say, I didn't really find anything that made me change any of my reservations that I already have. Maybe when I make a special trip just to an SPG destination--which I definitely have a few of in mind, just don't know when that will be.
I'm also guessing we are going to get a more explicit category of 100+ nights. Which I'd been clamoring fore more when I was closer or over that, but now I'm at a more 7ish area just trying to hold on to Platinum.
The Amex card is a good approach. I'd thought about it but trying to keep my CCs simple and not have too many.