Marriott Rewards and SPG to merge on August 18

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Marriott Rewards and SPG have announced they will finally merge on August 18. While they had previously advised an August 1 date, it looks as though they have run a little late.

As a result, the programs will continue to operate separately until August 17. That means earnings will continue in the two programs at the current rates. In addition, redemptions will continue on the current tables until August 18.

The Transition

With the date now set, Marriott have suggested the following in the lead up to the transition:

  • Between now and August 18, members should maximise their redemption power by;
    • Checking out the Free Night Award Chart and deciding if they want to redeem before or after the new rates take effect.
  • Anticipate the outage on August 18 and book their stays in advance or wait until later in the day.

On the day of the merger, there may some outages on the booking systems. This will result from the migration of data from one system onto another. Some specific issues that you may encounter are an inability to make any bookings, or you may not be able to make any bookings.

As a result, it may be prudent to hold off any booking on the weekend of the merger.

While there may be some effect on Marriott Rewards members, the biggest changes will be felt by SPG members.

First up, on August 18, your existing SPG membership number will no longer be valid. If you don’t have a linked Marriott account, you will be issued with a new 9-digit number, which will appear when you log into your SPG account. While you will have a new number, your login password will not change.

Any Starpoints will be converted into the new currency as per the announced 3:1 ratio. So, if you have 10,000 Starpoints in your account on the 17th, you will have a balance of 30,000 points from the 18th.

Note that Marriott will not be automatically merging any accounts. You will be able to manually do this, but if you choose not to, you will have two accounts in the new program program.

Post Merger – the Single Program

While the merged program does not yet have a name, the program will offer the following benefits:

  • Members can combine their Marriott Rewards and SPG accounts, creating a unified profile with one points balance (Starpoints will be multiplied by three), and Elite-Nights earned.
  • The earning rate of the new program will be 10 points per U.S. $1.00 spent on qualifying hotel charges; 5 points per qualifying U.S. $1.00 at Element, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites hotels; and 2.5 points per qualifying U.S. $1.00 at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay properties.
  • Members will earn points on all qualifying hotel charges including food, beverages, and some incidental purchases with most hotel brands.  For more information visit the complete Loyalty Program terms & conditions.
  • Members can earn and redeem throughout the portfolio and book all in one place, on any of our digital, mobile and voice reservation channels including www.Marriott.com and www.SPG.com.
  • Members can enjoy new benefits and elite status levels.
  • Members can redeem for stays using the new Free Night Award Chart
  • A new SPG app will launch, mirroring the functionality of the Marriott Rewards app, including Mobile Requests.

Outwardly, Marriott seems to have done a good job so far with the merger of the two programs. Let’s hope that it is smooth sailing on August 18.

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About Author

Mark is the founder of FlyStayPoints, and caught the travel bug early in life. He discovered the benefits of travel loyalty programs in 2001, and is always learning how they can make travel better. While work takes him between Perth and Melbourne, he is always plotting his next adventure.