Marriott Buying Starwood Hotels! What Does It Mean for You?

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Marriott announced today they’re buying Starwood hotels!  This will create the world’s largest hotel chain with over 5,500 hotels in 100+ countries.

We knew Starwood was close to being sold, but most folks thought Hyatt was the buyer.  So this is a bit of a surprise!

The details of the deal are not yet clear.  But we know it should be complete by mid-2016.

Thanks to Million Mile Secrets reader Tony for giving us the heads-up early this morning!

Marriott Buying Starwood Hotels What Does It Mean For You

Marriott and Starwood Are Joining Forces to Create the World’s Largest Hotel Chain

I’ll share what I know and what this deal might mean for you!

What’s Going On?

Link:   Marriott / Starwood Press Release

Link:   Marriott Hotels

Link:   Starwood Hotels

Marriott will buy Starwood in a deal worth $12.2 billion, and the purchase is expected to be complete by mid-2016.

Starwood has been in talks with potential investors for several months.  Many folks (myself included!) were hopeful when news leaked a few weeks ago that Hyatt was the likely buyer.

Marriott Buying Starwood Hotels What Does It Mean For You

Upscale Resorts Like the St. Regis Bali Will Soon Be Owned by Marriott

The new, combined hotel chain will be the world’s largest, with:

  • 5,500+ hotels
  • 30 brands
  • 100+ countries
  • Over 1.1 million rooms

Marriott hotels include:

Marriott Buying Starwood Hotels What Does It Mean For You

Marriott Hotels Include the Luxury Ritz-Carlton Chain

And Starwood has these brands:

There is no information available yet about what the new award program will look like or if they’ll even be merged.

Starwood’s loyalty program is generally known for having better elite status, and their points are worth much more than Marriott points.  So it will be interesting to see how they combine the 2 programs.

What Should You Do Now?

We do NOT know what will happen to existing Starwood points after the merger.  They may be combined with Marriott points under 1 program.  Or they could be kept separate.

And there’s no information if you’ll still be able to make the most of Starwood’s best deals, like:

That said, it’s a good time to consider applying for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.  Because after the merger, these cards will likely be discontinued.  Or how you can use Starwood points might change.

I do NOT have any information about this.  This is my thought based on other mergers we’ve seen.

I wouldn’t jump to transfer Starwood points to airlines until Marriott and Starwood tell us more.  It’s very unlikely they’d remove these perks without giving customers advance notice.

I’ll keep you posted and will let you know as soon as I find out more.

Bottom Line

Marriott will buy Starwood hotels and create the world’s largest hotel chain with over 5,500 hotels in 100+ countries.  The deal should be complete in mid-2016.

This is big news, but it’s not clear yet how it will affect folks who collect points with either hotel chain.  Or how they’ll merge the Marriott and Starwood loyalty programs.

It’s likely the AMEX Starwood (personal and business) cards will eventually go away.  So if you’ve been thinking of signing-up, you might want to do so soon.

I’ll update y’all as soon as more information is released!

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7 responses to “Marriott Buying Starwood Hotels! What Does It Mean for You?

  1. This cannot be good for “our crowd.”

  2. AMEX loses Costco, and what do you think happens now? Not good. This will only make CHASE stronger and more important for any miles or point chaser’s credit card inventory.

  3. Call me concerned. While I don’t travel enough nor spend to achieve Platinum, I’ve enjoyed SPG Gold for the last few years and have been eyeing lifetime gold. Along with the SPG Amex card, perks were always nice; now I wonder if I should reconsider booking the last of my eligible stays this year for Gold next year..

    Also hadn’t jumped on the Marriot wagon yet, but was on board with a potential Hyatt merger since I have Plat with them.

  4. AA and US Airways merge can give us a hint. Here are my prediction.
    1. Eventually SPG will be gone and so does those perks (Marriott can’t afford to extend so many benefits to its vast loyalty members)
    2. This will take more than 1 years for sure, even maybe 2-3 years.
    3. After half a year or so, the elite membership benefits can be mutually accepted.
    4. Maybe in a year, SPG platinum can use RewardsPlus to get UA’s Silver Premier status.
    5. Amex SPG will be gone and Marriott will stay with Chase.

  5. Didnt I see a post about inadvertedly buying points on spg with cash and miles, having cancelled the reservation?

  6. I believe Marriott offers the 5th night free on award stays as well.

  7. Pingback: December Travel Points Update - Early Retirement Ahead