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I have updates to share about the Marriott – Starwood merger!
Via Skift, Marriott President & CEO Arne Sorensen says he’s hopeful the deal will close “within a month or so.” Marriott will then be the world’s largest hotel chain, with 5,700 hotels, ~30 brands, and 1.1 million rooms!
This is good news for folks who are worried about what will happen to their Starwood points when the merger is complete.
Don’t Rush to Spend Your Starwood Points…Yet
It’s reassuring to hear Marriott’s President & CEO say the Starwood and Marriott loyalty programs won’t fully merge until 2018:
What we’ve said so far is we don’t think we’ll have one program before 2018, but that doesn’t mean we’ll take interim steps between now and until then. Stay tuned for that.
The way I interpret this is that combining the two loyalty programs will be a long-term process. So we’ll likely get a heads-up about what will happen to our points and what new award charts will look like.
But we’ll see the actual merger close, according to the CEO, very soon!
We’re still optimistic we’ll close by mid year. Until the final approvals are in hand we can’t count on everything. The governments involved in the review process need to compete their process and make sure they feel good about how the transaction will perform longer term. We’re optimistic about that. Hoping to be closed fairly soon within the next month or so.
I’m hopeful but NOT overly optimistic that Marriott will keep the best parts of the Starwood program, like points transfer to airlines, 5th night free on award stays, Nights & Flights, and cash & points rates.
Remember, you can still earn 25,000 Starwood points from the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express when you complete the minimum spending requirements.
And the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card still have terrific increased sign-up bonuses! Here are my reviews of the personal and small business versions.
What’s your wish list for the combined Marriott – Starwood loyalty program? Let me know in the comments!