Making the Most of Your Marriott and Starwood Points After the Merger

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Now that I’ve shared the details of the Marriott – Starwood merger, I have a few ideas about how to make the most of your Marriott and Starwood points going forward!

When you link your Marriott and Starwood accounts, you’ll be able to transfer points between your Marriott and Starwood accounts at a 3:1 ratio and get an instant status match between programs.  Meaning you’ll have more options for award stays with 5,700+ hotels around the world!

Marriott Starwood Merger Benefits

Emily Enjoying the Modern Lobby at the Courtyard Austin Downtown / Convention Center

Here are a few fun ways to take advantage of the perks of linking your Marriott and Starwood accounts!

Maximizing the Marriott – Starwood Merger Benefits

Link:   Marriott Starwood Merger Details

Link:   Link Your Marriott and Starwood Accounts

Because you can now link your Marriott and Starwood accounts to transfer points between programs and get an instant status match if you have elite status with either hotel chain, you’ll have more ways to use your points from both programs!

And having options and greater flexibility with points is always good news. 🙂

So here are a couple of ideas about making the most of your Starwood and Marriott points now that the merger is official!

1.   Use Marriott Points for Weekend Stays at Starwood Hotels

Say you have 30,000 Marriott points and want to use them for as many free nights as possible.

Marriott Category 1 hotels cost 7,500 Marriott points per night, but Starwood Category 1 hotels are just 2,000 points per night for weekend nights.

So 30,000 Marriott points is enough for 4 nights at a Category 1 Marriott hotel (30,000 Marriott points / 7,500 points per night).

Marriott Starwood Merger Benefits

Ever Dreamed About Seeing the Pyramids in Egypt? Transfer Your Marriott Points to Starwood Points for MORE Free Weekend Nights at Category 1 Starwood Hotels, Like the Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa in Cairo.

Or, you could transfer those 30,000 Marriott points and get 10,000 Starwood points, because of the 3:1 transfer ratio.  That’s enough for 5 free weekend nights at a Starwood Category 1 hotel (10,000 Starwood points / 2,000 points per night)!

2.   Use Starwood Points for Top Tier Marriott Hotels

Want to splurge on a night at a luxury hotel?  With a 3:1 transfer ratio between Marriott and Starwood points, you could transfer 15,000 Starwood points to get 45,000 Marriott points.  Enough for a night at a fancy (and expensive!) Marriott Category 9 hotel!

That’s a good deal, because 15,000 Starwood points is only enough for 1 night at a Category 5 Starwood hotel, which is NOT their top-tier.

I found rooms in October 2016, at the beautiful Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel in London, for ~$606 per night.

Marriott Starwood Merger Benefits

The Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel in London Is Within Walking Distance to Hyde Park. And You Can Use Just 15,000 Starwood Points for an Award Night Here!

In comparison, using 15,000 Starwood points for 1 night at a Category 5 Starwood hotel might only save you ~$185 if you used them for a stay at the St. Regis Bangkok.

But as always, do the math to make sure you’re getting the best deal!

3.   Use Points at More Locations

Link:   Marriott Hotels Map

Link:   Starwood Hotels Map

With the merger, you’ll be able to use your Starwood and Marriott points at over 5,700 hotels worldwide!  So it should be easier to find a hotel and use your points while you’re traveling.

For example, say you want to take a trip to see the beautiful fall colors in Charlottesville, Virginia, and use your Starwood points for a hotel stay.

Marriott Starwood Merger Benefits

It’s Often Easier to Find a Marriott Hotel in Smaller Cities and Towns. Like the Residence Inn in Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia.

The bad news is there aren’t ANY Starwood hotels in Charlottesville.  The good news, you could transfer your Starwood points to Marriott points for a stay at any 1 of the 5 Marriott brand hotels in the city!

In general, you’ll find more Marriott hotels than Starwood hotels in smaller cities and towns.

4.   Make the Most of Your Status Match

You’ll get an instant status match between programs when you merge your accounts at members.marriott.com.

So if you have Gold status with Marriott, you’ll get Gold status with Starwood, or vice versa.

This could be helpful for some folks, because the perks associated with each status level are a bit different between the programs.

Marriott Starwood Merger Benefits

I’m Always Happy When Breakfast is Included in a Hotel Stay :)

For example, with Marriott Gold status you get lounge access and breakfast for two.  Those perks are NOT available with Starwood Gold status!

5.   Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for a Starwood Stay

Need a few more points for a particular Starwood stay?  You can indirectly top-off your Starwood account with the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus now.  Because you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott points at a 1:1 ratio.

Then transfer your Marriott points to Starwood points at a 3:1 ratio.

Having this option could come in handy for folks who need a few more points for a Starwood award night and happen to have extra Chase Ultimate Rewards points to use.

Bottom Line

You can now link your Marriott and Starwood accountsto enjoy the perks of both programs!

After your accounts are linked, you’ll get an instant status match between the programs and you’ll be able to transfer points between programs too!

For every 1 Starwood hotel point you transfer, you’ll get 3 Marriott points, or vice versa.

And there are lots of ways to make the most of your points, with over 5,700 hotels worldwide to choose from.  Like using Starwood points for stays at top-tier Marriott hotels.  Or getting MORE free nights by transferring Marriott points to Starwood points for weekend stays!

Again, I’m happy about the changes after the merger so far.

Do you have plans to use your Starwood or Marriott points now that the merger is official?  Let me know in the comments!

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12 responses to “Making the Most of Your Marriott and Starwood Points After the Merger

  1. Question: Once I link these, do I lose the ability to move my SPG points to airlines in the 1:1 relationship, plus the 5000 bonus?

    Also, I am lifetime Gold with Marriott and my Marriott points do not die. Will this be the same for my SPG account.

  2. WOW! The red hair is gorgeous on you! I’m going to take a better look at Marriott points now with this favorable exchange.

  3. @John Housley – You don’t lose the ability to transfer SPG to airlines after you link accounts. I don’t believe that will be the case i.e. SPG points will expire, but you can transfer Marriott points to SPG to reset the expiration date.

  4. Agreed Aleca! She fine!

  5. @aleca- @ Mike- Thank you so much for the compliments. 🙂

  6. Just linked my accounts, I’m gold with SPG after linking it shows I’m Silver with Marriott. Guess I need to call and get this fixed

  7. Do you think we should be concerned about a big Marriott devaluation once they merge the rewards programs? It takes 105k Marriott points (transferred to SPG at 3:1 ratio) to stay at a top tier SPG property such as St Regis Aspen, whereas it only takes 70k Marriott points at a top Ritz such as Bachelor Gulch. This seems to suggest that after the merger is complete then we can expect a “Hilton-like” devaluation

  8. Do you think it is a good idea to get the Marriott CC with 80K bonus and transfer those you starwood? Dive it seems starwood is more valuable and can transfer to airlines. Good idea since they are together now?

  9. Do you need to make your reservation on the Marriott website to receive stay credit similar to SPG requirements?

  10. I wonder how nights and flights compare? I’d assume spg is slightly better, but is limited in category.

  11. @jeff
    anything is better than getting 1-2 cents out of 1 dollar spend. Personally I goal is trying to pull of a juiced up Marriott sign on bonus per Chase’s 24 months rule.
    I am staying at a Marriott Property in DC area, 40K get 4 nights plus ONE free night.

  12. @Shana – It is possible, but that won’t happen until 2018

    @Jeff – I like that idea, but the Marriott personal card will count towards the 5/24 rule.

    @Robert – Yes.

    @Tav – Depends. For United, Marriott is a better choice.