While this was expected, it was the last step needed to finalize the transaction between the 2 hotel companies, which will now close on September 23, 2016.
Following the closing of the merger, I do NOT expect any immediate major changes to either hotel chain’s loyalty program. I’ve said that your Starwood points are likely safe until 2018!
I’ll explain what you can expect from the combined hotel company.
What’s Happening With the Marriott – Starwood Merger?
The Marriott & Starwood hotel merger will officially close on September 23, 2016. The result will be the world’s largest hotel company.
Many folks are wondering if they should quickly use their Starwood points balances. But I think you still have time!
In the initial merger announcement, Marriott President and CEO, Arne Sorenson, said there were no plans to combine the Marriott and Starwood loyalty programs until 2018. And I recently met with a Starwood executive who confirmed the same.
Although major changes are not expected with either loyalty program, you might notice new things after the merger. For example, Marriott recently revealed a preview to their mobile app update, which shows you can link your Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Starwood loyalty accounts.
I suspect any immediate changes won’t impact the loyalty programs. Instead, it will be advertising and app updates to show folks the hotel brands are now part of one parent company. And perhaps Marriott will begin offering perks to Starwood elite status members, like bonus points on stays.
Each hotel chain will likely continue their own promotions in the near term. For example, Starwood recently announced an offer to earn 2X or 3X Starwood points on stays through December 19, 2016.
With the deal now closed, are there any changes you’d like to see with the loyalty programs?