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Most folks (including myself!) thought that Marriott buying Starwood was a done deal. Management from both companies told us to expect the merger to be complete later this year.
Now, Anbang Insurance Group (a Chinese company) is offering over $14 billion to buy Starwood Hotels. That’s ~$1.8 billion more than the Marriott deal. And Starwood shareholders have to vote on that offer on March 28, 2016.
What does this mean for your points? I’ll explain!
Marriott announced last year it would buy Starwood hotels to create the largest hotel chain the world. So far, we don’t know what will happen to their loyalty programs. Or how your Starwood points will be integrated into their new hotel chain.
Now, a Chinese company, Anbang Insurance Group, is offering more money to buy out Starwood.
This company also recently bought Strategic Hotels and Resorts (which owns some upscale hotel locations, including several Ritz-Carlton hotels) for $6.5 billion. And they purchased the Waldorf Astoria New York in 2014 for nearly $2 billion.
Starwood shareholders will have to vote on the Marriott deal on March 28, 2016. If they reject it, they’ll owe Marriott $400 million!
But this new offer might be a better deal for shareholders – and for us!
Why Is This Good?
One of the biggest concerns over the Starwood – Marriott merger was how they’d combine their loyalty programs.
Many folks are loyal to Starwood Preferred Guest, because they have excellent hotels, service, and elite perks. So some were worried Marriott’s buyout would diminish or eliminate the uniqueness of the Starwood brand.
With this new deal, I suspect (hope!) the Starwood name and brand would stay intact. That’s good news!
That said, this is very fresh information. So the details aren’t clear. But I’ll update you as soon as I find out more!
In the Meantime…Great Card Offers!
Link: American Express Starwood Preferred Guest (Personal)
Link: American Express Starwood Preferred Guest (Small Business)
While we wait to see what will happen with the Marriott – Starwood merger, both hotel chains have terrific increased sign-up bonuses on their credit cards!
The best offer ever is available for AMEX Starwood personal and small business cards until March 30, 2016. You’ll earn 35,000 Starwood points from each card after meeting the minimum spending requirements.
Remember, it’s rumored Chase will change its application rules for airline and hotel cards in April 2016. So if you’re interested in the Chase Marriott Premier (or any other Chase card), you should apply soon.
Folks who’ve opened ~5 or more credit cards in the past 24 months will soon have difficulty opening any Chase card!
If you have Starwood or Marriott points, or are considering for these cards, have a plan for using your points. Because we don’t know what will happen to either program after the merger or buyout.
And as with everything in our miles & points hobby, great deals don’t last forever! So use your points for Big Travel that’s important to you!