Starwood-Marriott Account Link Setup
Marriott completed their buyout of Starwood today and you can now transfer Starpoints to Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio and Marriott Rewards points to Starwood at a 3:1 ratio. The minimum amount of points that can be transferred are 1,000 Starpoints into 3,000 Marriott Rewards points and 1,000 Marriott Rewards points into 333 Starpoints. There is no maximum amount of points and you can continue to transfer points back and forth at will. That’s pretty much the best case scenario that Starwood fans could have hoped for!
I signed up to link my accounts and my Starwood Platinum status was instantly matched to Marriott Platinum status. Somehow I now have top-tier elite Diamond and Platinum status with Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and Starwood without any paid stays 😀
Both your Marriott and Starwood accounts remain separate, but they now have the ability to transfer points back and forth at will.
-If you have Starwood Gold status you’ll be matched to Marriott Gold.
-If you have a Starwood credit card you’ll be matched to Marriott Silver.
-Matching also works the other way, Marriott Platinums will get Starwood Platinum and Marriott Golds will get Starwood Gold.
-If you have United Gold status or higher you can get Marriott Gold which will also get you Starwood Gold.
-If you have Starwood Platinum Status you can match to Marriott Platinum which will also get you United Silver status!
-Marriott elites can also take advantage of Delta crossover benefits by matching their status to Starwood.
The combined company will be called Marriott International. All 30 hotel brands are being kept for now and you can view them here.
The ability to transfer points back and forth make this a time where you can get amazing value out of your Starpoints and Marriott Rewards points. The Starwood and Marriott programs will exist on their own until 2018, at which point they will be merged into a combined program with 1 award chart. But for now you can take advantage of the best of both of their award charts.
-The Chase Marriott card offers 87,500 points for spending $3,000 and adding an additional user card. After hitting the signup bonus it’s not worth spending on this card. You’ll get 3 Marriott Rewards points per dollar by spending on a Starwood card instead!
You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.
-This link for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 2 free Starwood category 1-5 nights for spending $5,000 in 3 months.
-This link for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.
-If you have the Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN you can call to have your Starwood account upgraded to Gold status which will then be matched to Marriott Gold as well!
Marriott has 9 categories of hotels that range from 7,500 to 45,000 points per night or 6,000 to 40,000 points per night when they’re on PointSavers.
Marriott also has 5 tiers of Ritz Carlton hotels that range from 30,000 to 70,000 points per night or 20,000 to 60,000 points per night when they’re on PointSavers.
Starwood has 7 categories of hotels that range from 2,000 to 35,000 points per night.
When you stay 4 nights at either chain you get the 5th night free.
Both chains also offer Cash+Points options.
For now you can transfer points back and forth to take advantage of the best values that either chain has to offer. Thanks to the 1:3 transfer ratio it’s likely that many Marriott hotels may offer a better value than Starwood, but there will be lots of exceptions. But in general Starpoints will be more valuable when used for hotel stays thanks to Marriott tripling them when they’re converted to Marriott Rewards points.
–20K Starwood points can transfer into 25K airline miles and that 1:1.25 ratio is what makes Starpoints valuable. You can now transfer Marriott Rewards points to Starwood for airline transfers.
Marriott Rewards point transfers to airlines are more confusing.
One great deal will be the ability to transfer Starpoints into United miles. Starwood and United have a strained relationship due to AMEX and Chase co-brand battles and it’s one of the few airlines that has a poor 20K:12.5K transfer ratio.
However you can transfer 56K Marriott Rewards points into 25K United miles, a 2.24:1 ratio. 19K Starwood points can now become 57K Marriott Rewards points, which will give you 25K United miles and you’ll have 1,000 Marriott Rewards leftover that you can convert back into 333 Starpoints. Effectively you can transfer 18,667 Starpoints into 25K United miles!
It’s not all roses though. With many airlines you’ll need 70K Marriott Rewards points for 25K airline miles. You’ll need 23,333 Starpoints to become 70K Marriott Rewards points to get 25K airline miles, so that’s worse than Starwood’s tranfer ratio.
And with many other airlines you’ll only get 17,500 miles for 70K Marriott Rewards points, a big dropoff from the Starwood offering.
You’ll need 140K Marriott Rewards points for 25K Virgin America miles. That equals a whopping 46,666 for the same thing you can do with 20K Starpoints. That’s an outlier though and Virgin America’s days are coming to an end anyway as they were bought out by Alaska.
Starwood offers a valuable Nights and Flights program, but it only works at category 3 and 4 hotels. 60K Starpoints gets you 50K miles and 5 nights in a category 3 property (normally 40K+28K Starpoints), or 70K Starpoints gets you 50K miles and 5 nights in a category 4 property (normally 40K+40K Starpoints).
Marriott offers excellent miles+nights packages when you combine a 7 night stay with a mileage transfer. Those values will be your best bet for transferring points into miles if you can also use the hotel stay.
For example if you compare Marriott Tier 5 (which is the most expensive of their 14 total categories and tiers) to a Starwood category 7. If you stay 7 nights in that Starwood hotel it would cost 180K or 210K Starpoints. With Marriott tripling your Starpoints those points would be worth 540K or 630K Marriott Rewards points. Marriott will give 7 nights in Tier 5 and 55K United miles for 470K Marriott Rewards points. Or better yet, Marriott will give 7 nights in Tier 5 and 132K United miles for 540K Marriott Rewards points.
The 7 night hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
Lower categories have relative bargains as well.
All in all, things could have been a lot worse. I feared a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio. 1:3 seems pretty fair overall.
Of course the real question will come in 2018. Will you transfer your Starpoints to airline miles at favorable ratios before Starwood goes away?
Share your thoughts in the comments!
HT: SearchGuy, via DDF