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Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths!

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.

Credit cards:
-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 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!

Hotel awards:

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.

Airline transfers:

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.

Airline+hotel awards:

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

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35 Responses to “Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths!”

  1. Anonymous Says:
    1

    People on Reddit were talking about the opportunity of transferring 90K starpoints to marriot to get a 7 night stay 120K RR points and a companion pass from southwest in the process. Is that actually legitimate? Because that would make this transfer even more valuable!

    ReplyReply
  2. Menachem_m Says:
    2

    So United Golds can get SPG status, and SPG Platinum can get United Silver with RewardsPlus.

    ReplyReply
  3. Starwoods Says:
    3

    If ur only using for airline miles is Starwood’s card basically not worth keeping open for a second year and paying annual fee?

    ReplyReply
  4. VM Says:
    4

    With Marriott Plat you will also get UA silver

    ReplyReply
  5. Anonymous Says:
    5

    Did any of your current statuses not originate from SPG Plat?

    ReplyReply
  6. thingy Says:
    6

    Don’t you get SPG Gold with SPG CC?

    ReplyReply
  7. Dan Says:
    7

    @Anonymous:
    Made a separate post for that, great deal!

    @Menachem_m:
    Yup, sweet deal, though United Silver isn’t worth too much.

    @Starwoods:
    Starwood isn’t going away until 2018. And there are still airline mile deals.

    @Anonymous:
    -SPG Plat from several AMEX signups and award stays.
    -Hilton Diamond from credit card MS.
    -Hyatt Diamond matched from SPG.
    -Marriott Platinum matched from SPG.

    @thingy:
    Only if you spend $30K on it.

    ReplyReply
  8. thingy Says:
    8

    “Effectively you can transfer 18,667 Starpoints into 25K United miles!” This so great it’s worthy of it’s own post!
    Any reason to think they will end this? I’m sitting on a pile of Starwood with a depleted United account…

    ReplyReply
  9. Anonymous Says:
    9

    @Dan: dan , i don’t get the poiny why would spg plat get United silver status?

    ReplyReply
  10. Dan Says:
    10

    @thingy:
    I don’t think it should end, but it’s hard to say what the effects of this will be.

    @Anonymous:
    Because Marriott Platinum earns United Silver:
    https://secure.unitedmileageplus.com/reg/rewards_plus/index.html

    ReplyReply
  11. thingy Says:
    11

    @Dan What do mean? Are you suggesting United might devalue further cuz of this?

    ReplyReply
  12. Jake Says:
    12

    “If you stay 7 nights in that Starwood hotel would cost 180K or 210K Starpoints.” How 180k?

    ReplyReply
  13. Dan Says:
    13

    @thingy:
    It should be OK, but Marriott can change the ratios at any time.

    @Jake:
    7 nights x 30K per night in low season=210K, minus the 5th night which is free=180K.

    7 nights x 35K per night in high season=245K, minus the 5th night which is free=210K.

    ReplyReply
  14. Jeff Says:
    14

    Will Marriott match Hilton Diamond for Marriott Plat? Thanks in advance.

    ReplyReply
  15. Israel Says:
    15

    Does this open up more options for booking hotels with starwood points in Israel (by transferring to Marriot)?

    ReplyReply
  16. Anonymous Says:
    16

    Do u think marriott will soon increase their value of their own points?

    ReplyReply
  17. Mdrills Says:
    17

    See http://members.marriott.com for exactly how you points and elite status will translate.

    ReplyReply
  18. mommafrica Says:
    18

    I have Marriott Gold w/ an early Oct stay in LIH (Kaua’i) coming up at Sheraton (via AMEX Offers). We’ll be flying United. If/when I link the programs, how can I get status for United being that Marriott Gold will get me SPG Gold? I also have the SPG Business cc.

    ReplyReply
  19. sd647 Says:
    19

    if i do the status match from spg to Marriott will it expire the same time as spg or do i get another year

    ReplyReply
  20. moshe Says:
    20

    dan did you transfer all your spg points to Marriott?

    ReplyReply
  21. Adam Says:
    21

    How do i get UA Silver with my SPG (and now Marriott) Platinum

    ReplyReply
  22. ERICA Says:
    22

    A quick question about the flights/ nights Marriott deal:

    Does the 7 night Marriott certificate need to be used all at once, or can you use it at separate stays?

    ReplyReply
  23. D2Rick Says:
    23

    Dan SPG points seem to be the hardest to earn compared to other hotel programs. For example there is no real shopping for points program and program bonuses are rare. Is churning for sign up bonuses the best way to accumulate a large number of SPG points?

    ReplyReply
  24. Momofboys Says:
    24

    @ERICA:
    Was wondering too. If I plan an Israel trip can I use one 7 night certificate for 3 nights in one place and 4 in another – consecutively ?

    ReplyReply
  25. Ari Says:
    25

    What does SPG gold match to in Marriott?

    ReplyReply
  26. Dan Says:
    26

    @Jeff:
    No.

    @Israel:
    Yes.

    @Anonymous:
    Not until 2018 when the programs combine.

    @mommafrica:
    You only get Unite status if you have SPG/Marriott Platinum.

    @sd647:
    Same time.

    @moshe:
    2.1MM of my SPG points are tied up in St Regis Maldives reservations 🙂

    But there’s no rush to transfer anyway.

    @Adam:
    There’s a link in this post.

    @ERICA:
    At once.

    @D2Rick:
    Starpoints are tough to get these days except through spending.

    @Momofboys:
    No, 7 consecutive days in one hotel.

    @Ari:
    Read the post.

    ReplyReply
  27. Kels Says:
    27

    Will transferring x amount of points from SPG to Marriott count towards my Marriott lifetime status? So for instance, if I need 300,000 points to be lifetime platinum with Marriott so I transfer over 300,000 SPG points to my now linked account, will I now be Lifetime Platinum with Marriott?

    ReplyReply
  28. Avi Says:
    28

    “You’ve been upgraded! Because you are an SPG Gold member, you have been upgraded to Gold Elite status with Marriott Rewards”.

    Thanks Dan

    ReplyReply
  29. Dan Says:
    29

    @Kels:
    No.

    @Avi:
    Enjoy.

    ReplyReply
  30. JohnnieD Says:
    30

    Was SPG Gold by having Amex Ameriprise plat card. Am now in the lounge of JW Marriot in Beijing thanks to my gold match! Breakfast and buffet/wine at night! Thank you Amex Platinum card!!

    ReplyReply
  31. Anonymous Says:
    31

    @Anonymous: @Anonymous: following. I’m curious how this works?

    ReplyReply
  32. mommafrica Says:
    32

    Thanks Dan. Reading through a lot of travelers blogs (such as yours daily) to find a way to get around it. No go so far. I should have taken advantage of their targeted flight status challenge at the end of the past year(I was doing the AA Linkedin challenge).

    ReplyReply
  33. CUBS FAN Says:
    33

    Is there any action I need to take to get Starwood Platinum status? I already have Marriott Platinum status?

    ReplyReply
  34. Dan Says:
    34

    @JohnnieD:
    Nice!

    @Anonymous:
    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/95850

    @CUBS FAN:
    Just link your accounts.

    ReplyReply
  35. avi Says:
    35

    why would u have 2.1 million points tied up in spg Maldives unless you are hosting a wedding?

    ReplyReply

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