Marriott To Buy Starwood

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Update 2: I’m still traveling for another few days and haven’t slept in more than that thanks to polar bear and Aurora Borealis hunting, but I’d be remiss not to mention that there is a competing offer from a Chinese consortium now on the table for Starwood. Might this save Starwood as we know it from being swallowed up by Marriott?

Time will tell.

Now, do the Chinese also want to save Fairmont while they’re at it?


Update 1: In somewhat promising news, Marriott claims they will preserve the best aspects of both programs and that a big factor to buy Starwood was for their loyalty program. Then again, Continental and United said before they would keep the best of both airlines and that we would like the changes that were coming, before devastating loyal members of both programs.

File this in the “time will tell” category. Mergers rarely work out well for consumers, so I’m not holding my breath. But I am hoping.


Originally posted on 11/16/15:

In potentially devastating news for point junkies, Marriott has agreed to buy Starwood for $12.2 billion.

Apparently they beat out potential offers from suitors like Hyatt, IHG, and the Chinese government.

Pending government approval, the deal will close mid-2016.

With Marriott being the acquirer and the far larger program, it seems very likely that Marriott Rewards will be the surviving loyalty program

Starwood points are between 2-3 times as valuable as Marriott points and also transfer into airline miles at far higher ratios.

Starwood top-tier elite status is far more valuable than Marriott elite status and is much easier to attain.

I suppose that it’s possible that Marriott keeps the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program as a separate entity from Marriott Rewards, but it seems unlikely. The benefits of that would be not decimating the value in the SPG program and possibly being able to keep revenue streams from both AMEX and Chase. I’d be overjoyed, but I wouldn’t bet on that happening.

The likely route is that Marriott swallows Starwood and stops offering the Starwood AMEX. So this may be terrible news for AMEX as well. I’m almost surprised AMEX doesn’t jump into the fray and make an offer for Starwood just not to lose the huge co-brand Starwood business 😀

If Marriott announces plans to forcibly convert Starpoints into Marriott points at an equal ratio, that’s the day I cash in my chips and transfer out several million Starpoints into airline miles. There’s no way I’ll just sit back and be devalued while hoping there will be new value added to the Marriott program unless they explicitly say there will be.

Overall I see this as very ominous news. The only silver lining is that at least both Hyatt and Starwood’s programs won’t be destroyed like what was possible in a worst-case scenario when they were rumored to be merging.

HT: chuchem, via DDF

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41 Comments On "Marriott To Buy Starwood"

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This sucks


Still, with Hyatt being the only valuable vote program left they may devalue to follow industry


That’s terrible!! I have accumulated all these spg points for nothing!!


So much for my elite status


What’s going to happens with Starwood points.
Will I be able to get Starwood points when staying at Marriott
Or will both companies run independently?


I just got this card about 2 months ago just for the bonus points.
At this point from what you know, is it worth keeping and using this card
Or should I count my losses and get another card?
Sorry to have heard about your ruined travel plans.
Gam zeletova


Time to earn and burn! Points aren’t an investment!


Worst news ever!! St Regis here we come time to burn my miles! The 10 year lifetime platinum promise will be gone?


Nothing is known at this point folks.
Come 2016 and we should know a lot more and can decide to transfer out Starpoints before they potentially are devalued.


The card is fine for now, you can still transfer out points to airline miles at a favorable ratio.

They’ll give us warning before ending that.

Old timer

As someone who’s been in the mileage game for many years, it’s just very sad to see the constant consolidation and devaluation of every program

Oh well!
Was fun while it lasted

Oh boy

@dan wouldnt be surprised to see a Hyatt merger with IHG at this point…
Wow, i think you will see all the spg points junkies out and about travelling this year to make most use of their spg points…


Ive been noticing more and more crazies in the city adding the word “points” in their “The end of the world is coming” signs


BDE Very sad news just got two spg cards and was accumulating a really large amount of starpoints close to 100k for future use on trips and vacations. Any advice on how to proceed, what are other good cards for benefits plus hotels and airlines? @dan
Btw Dan sorry about your almost trip. Hopefully next time you’ll do better . Your our inspiration how to travel and feel like millionaires without paying like them.


Did i just read a few Million SPG points?




Uh, why on Earth would they want to announce that they were about to pocket a huge pot of money? To let anyone with any sense snatch it away from them? Where’s the psychopathology in that?

Seriously, counting on Marriott to do something good for its customers doesn’t really seem like a winning strategy to me.


What do you expect the impact to be in the crossover rewards with Delta?


@Jeff: They legally have to announce the deal.


This is exciting news!


@Neal: Do they have to announce the details of how they’re going to handle SPG points? That seems like “too small a detail” to mention, or do the consumer protection laws actually have teeth in this area?


There is no way this turns out well for any of us SPG fans… Kiss another great program goodbye.


They’ll need to make an announcement beforehand.


Seems Marriot understands the value of SPG points. From Washington Post article. see link below:

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said he was attracted to Starwood, in part, because of its loyalty program. He said the members skew a little younger than Marriott’s and the program is “very valued by elite travelers.”

“We will take the best of both programs and make sure the bests are preserved,” he said on the analyst call. The details will be worked out in the coming months.


Those CEO comments don’t mean anything. Starwood’s program is just too generous for Marriott to maintain. They’ll keep some minor token from the SPG program like nights & flights and that’s it. Could see them keeping the SPG Moments given Starwood’s investment there.


Mergers are never good for the customers – only to the shareholders.


agreed they will end up keeping the parts that are meaningless to us
SPG Tribute Hotels
SPG Designer Hotels
SPG Moments
Hotel Brands

“We will take the best of both programs”
Marriotts – 0 Value program
and SPG’s Customers

but things like 25 stays and free stays for credit card
are a thing of the past


Hey Dan, gotta ask, where did the majority of those SPG points come
from? They are the hardest to earn, and I honestly can’t imagine how to get that many.

Business expense, accumulated sign up bonuses over the years, Diners Club MS, etc?

Can let the cat out the bag now, right? 😄


So if I’ve never applied for the SPG before, should I jump on it now to get the points and transfer out before the card disappears?
Or do you think there might be some great card promos before it disappears like there was for the US airways Barclays card?


I just got this email from SPG.

Today we’re excited to share the news that Starwood Hotels & Resorts will join together with Marriott International to create the world’s largest hotel company. For our Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®) members, this will mean even more choices in even more places, giving you access to 1.1 million rooms across 5,500 hotels and resorts in more than 100 countries.

We will work to bring you the very best of SPG and Marriott Rewards®, two of the most rewarding loyalty programs in our industry. Our members are at the core of everything we do, and that will not change.

Today is the first day of a long journey as we combine our two companies. For now, we remain separate, and there is no change to your SPG program status, your Starpoints® or your existing reservations. You will continue to earn Starpoints and elite stay/night credit for your stays, as well as bonus Starpoints for any promotions in which you are participating. There is no change to how you manage your SPG account or book reservations.

Over the coming months, as we have more to share, we’ll be sure to reach out to you by email, at and via twitter (@spg). In the meantime, we remain at your service wherever you need us — whether in our hotels, at, on the SPG mobile app or via our Customer Contact Centers.

Thank you for sharing your travels with us.

Chris Holdren

Chris Holdren
Senior Vice President, Starwood Preferred Guest


There had been small cuts happening over the last two years and deal kills in a steady pace. And then BANG! This is a game changer, it is the knife that cuts to the bone.

The End

is almost here…


Key Lines
and translation of SPG’s email

“We will work to bring you the very best of SPG and Marriott Rewards®, two of the most rewarding loyalty programs in our industry. ” ~~SPG Members Loyalty and Marriott rewarding program(or lack of)

“Our members are at the core of everything we do, and that will not change. “~~Everything else will

“Today is the first day of a long journey as we combine our two companies. ” ~~ Your Doomed


There are limits to how many points you can transfer in 24 hours I hope they give you enough time to transfer out all your millions


Baruch Dayen Hu’emes!

Herbert the Fool

Hold your disgust for awhile people. What I think will happen is that Marriot will let the Starwood Hotels maintain their separate category for awhile as a phase in and then screw everyone on their points 1-2 years out with a big devaluation to Marriott levels. If that is the case, then everyone and I mean everyone should take more vacations and use your points up. What am I then going to do with my 10 Starwood cards??
I’ll lose sleep over it when it happens.


if i buy something now using the spg amex so amex will give me the extended warranty, what’ll happen to the warranty when/if amex stops giving spg cards?


Dan, I new this will bring you back to life.


will spg all of a sudden cancel its transfering of points into airlines like delta 1 to 1 ratio???


also thought jet blue amex was going to be dead as well??


I was rooting for the Chinese the whole time. I really wish the Hainan Airlines consortium had pulled it off.


Marriott outbid on this, Starwood agreed to $78 a share. Marriott has 5 days to counter.