Delta and Starwood Crossover Benefits = More Points + New Perks

Feb 7, 2013

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As you may have read

, Delta and Starwood have now introduced Crossover Rewards where Delta SkyMiles Medallion (elite) members will now earn miles when staying at Starwood hotels and SPG elite members will now earn Starpoints when flying Delta.  While that is one of the biggest hallmarks of this new partnership, there are a few other new benefits as well.  Per their press release and website:

  • SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallion members will be able to take advantage of benefits including priority check-in, 4pm late checkout, an enhanced room at check-in (subject to availability), and free high speed internet access when staying at more than 1,100 Starwood hotels and resorts.
  • Delta SkyMiles Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion members also earn one mile per dollar spent on eligible room rates when staying with Starwood in addition to the Starpoints usually earned for their stay.
  • SPG Platinum members will receive one free checked bag for the Crossover Rewards Participant and up to 3 additional passengers traveling under the same reservation as the Crossover Rewards Participant.  SPG Platinum members also receive priority check-in and Zone 1 priority boarding (for up to 8 additional passengers on the same reservation) when flying Delta.
  • SPG elite members will earn one Starpoint per dollar spent on eligible flights in addition to the miles usually earned for their stay.
  • Crossover Rewards enrollment begins on February 27th at SPG.com/crossoverrewards.com and member earning begins on March 1st.

During a call with the Sr. VP of the SPG program, he explained it as “a friend of yours is a friend of mine” (this is business, so I’m sure it also means a good customer of yours is a good customer of mine), but it makes sense and I don’t see any losers in this partnership.  Some benefit more than others, but they aren’t really taking anything away from anyone.  They are just adding some benefits to those who happen to travel using both SPG and Delta.  My husband and I haven’t personally had a Delta flight in probably 7 or 8 years, but should our travels take us to Delta we would now earn SPG points for the fare, get free checked bags, priority boarding etc. just because of our elite levels with Starwood.  Not too shabby.  I also like that once you register it should be a seamless process that doesn’t require you to do anything additional to take advantage of the new benefits.

After having a few minutes to digest the details of the new partnership, I know I had a couple of questions.  Luckily there is already a FAQ available online here.  I will borrow a few of the questions and answers that I bet are pretty common.

If I am registered for Crossover Rewards, how many Starpoints do I earn for an eligible Delta flight?
If you are registered for Crossover Rewards, are a SPG Platinum or Gold elite member, and you book a Delta marketed and operated flight (excluding bookings made through online travel agencies, e.g., priceline.com, expedia.com, booking.com, orbitz.com, elong.com), then in addition to the miles you already earn, you will also earn:• one Starpoint for every one U.S. dollar or its foreign equivalent spent on Delta fares (excluding taxes and fees); or
• 500 Starpoints for special Delta fares, often referred to as unpublished fares, including but not limited to consolidator fares, tour, groups, merchant marine and cruise packages.All segments of the flight must be Delta marketed (e.g., has a DL flight number) and operated to qualify. A flight is not considered Delta operated if it is operated by a SkyTeam, Delta codeshare, or other alliance partner carrier. See the Crossover Rewards Terms for additional details.
How many miles will I earn for an Eligible Stay at an SPG Participating Hotel?
If you are registered for Crossover Rewards and are a Delta Medallion member, in addition to earning Starpoints for Eligible Stays at SPG Participating Hotels, you will earn one Delta mile for every one U.S. dollar or its foreign equivalent spent on Eligible Rates (e.g., room rates [excluding taxes and charges]) during your Eligible Stay. No Delta miles will be awarded for other Eligible Charges (e.g., food and beverage charges, laundry, valet) during an Eligible Stay at an SPG Participating Hotel.
If I book a Delta flight through an online travel agency, am I eligible to earn Starpoints for that flight?
No. If you make a reservation for a Delta flight through an online travel agency (e.g., priceline.com, expedia.com, booking.com, orbitz.com, elong.com), you are not eligible to earn Starpoints for that flight even if you are registered for Crossover Rewards and are a SPG Platinum or Gold elite member.
If I am an SPG Gold elite member and a Delta Diamond or Platinum Medallion member, do I get to choose a different welcome amenity at check-in since in-room Internet is now complimentary through Crossover Rewards?
Yes. If you are registered for Crossover Rewards and are a Delta Diamond or Platinum Medallion member, you will receive complimentary in-room Internet during Eligible Stays through Crossover Rewards, so you may choose a different welcome amenity (e.g., 250 bonus Starpoints) as an SPG Gold elite member.

I like that the free checked bag benefit extends to up to four people on the reservation – clearly a benefit with family travel in mind.  I also see no harm in registering for Crossover Rewards, even if you aren’t sure it will be useful for you.  As I mentioned, I have had no status and no flight activity with Delta in a long time.  However, I am Gold with SPG (which isn’t that tough to get especially via credit cards), so if I happened to find myself on a Delta flight I would earn some SPG points that I wouldn’t have before.  As a SPG Platinum, my husband would earn SPG points, plus get the other extras like free checked bag.

Now of course this begs the question as to whether another hotel and airline will want to buddy up in a similar way….ahem, United and Hyatt.  ;)

What do you think of this new partnership?  Good thing?  Bad thing?  Neutral?

 

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