15 Questions About the Future of SPG and Marriott Rewards

Sep 21, 2016

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With less than 48 hours to go until the scheduled Marriott acquisition of Starwood, we still have far more questions than answers. That certainly makes sense, given that the companies have yet to join forces under one umbrella, but we’re still eager to understand just what this merger means for the beloved Starwood Preferred Guest program — and Marriott Rewards.

Below, I’m including a list of 15 of our seemingly infinite list of SPG/Marriott Rewards-related questions, and we’d love to hear from you too. If we haven’t addressed your question here, please leave it as a comment below — we hope to get some clarification from Starwood and Marriott just as soon as possible.

We hope Suite Night Awards are here to stay. (Pictured: a Junior Suite at the St. Regis Princeville.)
We hope Suite Night Awards are here to stay. (Pictured: a Junior Suite at the St. Regis Princeville.)

Here are 15 of the TPG team’s questions — please share yours below as well!

1. When will Marriott begin the process of combining the Starwood Preferred Guest program with Marriott Rewards?

2. Will Starwood Preferred Guest disappear entirely, or will it be run alongside Marriott Rewards?

3. What will become of the Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards?

4. When will Starwood members be able to redeem points for Marriott hotels, and vice versa?

5. Will SPG Gold members be matched to Marriott Gold? And Platinum to Platinum?

6. How will points be combined? Will one Starpoint be equivalent to three Marriott Rewards points, for example?

7. Which Starwood benefits will we see integrated with the Marriott Rewards program?

8. Which SPG benefits won’t be available as part of the new Marriott Rewards program?

9. Will Starwood Platinum members be eligible for complimentary suite upgrades? Will there be any option to confirm a suite at booking, as Hyatt offers to Diamond members?

10. Will Marriott offer an “Ambassador” service, as Starwood does now?

11. How will Starwood lifetime elite members be accommodated within Marriott Rewards?

12. How will airline transfers work? Will Marriott maintain transfer agreements with all of Starwood’s existing partners?

13. Will Marriott continue offering perks with Starwood partners, such as Uber, Delta and Emirates?

14. Will Marriott be making any changes to the Ritz-Carlton program?

15. How much notice will Marriott give members before introducing any changes to either program? In other words, would an SPG member still have time to convert points to frequent-flyer miles before that benefit is changed or eliminated?

Will Starwood's fantastic Platinum benefit extend to all Marriott hotels? We want to know, too.
Will Starwood’s fantastic Platinum benefit extend to all Marriott hotels? We want to know, too.

To recap everything that’s happened to date regarding the merger, check out these posts below:

May 1, 2015 — Rumors of IHG preparing a bid to acquire Starwood
October 28, 2015 — Starwood CEO Adam Aron mentions the possibility of a sale during an earnings call
November 16, 2015 — Marriott announces its intention to acquire Starwood
November 20, 2015 — Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson addresses questions about Marriott and SPG
January 22, 2016 — TPG chatted SPG with Marriott’s Vice President of Loyalty
February 24, 2016 — TPG shares plans to attend a Marriott loyalty forum in Los Angeles
March 14, 2016 — Starwood and Marriott acknowledge Anbang’s bid
March 18, 2016 — Starwood accepts Anbang’s bid
March 18, 2016 — Starwood CEO Tom Mangas addresses the latest acquisition news
March 21, 2016  — Marriott Outbids Anbang with Latest Offer for Starwood
March 28, 2016 — Marriott Isn’t Submitting a Higher Bid for Starwood Hotels
March 31, 2016 — Anbang Won’t Be Acquiring Starwood After All
April 19, 2016 — Marriott’s Integrating Some SPG Benefits Long Before the Merger
May 11, 2016 — Two Hotel Owners Suing Marriott and Starwood Over Upcoming Merger
August 9, 2016 — China’s Been Holding up the Starwood-Marriott Merger
September 20, 2016 — China Approves Marriott’s Acquisition of Starwood Hotels

Featured image courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Maui and the St. Regis Bora Bora.

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