Sunday, September 25, 2016

Marriott-Starwood merger complete; loyalty members to receive reciprocal benefits

The purchase of Starwood Hotels by Marriott International, announced in Nov. 2015 and approved by shareholders earlier this year, was completed Fri., Sept. 23. The entity, which became the world's largest hotel company, moved quickly to decide that members of each entities’ loyalty program would receive reciprocal benefits.

On Sunday morning, Sept. 25, the company sent emails to members of the Starwood Preferred Guest program, the Ritz-Carlton Rewards program and the Marriott Rewards Program, advising them that the can link their accounts and receive two additional advantages by doing so: Elite Status Match and Points Transfer.

“This allows you to unlock a world of new destinations and possibilities while we work to build one combined program,” the email read.

A customer service representative with the Starwood Preferred Guest told TheTravelPro that the current goal for merging the three programs into a single program is “some time in 2018.”

In the meantime, she noted, guests should continue to use the program appropriate for the property at which they are staying. Guests who combine their loyal programs will enjoy the status match and the ability to transfer points between programs, giving them additional flexibility until the single program replaces the three discrete loyalty programs.

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