Last weekend, the long and arduous process of merging Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Marriott Rewards accounts began. The SPG/Marriott Rewards merge began on 18 August. The process has been taking longer than originally expected, but the new combined loyalty program is slowly starting to take shape.
Merging your SPG and Marriott Rewards accounts
If you already have accounts with both SPG and Marriott Rewards, it’s important to remember that your accounts will not be automatically merged. You will need to initiate this process yourself on the Marriott Rewards website.
Once you’ve merged your accounts, you should receive 3x your previous SPG balance as Marriott Rewards points. For example, if you had 20,000 SPG points, these will become 60,000 Marriott Rewards points. After combining accounts your previous stays at Starwood properties will also start to be applied towards your Marriott Rewards status. This generally means that your Marriott status will either stay the same, or – if you’ve stayed enough nights overall at SPG and Marriott properties – you’ll get an upgrade to a higher tier.
Even if you don’t merge your accounts, your SPG point balance will be tripled and redemptions will be priced according to the higher Marriott Rewards rates from now on. So there’s really no reason not to merge your accounts.
Glitches with the SPG/Marriott Rewards merge
Some Marriott Rewards members have discovered a few technical glitches after linking accounts. For several days, the status level being displayed to Marriott members was incorrect. Some members thought this may have meant Marriott Rewards was gifting them a higher status level… but the error was eventually corrected.
The number of hotel nights displayed on some members’ activity statements has also been incorrect. Marriott Rewards is aware of this problem and is working to correct it.
I’ve got about 4 nights missing from the total as well, although if you add up the activity history they’re there. Presumably just a glitch that they’ll fix when they get around to it.
One AFF member found that their lifetime Gold status with SPG was converted to lifetime Silver in the new combined loyalty program. This is most likely another temporary glitch.
I’m Lifetime Gold with SPG (329 nights, 11 years Gold/Platinum), and should have been grandfathered to Lifetime Gold Elite in the combined program.
However, Lifetime status currently showing as Silver Elite (in addition to Gold Elite for this year’s stays) which is consistent with the new requirement of 400 nights to achieve Lifetime Gold. Clearly the grandfathering process hasn’t kicked in properly.
I’ll give it a few weeks to see if it’s fixed automatically.
The new Marriott Rewards program is still a work in progress, but progress is being made. Considering the scale of the SPG/Marriott Rewards merge, they’ve done a pretty good job overall!
Amex Membership Rewards transfers to the new Marriott Rewards program
Previously, 1 Amex Membership Rewards point could be converted to 0.5 SPG Starpoints. It was previously reported that the new transfer rate under the combined loyalty program would be 3 Amex points to 2 Marriott Rewards points. As a Marriott Rewards point is worth only a third of an SPG point, this is effectively a 125% devaluation.
However, at the time of writing, it was still not yet possible to transfer Amex points to the new Marriott Rewards program.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Combined Marriott and SPG program