Marriott vs SPG

 
Old Aug 19, 16, 2:10 pm
  #1  
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Marriott vs SPG

I currently have small amount of HHonors points but am thinking of moving to either SPG or Marriott Rewards and was hoping regulars might let me know if I should take up Marriott or SPG given the merger.
Should I go for Marriott?
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Old Aug 19, 16, 2:24 pm
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Depends on where you tend to stay. Marriott has a lot of coverage even to smaller cities and towns with at least a Courtyard or a Fairfield Inn. SPG on the other hand seldom has anything outside of medium sized cities (100K pop or so).
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Old Aug 19, 16, 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by kanerf View Post
Depends on where you tend to stay. Marriott has a lot of coverage even to smaller cities and towns with at least a Courtyard or a Fairfield Inn. SPG on the other hand seldom has anything outside of medium sized cities (100K pop or so).
Ah ok. So Marriott is better for coverage. Interesting.

And their points are likely not to be interchangeable for the near future?

I wonder how much the Marriott program will change with SPG coming on board. Or do you think that Marriott Rewards will stay the same, with SPG making the changes?
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Old Aug 19, 16, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by SQTraveller View Post

I wonder how much the Marriott program will change with SPG coming on board. Or do you think that Marriott Rewards will stay the same, with SPG making the changes?
There's a very long thread in the SPG forum (it's a sticky) re: info on the merger, as well as one in this forum (not a sticky & not as long). The programs aren't supposed to fully integrate until 2018, although some changes may occur before then.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 19, 16, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by kanerf View Post
Depends on where you tend to stay. Marriott has a lot of coverage even to smaller cities and towns with at least a Courtyard or a Fairfield Inn. SPG on the other hand seldom has anything outside of medium sized cities (100K pop or so).
That's true in the US. Varies int'ly.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 19, 16, 7:14 pm
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I'd consider where you usually stay or plan to stay...and see which hotels fit your bill best.

Locations? Marriott does have better coverage in the USA--though both have coverage in the major cities. Internationally, though, SPG can have comparable or even better coverage depending on the country.

Hotel price point? SPG generally has more upscale/luxurious hotels in most cities and some moderate hotels. Marriott has upscale/luxurious hotels, too, though most give that edge to SPG...but Marriott has far more moderate hotels and tons of economy/budget level hotels even in the tiniest towns.

No one knows what the merged program will look like. But most people agree that eventually SPG points will convert into MR points at a ratio of between 2:1 or 3:1. The merge isn't supposed to happen until 2018...but there may be changes in the MR program before then. MR recently added late checkout and a concierge service to match SPG.

Go for whichever one can give you the status you want most!
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Old Aug 20, 16, 4:55 am
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Thanks for all the advice. I might just go for Marriott as it has coverage in most of the cities that I will likely visit.
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Old Aug 20, 16, 8:43 pm
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It really depends on what you value in the HH program. If you stay at a lot of Hamptons and HGIs in small cities and outlying suburbs, you'll want to join Marriott because they'll have their limited service brands in pretty much the same towns (and vice versa) while you won't see a Starwood property for miles. On the other hand, if you only stay at full service HH properties close in to major metro and resort areas, SPG should have you covered and arguably has better aspirational properties, too. Pick whichever is the better fit.

If MR seems like the better fit, definitely go with it instead of SPG. In the forthcoming merger, MR is the acquirer and SPG is the acquiree. You should expect that when the guest loyalty programs are merged the result will look a lot more like MR than SPG and if one program gets a substantially worse deal in the conversion, it's a virtual certainty it will be SPG.
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