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Latest on the Starwood and Marriott merger : deal closed on 23 Sep.

Latest on the Starwood and Marriott merger : deal closed on 23 Sep.

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Old Sep 22, 16, 10:35 pm   -   Wikipost
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Wiki Link
Deal closed SEP 23 - http://news.marriott.com/2016/09/mar...alty-benefits/

FAQ :
http://members.marriott.com/faq/#wil...to-one-program

Will Rewards and SPG be turning into one program?
These are two of the best programs in the industry, and we want you to benefit from everything that makes SPG and Rewards great. We donít anticipate that the two programs will come together before 2018, and we will keep you informed of any updates. In the meantime, thereís no change to how you book reservations, manage your accounts or earn Elite night credits, points and miles in the current programs.

If I have Lifetime Status in one of the programs, will I also get it in the other program when I link my accounts?
We appreciate your loyalty! Lifetime Status is specific to the program that you earned it in. While linking accounts will not result in Lifetime Status in the other program, your Elite status will be matched to the same Elite tier in the other program. Any existing Lifetime Status you already hold within either program will still be enjoyed within that program. Weíre working on more ways to recognize your loyalty and Lifetime Status as we work towards harmonizing the programs, which we donít anticipate happening until 2018.

You can now link your Marriott Rewards or Ritz-Carlton Rewards account with your SPG account.

It will be a 3:1 transfer ratio between MR-SPG
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Old Sep 22, 16, 10:58 am
  #1156  
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Originally Posted by no1cub17 View Post
Interesting - if true, this signifies an attempt by Marriott to retain SPG elites by gifting superior status (supposedly, it's still Marriott so automatically inferior IMO). But MR was never going to fairly convert Starpoints so that's no shocker.
Right. It's called Marketing! I would not be surprised at all. This makes all the SPG Gold people happy, or at least not upset. And they'd still have to earn that Gold status the following year.

After all, Marriott gives away Gold status to every UA Gold member so it's not like they value it very highly.
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Old Sep 22, 16, 11:02 am
  #1157  
 
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
After all, Marriott gives away Gold status to every UA Gold member so it's not like they value it very highly.
Right, MR Gold is marginally better than SPG Gold (just get the Amex Plat) status, but not by much.

At least with MR Gold, there's some effort involved. I mean, one must at least have UA Status, spend/MS $10K on the JPM Ritz, and sign up for a challenge periodically.
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Old Sep 22, 16, 12:03 pm
  #1158  
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What a sad, horrible outcome

Just made Lifetime Platinum today, just a day before the merger is to close.
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Old Sep 22, 16, 12:16 pm
  #1159  
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Originally Posted by ExpatSomchai View Post
"Leaked" report on HFP. True or not no idea:

3M for 1SPG
Gold SPG -> Gold Marriott
Olive branch to SPG for 1 year, if true.
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Old Sep 22, 16, 12:45 pm
  #1160  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Just made Lifetime Platinum today, just a day before the merger is to close.
I feel your pain. It was a similarly bittersweet feeling for me a couple of weeks ago. Fingers crossed that they will honour SPG Lifetime statuses one-to-one in the newly-merged program, 2018 and onward. Failing to do so would be such a slap in the face that I wouldn't see myself giving them another dime of my money.
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Old Sep 22, 16, 4:02 pm
  #1161  
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
Right. It's called Marketing! I would not be surprised at all. This makes all the SPG Gold people happy, or at least not upset. And they'd still have to earn that Gold status the following year.

After all, Marriott gives away Gold status to every UA Gold member so it's not like they value it very highly.
In the grand scheme of things, if the rumor is true it's about the most fair thing they can do. (I say this as LT MR Gold, current SPG Gold, and someone with 200k+ current balances in both programs.)

I personally feel like MR Gold is the slightly better status due to the guaranteed lounge access. SPG Gold has a couple minor advantages like better welcome amenity and marginally better earning bonus. But making them Platinum or Silver would completely anger one base or the other, so this is kind of their only choice.

Likewise on the exchange rate. 3:1 has for many years been about how I value them. It's how third parties like Diner's Club have valued them in conversions. (Not sure if this is still true.) If they went 2:1, that's a total ripoff of SPG members. If they went 4:1, I can see the Marriott faithful thinking that's a little too generous. If it's 3:1, I don't feel the need to preemptively empty out either of my existing 200k balances...it seems reasonably fair.
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Old Sep 22, 16, 4:02 pm
  #1162  
 
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I wonder if the merged program will implement new tiers. Instead of the current colors, perhaps a different naming convention and tiers that rise from basic (non-status) at say, less than 5 nights, to entry level at 5-25 nights, another level for 25-50 nights, a high tier for >50 nights? And perhaps a "super" tier greater than perhaps 100 nights?

Something along those lines (feel free to adjust the numbers as you prefer) with of course graduated benefits as well might avoid current "gold" members from feeling insulted by a downgrade.
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Old Sep 22, 16, 4:34 pm
  #1163  
 
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Here is an example of how the mindset sometimes works:

The change will be softened by an unexpected Christmas present for Aer Lingus’ frequent flyers, who will see their Golden Circle points exchanged for Avios at a 2:1 ratio.

“When AerClub launches we want to recognise our members’ loyalty and will offer 2 Avios for every 1 Gold Circle point our tier members have at the (Gold Circle) closing date” Aer Lingus Director of Communications Declan Kearney tells Australian Business Traveller.

“In the interests of all of our existing members, Gold Circle will continue to remain open until AerClub launches towards the end of 2016,” Kearney added.
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Old Sep 22, 16, 6:01 pm
  #1164  
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New Marriott big enough for revenue-based elite status?

I have another thought, since so many people wonder if Marriott will give someone who stays 100 nights at Fairfields the chance to get Ambassador/Concierge status at a Ritz-Carlton or St Regis.

Delta, United, and now American are now revenue based programs that reward customers who now SPEND THE MOST, not fly the most distance.

The newly merged Marriott will be big enough to consider doing the same thing: reward customers who spend the most, not stay the most.

A revenue-based loyalty program solves many of the problems Marriott might have in assuaging its new SPG customers and former MR customers. After all, both groups benefit from having so many more hotel options. Yet it also offers Marriott the opportunity to truly reward its highest paying, best customers--exactly what it wants to do.

If you stay often at a lot of cheap hotels, you can qualify for some elite status, but not the top elite status. If you stay at pricier hotels, and spend more on upgraded rooms/suites, you can qualify more easily for the higher to top levels of elite status.

Then the entry level elite status (new Silver, 25 nights equivalent revenue?) can guarantee 4 pm checkout and free wifi...and a boost in point earnings.

Then the middle elite status (new Gold, 50 nights equivalent revenue?) can guarantee lounge access plus room upgrades when available...and a bigger boost in point earnings. Maybe also free enhanced wifi.

Then the high elite status (new Platinum, 75-100 nights equivalent revenue?) can award standard suite upgrades as a guaranteed benefit based on availability...since those customers clearly have earned and paid enough for that benefit. Maybe 24 hour check-in like SPG Your24, too. Suite Night Upgrades (SNAs or SNUs?) can be granted like SPG did, too.

Finally, the top drawer elite status (new Ambassador/Diamond, 100-125 nights equivalent revenue?) can provide Concierge/Ambassador service as a guaranteed benefit with added SNAs/SNUs provided as additional incentive for every new equivalent revenue (something SPG doesn't do now). Highest likelihood of suite upgrades based on availability, even to more specialized suites where available, perhaps, and far more personalized service.

Last edited by bhrubin; Sep 22, 16 at 6:39 pm
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Old Sep 22, 16, 6:15 pm
  #1165  
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Originally Posted by no1cub17 View Post
But MR was never going to fairly convert Starpoints so that's no shocker.
I think most of "us" would be pretty happy with 3:1 given that 2.5:1 or even 2:1 was a possibility
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Old Sep 22, 16, 6:18 pm
  #1166  
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
The newly merged Marriott will be big enough to consider doing the same thing: reward customers who spend the most, not stay the most.
Highly unlikely; switching costs for hotels are MUCH lower than airlines. And "rewarding more" is already baked in by giving more points for more $ spend on any given stay.
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Old Sep 22, 16, 6:28 pm
  #1167  
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Well, I can tell you that change is already on the way for SPG AmEx cardholders. Marriott Rewards is going to be re-tooling their credit card w/ an annual fee of $95,-. Some of the benefits being contemplated: 5 pts / $ spent at Marriott; 2 pts / $ spent everywhere else; annual anniversary free night at Cat 1-5; guaranteed Silver; redeem at 4000 Marriott properties in 70+ countries; no foreign transaction fees; 24/7 concierge, premiere experience events, "enhanced" travel and protection benefits incl. primary car rental insurance.

The last bit makes it sound like we will be migrating to Chase in the not too distant future.
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Old Sep 22, 16, 6:36 pm
  #1168  
 
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Originally Posted by no1cub17 View Post
Interesting - if true, this signifies an attempt by Marriott to retain SPG elites by gifting superior status (supposedly, it's still Marriott so automatically inferior IMO). But MR was never going to fairly convert Starpoints so that's no shocker.
If they really wanted to retain SPG elites by gifting superior status, then how about SPG Platinum -> MR Platinum?

What is a fair conversion in your mind? I guess I was hoping for a little more than 3 but 3 is not terrible.
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Old Sep 22, 16, 8:48 pm
  #1169  
 
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Originally Posted by username View Post

What is a fair conversion in your mind? I guess I was hoping for a little more than 3 but 3 is not terrible.
I've seen some people arguing for 5 to 1 as that is the earning rate equivalent. Clearly a pipe dream, but it was put out there. 3 to 1 is about as good as any of us were hoping for.

This is honestly a really tough question as the relative value of points can be highly variable from person to person and many of SPG's most loved perks aren't easy to put a dollar sign on.
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