How to Link Your Starwood and Marriott Accounts — and Get Elite Status Instantly

Marriott has acquired Starwood, and on day one they’re already making it possible to link frequent guest accounts, match status, and transfer points between programs.

Marriott and Starwood are still separate, the programs are still independent — you earn and redeem Starwood points at Sheraton, Westin, etc. and you earn and redeem Marriott points at Marriott, Renaissance, etc. — but you can move your points back and forth and elite customers of one can be treated as elites with both.

Here’s how Marriott’s and Starwood’s tiers line up for the match:

  • Marriott Rewards Platinum = SPG Platinum (base)
  • Marriott Rewards Gold = SPG Gold
  • Marriott Rewards Silver = SPG Preferred Plus
  • Marriott Rewards Basic = SPG Preferred

Points transfer at a ratio of 3 Marriott Rewards points <-> 1 Starwood Preferred Guest point. The status matches appear to be instant but I’m told points transfers take a few hours.

It’s really simply to link your accounts.

First go to members.marriott.com. From there you can either choose a program to log into (generally, your existing primary account) or just click ‘link account’

You’ll choose your primary program. That’s the one with your current highest elite status.

You’ll be prompted to sign in to that account.

If you’re a Marriott or Ritz-Carlton elite, you’ll be prompted to sign into (or need to join) Starwood Preferred Guest. If you’re a Starwood elite, you’ll need to tell them whether you have (or will join) Marriott or Ritz-Carlton — the programs are essentially identical except for the promotions they run.

Verify details of the account you want to link to.

Then you’re done. While I’ve been told that points transfers take a few hours to reflect, status match happened instantly.

Some programs in the past have offered points to members to incentivize linking their accounts. Delta and Northwest did that, for instance. I’m told that they do not plan to do that here, and members who wait will not get a better deal than members who link their accounts right away. So there’s no reason to wait.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Gary- I’m a Marriott Gold and also have the SPG Amex, on which I’ve almost spent the 30K for this year required to get SPG Gold. Obviously I no longer have to do that, but I’m wondering if there’s any way to “double up” on the two. If I match to SPG Gold through the linking your describe, and then later this year hit the 30K, is there any chance they’d extend my SPG Gold status part next year by virtue of my account already showing gold?

  2. Gary: I’m a Starwood gold, have SPG AmEx, but I do not have a Marriott account at all. I never stay at Ritz-Carltons (though I would in a comp room). What’s the best play here? Open a Marriott account and merge, or wait for a good deal on the Marriott Rewards card? I have no immediate need to cash in SPG points for a Marriott stay, though I welcome the opportunity.

    For what it’s worth, a good friend is in the exact opposite situation — has Marriott gold, but no SPG account.

  3. Very neat – I am Lifetime Platinum with Marriott and only Starwood Gold. My Starwood instantly upgraded to Starwood Platinum. So I guess that means I have Lifetime Platinum now with Starwood.

    Wonderful!

  4. With
    •Marriott Rewards Gold = SPG Gold
    Looks like SPG Gold members now have an incentive to stay at Marriott versus Starwood – as Marriott Gold gives lounge access and SPG Gold does not.

  5. Just linked MR Lifetime Platinum to SPG Platinum and called SPG Customer Service. I was told “Lifetime Platinum MR will not transfer to lifetime SPG. It will require earning the hard way”…
    10 years in the SPG program and 500 nights.

  6. @TC: Sounds like an interim answer. I did the same as a MR Lifetime Plat. My SPG Plat match now has an expiration of 2/18. Since Marriott says they won’t integrate the program’s until 2018, I expect by the expiration of this match, they (and we) will know what they will do.

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