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.