With the approval of Chinese regulators, Marriott has completed their buyout of Starwood today. The two loyalty programs willl likely remain independent at least until 2018. However, effective immediately, you can transfer SPG Starpoints into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio, and vice versa.
Linking the Accounts
You must link your SPG and Marriott Rewards accounts before initiating any transfer. You can link your accounts by visiting this link. Once you have logged into your SPG account, select “Link to Marriott Rewards.”
You will then be directed to sign in to your Marriott Rewards account. After that, simply verify your account information, and hit “Finish Linking.”
And that’s it! Your accounts are linked. If you have status with SPG or Marriott, they will be matched as follows:
- SPG Gold – Marriott Gold
- SPG Platinum – Marriott Platinum
- SPG Preferred Plus* – Marriott Silver
(* This is the status that usually comes with being a holder of the AMEX Starwood card, or through organizations like AARP and AAA)
In my case, I received my SPG Gold status from having the American Express Platinum card, and upon linking my accounts, my Marriott Rewards account was immediately upgraded to Gold.
You can transfer your Starpoints to Marriott Rewards points by visiting this link. Under “Access More Possibilities Worldwide,” select “Transfer Starpoints to Rewards Points” and follow the prompt.
To transfer Marriott Rewards points to Starpoints, visit this link. Similarly, just click on the highlighted link (see below) to transfer your Marriott Rewards points to Starpoints.
Why would I want to transfer points from one program to another?
While the merger takes place, the loyalty programs are operating independently. As such, transferring points will allow you to use SPG points, for example, to redeem for free nights at Marriott’s brands. Similarly, you can transfer Marriott Rewards points, for example, to SPG, and take advantage of SPG’s airline partners.
Is there a minimum number of points I have to transfer?
You have to transfer at least 1,000 points of the “origin” currency. This means you have to transfer at least 1,000 Starpoints (into 3,000 Marriott Rewards points) or 1,000 Marriott Rewards points (into 333 Starpoints).
How long does the transfer take?
The transfer of points is instant.
Do the transfer of points count for anything?
This mechanism is simply for the purpose or redeeming rewards with either brand. The transferred points do not count toward statuses. According to Marriott, they also do not extend the expiration dates. Keep in mind SPG points expire 12 months after inactivity, while Marriott points expire after 24 months after inactivity; the transfer of points does not count as a qualifying “activity.”
Any limits in transferring points between program?
You can transfer up to your entire account balance, but must do so in increments of 1,000 points. There is no limit to the number of times you can transfer points between accounts.
Can I transfer elite-qualifying stays or nights?
As of right now, the two programs are still operating independently. As such, you cannot credit stays at one chain to another, nor can you transfer them.
Can I un-link the accounts if I decide to do so later?
According to Marriott, yes. However, you cannot do this online, and must contact their customer services department. Any matched status will also be reverted back the old level.
I suspect many questions will surface in the next few days, so if you have any, please ask below and we can try to crowd-source the effort in finding answers. Stay tuned to see how you can use this new points transfer ability to your advantage!