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It is official. The shareholders of both Marriott and Starwood have voted in favor of the merger. My assumption is most loyal Starwood members are not excited about this news and loyal Marriott members are indifferent. As of right now, there are still MANY unknowns, but I am keeping my fingers crossed for the best.
Here is the good news! Both loyalty programs will run separately until 2018. The date is still TBD (and I am assuming will be for awhile), so if you are sitting on a lot of points, there is still a lot of time for redemption. My hope is that prior to the full merger, we will be able to transfer points freely between the two programs. The newsletters suggests that this will be the case. Of course the ratio of how points will transfer over and be combined is the massive unknown and something many members are extremely curious about. Of course, 1 SPG point does NOT equal 1 Marriott point. Hopefully the ratios will be favorable.
Additionally, I know those that have nights/stays towards lifetime status (or have already obtained lifetime status) are also wondering how that will work out. Again, that information is still TBD and I assume we won’t know the answers for quite some time.
Here is the full press release if you’d like to read more. In the meantime, I am hoping for the best!