WOW! Marriott’s Buying Starwood…

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I am a little late to the game on blogging about this, but since everyone and their mothers wrote about this massive acquisition, I figured I had some time! For those of you who have no idea what this title is about – Marriott is buying Starwood in a $12.2 billion deal. This is definitely not the best news I woke up to the other morning, but until all of the details surface, I am not sure how it will play out. Yahoo Finance news article detailing out the acquisition.

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While they anticipate the acquisition to close mid-2016, I am not confident that will hold true. I also see it taking much longer for their loyalty programs to become one. If you are sitting on a bunch of SPG points right now, I would not yet freak out. There will still be plenty of time to redeem them at Starwood hotels under the current SPG award chart.

There are many unknowns currently and I know many people are sitting on the edge of their seat waiting for them to be announced.

  • How will SPG points transfer to Marriott points? In my opinion the only “fair” transfer option is if they transfer at a ratio of 1:3. Since 1 SPG points is worth a lot more then 1 Marriott points, I really really hope that they don’t assume they are the same and transfer them at a 1:1 rate.
  • How will those with lifetime Gold and Platinum status be treated at Marriott? To obtain lifetime status with SPG is far easier then at Marriott, so I am not sure they will be held to the same status once everything moves to one program.
  • Will suite upgrades stay around? I know one of the big perks for SPG Platinum members is that they can request a guaranteed suite upgrade in advance (up to 10 nights per year). Marriott does not have any such program and I am not sure if that will be adopted. Probably not.
  • Will Marriott adopt complimentary breakfast for Platinum members at resort properties. Currently SPG Platinum members get the exact same perks at resort and non-resort properties. Unfortunately though, that does not hold true at Marriott. While you receive breakfast as a Gold and Platinum member at a non-resort property, there is nothing given at a resort property.

I was really really hoping that Hyatt was going to be the one aquiring Starwood. The brands and hotels are more aligned. It would have also left me feeling better about the future of my SPG points. Marriott is a little too corporate for me. And while I am sitting on 1 million Marriott points, I typically prefer to stay at a Starwood property. Hopefully though, this will give me some better options for redeeming for my hoarded Marriott points.

Only time will tell, but I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

 

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