Marriott and SPG Merge Loyalty Programs – Here’s What You Need to Know

by Barry Choi July 27, 2018 / 3 Comments

Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) are formally merging into one loyalty program on August 18th, 2018. That means all 110 million plus members of the combined programs will soon be able to redeem their points for free nights at over 6,500 hotels in 127 countries and territories.

This new, yet-to-be-named program will introduce a few changes, but we’re happy to report that most of the changes are positive. In fact, in many cases, redeeming free nights will require fewer points. Plus, there will be a longer list of airline partners to choose from, which means members will have more flexibility with their points.

Once the merger is finalized, the new Marriott Rewards program will become the largest loyalty program in the world, and we’ve got the details of why you should be excited.

What to expect when the Marriott and SPG merger happens

When the merger happens next month, members will earn 10 points per $1 spent at all Marriott hotel brands, with the exceptions of Residence Inn, Element, and TownePlace Suites, where you’ll earn 5 points per $1 spent. As a member, you’ll be able to earn even more points when you use the forthcoming SPG card from American Express (which we go into more detail below).

Any SPG points that you currently have will be tripled. That means if you have 10,000 SPG points now, you’ll have 30,000 Marriott Rewards points as of August 18th. A new digital portal will also come online on August 18th, so you can merge your points and start making redemptions soon.

Please note, you may experience some delays when using the Marriott loyalty website on August 18th due to the fact a lot of data will be transferred on the day.

Off peak and peak pricing will be introduced with the Marriott and SPG merger

All hotels across SPG and Marriott are being reclassified and placed into new hotel categories. There will now be eight hotel categories with standard, off peak, and peak pricing when it comes to free night redemptions.

Marriott SPG Merger Points ValueThe good news is that 70% of the hotels will require the same or fewer number of points as before. When reviewing the entire list of hotels in detail, it becomes clear that many of the hotels were moved into categories that they should’ve belonged to in the first place and that Marriott simply made some long-overdue updates.

New status tiers are also being introduced

Another great thing about the Marriott and SPG merger is that it’ll now be easier to earn status with fewer nights stayed required.

  •      10 nights – Silver elite status
  •      25 nights – Gold elite status
  •      50 nights – Platinum elite status
  •      75 nights – Platinum Premier elite status
  •      100 nights and $20,000 spend – Ambassador

The nights stayed for status will also be combined between Marriott and SPG, so you might instantly be put in a higher status tier than what you have now.

If you already have status or have achieved lifetime status, you’ll be put in the corresponding category based on your nights stayed.

Additional changes 

Marriott is adding additional airline partners for a total of 40. Under SPG, you could transfer your points to many of these partners at a 1-to-1 ratio. There’s no devaluation under the new program, but since your current SPG points are being tripled, it’ll now be a 3-to-1 transfer ratio with most airlines.

American Express Membership Rewards points can still be transferred to Marriott Rewards under the new program, but there has been a slight devaluation. It now takes 1,000 American Express Membership Rewards points for 1,200 Marriott Rewards points. Previously, it was a 2-to-3 ratio. Despite this change, transferring your Amex Membership Rewards points to Marriott Rewards is still lucrative.

American Express moments are also being expanded with 120,000 new experiences being introduced to the existing 8,000 exclusive moments. These experiences range from unique travel related trips, such as shark cage diving in Gansbaai, to box seats at sporting events.

Changes coming to SPG cards

Currently, American Express is not accepting new applicants for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card or the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card. However, both cards will be available again starting from August 7th, 2018.

For those who are already have an SPG card (or plan to apply for one), you can expect the following:

  • Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card
    • $120 annual fee
    • 5 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating SPG and Marriott properties
    • 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Annual free night award with a redemption value of up to 35,000 points
    • Complimentary upgrade to Silver Elite Status
    • Complimentary Gold Elite Status after spending $30,000 in eligible purchases
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card
    • $150 annual fee
    • 5 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating SPG and Marriott properties
    • 3 points per dollar spent on eligible gas, dining and travel purchases
    • 2 points per dollar spent on all other purchases
    • Annual free night award with a redemption value of up to 35,000 points
    • Complimentary upgrade to Silver Elite Status
    • Complimentary Gold Elite Status after spending $30,000 in eligible purchases

You may have noticed that neither card currently offers a signup bonus, but it would not be a surprise if that changes after August 18th.


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  • Alexis

    Actually, the AMEX SPG credit card has been devalued by 30%.

    It was 1 SPG point per $1 spent which I could convert to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio.
    Starting august 18th, it’s 2 Rewards points per $1 spent.

    • Ratehub

      Hi Alexis,
      Thank you for sharing your experiences with the card. The Amex SPG card is currently not accepting new applications, so we’re keeping an eye on things behind the scenes.

      The standardization of reward point levels might offer some additional advantages for people collecting points in this program, especially when the level 8 hotel tier is released. We’ll continue to monitor the evolution of this rewards program and update our reviews accordingly.