It’s only been a couple of months since the merger was finally approved. Immediately thereafter, Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest had great news for us about using our points at both chains. They provided an immediate path to link your Marriott Rewards (or Ritz-Carlton Rewards) account with your Starwood Preferred Guest account.
In case you haven’t linked your accounts yet, follow these steps and do it now.
With all these new options, I’ve actually been looking at Marriott properties in a couple of cities where there’s no SPG hotels for upcoming stays. I’m sure that’s the behavior Marriott and Starwood are hoping for. Their newest promotion reinforces this behavior in a very intentional way, though it may make it harder for business travelers to earn bonus points.
They’re offering double points on stays across all 3 brands, but there are some limitations. The biggest is that double points are only awarded on the first 3 stays for each program. For example, if you have 4 Marriott stays and 3 SPG stays during the promo period, you won’t earn double points on the last Marriott stay you had.
The promotion period runs from January 16, 2017 through April 15, 2017.
If you plan to stay at more than one of the chains, you’ll need to register for multiple promotions:
*Remember you can only be a member of either Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Rewards
At first, I thought all 3 promotions were the same, earning double points on your first 3 stays. Then, I realized I had an extra promotion element from SPG:
This isn’t called out specifically in the promo splash page, nor in the T&C. I asked someone at Marriott/SPG
These Marriott/SPG promos may be better for you than the most recent promos, but it will depend on your travel patterns.
The previous SPG promo featured double Starpoints on 2-night weekday stays and triple Starpoints on weekend stays. Double points on your first 3 stays might be better if they’re 1-night stays. But, there are a lot of variables past that depending on how many stays it takes you to accrue 20 nights and hit the second part of the promo.
The previous Marriott promo was very different, giving customers a choice on how they wanted to earn.
Ideally, business travelers would hit 3 stays at Marriott and 3 at SPG unless they were 100% certain they could get to 20 nights at SPG (and everyone actually gets the same 20 night bonus offer).
The Right Way To Play This For Frequent Travelers
If you received the 20 night portion of the SPG promo (or it’s systemwide), focus your first 3 stays on SPG. See how many nights you earn on those. Then, evaluate whether 3 double points stays with Marriott (or Ritz-Carlton) is a better deal than shooting for 20 or 30 nights with SPG.
The Final Two Pennies
We’ll need to see what the rest of the promos look like for the first quarter of next year. Accelerate is out but I haven’t looked at my offer yet. I believe the current Hilton promo runs another month. And, Hyatt didn’t release an early promo last year.
You should absolutely register for the promotions, even if you don’t plan to stay during the time period. Plans change and you don’t want to forget.
The post Marriott and SPG Are Teaming Up For Their First Promotion Of 2017 was published first on Pizza in Motion