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Following completion of the merger, SPG and Marriott have already rolled out a status match programme, which must be the easiest and quickest ever.
Head to members.marriott.com and login to any of the programmes you have an account with, and it will walk you through logging into the other and give you INSTANT status match.
You can only link your SPG account to either Ritz Carlton Rewards, or Marriott Rewards, not both, and whichever programme has the highest status, will be matched to the other.
Here’s what the FAQ’s on the site have to say about account linking
What’s Account Linking?
If you have a Rewards account and an SPG account, you can link them together. You can learn more here. If you are not already a member of one or both of the programs, there’s never been a better time to join! Just enroll in Marriott Rewards or The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG online; then proceed to link your accounts.Linking your accounts gives you access to the best of Rewards and SPG. It’s the first step to obtaining Status Match across programs and the ability to transfer points between your accounts.Note that this won’t create one account — you’re just associating your two existing program accounts with each other. Points have different values in each program, but you can transfer them between your loyalty accounts.
I started today with Marriott Platinum Status, and spent less than one minute on members.marriott.com and now have SPG Platinum status too. The site tells you straight away that you have the equivalent status and within minutes I had a confirmation email:
Once linked, besides status matching, you will be able to transfer points as one of the other FAQ’s points out;
What’s the conversion rate between SPG Starpoints and Rewards points?
We’ve developed a conversion rate that brings the value of the points in each program on par with the other. Here’s the breakdown:
1 Starpoint transfers to 3 Rewards Points
3 Rewards Points transfer to 1 Starpoint
For example, if you transfer 9,000 Rewards Points to your linked SPG account, 9,000 Rewards points will be removed from your Rewards account and 3,000 Starpoints will be added to your SPG account.
By some coincidence I had emailed SPG customer services a couple of days ago asking if they would be able to match my Marriott status, and received a templated “Thanks for your email, we’ll be in touch” response just after completing the status match. An hour or so later and I received another email;
The two programmes are both to continue until 2018, but linking the accounts allows you to enjoy combined benefits and gives the freedom to move points in between the programmes as required.
IT in the travel industry often comes in for criticism (and it’s usually justified) but hats off to Marriott and SPG for getting this up and running, and making it so easy.
All very timely for me, as I’m off to a 3 day conference at an SPG property in a couple of weeks, so it will be interesting to see if I receive any status benefits for my stay.