This week Marriott announced that the loyalty programs for Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Starwood will merge and unify member benefits. The hotel chain claims the merger will give members access to more than 6,500 hotels in 127 countries, and increase reward levels by 20 percent for every dollar spent at one of the brand’s properties.
Starwood loyalty program members had been concerned that higher status would be harder to achieve and maintain once the program was merged with more expensive brands like Ritz-Carlton, but Marriott is standardizing elite status based on nights at any participating brand so that members can achieve silver status after 10 nights, gold after 25 nights, and platinum after 50 nights. In August, any outstanding Starwood balances will be tripled to reflect the new valuation, and members will still be able to transfer points to partner airline frequent flyer programs.
While the three brands will be linked for loyalty program members to book stays and experiences beginning in August, the programs will not merge into one until 2019.
For more information go to member.marriot.com.