Ever since Marriott International officially acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in September 2016, the two have been prepping to merge their loyalty rewards programs—and now they’re finally beginning the process.
On Aug. 18, Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest will merge and operate under the same set of benefits, giving meeting planners access to book stays or redeem points across 29 global brands comprising 6,500 hotels in 127 countries and territories. Points from the different programs will combine into one balance, with Starpoints being tripled. Marriott reported in April that average members will earn more points faster—about 20 percent more points per dollar—than under the individual programs.
The Moments experiential platform will also be expanding, offering more than 110,00 experiences in 1,000 destinations in addition to the 8,000 member experiences that can only be redeemed with points on Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments. Those can include everything from destination tours to VIP experiences at the Super Bowl or Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to even meet and greets with celebrity chefs.
The three rewards programs will still operate under individual names until a new program name is introduced next year. The official transfer will mean that meeting planners will not be able to use the reward services on that morning of Aug. 18. That same day, Marriott will introduce a new SPG app that will function similarly to the Marriott Rewards app.