The Marriott-SPG Merger: 5 Things You Should Know

Profile photo of Joe Cortez
Written by Joe Cortez
Travel Rewards Writer
Profile photo of Mary M. Flory
Edited by Mary M. Flory
Lead Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
Marriott Atlanta Airport - Courtesy Marriott International

Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


Members of Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest were unified under one program on Aug. 18, 2018.

With the merger, frequent guests of each brand have gained the ability to use their points at 6,500 hotels across 29 brands, but will lose the unique benefits of each program. The first few days after the merger were rocky as members flagged issues when accessing accounts and transferring Marriott Rewards points to frequent-flyer programs, but progress is being made.

» Learn more: See what others say about this card in our travel community

The backstory

All three programs unified under Marriott Bonvoy will become simpler to use. Instead of managing multiple accounts to book awards, members now have one account, member number, profile and login to manage their points and rewards.

In addition to earning up to 10 points per dollar spent on most stays, members now also earn points for all their spending at select properties under the single program. Qualifying charges include food or drink at hotel restaurants, spa services, as well as up to 5,000 points on Hertz rentals.

However, Starwood Preferred Guest members may discover that their points aren't as valuable as in the past. All Starpoints have converted into Marriott Rewards at a ratio of one Starpoint to three Marriott Rewards points.

What members can do now

  1. Check awards for lower pricing. When the hotels shift categories, not all will increase in price. Some will align in lower categories, meaning planned or booked awards may drop in price. Before committing to an award, check the new award chart to see if your points can go even further.

  2. Manage expectations during the transition. As with any transition, technology downtime is to be expected. While travelers can still view and book awards, lifetime elite status and current night credits may not be visible for the near future.

  3. Check lifetime elite status. Those who have lifetime status with either Marriott Rewards or Starwood Preferred Guest should check their accounts to ensure they are getting the optimal status. While those with lifetime Gold or Platinum in SPG will automatically get the same lifetime status in Marriott Rewards, those who have 750 nights and 10 years of platinum by the end of 2018 will get grandfathered into Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite.

  4. Decide how to manage Marriott Travel Packages. If you have any outstanding Marriott Travel Packages in Category 6 or Category 8, or former Ritz-Carlton Tiers 1-3, it’s possible to get a partial points refund. Those holding these awards can request a one-time exchange for a Travel Package one tier lower and 30,000 Marriott Rewards points. To request an exchange and refund, visit to submit a request. For those who bought high and didn’t have a use for their certificates, this can be a great way to ensure maximum value. Not only can travelers keep their airline miles earned from a Marriott Travel Package, but also get 30,000 points back — enough for a one-night stay at up to a Category 4 hotel.

  5. Sign up for RewardsPlus with Marriott and United Airlines. Finally, if you have recently earned Platinum Elite status in the new Marriott Rewards now is a good time to redeem your crossover rewards with United Airlines. Through their RewardsPlus program, Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite members qualify for complimentary Premier Silver status at United, with a reciprocal status match to be announced by United. In addition, members of both programs can stretch their points and miles further through free transfers. Those with Marriott Rewards points can transfer them to United MileagePlus to use on flights, while those with extra MileagePlus miles can transfer them to Marriott for use toward future hotel rooms.

Photo courtesy of Marriott International

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Marriott Cards from our Partners
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card. 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn up to 14X total points for every $1 spent at thousands of hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®, earn 2X points for every $1 spent at grocery stores, rideshare, select food delivery, select streaming, and internet, cable, and phone services, and 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 Bonus Points plus 1 Free Night Award after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Free Night valued at 50,000 points. Certain hotels have resort fees.

See more marriott cards
Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.