What Marriott Merger Could Mean for Starwood Point Holders
By: Jason Fisher, Xiro Xone News November 16, 2015
Starwood hotel loyalists were struck Monday morning that their loyalty program would soon be gobbled up by Marriott's less-generous reward system. "It ruined my breakfast. Marriott Announced Monday that the merger will mean great things.
“Today, Marriott Rewards, with 54 million members, and Starwood Preferred Guest, with 21 million members, are among the industry’s most-awarded loyalty programs, driving significant repeat business. They should be even stronger when the companies merge.”
I realized all the effort put into lifetime status with Starwood has been wasted," says Edward Pizzarello, a partner in a private venture capital firm who spends 130 nights a year on the road and writes the travel blog PizzaInMotion.com.
Marriott International announced plans Monday to buy Starwood Hotels and Resorts in $12.2 billion stock-and-cash deal. The transaction is expected to close in the middle of 2016. No details have been released yet on what it means for the loyalty programs but Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson says "we will take the best of both programs and make sure the bests are preserved.
Starwood has 21 members, Marriott 54 million. Many travelers are members of both programs. Top-tier with Starwood only requires 50 nights a year at its hotels; Marriott guests need to spend 75 nights.