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The well-publicized Marriott-Starwood merger is moving along. This week, Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood cleared one of the final hurdles: antitrust approval in China. With this approval out of the way, more rumors are surfacing concerning the terms of the merger. We want to take you through a few of the rumors we’ve heard about and what they may mean for you.
Rumor #1 – Chase Starwood Credit Card
Chase currently has the contract with Marriott to issue co-branded credit cards. With Marriott purchasing Starwood and bringing the brand under their umbrella, many people believe Chase will get the rights to a co-branded Starwood card. Some people question why Chase would bother issuing a SPG credit card with the impending merger of the award programs. The contract with American Express will likely end in late 2017. This would leave a window for Chase to issue a card before the completion of the transaction.
IF Chase is allowed to issue a co-branded Starwood card, it will probably be under the dreaded 5/24 rule. This eliminates most of us from snagging whatever bonus is offered. Hopefully we will see another early link, like with the Sapphire Reserve. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list for a notification if we find such a link!
For now, we recommend jumping on the SPG Amex cards for the 25,000 bonus if you don’t have them yet.
Rumor #2 – 3:1 Point Transfer Ratio
User /u/-unicorn on Reddit posted a link to a Chinese frequent flier forum. This forum was discussing a possible 3:1 transfer ratio between Marriott and SPG points. If true, this could be great news for nervous SPG point holders.
Marriott offers Flights and Hotel Packages as part of their award options. I will direct your attention to Hotel+Air Package 3:Look to the far right column with me. For 270,000 Marriott points, you can get SEVEN NIGHTS and 120,000 Southwest Rapid Reward Miles. If the 3:1 ratio is true, this deal will only cost 90,000 SPG points! Best of all, the 120,000 Southwest Miles DO count toward earning a Companion Pass! This would be an absolutely incredible redemption opportunity if the rumors are true.
Rumor #3 – Status Match
This seems obvious, but Marriott will likely offer status matches for SPG members. Marriott has three levels of VIP status – Silver, Gold, and Platinum. These will likely line up with SPG’s status levels – Regular, Gold, and Platinum. This is actually great news for SPG Gold members.
Having been a Marriott Platinum member in the past, I can say that I didn’t see much benefit over Marriott Gold status. However, in the SPG system, Platinum is a big jump over Gold. If Marriott matches Gold with Gold, this will allow current SPG gold members to access my favorite benefit – Free Breakfast! Keep in mind, you can get SPG Gold status with the Amex Platinum card.
Ever since the announcement of the Marriott-Starwood merger, I’ve been apprehensive about the pending changes. If these rumors prove to be true, I now see it as a net positive impact. It creates the possibility of another credit card bonus. It opens another avenue to earn the Companion Pass for those of us over 5/24. And it means I may be able to get free breakfast with my Gold status! 🙂 Win-Win-Win. Now let’s keep our fingers crossed for some official word!
Have you heard any other rumors?
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