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Unveiling the Union: The SPG and Marriott Rewards Merger in the Travel Industry

Have SPG and Marriott Rewards merged?

As a travel enthusiast, you may have come across the names SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) and Marriott Rewards while planning your trips or staying at hotels. These two loyalty programs were highly regarded in the hospitality industry and were known for their extensive benefits and rewards for frequent travelers. In recent years, however, there has been a significant development in the world of travel loyalty programs – the merger of SPG and Marriott Rewards. In this article, we will explore the details of this merger, its impact on members, and what it means for the future of loyalty programs in the travel industry.

The Merger: A Brief Overview

The merger between SPG and Marriott Rewards was officially announced in September 2016, marking the creation of one of the largest loyalty programs in the world. The merger was motivated by several factors, including the desire to offer members a more comprehensive and unified loyalty program, leverage the strengths of each program, and streamline operations for both brands.
As part of the merger, Marriott International’s loyalty programs, including Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG, were combined into a single entity called Marriott Bonvoy. This new loyalty program was designed to provide members with a seamless experience across Marriott’s vast portfolio of hotels and resorts, which includes more than 30 brands and thousands of properties worldwide.

Impact on Members

For SPG and Marriott Rewards members, the merger brought significant changes and benefits. One of the most important benefits was the expanded reach and variety of hotels and resorts available for redemption and point accrual. With the merger, members gained access to an extensive network of properties ranging from luxury brands such as St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton to more affordable options such as Courtyard by Marriott and Aloft.
In addition, the merger resulted in a consolidation of elite status levels, aligning benefits across the combined loyalty program. This meant that members enjoyed consistent privileges regardless of whether they had previously held status with SPG or Marriott Rewards. The unified elite status levels included Silver Elite, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite, each offering different benefits such as room upgrades, late checkout and executive lounge access.

Aggregate points and benefits

One of the critical aspects of the SPG and Marriott Rewards merger was the integration of points and benefits. Members’ existing points from both programs were converted to the new Marriott Bonvoy points, creating a single currency for redemption and earning. The conversion rates were designed to ensure that members did not lose the value of their accumulated points, and in many cases, members saw their point balances increase as a result of the merger.
In addition to point conversion, the merger also brought benefits together. Members now had access to a broader range of travel experiences and services, including the ability to redeem points for flights, car rentals and unique experiences through the Marriott Bonvoy Moments program. This expansion of redemption options was designed to enhance the overall value proposition for loyalty program members and meet their diverse travel needs and preferences.

The Future of Loyalty Programs

The merger of SPG and Marriott Rewards was an important milestone in the evolution of loyalty programs in the travel industry. It demonstrated the trend toward consolidation and the creation of broader loyalty networks that allow travelers to enjoy seamless benefits across multiple brands and properties.
Looking ahead, the merger has set a precedent for other hotel chains and travel companies to explore similar partnerships and collaborations. The goal is to provide travelers with a more cohesive and rewarding experience, regardless of their chosen destination or hotel brand. In addition, the integration of digital technologies and personalization efforts are expected to play a key role in shaping the future of loyalty programs, allowing members to enjoy tailored benefits, personalized offers and enhanced convenience through digital platforms and mobile applications.

In conclusion, the merger of SPG and Marriott Rewards into the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program was a significant development in the travel industry. This consolidation brought together two renowned loyalty programs, offering members a broader range of benefits, more redemption options and a single loyalty currency. As the travel landscape continues to evolve, we can expect to see more innovation and collaboration within loyalty programs, ultimately enhancing the travel experience for frequent travelers.

FAQs

Did SPG and Marriott Rewards merge?

Yes, SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) and Marriott Rewards merged to create a unified loyalty program.

When did the merger between SPG and Marriott Rewards occur?

The merger between SPG and Marriott Rewards took place on August 18, 2018.

What was the motivation behind the merger?

The merger was driven by the desire to create a larger and more comprehensive loyalty program, offering enhanced benefits and a broader range of options for members.

What changes were implemented as a result of the merger?

Following the merger, SPG and Marriott Rewards were combined into a single loyalty program called Marriott Bonvoy. Members of both programs were automatically enrolled in Marriott Bonvoy and gained access to the combined portfolio of participating hotels and resorts.

What are the benefits of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program?

Marriott Bonvoy offers a range of benefits to its members, including earning points for stays at participating properties, redeeming points for free nights, room upgrades, exclusive member rates, access to special events, and partnerships with other brands for additional perks and rewards.

Do SPG and Marriott Rewards members have to take any action after the merger?

No, SPG and Marriott Rewards members did not need to take any specific action after the merger. Their accounts were automatically transitioned to Marriott Bonvoy, and their existing points, status, and reservations were carried over to the new program.