By now I’m sure you have all read the news recently and know that Starwood has been purchased by Marriott. First of all, let me start off by saying that I absolutely love Starwood Preferred Guest, Starpoints, and the unique hotels that Starwood has. If I have to stay at a hotel (something I do rarely), I will usually go with SPG; they’re awesome.
Starwood Preferred Guest is one of the best hotel loyalty programmes due to a number of reasons including great elite benefits, generous airline point transfers, great customer service, etc. So honestly, I’m really sad now. As we all know, when mergers happen, usually the company that buys the other one survives – and so does the loyalty programme. I think we can all say that we can say goodbye to SPG in the near future when the merger is complete.
This is really sad news. Starwood has some fantastic hotels and Marriott’s hotels are a bit more on the boring-business side whereas Starwood hotels are more modern and “hip”. Of course the hotels will remain as they are, but the overall programme will change and I think that it will truly affect a lot of customers. The biggest two rumours of SPG going away are the cancellations of suite night awards and removal of 1:1 SPG points to airline transfers. If I were to bet on the two (which one is more likely to go away), you can bet it would be the airline point transfer.
The interesting thing is that Chase issues the Marriott credit card and AMEX issues the SPG card (which was recently refreshed), so it will be interesting to see what happens in the future in terms of cards. Since AMEX and Chase virtually hate each other, I’m sure that only one card issuer will survive.. Chase. It is interesting that SPG/AMEX decided to refresh the card last August if SPG knew they were going to be bought by someone (I’m sure they knew a couple of months before the card refresh anyway).
Anyway, for now, SPG remains the same… so enjoy your Starwood hotels and SPG points while they last! I know that I will certainly be enjoying and trying to maximise the SPG benefits now that I know they might be going away. I really like SPG and they will always remain my favourite hotel loyalty programme, they do their own thing and are really unique.
This week in miles and points isn’t looking too good so far (especially with yesterday’s AA changes)…