While the Marriott acquisition of Starwood closed in September, the two companies’ integration is far from complete. In particular, Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest continue to operate independently, although members may now link their accounts, transfer points, and have their status matched.
For better or for worse, the new promotions for Marriott, Starwood, and Ritz-Carlton are aligned. Which in this case simply means they’re the same.
Between January 16 and April 15, members of Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards can earn double points for the first three stays at participating hotels.
To be clear, these are three different promotions, applicable to stays at three different sets of hotels, with the same bonus.
Registration is required.
Deal or No Deal
Double points is a mediocre bonus. It may be just enough to keep Marriott and Starwood loyalists from defecting to other brands, but it won’t be enough to change the booking behavior of travelers whose allegiance lies elsewhere or who base their purchase decisions solely on value. Hilton and InterContinental both have more generous bonuses on offer for winter stays. It’s especially disappointing as the first “aligned” promotion between Marriott and Starwood. Members of both programs can only hope it’s not indicative of what’s to come.
Reader Reality Check
How compelling is double points to you?
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.