Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Resorts has already paid significant dividends for members of the new largest hotel loyalty program in the world−the latest of which will come as pleasant news to those with Marriott, Starwood, and Ritz-Carlton branded credit cards.
 
The latest development is in line with previous announcements regarding the combination of benefits from the SPG and Marriott Rewards programs.
 
“Today, we are giving loyalty card members more flexibility to earn points no matter where they stay with us. By making our credit cards even more powerful and attractive for them, they’ll earn points more quickly and enjoy travel even sooner,” said Thom Kozik, Vice President of Loyalty at Marriott. “This earning opportunity comes just weeks after we introduced great new benefits the day of the merger and shows our ongoing commitment to our members so they can truly experience the portfolio and get the most out of each program.”
 
The initial merging of these credit card benefits, like the loyalty programs themselves, comes in the form of brands that remain independent while allowing for more or less unrestricted crossover. Card users will receive points (five Marriott Rewards/Ritz-Carlton Rewards points or two SPG Starpoints) when using their selected brand’s card at any of the three chains. The system goes hand-in-hand with the ability for guests to freely transfer points between the three programs, essentially allowing guests to earn points for all three programs simultaneously.
 
“The rich rewards that existing Card Members already know and love just got even better as we continue to build bridges to connect our tremendous programs,” said David Flueck, Senior Vice President of Starwood Preferred Guest. “Now there’s even more incentive for members to explore our immense portfolio of more than 5,700 hotels while taking advantage of unprecedented earning power – and this is just the beginning, with even more exciting announcements coming in the future from our iconic loyalty programs.”
 
The impending full combination of Marriott Rewards with SPG—slated for 2018 at the earliest, according to the brand—will require a complete overhaul of the way guests earn points and convert them across platforms. Until then, however, guests will surely be more than happy to accept the open-ended fashion in which they’re able to earn and redeem points across all three brands. 

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