Good News for Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Starwood Credit Card Holders

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Marriott Pool in Hawaii

Kauai Marriott Resort – where a new adventure starts with Starpoints.

Marriott just announced that they will now allow members who use a co-branded credit card carrying either the Starwood or Marriott logo, to earn bonus points when booking on the other carrier’s hotels. We know that this is not a huge bonus, but we believe that it’s an effort by the now largest hotel chain to stem attrition among their most loyal of customers, and keep them from wandering off to another hotel brand as points equivalents, transfer options, and new redemption options for both SPG and Marriott Rewards are slowly changing.

Even though the two hotel loyalty programs are not looking to fully integrate until 2018, the announcement yesterday that takes them one more baby step forward is not insignificant. Loyalty members that carry one of the three associated co-branded credit cards, will now be allowed to earn bonus points on any hotel in the mega chain regardless of what card they carry. This not only applies to SPG and Marriott, but also to the upscale Ritz-Carlton Rewards program, and their respective co-branded card through JPMorgan Chase.

The lucrative step gives members from each respective program the opportunity to add a few choice benefits to their hotel experience when staying in the other brand hotels. Just about a month ago, SPG and Marriott Rewards allowed members to combine their portfolio of awards points once they were given permission to do so. The conversion rate of SPG to Marriott is a relatively fair 3:1 exchange.

Marriott in Hawaii golf course

Rounds of golf, spa treatments, and dining all earn you 5X more rewards.

Although this has made many a Hotel Points Junkie happy by being able to create an even bigger vat of rewards, stays at opposing chains do not help a customer earn elite status. That said, existing elite members have been extended that same status across the board to all hotels under the umbrella. So if you pay for your stay at the Kauai Marriott Resort with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, you will earn Marriott Rewards Points that you can then transfer to your SPG account. Your stay; however, will not count towards SPG Elite status, only toward Marriott’s, and vice versa. The points accumulation from using the credit card is great but it would be a lot better if the stay could count as well. We look forward to learning about the changes first hand, and shall continue to keep you posted on the “goings on” of each program as the integration date draws closer.

Do you have an SPG or Marriott story that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you!

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express


  • Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Redeem Starpoints® for free nights at over 1,300 hotels & resorts in over 100 countries.
  • Redeem Starpoints® for free flights on over 150 airlines with SPG Flights – all with no blackout dates. Some hotels and resorts have mandatory service charges.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • Free, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and conditions apply.

25,000 Starpoints®

Intro APR

Ongoing APR
15.49% – 19.49% variable

Annual Fee
$0 first year; then $95

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.