Thanks to the merger between Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, elite members of the chains’ respective Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty programs can snap up elite status in the other program, just by linking their accounts.
For example, if you already have SPG Gold, linking your SPG account with Marriott Rewards gets you Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status – and you don’t forfeit your SPG status in the process.
Similarly, Marriott Rewards Gold Elite cardholders can blag SPG Gold by linking their accounts in the same way: here’s how it’s done.
Marriott, SPG instant status match: how the tiers align
This ongoing status match deal is relatively straightforward, with the Marriott and SPG tiers aligning as follows:
- SPG Preferred = Marriott Rewards Member (no elite status in either scheme)
- SPG Preferred Plus = Marriott Rewards Silver Elite (and vice versa)
- SPG Gold = Marriott Rewards Gold Elite (and vice versa)
- SPG Platinum = Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite (and vice versa)
- SPG Platinum Ambassador = Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite (not vice versa)
- Marriott Rewards Platinum Premier Elite = SPG Platinum (not vice versa)
At the top rungs, that means if you hold Platinum status or higher in the SPG program (including the 50/75-night or Ambassador levels), you’ll be matched to Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite – and if you have Marriott’s invitation-only Platinum Premier Elite card, you’ll be matched to regular SPG Platinum.
Your matched status takes on the same expiry date as your existing status: so if you’re currently SPG Gold and you continue to maintain your SPG Gold status, your Marriott status will also remain Gold: a handy hack for AMEX Platinum Charge Card holders who get free SPG Gold as an ongoing perk, just by holding the Platinum Charge Card!
If your status in one program changes for the better – such as a Marriott Rewards member moving up from Gold to Platinum – your status in the other program will be automatically updated too, usually within 3-5 days.
Marriott, SPG instant status match: linking your accounts
Unlike some status match offers which require hard proof of your existing status – and sometimes, even recent hotel bills or activity statements – all you need to do here is ‘link’ your Marriott and SPG accounts together, and the status match takes place automatically in the background.
Begin by visiting this page on the Starwood website, and if you’re not already signed-in to your SPG account, do so when prompted, and click the big ‘link to Marriott Rewards’ button:
To make sure you’re linking the correct account, you’ll then be prompted to sign-in to your Marriott Rewards profile, by keying in your Marriott Rewards number or email address, and the password attached to that account (which may be different to your SPG account).
Your name will appear on the next screen: double-check all is correct, including your Marriott Rewards number, and if you’re ready to proceed, click ‘finish linking’:
(The names on both accounts need to match for this to work, so you can’t use this trick to give elite status to somebody else. If your own legal name has changed recently, contact the relevant rewards program to get that updated before linking your accounts to avoid any issues.)
If all went okay, you’ll see a confirmation screen displaying your status in both the SPG and Marriott programs – in this case, the member had no elite status, but if you do, your ‘new’ status will be ready to use straight away:
That’s all there is to it! When it’s time to make your next hotel reservation, you’ll be able to enjoy elite benefits like room upgrades and lounge access at a wider variety of hotels than before, including properties like JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton via Marriott Rewards; and Westin, St. Regis and Sheraton via SPG.
Now that your accounts are linked, you can also convert your points between the two programs as you see fit, at a conversion rate of 3 Marriott Rewards points = 1 SPG Starpoint, and 1 SPG Starpoint = 3 Marriott Rewards points, with transfers permitted in increments of 1,000.