Late Thursday evening the merger of Marriott and Starwood cleared its last hurdle with Chinese regulators granting approval. Other bloggers have already covered this in great detail so I’ll just provide the links here:
One Mile At A Time
Immediately after the approval it was announced that Marriott/Ritz-Carlton and Starwood accounts could be be linked. There are a few execeptions but, in general, if you had a higher status in one program than the other, you’ll now have that higher status in both programs.
My experience linking accounts
I received emails from both Marriott and Starwood, each providing links that began on their site. The Starwood email looked like this:
And the Marriott email looked like this:
I clicked on the link from the Marriott email and was directed to a webpage where I could select any of the three impacted programs: Ritz-Carlton, Marriott and Starwood. I chose the Marriott link and was directed to a special login on their site. Once that was accomplished a pop-up box notified me I’d be transferred to the Starwood site. From there I entered my credentials on the Starwood site and at that point my accounts were linked.
I received the following email as confirmation:
I found it interesting that even though I initiated the process from the Marriott site, the email I received was from Starwood and included my SPG number. Don’t know if there’s anything to read into that or not or if it’s simply because the SPG site was the final step in the process and therefore was the one to send out the email.
Update: Overnight I received an email from Marriott confirming my accounts were linked.
Before the linking I had Silver status with Marriott and Gold status with Starwood. Once the linking was complete I noticed my Marriott status had changed to Gold as well. I’m hoping that means we can get free breakfast at a Marriott stay I have coming up next month!
The linking procedure couldn’t be easier…as long as you can remember your passwords. There’s no reason not to do it now and, believe me, the IT departments would much prefer you make the links yourself than depend on their software!