Marriott bought SPG and will be merging ‘soon.’ Maybe 2019 at my best guess. They’re both huge companies so it takes quite awhile to finalize everything both on the legal ends and operational end.
In the meanwhile, why not take advantage having two programs?
In a nutshell, you can link both of the Marriott and SPG accounts now. I haven’t personally since I have points in both accounts. If you do link them, you can transfer points instantly.
1 SPG Starpoint = 3 Marriott Points
General tips here, nothing revolutionary.
Hotel points for airline miles
Don’t forget you can redeem 20,000 SPG points for 25K airline miles. So that’s 60,000 Marriott points. Personally value the hotel points over airline miles, but it may be useful for some people I’m sure.
Low category properties
Best to redeem these on lower category property. e.g. Category 1 or 2 properties for both Marriott and SPG are great values. SPG also further discounts Cat 1-2 hotels by 1,000 points on weekends, best value here!
Another good spot is Cat 3-5 SPG properties, but you may want to use cash & points for these. I usually will compare the going rate and see how much of a discount I can get.
Keep in mind lower category properties don’t mean low quality. Typically these are in countries that are lower cost due to currency value, e.g. Indonesia and South Africa. But they can be spectacular properties and typical room rates in the many thousands of HKD.
Tweet for 50 Marriott points
If you’re staying at Marriott property. Tweet about it and get 50 points. Make sure you add #MRpoints. You’ll also need to sign first to connect your account.
If you don’t have enough Marriott points during the booking process, but plan to get more before your stay, you can call Marriott for a points advance. They’ll make the reservation without the points in your account yet! Of course you’ll need the points in your account by the time you check-in. If not, just cancel before the deadline, usually 2 days prior now.
Resort Fee Waiver Tip
If you stay at a Marriott Resort, you may be able to place in the comments upon reservation, “Waive resort fees per customer relations.” and you can guess what may happen.