UPDATE: One or more of the offers in this post have expired – check out top hotel credit card offers here.
Many blogs have posted about the news. In many cases (including maybe this one!), they’re just rehashing the same information, but there may be a few nuggets and analysis that are unique to each post. Plus each blogger has their own perspective on things, so I present them here in case you’re looking for more information
- The official AP Story – Marriott buys rival hotel chain Starwood for $12.2 billion
- Marriott Press Release
- One Mile at a Time – Implications Of Marriott Buying Starwood
- View from the Wing – Time to Start Gnashing Teeth: Marriott is Buying Starwood
- Loyalty Traveler – Marriott International buys Starwood Hotels
- Point me to the Plane – Breaking: Marriott to Acquire Starwood Hotels in $12.2B Deal w/ 5,500 Combined Properties
- Pizza in Motion – BREAKING: Marriott To Acquire Starwood Hotels
- Saverocity – SPG Market timing vs Diversification
- Doctor of Credit – Marriott Announces Acquisition Of Starwoods Preferred Guest (SPG) – What It Means For You
- Mommy Points – What to Know as Marriott is Set to Acquire Starwood
What we know
The news just broke overnight, so there are still a lot of unknowns, including the things that most of us REALLY want to know – things like what will happen to their rewards program, will there be any rebranding, will you still be able to transfer hotel points to airline points (like you can with Starwood currently), etc.
Here are 3 things that we DO know
The deal doesn’t close until mid-2016
The deal doesn’t close until the middle of next year, so until then, nothing is going to change (as they’ll still be 2 separate companies). Even once the merger is complete, it’s likely to be at least a few months before changes happen as they work on the acquisition. Having gone through several different mergers and acquisitions in my “real life”, I know that merging all of the different aspects takes a long time, and even though they will have teams working on it before the merger is closed, just like when you buy a house, nothing can actually happen until the closing date.
No credit cards are going away… yet
I saw the following tidbit on Twitter
I guess it is time to cancel the AMEX SPG card now & free a slot
— George (@FlyerTalkerinA2) November 16, 2015
I don’t know that I would say it’s time to cancel any cards just yet. As George pointed out in later tweet – at least call and get a retention offer first!!! 🙂
But actually, I would say that it’s a better idea that you probably want to GET either the Chase Marriott card or the American Express SPG cards.
I know it makes me a bad blogger, but I’d say that you probably have at least a few months before either of these cards go away, and at this point we don’t know if the new cards will be offered by Chase or American Express (probably Chase but we don’t know for sure)
If you want to sign up for those or any other cards through links that support Points With a Crew, you can do so here. The SPG link I have is for 25,000 SPG points for both personal and business which is the best offer I’m currently aware of (it usually goes up to 30K in the summer but unclear if it will do that in 2016)
The new hotel chain will be the biggest in the world
Currently Marriott has about 4300 hotels around the world, while Starwood has about 1200. Combined that gives them 5500 hotels with 1.1 million rooms around the world, slightly larger than their nearest competitor, which is Hilton with about 4500 hotels worldwide.
Being big has benefits of course – you can find a hotel within your chain just about anywhere you go around the world. I think many Starwood aficionados are disappointed because they’re worried that the large scale of Marriott will swallow many of the benefits that
As Gary from View from the Wing put it: “It does not take any effort to be loyal to Marriott or IHG. If you walk down the street in any city you can wind up in one of their hotels. It takes effort to be loyal to Starwood or to Hyatt, and so they must give you a reason to do so.”
What are your thoughts on the Marriott – Starwood merger?