The merger between Starwood and Marriott – and the fact that you can now status match between the two chains – means that members also have access to a couple of interesting airline tie-in deals.
In 2013 the Starwood hotel group and Delta Airways announced a unique tie-up. This gave Starwood Preferred Guest elite members certain privileges when flying on Delta, and gave Delta top tier members special privileges when staying at a Sheraton / Westin / W etc hotel.
One part of the deal was the ability to earn Starwood hotel points for spending money on Delta flights, and indeed the ability to earn Delta miles when staying at Starwood hotels. This would be on top of the standard points you would not, NOT instead.
In November 2014, Starwood launched a similar partnership with Emirates Skywards. This allows elite members of either scheme to access special benefits with the other partner.
United Airlines responded to the Delta tie-up with Starwood by getting into bed with Marriott Hotels.
Now that the Starwood merger means that many more HFP readers now have Marriott status via a match from Starwood, I thought it was worth looking over the United / Marriott deal again.
The United / Marriott partnership is called RewardsPlus and you can find all the details here.
If you have United status, you can leverage it into Marriott and then SPG status.
If you are Premier Gold or above with United, you can receive Marriott Gold status. This gives you upgrades (not guaranteed), free internet and 25% bonus Marriott points.
Your Marriott Gold will then allow you to claim Starwood Gold.
More interestingly, United Premier Silver or higher members are able to transfer up to 50,000 United MileagePlus miles per year into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio. You also get a 20% improvement on transfers of Marriott points to United miles and a 10% bonus when you redeem Marriott points for a ‘hotel plus miles’ travel package.
The match also works the other way.
If you are a Marriott Rewards Platinum member (which is the situation Head for Points readers are more likely to be in, as I doubt we have many United elites here) you can receive Premier Silver status with United.
Don’t get too excited about this. In Star Alliance, Silver status only gets you lounge access with the airline which issues your card. You cannot therefore use this card to get, say, lounge access when flying Lufthansa or Swiss.
United Premier Silver does get you upgraded to United’s Economy Plus at check-in. However, this would involve a flight with very few Gold or above members on it, as they would have priority. You also get a free checked bag and 25% bonus MileagePlus miles.
For UK-based Head for Points readers, the most common scenario is that you will have Marriott Platinum – potentially via your recent SPG status match – and can therefore get United Silver status. This will then allow you to credit occasional Star Alliance flights to United and, instead of being stuck with a few useless miles, transfer them to Marriott.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)