Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Does Marriott regret buying Starwood and is hoping the Chinese kill the deal?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

The acquisition of the Starwood hotel group – owner of W, Westin, Sheraton, St Regis, The Luxury Collection, aloft etc – by Marriott is running late.  The cause is Chinese competition clearance, with the Chinese authorities recently stating that they require another two months to examine the deal.

This surprising article in the New York Post suggests that Marriott is keen for the Chinese to block the deal.

If you followed the bid saga, you will remember that Marriott was forced to increase its initial bid for Starwood – and to sharply increase the amount paid in cash instead of shares – following a Chinese counterbid.

SPG Starwood

The increased bid damaged the economics of the deal.  Marriott was also relying on selling $2bn of Starwood property assets once the company was bought.  The commercial property market is currently on the slide in many major markets, however, and that valuation looks riskier by the day.

More weirdly – and this is hardly believable, I admit – the Post reports that Marriott has only just realised that Starwood attracts a far younger customer base than Marriott and that they are likely to drift away when the Marriott-isation of the properties occurs.  This is completely true but should hardly have come as a surprise.

(I do remember mentioning that I didn’t think that adding the Marriott-regulation bible and a portrait of octagenarian Bill Marriott above reception was going to do much for sales at the ‘sex toys in the minibar’ W brand …..)

As someone who had to deal with a number of Chinese takeover clearances during my banking career, I can confirm that the process does drag on.  To be honest, I can never remember a scenario when we ended up with an unreasonable decision from them.  If Marriott is genuinely hoping to find a way out of the Starwood deal, this is unlikely to be it.


Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (3)

  • David says:

    Perhaps China could provide the inspiration for a soltuion to ‘fit’ problem – with a one company two values type approach. Keep the bibles (if they must) etc at the brands that are historically marriott, keep the Starwood brands as they are and free from such items.
    If they don’t, they really will see a downturn on the outcome of their aquistion.

  • jakobv84 says:

    Interesting. Currently the Dell acquisition of EMC has dragged on with China for a long time now so interesting what’s going on out there at the moment

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.