Nutmeg Avios

Use your Marriott or SPG status on United Airlines (and vice versa) via RewardsPlus

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.

United Marriott

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.)

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  1. Wouldn’t most readers have Marriott Gold via the recent SPG status match?

  2. Are there really more MR Platinums here than UA Gold (or above)?

    • Think Rob is getting mixed up. HfP readers are Starwood Gold via AMEX Plat, which equates to Marriott Gold – which IS worthwhile, quite apart from the UA tie-up, because of the free breakfast.

      • Sam Wardill says:

        Seem like most readers (like me) are confused by the statement that Head for Points readers are more likely be Marriott Platinum. Can we have a clarification please Rob?

        Incidentally Marriott Gold has been fantastic for me. I’m really enjoying the upgrades and free breakfasts.

        • You are more likely to be Marriott Platinum THAN HAVE UNITED AIRLINES STATUS.

          Therefore I expect the bit about ‘using United status to get Marriott status’ to NOT be interesting but the bit about ‘using Marriott status to get United status’ to be more interesting.

          Comprendez? 🙂

  3. Actually, a lot of the article seems a bit confused. ‘If you are Premier Gold, you get Marriott Gold’ – ‘If you are Marriott Platinum, you get Premier Silver’…Surely that Premier Gold is better than Premier Silver??

    Must be Rob getting confused by Trump’s march to victory…

    • No, the text is correct.

      United Gold gets Marriott Gold.

      Marriott Platinum gets United Silver.

      • Presumably logical to an American voter’s way of thinking.

        • Well it just means the matching is more generous in one direction than the other. Which makes sense if one has a higher opinion of its worth.

  4. Sadly you need to be Marriott Platinum to transfer miles too. I’ve got 6000 orphand United miles about to expire…

  5. I am confused…
    Most reader will have Amex Platinum = Starwood Gold = Marriot Gold.
    I don’t know why most would be Marriot Platinum, unless I missed something…

  6. Leslie G BRAMHILL says:

    Any suggestion for a Marriott premier elite with 500,000 reward points ?? I am looking at a first class for two fromLlondon to Australia

  7. Got 30k unites miles from some trips back in the day, I’ve been renewing them, but I would like to get rid of them… It would be nice if I could send them to spg, but that doesn’t seem easy unless I had amex plat & matched to marriot 🙁 any suggestions?

  8. Nick OCallaghan says:

    Before I became United GOLD, I was UA Silver for a couple of months – I ALWAYS managed to secure an economy plus seat at check in, even on very popular routes from San Francisco, so its definitely a benefit here. One difference to BA, on the UA App, you can keep checking live seat availability and amend your seat as much as you like before boarding starts……

  9. UA silver doesn’t give you lounge access at all. You don’t even need to check in to get an economy plus upgrade you can do so 24 hours before and still just check in at the airport.

  10. TGLoyalty says:

    FYI if anyone had the issue with SPG discounts being slashed get in touch with the lurker on flyer talk, mine is now back to my original offer and screenshot taken just in case it changes before Dec 31st