Sep 24

Starwood SPG Platinum as Marriott takes them over + free 1000 IHG points + most insane airline specials continues.

1) Marriott completes acquisition of Starwood.  Everything you need to know ->


Ok so IHG is officially toppled as the worlds biggest hotel group as Marriott now has 5700 + hotels under its umbrella through a astonishing 30 brands. The programmes will remain separate entities for at least another year so you have great flexibility:

They matching statuses! Marriott Platinum = SPG Platinum and Marriott Gold =SPG Gold and vice versa.

( hope you took advantage of our unique instant offers we had all through 2015 to Feb 2016 –  you simply cannot lose when you on the ball with TL. )

SPG Starpoints transfer to Marriott Rewards 3:1 so eg: 10,000 Starpoints gets you 30,000 Marriott Reward points and vice versa  at 1:3

To take advantage of the above log in with your elite status at both websites of Marriott and Starwood.  All the info is upon their landing pages.

This gets deep as they such contrasting loyalty programmes but I will try and put it in a nutshell.

Make best friends with maths, the savings are going to be great, you are going to be more exited to travel more than ever before. Personally with my new Platinum SPG status I don’t mind spending more at a brand I know will get a chunk of bonus points on checkout for my spend ( the TL way !) like this one in Maldives:

Co- incidentally this resort, Sheraton Full Moon Maldives is on this weeks SPG hot escapes list for a discount. With Elite status holidays becomes an investment.

Co- incidentally this resort, Sheraton Full Moon Maldives is on this weeks SPG hot escapes list for a discount. With Elite status holidays becomes an investment.

Elite status perks.

Hello Marriott Platinum.

They differ, Marriott does not offer certain perks through some of their brands, Starwood is seamless.

Gold Marriott Rewards members get complimentary breakfast and lounge access, Starwood SPG Gold’s do not get this.


Starting off: Marriott category 1 hotels are 7500 points per night. Starwood category 1 hotels are 2000 points per night on weekends.

note: 15,000 Starwood points gets you their category 5 hotel ( not their top tier) but transfer this to Marriott and you have 45,000 Marriott points for their category 9 TOP TIER expensive hotels. You get the value in this picture?

Marriott never has point sales. SPG does, sometimes up to -35% discount.

Marriott points cost $625 per 50,000 points while SPG is $1050 per 30,000 ( normally)  per annum, remember SPG transfers at 3:1 into Marriott as above.

SPG allows free transfer of points between members of the same household. Marriott allows free transfer up to 50k per annum between elites ( others pay a fee of $10)

SPG Starpoints can be transferred to most airline frequent flyer programmes with a 5000 mile bonus ontop of 20,000 redeemed. ( Easy Etihad business and 1st class award upgrades are now easier ).

Marriott allows you to buy back your status on points if you running short on nights, Platinum last year was 40,000 points ($500),  as one of the senior VP of Marriott Rewards told me in a meeting regarding TraveLoyaltys unique offers in 2014 ‘ When you a Platinum with Marriott Rewards we try and keep you there’. I Love this, lets hope they stick with it in the future.

There currently is no talk on lifetime status matches as yet.


Both programmes offer points bookings and points + cash on certain dates. 5th night free is also available in certain category’s when booking on points alone.

SPG has excellent value in their mid categories on points + cash.( Check Mauritius out)

Marriott uniquely offers bookings  ‘on credit’ and fulfilling the point requirement 7 days before check in.

Marriott offers flights + accommodation on points for certain amount of days, maybe their best value offer.


Marriott has United Airlines as a partner, elite benefits are somewhat reciprocal to a lesser degree in contrast.

SPG partners with Emirates and Delta and here as well their are reciprocal benefits to a lesser degree meaning SPG Platinums will get Silver like perks at Emirates and Emirates Skywards Platinums and Gold’s get priority check in, late check out and free internet at Starwood, like a Gold SPG with no 50% bonus.

The amount of properties open now to score at is astonishing, every continent has a few unique island playgrounds off its shores, for South Africans, say hello to 3 new properties in Mauritius, 1 in Seychelles and 3 in Maldives. Earning points, bonuses, challenges and transferring has never been better, staying free multiple times is about to become an all time high. Exciting times ahead.

I wonder what follow up the other major hotel chains will be implementing to gain extra revenue from frequent guests who are moving over to Marriott / SPG.

One of my best travel experiences ever was as an elite was as Platinum at a Marriott Hotel. Read it HERE.

2) Free 1000 IHG Reward Club Points.


IHG Rewards Club use to have ‘points never expire’ perk until recently when they joined the band wagon of activity within 12months club. Birthday points should make certain points never expire as it is account activity. If yours does not load you can always call them and ask them to load it.

  • after logging in click ‘ personal information’ .
  • scroll down to ‘ add birthday’  ( normally optional).

You cant edit it thereafter unless you call in, wonder if this will get you another 1000 free ?

There isn’t much 1000 points can do as free rooms on Pointbreaks start at 5000 points and it is account activity plus its free for everyone.

3) Airlines dropping sales like never before. 

Make sure you never miss out on deals like these, get on traveloyalty's social media: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. If you don't have a social media account this will motivate you to get one today.

Make sure you never miss out on deals like these, get on traveloyalty’s social media: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. If you don’t have a social media account this will motivate you to get one today.

Ethiopion started with a 3400 airfare, then Etihad then Qatar kids fly free ( how insanely cheap was that? family of 5for R12,000 to Istanbul from Johannesburg return !)

Air Seychelles went the lowest I’ve ever seen in Business for R8500 followed by Saudia even lower in economy R3607 and Business R6103, ( is this a recent 10 year record?  as their previous lowest was in 2013 when the ZAR was 10 to the USD). When I posted Saudia on social media there was tons of availability up to 28 December 2016, currently there might be some for October still left.

tl sd

In December 2013 Saudia had ZAR 8400 in Business return.

The most wise way to go on holiday is to have your spend as an investment with plenty to show and use for after check-out. All other travelers get nothing on check-out. Travel wisely. Travel the TraveLoyalty way.

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