Experiments With Linked Marriott-Starwood Accounts, Transfer Times and Points Expiration

Since Marriott and Starwood accounts can now be linked, and you can transfer points back and forth between accounts, I was curious about the process to see how it would work in practice. I learned three things when I made a transfer of 1000 Starwood points into 3000 Marriott points.

  1. Even though Marriott executives told me that points transfers would ‘take a few hours’ my transfer from Starwood to Marriott was instantly reflected in my Marriott account.

  2. The transfer did not count as qualifying activity in my Marriott account to extend the expiration of my Marriott Rewards points.

  3. However it appears that it was treated as a redemption with Starwood. At Starwood any account activity has served to extend the life of points in an account. While they don’t publish the date by which you need to have activity to extend points, and we can only go off of account activity date, it appears as though a transfer counts.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. […] Last but not least is that confirmation that the Marriott/Starwood deal is finally official. I haven’t had a chance to read the final points but according to USA Today you should be able to merge your points from Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest accounts. You can read more at USA Today or visit Members.marriott.com for more information. (Also see : Experiments With Linked Marriott-Starwood Accounts, Transfer Times and Points Expiration.) […]


  1. So if you transfer to Marriott, and then re-transfer back to Starwood, does that reset the clock for SPG accounts set to expire?

  2. Has it been confirmed that the 1:3 transfer ratio will be fixed going forward? Somehow I never saw anything about this until today. If that’s the case I guess we got a reasonably fair deal all things considered.

  3. I did three different transfers from Marriott to SPG yesterday. They were all confirmed and transferred within a minute or so. One failed at first but I retried and it went through.

  4. So I transferred pts from Marriott to SPG. The activity was immediately recognized. However, my Starwood pts total didnt change. So that might be what takes a couple of hours.

  5. I can confirm what Jason said. The transfer from SPG to Marriott and vice versa didnt count toward or against the lifetime numbers on Marriott’s side.

  6. I’d really like to know what they plan in doing with our SPG lifetime status. I never even had a Marriott account before yesterday, so while they matched my SPG platinum, I have no lifetime points or nights with Marriott. I do, however, have SPG lifetime gold and I’m 3 years and about 100 nights from lifetime platinum. How badly am I going to get screwed in the long run?

  7. I also transferred Marriott to SPG. As mark said the transfer happened immediately but the point balance didn’t change. I logged out and logged back into my account and the new point total was reflected.

  8. @Neal I think in the long run the loyal SPG customers will be screwed. I am not lifetime Plat but figure no matter it gets diluted with the perks changed. Even though I survived American Airlines/US Air they just devalued the lifetime status there.

  9. Thought:

    1. Transfer 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott
    2. Then transfer them to Starwood
    3. Then transfer back to Marriott!

    Would that mean the 10,000 UR transfer to MR is now worth 30,000?

  10. I couldn’t care less !!! Probably because I’m too old to give a sh*+++?” . But I went through those type of virtualities since TWA. After that, it was BA Concorde FF. After that, Ba on it’s own. And, of course, Star Alliance, when Lufthansa took over, although I bow to SG, since they never gave a damn…
    This said, I (and you) can easily change (or maintain) partnerships. There are lovely hotel chains, like Sofitel, Hilton (to a certain extent) , or small boutique hotels (SLH) that are very kind to us…
    I have spent more than 20% of my nights in Starwood for the past 10 years. If Marriott won’t “do me teh favour” of recognizing my Plat Life Status, I wish then “Good Luck” !!!

  11. StevenS:

    Your 10,000 UR would become 10,000 MR, which would become 3,000 SPG + 1,000 MR, which, when transferred back, would be 10,000 MR again.

  12. Why are folks transferring to Starwood and then back to Marriott?

    10,000 Ultimate Rewards -> 10,000 Marriott Rewards –> 3,333 SPG –> 10,000 Marriott Rewards

  13. Fine print question regarding status match::
    “Note: This applies to your highest non-promotional status level.”

    My Starwood Gold is based on Amex Plat Card, but would be basic SPG member without Amex. Would matching with my Marriott silver mean a downgrade of SPG?

  14. The emails from both Marriott and Starwood are very clear! Read them folks.

    Your lifetime status with one Hotel will not get transferred to the other Hotel. However, you will be status matched for your particular level.

    And yes, credit or redemption (including transfer) of points count as activity, thus prolonging the life of your account.

  15. I have a question about Marriott’s “rollover nights” and how they’d work with my status match scenario.

    I had Gold at Marriott before the merger due to a challenge offer at the end of 2015. I had Gold at SPG because I have the AmEx Platinum.

    This year, so far I have 42 nights (plus another 4 already reserved) at Marriott, so I’ll be 4 shy of Gold level by reaching 50 nights stayed. I had planned on staying over 50 so I’d have some nights roll over to make next year easier, but now it doesn’t matter if I reach 50 because I’ll have my SPG status matched next year anyway.

    My question is if I stay at 46 nights, since that would still only give me “silver” (10 night requirement) would I have 36 nights “roll over” into next year and then still get my Gold due to status matching, or would I lose those 36 nights because I’m Gold, even though it is not because of the nights stayed?

    Not sure how clear I made that…

  16. Please disregard my prior question… found the answer after clicking around on Marriott.com.

    For those who might not know, rollover nights only come in to play if you maintain current status or reach a higher status, so since my current is Gold, only nights > 50 would roll over. If I would stay below 50, I would have no carry-over nights even though I would drop to Silver (if I didn’t have the AmEx Platinum and the new SPG status match).

  17. I see posts stating “prolonging the life of your account”. Does Marriott points expire (due to no activity)? I have 250k SPG but do not use hotels or travel much at this time. Not sure if I should transfer to Marriott or somewhere where those points will not expire until I am able to use them in a few years.

  18. What about transfering MR points thats about to expire, will it expire too after the transfer?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.