Last time around, we ended up doing an email interview with Marriott Rewards. This time around, we were able to conduct a phone interview with Senior Vice President David Flueck (Starwood SPG) and Vice President Thom Kozik (Marriott). The purpose of the interview was to get an update on the recent merger between Marriott and Starwood.
During the interview, it may seem like they may not have been able to answer every question directly, as some of the details are still being worked out. However, based on the interview, I generally got a positive vibe from them that they are going to make an effort to find the positives from both programs and try to integrate them. At the very least, I am fairly certain that Marriott Rewards itself will not stay the same as it is today. There will at least make some adjustments to the program as they continue the merger process.
My sense is that they are going to take a bit of a wait and see approach as they fully integrate both programs. So if you have any concerns, I definitely recommend letting Marriott Rewards know (through social media, calling, emailing, etc.) during this transition period.
For now, below are some of the key questions that I asked about:
- Q1: Current status of Marriott/SPG merger?
- Q2: When will Marriott/SPG program be fully integrated?
- Q3: When will Ritz-Carlton be integrated? Is there a transfer to Marriott?
- Q4: Can SPG members redeem Marriott hotel stays?
- Q5: How will lifetime elite status members be affected?
- Q6: What is going to happen with the existing SPG and Marriott co-branded credit cards?
- Q7: How will the transfer ratios to airlines frequent flyer programs be affected?
- Q8: Hotel brand consolidation?
- Q9: How will existing partnerships be affected?
- Q10: Closing Statement?
What are your thoughts about their responses?