I know, yet another article about the merger of Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz Carlton Rewards into the single Marriott Bonvoy program. The official date of the conversion is February 13th. Much of the discussion had been focused on the Marriott and SPG credit cards from Chase and AMEX and whether you should sign up for one card or another before they are no longer available. However, I received a message from a reader about our post on merging accounts asking a question I didn’t know the answer to: If you haven’t done so by now, is it mandatory to merge your accounts?
I couldn’t think of a good reason to keep accounts separate but I imagine there must be people out there who, for some reason or another, haven’t merged their accounts by now. Maybe it’s because they just aren’t paying attention to things like this or it could be that they don’t trust Marriott not to screw it up, which are both reasonable explanations. But what happens if you don’t merge accounts before the “consolidation” date?
If you have accounts in both programs associated with the same email address, you should have received notification that the least active account’s email address has been removed from the account.
Members will not be able to use the same email address on more than one account after our new program name and unified website are launched. To prepare for this, if an email address is associated with more than one account (with Marriott Rewards, SPG and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards), the email associated with the least-active account will be removed from the account profile.
Activity level is based on lifetime points balance, Elite status and online account activation. For example, if your Marriott Rewards account has zero lifetime points, and your SPG account has more than zero, the email address will be removed from the Marriott Rewards account. Members will receive an email with details in advance of the email address being removed from the less-active account.
But what if you had different email addresses on each of your accounts? At least Marriott and I agree that there’s no reason to keep two separate accounts:
No, there is no member benefit to maintaining separate accounts. By combining accounts, you will consolidate points, Elite nights and years, thereby earning status and benefits faster.
While you’ll always be able to combine accounts, the online tool allowing you to combine accounts will be going away once the programs merge into one:
When our new loyalty program name is launched, the ability to self-service combine accounts online will no longer be available. After that point, members can request that their accounts be combined through the online form.
I don’t know about you but I’d rather leave the merger of my accounts to an online tool instead of having to trust to Marriott to merge them manually after how they’ve been handling all of the other issues with the combination of programs. No need to add to the “noise around the edges.”
It’s still possible to keep your accounts separate if you want, as long as you have each account under a different email. You’ll end up needing to keep both accounts active and the combined stays will not count towards status (yearly or lifetime).
If you do not combine your accounts before our new loyalty program name is launched, you will continue to have two separate accounts. To receive email for both accounts, you must have different email addresses on each account’s profile.
It’s not too late if you haven’t combined accounts yet. You have until February 13, 2019 to use the online tools available.
If you want to keep your Marriott Rewards or Ritz Carlton account as the primary, use this link.
If you’d rather keep your SPG account, use this link.
Here’s a video describing the process of how to combine accounts online.
If you wanted to check out the process of merging accounts, I took a few screenshots during the process and posted them in this article. If you were planning on merging accounts, I’d act now before Bonvoy launches and the online tool goes away for good.
If you have any more questions about merging accounts, there’s a FAQ on the Marriott Website.
*** Thanks to our reader Paul C. for being the inspiration for this post!
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary