Marriott and Starwood are ready to pull the trigger on integrating their loyalty programs — but will their hotel and loyalty members ever be ready for the change?
Travel Loyalty News
The Skift Business of Loyalty covers the world of hotel, airline, and other consumer loyalty programs in the travel industry. Read more coverage of loyalty here.
The merger between Marriott’s Rewards and Starwood’s Preferred Guest loyalty programs is right around the corner, and as August 18 looms, it’s still not clear how steady the ship is.
As Skift’s Deanna Ting reported last week, the two biggest issues facing the hotel giant revolve around maintaining quality control among member hotels and keeping the loyalty program member ranks in line. Already, several hotels unhappy with the way things are shaping up have left the network, while other owners have complained about integration issues around meeting bookings.
On the other end of the spectrum, loyalty members remain precariously ready to jump ship as Marriott’s competitors launch salvos of incentives to woo business away. Just last month, Hyatt launched a serious competitor to the Marriott credit card while Hilton remains eager to prove that their points are just as valuable as Starwood’s.
To Marriott’s credit, the integration has so far gone remarkably well. But as the travel industry wakes up on August 18 to a whole new world of Marriott and Starwood, that story could quickly change.
— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor
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Skift Business of Loyalty Editor Grant Martin [[email protected]] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.
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Photo credit: Marriott and Starwood are set to merge their loyalty programs on August 18. Marriott