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United and Marriott Team Up to Launch RewardsPlus Partnership

by on July 15, 2013 · 18 comments

in Marriott, United

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Following in the footsteps of the Crossover Rewards partnership between Delta and Starwood, United just launched a similar program called RewardsPlus which will provide reciprocal benefits with Marriott. To participate, you can register at either the Marriott Registration Page or United Registration page.

United and Marriott's RewardsPlus partnership.

United and Marriott’s RewardsPlus partnership.

RewardsPlus will offer Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite and Platinum Premier Elite will receive complimentary MileagePlus Premier Silver status. On the flip side, it also gives United Global Services, Premier 1K, Premier Platinum and Premier Gold members all of the benefits of Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status. The status offerings will be effective until January 31, 2014.

Yet more benefits will come into affect in August, when Marriott Rewards and MileagePlus members will receive added value when transferring points into miles and will get additional miles for travel packages. Also, for the first time, MileagePlus Premier members will be able to convert their miles into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio, up to 50,000 miles per year.

United's sign up page for RewardsPlus.

United’s sign up page for RewardsPlus.

“We share United’s belief that a high level of customer service and recognition are among the most important elements of our members’ travel,” said Ed French, senior vice president, Marriott Rewards, in the official press release on Monday.  “We are bringing together the world’s leading hotel and airline loyalty programs to enhance the customer experience from beginning to end.”

MileagePlus members receive:

  • Complimentary Gold Elite status in Marriott Rewards (open to MileagePlus Premier Gold members and above, registration required)
  • All MileagePlus Premier members can convert their MileagePlus miles into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio, up to 50,000 miles per year.
  • Convert Marriott Rewards points to MileagePlus miles at a 20% discount.
  • Receive 10% more MileagePlus miles when you book the trip of a lifetime and redeem for a Marriott Rewards Travel Package–up to 12,000 more miles

Marriott Rewards members receive:

  • Complimentary Premier Silver status in MileagePlus for Platinum Elite members and above (registration required)
  • 20% discount when converting Marriott Rewards points MileagePlus miles (open to all members, registration not required)
  • 10% more MileagePlus miles when redeeming Marriott Rewards points for flight and hotel Travel Packages (open to all members, registration not required)

My thoughts:

I have United Platinum (from a status match), so I suppose I’ll get the Marriott Gold, but that status doesn’t really do much for me. I do not think converting United miles (arguably the most valuable overall currency) into Marriott at 1:1 is a good deal. Now if they allowed Marriott to United at 1:1 that would be a different story, but that isn’t happening. Currently Marriott members can convert 10,000 points into 2,000 miles, so under the new rules you’d get 2,000 miles for 8,000 Marriott points, which isn’t terrible though I generally use my hotel points for hotel stays.

The United Silver for Marriott Platinum is the most valuable benefit benefit here, since United Silver gets complimentary upgrades, 25% mileage bonus and some other perks like better customer service (though over the past two years United has really trimmed back Silver benefits, like the ability to book Economy Plus at booking – now you need to wait until 24 hours before your flight).

Still, it is interesting to see hotels and airlines team up to drive their best customers towards each other. So far it seems that credit card issuer may be a common denominator. Delta and Starwood (both have credit cards issued by American Express) and United and Marriott (both have credit cards issued by Chase) – so who is next? Hyatt and Southwest (Chase) or Avianca and Club Carlson (US Bank)?

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Mitch

    I have United Gold and Marriott Platinum so this does nothing for me…BUT…I think the big news here is that this isn’t a BAD thing like everyone feared over the weekend

  • J Pile

    I am a Marriott Platinum member, i am elated to get silver status with United!

  • thepointsguy

    Awesome!

  • thepointsguy

    Yes, if you already have elite status with both Marriott and United, then some of the benefits can be overlapping a bit but at least this announcement is a positive one for once!

  • kestie

    As usual, United Silver is apparently the ugly stepchild. Upon trying to register as UAL Silver, I was told I did not have the requisite status for Marriott status. One more reason to be done with UAL. What is the point of working hard to reach Premier status if your status doesn’t really count?

  • Andrew

    Sorry, but “working hard isn’t 25,000 PQM’s. With credit cards and fare class bonuses it can equate to really minimal time spent flying. Coast to Coast 4x a year with the right routing is enough for Silver. As a silver “elite” you get Premier Access, Economy Comfort, free bag, 25% mileage bonus = not bad for minimal spend and minimal time in an airplane.

    Of course where you live has a lot to do with who you choose to fly, but IMO it’s way better to have one high elite status such as 1K or Platinum, delta diamond or platinum, exec plat etc. while achieving those levels require a lot of time flying the benefits are far greater then having 2-4 lower level elite statuses. I’m curious to what your situation is?

    Sorry to give you a hard time about your comments but I am sure many will agree 25,000 to 49,999 really isn’t “working hard” or flying a lot. If at the end of the year if your close to achieving the next elite level – then a mileage run may be a good idea if it means getting to that next elite level.

    You said “one more reason to be done with UAL” I guess my question to you is what is your expectation as a silver? The lowest of 5 elite levels mind you. It’s not as though other airlines lowest elite levels are offering better benefits that are superior then the Mileage Plus program. As a United 1K who does 80% of my flying on United I understand the benefits of being loyal to an airline. There are a ton of benefits as 1K – but they come at a very hefty price, $$$, lots of time in airports and planes, flight delays, etc. Frankly, I don’t want lower level elites to to be given similar benefits to those of 1K passengers, I know the majority of 1K passengers feel the same way. If every elite level is given a ton of benefits and privileges it completely devalues and dilutes the whole program – that is indisputable. Stop complaining and stop the whoa is me attitude and shift your travel more to one airline. If you just don’t fly that much annually and it’s not about shifting your travel to one airline then you should stop complaining how little the program appreciates your “working hard.”

  • Andrew

    Yes, you are absolutely correct, sure beats the alternative. Really was hoping it wasn’t another devaluation. I have really benefited from the new programs with SPG/Delta as I am Platinum on both SPG and Delta so the added SPG points and Delta Miles has been great and now the UAL/Marriott was awesome too as I am UAL 1K but just a lowly silver w Marriott.

  • Jay

    And what about Citi cards with…Hilton and American Airlines? I’d like to see that one.

  • ccory1

    I’ve done the credit cards AND 32 segments on UA this year and I am still Silver. My 2013 Premier Qualifying Miles are currently at 23,293. I’d say that’s working hard for Silver!

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  • Drew

    What I did not see in the writing is for those with a Lifetime status with one or the other.

    If you have Lifetime Platinum with Marriott, does that translate to Silver with United even if you do not make the requirement to reach a Platinum number of nights in a year?

    Example: This year, landed a local project, not going to make the 75 nights required for Platinum, but being a Lifetime Platinum member, I am not too worried about it. Do I still get Silver year after year?

  • ivorytowerskeptic

    Any insight into whether this will extend beyond 31 January 2014?

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  • BMestichelli

    How about converting miles to points no matter what your status? I am a Marriott Silver elite member and a United member, just a plain old member.

  • boldie24

    I am sorry, I don’t see it as a positive at all. Seems to be a further dilution of benefits/status to those who actually earn them through their patronage.

  • ljmeyer3

    I’m not sure what to do? I am a 1K member on United and Gold on Marriott. I have 1.8M with United and 1.5M with Marriott. I really don’t see much benefit merging? Am I missing something?

  • Elliot

    Any idea of what the maximum amount of Marriott points I can transfer into UA?

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