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Since it began back in 2013, the Crossover Rewards partnership program between Delta and Starwood has provided benefits to Delta elites when staying at Starwood properties and Starwood Preferred Guest elites when flying with Delta. Unfortunately, that program ends today, as Starwood prepares to begin its unified loyalty program with Marriott next month.
Back in April when Marriott announced the details of the new combined program, they said that current benefits would extend through July 15, 2018 and also said:
“[We] are actively working on ways that we can create a benefit that in light of our size, is sustainable into the future. Therefore, we expect to have more to share on this program before July 15.”
Not much additional information has been shared other than that the program will not continue past today. According to Delta’s Crossover Rewards FAQ, flights that originate on or before July 15 and Starwood stays that are completed on or before July 15 are eligible for Crossover Rewards benefits. However, flights that originate or hotel stays that are completed after July 15 will not be eligible.
What Benefits Are We Losing?
Under the Crossover Rewards program, SPG Platinum elite members traveling on flights marketed and operated by Delta received several benefits similar to those enjoyed by Delta’s Silver Medallion members:
- Zone 1 Priority Boarding
- First Checked Bag Free
- Priority Check-In in Silver Medallion Queues
- Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades (Behind Silver Medallion Members)
Similarly, Delta’s Platinum and Diamond Medallion members staying at Starwood properties enjoyed several benefits similar to those of SPG’s Gold members:
- 4:00pm Late Check-Out
- Access to SPG Elite Member Check-In Lines
- Complimentary Internet Access
- Room Upgrades at Check-In
Additionally, all SPG elites earned one Starpoint per dollar spent on flights marketed and operated by Delta and all Delta Medallion elites earned one Delta SkyMile per dollar spent on eligible Starwood hotel stays. In both cases, these points were in addition to the normal points and miles that would be earned.
The end of this program also comes as a blow to frequent Delta fliers who use the Platinum Card® from American Express, one of the best cards for Delta frequent fliers. Since the Platinum Card includes complimentary SPG Gold elite status, cardholders were eligible to earn Starpoints on Delta flights under the Crossover Rewards program, even without meeting the normal stay requirements to earn Starwood elite status.
Will These Benefits Be Replaced?
For high-tier SPG elites there is some solace… if you don’t mind switching to United. Under Marriott’s existing RewardsPlus partnership with United, Platinum Premier members under the new combined Marriott program will be granted automatic Premier Silver status with United. Additionally, all members under the new Marriott program will still receive transfer bonuses to United MileagePlus as well as on Hotel + Air packages. This may not be of much benefit to SPG elites who are loyal to Delta, however.
For Delta elites, there’s not much good news at present. As of publication, Delta’s Crossover Rewards FAQ has this to say:
“We remain committed to ensuring that SkyMiles Members enjoy a rewarding loyalty program. Stay tuned for details as we continue to work towards improving your SkyMiles experience and find new ways for you to earn miles and enjoy added value with our program and our partners.”
Hopefully Delta will find a way to replace the value their elites are losing with the end of Crossover Rewards, but no announcements have been made so far.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees