Why You Need to Load Up on SPG Points AND Transfer Them to Marriott

The first steps in the Starwood-Marriott merger were taken last week, when reciprocal benefits were announced for members for both programs. This was a positive step, with generous elite status matches and the 1:3 transfer ratio for SPG to Marriott Rewards transfers. Marriott appears to be trying to win over Starwood members while allowing Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Rewards members to enjoy some added benefits in the form of SPG status matches and the ability to transfer their points to SPG, though at a less favorable ratio. There is tremendous value to be found in these point transfers, which is why you might want to stock up on SPG points and transfer them to Marriott Rewards:

CategorySPG Points Per NightTransfer to Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Marriott Points Per NightTransfer to SPGRitz-Carlton Points Per NightTransfer to SPG
12,000 - 3,000 SPG points6,000 - 9,000 Marriott/Ritz Carlton points6,000 - 7,0002,000 - 2,333 SPG points20,000 - 30,000 Ritz Carlton points6,667 - 10,000 SPG points
23,000 - 4,000 9,000 - 12,0007,500 - 10,0002,500 - 3,33330,000 - 40,0010,000 - 13,333
37,00021,00010,000 - 15,0003,333 - 5,00040,000 - 50,00013,333 - 16,667
410,00030,00015,000 - 20,0005,000 - 6,66750,000 - 60,00016,667 - 20,000
512,000 - 16,00036,000 - 48,00020,000 - 25,0006,667 - 8,33360,000 - 70,00020,000 - 23,333
620,000 - 25,00060,000 - 75,00025,000 - 30,0008,333 - 10,000--
730,000 - 35,00090,000 - 105,00030,000 - 35,00010,000 - 11,666--
8--35,000 - 40,00011,666 - 13,333--
9--40,000 - 45,00013,333 - 15,000--

SPG points transfer to Marriott and Ritz-Carlton at a 1:3 ratio. With the similarity in award redemption rates, this means Starwood members can trade in their points for higher category hotel awards at Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels. For example, say you’ve got 20,000 Starwood points in your account. You can redeem them for a free night at a Category 6 Starwood hotel, which is just one tier shy of a top-category award. Meanwhile, transferring 20,000 SPG points to Marriott or Ritz-Carlton would get you 60,000 points, which is enough for two nights at a Tier 1 – 2 Ritz-Carlton hotel or two nights at a Category 6 – 7 Marriott property.

I know what you’re thinking: Why trade in a second to top-tier Starwood award for a low category Ritz-Carlton stay? Because a low category Ritz-Carlton hotel is still comparable to most top-tier Starwood properties. The real value in this case is in transferring points to Marriott Rewards, which would get you enough points for two nights at a third-to-top tier hotel. With Marriott’s expansive portfolio (they have four times as many hotels as Starwood), there are way more hotels to choose from around the world. 

In the brief research I’ve done on Marriott Rewards, I’ve found they sometimes offer better room types on award stays than most other hotel chains do. While Starwood makes suites available for higher redemption rates, some Marriott hotels offer premium rooms on standard award bookings. For example, at the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, Marriott Rewards members can book a 1,722 sqft  2-bedroom suite with 2.5 bathrooms, a living room, kitchen and dining area for 40,000 points per night. 

2-bedroom Suite Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites

2-bedroom suite at the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites – 40,000 points per night

I’ve seen countless resorts where standard award nights come with a better room types than you’d get with other hotel chains. Starwood has lots of amazing properties in their Category 6 portfolio, but most of them are out of reach and require an insane number of points. The Mystique Resort in Santorini, for example, requires a 60,000 SPG points for an award night. Meanwhile, the Domes Noruz Resort in neighboring Chania requires 45,000 points per night for a room with a private plunge pool. In fact, transferring those 60,000 SPG points to Marriott would not only enable you to book a premium room, but you’d be able to book five nights instead of one. 

Transfer SPG to Marriott to book Domes Noruz Chania Resort

Transfer 60,000 SPG Points to Marriott and get five nights at an amazing resort like the Domes Noruz Chania

Explore Marriott’s portfolio and you may find some great redemption options, especially with the 1:3 ratio for SPG to Marriott transfers. You’ll finally be able to put your hard-earned SPG points to use at top-tier resorts, something that has been very difficult to do within the Starwood Preferred Guest program. 

The generous 1:3 transfer ratio for SPG to Marriott transfers also translates to some incredible savings on Marriott Hotel + Air packages, a topic I will cover extensively in tomorrow’s post. 

Are you planning on transferring your Starwood points to Marriott anytime soon? Which Marriott hotels do you look forward to booking with your points?

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Ariana Arghandewal


  1. thanks for rubbing it in … yeah, we marriott members got shortchanged for award nights. love your blog, btw!

  2. I find the opposite a better deal considering how easy it is to get Marriott points via Chase and how hard it is to get SPG points, having cancelled the AMEX years back after the one-time bonus. Many people who keep up with points, status, and MS have already had the SPG card and no longer have it, meaning a great way to keep their points (and now add to them) is to transfer cheap Marriott points to their SPG accounts. Tier one SPG properties are 2,000. You can stay for a week at one of these properties for 42,000 Marriott points or 14,000 SPG. To me, I would rather use Marriott points than hard-to-earn SPG points to stay at a Marriott property, especially how easy it is to stay at a Marriott through Marriotts points. I already feel Marriott points are a waste of CC spend. Why would I trade my valuable SPG points for more of them, especially when you can get Marriott points through their branded CCs and UR transfers?

    • It’s definitely easier to earn Marriott points, but point transfers won’t necessarily get you more value. It depends on what you’re redeeming them for, but for top-tier awards, SPG to Marriott transfers will get you more for your points.

  3. I have been a Marriott member for nearly 30 years and had their card that long. I am lifetime Gold Elite due to my staying with them over 600+ nights and amassing well over 3MM points. I find what they are giving SPG members a direct slap in my face for having been so loyal to Marriott. Now those great 5 and 7 night awards will soon disappear. The concierge lounge will be packed. I will hardly be able to secure a high value property with points. Marriott just told us long time members to bend over, you are getting it now. Not a happy camper.

    • i feel the same way … longtime marriott member, 750+ nights, etc. we got the short end of the stick on this one. hoping (but not hopeful) that marriott will do something to sweeten the deal for us longtime loyalists

  4. Ariana, I am seeying 60,000 Marriot point/night for Category 6 not 25-30k as stated in the article. I am confused

    • Sorry for the confusion. The two hotels I compared (Mystique and Domes Noruz) are not both Category 6 properties. Mystique is a Category 6 SPG hotel requiring 60k points per night, while Domes Noruz is a Category 9 Marriott hotel requiring 40k-45k points per night. If you transfer 60k SPG points to Marriott, you end up with 180k points, which is enough for 5 nights at Domes Noruz (with the 5th night free).

  5. I agree with you Ariana that there is good value in transferring SPG points to Marriott Rewards for points redemption nights, if that is the side of this merger equation you fall on.

    As someone with more Starpoints than Marriott points today, I usually find better value in most cities using hotel points in other loyalty programs than I see for my SPG points.

    I think there is higher value for me in transferring Starpoints to Marriott Rewards points at 1:3 ratio for better redemption value with Marriott reward nights.

  6. With Marriott and Starwood merger is Amex going to stop the spy credit cards? I have never had Starwood account. Is this a good time to get Amex cards? Before they disappear.

    • At some point, probably, since it will be part of the Marriott brand. I would get an SPG card just for the fact that you can use it to earn 3 Marriott points per $1 spent.

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