Marriott buys Starwood, and people get worried about Starwood Preferred Guest

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Welcome to the new Marriott. You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave it behind, because its hotels are everywhere

Marriott International, the hotel giant that operates The Ritz Carlton, Renaissance Hotels and the Marriott chain, has agreed to acquire its rival Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide for $12.2 billion

The merger, announced Monday, will create the world’s largest hotel chain with more than one million rooms at 5,500 hotels across 100 countries

The merger is a combination of two hotel chains that were, previously, rivals. It’s not clear what will happen to their respective rewards programs. Starwood’s rewards program, Starwood Preferred Guest, is particularly popular and offers points — called “Starpoints” that can translate into everything from hotel stays to charitable donations to frequent flier miles Read more…

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