Unless you're a travel writer, you really don't care that Marriott and Starwood's merger almost happened, didn't happen, happened again, got outbid and then actually happened. If you ever stay in hotels, or have managed to amass points with either program, you will however be very interested in the exciting opportunities which the merger has instantly presented to us! 

You Can Instantly Convert Points Between The Programs (And Create Airline Miles)...

Starwood Points are unequivocally the most valuable points to have, since you can use them for hotels, while also converting them to airline miles at a 1:1 ratio (or better), which unlocks some of the most desirable uses of airline miles. Marriott Points are also strategically brilliant, allowing for stays in many of the best hotels. Now you can convert your points back and forth between the two programs at will, at a ratio of 1 Starwood Point to 3 Marriott Points. You can do that HERE.

Marriott Elite Status Or Starwood Elite Status Is Now BOTH (You Can Match)...

However you earned status with Starwood or Marriott, you can instantly translate it into status with both programs by linking your two accounts (or creating the other). You'll be matched to the equivalent status in the other program, adding a tremendous amount of hotels in which you'll have benefits which get you better rooms and save you money. Link HERE.

But Wait, There's Even More Benefits Now With Airlines...

Starwood has long held two partnerships with Delta and Emirates, which mainly equate to benefits and extra point earning opportunities. Anyone who previously only held Marriott status will now have access to these additional benefits programs, especially Platinum members who will now have expedited check in, priority services and extra points earning with both Emirates and Delta. Good stuff. Once you have your SPG status (from the match) visit the Emirates promo page HERE, and the Delta page HERE.