It’s one big family now…

If you’ve been living under a rock, that’s been living under a rock, you may have missed the travel news that Marriott, Starwood and Ritz CarltonΒ  have officially formed one massive loyalty program called Marriott Rewards. With the combination of all the Marriott brands with all the Starwood brands, it’s now easier than ever to earn elite guest status, points you can use toward free nights and other good stuff, regardless of where your travels take you. But before you travel anywhere, there are a few things you should do…

Combine Your Accounts

Thinking to yourself, hang on, I already did that? Well, in the words of Daft Punk, you’ll need to do it “one more time”. By doing so, your current total nights, points and everything else will form an even larger pile, even if it’s still just a small pile of points and nights. You can join your accounts here, and the changes will take effect almost instantly. Whether you’re staying at a nice W Hotel, which was Starwood or a Marriott, which is… still Marriott, you’ll just use your Marriott Rewards number now.

Refer Friends To Earn Free Nights

It may not make for the most polite of dinner conversations, but getting the conversation started about the new program can be rewarding. Marriott offers up to 50,000 bonus points for referring friends. Simply convince them to join, send them the link (from this page) and when they do, you’ll both earn 2,000 bonus points per stay, for up to five stars, for five friends. Do the math, thats up to 50,000 points, enough for a free night in some incredible hotels.

Check Your Travel Packages

Marriott Travel Packages were one of the most lucrative ways to convert your hotel points into some free nights at a Marriott, while also exchanging them for airline miles. If you had a travel package purchased with points, but had yet to redeem it, Marriott is offering interesting options if you still want to use it, and even up to 30,000 bonus points if you feel the deal is no longer as sweet as you hoped. Here’s a great write up on how to handle all that stuff, because frankly, we really don’t care all that much.

Win With Limited Time Marriott Rewards Opportunities

If you like really nice hotels, and honestly – who doesn’t – there are some fantastic opportunities to take advantage of in the year 2018 via the new Marriott Rewards. These opportunities must be booked in the year 2018, but can work for travel that takes place in 2019. Basically, thanks to the transition, some hotels which required heaps of points will require fewer points when booked this year, 2018. There are a bunch of other clever things you can do to boost your status and make the most of the new program, which you can find here.

Featured image courtesy of the Ritz Carlton Abama.Β