CEO: Starwood Hotels could be Sold by Year End

SPG Thrifty Traveler

I’ve received a flood of emails and messages all day about the rumored Starwood sale or merger. This news doesn’t come as that big of a shock after hearing that IHG was considering a purchase earlier this year. Thankfully that did not go through because a merger with the tired IHG chain would probably have been bad for the SPG brand.


According to Starwood’s CEO and speculation online, one of the following things will happen:

  • Sale and merger with Hyatt
  • Sale to one of three Chinese firms


If the company is sold to a Chinese firm it will likely remain intact. If it is sold to Hyatt there is no way to know what will happen. It is likely that Hyatt would be the remaining company after the merger and somehow reorganize and drop the Starwood name, but again this is all speculation. Starwood’s Board of Directors will likely wait and see who makes the highest offer, and what is in the best interest of the Starwood stockholders (Ticker: HOT). I just wish I had purchased Starwood stock before the news this week!

So what does this mean for the Starwood program? There is no way to know at this time. A merger with the smaller Hyatt portfolio would add some great properties but the loss of the SPG program would be rough on a lot of us. Also a loss of the SPG cardholders to American Express would be brutal, especially after the recent loss of Costco. Hopefully whatever happens the SPG program will remain somewhat intact.


Bottom Line

If you don’t yet have any of the SPG American Express cards you should consider applying soon. While there is no way to know what will happen with the points, there is probably still a lot of time to transfer those points to almost any airline and earn the 5k bonus. There is no way to know what will happen to the American Express cards if Hyatt were to take over since they already have a partnership with Chase, although I can’t imagine it working in our favor. I have a very pessimistic attitude, but I find any news about Starwood selling out very concerning. I love the SPG program and would hate to see it disappear, especially when I’m less than 10 stays from lifetime gold.


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