Sheraton SPG Hotel Zhanjiang, China

Starwood Signs Deal To Sell To China’s Anbang!

Starwood Hotels and Resorts has signed a deal to sell to China’s Anbang!  The $13.2 billion offer was too much to ignore compared to the Marriott $12.2 billion deal that looked like it was a sure thing.  Anbang already owns the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

What Happens Now?

Unfortunately, the drama is not over yet.  Marriott has 5 days to make a counter proposal, and according to Marriott, they feel that they are a better merger partner.  We will have to wait to see if and what they counter for Starwood.

If the deal goes through with Anbang, this would be a huge relief to Starwood Preferred Guest loyalists.  The main fear is that SPG is going to lose the value in the loyalty program if a merger happens with the Marriott loyalty program.  Starpoints are worth much more than Marriott points.

amex_spg_35kI imagine that American Express is also happy about this news.  After losing both Costco and Jet Blue, this would have been a big blow to Amex.  In the meantime, both American Express cards still have a 35,000 points singup bonus until March 30, 2016.

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest (personal):  35,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business:  35,000 Starpoints after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.

The Bottom Line

Anbang buying Starwood would be a MUCH BETTER deal for SPG loyalists than Marriott.  With Marriott, the rewards program would undoubtedly be watered down.