Why I’m excited about United and Marriott hooking up

While its unclear who proposed, you’ve probably heard by now that United Airlines and Marriott got married, and their new union is named RewardsPlus.  Plenty of other bloggers have already shared the details.  Here are a few such posts:

Two benefits of the new relationship stand out to me:

  • United elite members (Premier Gold or higher) receive complimentary Marriott Gold Elite status.  Register here.
  • Marriott Platinum elite members receive complimentary United MileagePlus Premier Silver status.  Register here.

The interesting thing about these benefits is that they are really only useful under certain circumstances…

When free Marriott Gold status is useful

For this benefit to be useful, you’d have to meet the following conditions:

  1. You have United Gold status or higher (or will get there before United and Marriott divorce)
  2. You do not have Marriott or Ritz Carlton Gold status or higher
  3. You will stay at Marriott or Ritz Carlton properties and benefit from the perks (e.g. free internet, free breakfast at most properties, etc.), or use the status to status match to another chain.

I don’t meet either of the first two above conditions.  I currently have no status with United, but I do have Platinum status with Marriott.

When free United Silver status is useful

For this benefit to be useful, you’d have to meet the following conditions:

  1. You have Marriott Platinum or Platinum Premier elite status
  2. You do not have status with United
  3. You can make use of United Silver status perks

Bingo!  I fit all three!  I fly out of the Detroit airport which is a Delta hub with relatively few Star Alliance flights.  As a result, it doesn’t make sense for me to spend much time or money pursuing United elite status.  On the other hand, I have oodles of United miles, so I do occasionally fly United.  In those circumstances, Silver status will be a boon.  I’ll be able to take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Reduced change fees
  • Reduced close-in award ticketing fees
  • For coach awards:
    • Access to Economy Plus seating at check-in
    • Complementary Premier upgrades (probably won’t happen, but you never know)
    • Premier Access lines at the airport
    • Free checked bag

I can’t say that I’ll use any of these benefits often, but I’m very glad to have them for free!

One little hitch

My only problem right now is that United knows me as “Gregory” whereas Marriott thinks of me more as “Greg”.  Until I can get the two to agree on a single name for me, they’ll refuse to offer me their promised wedding gift.  I’ve sent a copy of my passport to Marriott to try to clear things up.  Now, I wait.

How about you?

Are any of the new benefits meaningful to you?

Follow me on Twitter / Like me on Facebook / Find me on Google+

If you are new to collecting miles, click here for the free newsletter
If you are new to Frequent Miler, start here



  1. very useful: it gives me hope of a Hyatt/AA marriage. UA/Marriott is like the Cowboys and SF Giants teaming up; two groups I don’t really give a crap about

  2. Just for FYI….It took less than 24hrs after I registered for UA Silver for it to show on my account. A+

  3. Read that status matches are not eligible to receive these benefits, maybe after you successfully complete one or the other (?). I guess maybe stay tuned….

  4. Pretty pleased to have already gotten the free United Silver status as a result of Marriott Platinum status. Showed up faster than I expected. Hope yours comes through sooner rather than later!

  5. Sign up for the Platinum challenge, then status match with United. Unfortunately that is a trick I couldn’t pull off, as Marriott would only give me the gold challenge.

  6. I have Marriott Platinum Premier. I dont fly much, but when I do, I will fly United now because of my lowly Silver status. I already had a chance to upgrade my window/middle seats to complimentary economy plus aisle. Its a win for me. I will ask if there are any upgrades day of at checkin for hopefully business class LOL

  7. Thanks for will waiting for tomorrow’s post.
    BTW, both I & my wife recently did AOR and applied through your links.

  8. Wish it was a United/Hyatt partnership, but I can make due with Marriott Gold. Have a feeling we will be hearing of an AA/Hilton relationship soon enough due to the shared Citi relationship.

  9. I’m a Marriott plat. It was under 24 hours for silver. I have booked last minute awards on united so I will benefit from reduced fees. Nice to have some of the silver bennies, but the explorer card already Gabe me some of those.

  10. while I’d get gold with marriott due to UA Gold status, I hardly stay at marriott as it doesn’t give me much bang for the buck. My UR points are more valuable with united or hyatt not marriott.

    If the marriott card offer 5 points per $ like club carlson then I’d consider this program. I like their promotions so I’d stay at cheap marriotts to rack up promotion nights when a better option with hyatt or club carlson or priority club wasn’t available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *