Adding SPG to Marriott Rewards will create a mega-loyalty scheme with 100 million members, Marriott's CEO Arne Sorenson revealed in June at a New York investment conference. When integration takes place this will put Marriott on a par with Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), which claims to have the world’s biggest hotel loyalty scheme also with ‘around 100 million members’. The smart money is on Marriott taking pole position soon. But it was not so much the scale of adding SPG’s members to its loyalty empire that appealed to Marriott, but the quality of its ‘elite’ frequent business travelers, especially in comparison to Marriott’s more mainstream guest base. So much so, in fact, that Sorenson has not rushed into making significant changes in SPG – although Marriott and SPG members had their accounts ‘linked’ at an early stage following the corporate takeover, providing reciprocal equivalent status in both programs. Get the full story at Buying Business Travel