Here’s How Marriott Travel Packages Will Work in the New Program

Marriott is launching a new program August 18th which will be the same for all of Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards.

They’ll have new award chart categories. And unfortunately one of the very best deals in Marriott Rewards — the travel package where you redeem points for a 7 night hotel stay and airline miles at the same time — will no longer be worthwhile for most members.

However existing travel packages have been an outstanding questions. Members who redeem for a travel package, transfer points to miles, and hold onto the hotel stay certificate to use later have wondered ‘since Marriott’s award charts are changing, and my certificates are for a specific redemption category, what’s going to happen? what hotels will I be able to use them for?’

And Marriott hasn’t offered answers. In fact the new program launches August 18th and they still aren’t telling us exactly. But then they haven’t shared program terms and conditions, either, so while poor member experience this isn’t surprising.

Yesterday I wrote that there’s going to be a blackout period August 18 – September 18 where you cannot change or make new reservations using an ‘old’ Marriott travel package certificate.

Now Marriott is sharing that travel packages are going to be adjusted so that they will be used on ‘similarly valued’ hotel categories.

Some people hoped travel packages would become more valuable, or that they would be converted back into points. That doesn’t appear to be the case.

Here’s Marriott’s newest explanation,

While we plan on sharing the full conversion chart on 8/18, I can let you know that all existing certificates will convert to similarly valued categories after that date. I realize you might have more questions and we will be able to answer those soon.

As I previously wrote, we encourage members who know their travel plans to make reservations prior to August 18th. For members that are not sure of their future plans, please be advised that you will not be able to modify your certificate for an existing reservation or attach it to a new one between August 18 and September 18, 2018.

We have to be in the new program to find out the details of the new program. We aren’t going to learn exactly how old travel package redemptions will work until they tell us August 18th.

And we won’t be able to do anything new with those certificates for a period of a month. (Surely Marriott will have to extend the expiration of any certificates that would have expired during this freeze period.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. So if you booked a stay at cat 8 40k points a night for Aug 19 to Aug 26 and hotel goes down to cat 5 at 35k points a night you don’t get any points back?

  2. I got an email basically saying that I had until 8/18 to book or wait until 9/18 for the new package categories…I’m a little worried because I already got the extension on the package and the way it “looks” on my page is that it is a5 day pkg when it should be a 7 day package. I took the Southwest and Cat 1-5 to get the SW CP but haven’t been able to make a decision on when/where to go, was in process of selling homes. Curious as to if I have to book by end of term, use whenever? I also have a BA CP which expires in a month, was wondering the same thing about it…can I book it now for travel in Dec? Anyone know?

  3. They need to extend all legacy certificates by a minimum of a month (blackout period). The reason being even if someone has a certificate that expires after the blackout period it is possible that they miss out on their desired redemption because of the blackout. Really what they need to do is extend all certs for a minimum of a month and allow blacked out certs to force open award space once the blackout ends to ensure members do not lose out on the maximum use they could have had from their certificates.

  4. What they are really saying is, you have to wait for a month so that we can figure out how to make sure you don’t get too much value. It will be worth the wait, because when we’re done, you can be confident we footnoted everything perfectly to block the ideas you had in mind.

  5. So I have my cat 9 cert attached to a hotel already. What happens if I decide to change hotels or change the dates after Sept 18th.

  6. Here is my question, can we be reasonably sure if I buy a Tier 5 package today, it can be used to cover a 7 night award reservation I already booked at St Regis Maldives?

  7. I booked a reward stay at a Cat 7 hotel. After August 18th it goes down to a new Cat 4 (25,000 pts) . I’m hoping that I can use my travel package with a cat 1-5 stay for the hotel after it goes down. Fingers crossed.

    Now I’m wondering if I should do the same for another stay I have next year.

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