Last week Marriott dropped into their terms and conditions that they were eliminating travel packages effective January 19, 2022. This was apparently published in the terms and conditions too early, and Marriott removed this from their published terms telling me they “published prematurely..[w]e will have additional details for members in the coming days.”
We still haven’t heard anything from Marriott Bonvoy. We know that they intend to eliminate travel packages (multi-night hotel stay awards combined with airline mileage transfers). We don’t know for certain when these will be eliminated – it’s possible they’ll end Wednesday, but perhaps this will be pushed off since they haven’t told members about the benefit going away yet.
My biggest issue was that they’re making changes to the program without telling anyone, and once again changing program rules without telling anyone. And this time it happens with an award that was once core to the value of the program, but that’s offered only a niche use case in recent years because:
- The redemptions became much more expensive with the introduction of the Bonvoy program
- Marriott eliminated 5 night travel packages, and only offered 7 night packages, meaning you’d have to make a longer stay for these to be worthwhile.
Or did they eliminate 5 night packages? Reader Steve points me to a social media discussion with proof where a member called to redeem a 7 night package before they’re eliminated and the agent offered a 5 night package as well. They redeemed for a 5 night category 7 hotel stay at a cost of 430,000 points.
Purchased separately this redemption would have cost up to 550,000 points, as long as the hotel is redeemed for peak redemption nights.
- A 5 night stay in a category 7 hotel would cost 280,000 points when redeemed at peak times (70,000 points per night for 4 nights, with 5th night free).
110,000 airline miles generally costs 270,000 points (60,000 points per 25,000 miles plus 30,000 points for the final 10,000 miles).
The member has already applied their stay certificate for 5 nights at the Bodrum EDITION in August where rates are running $1400 per night. And by packaging the redemption together with airline miles they saved 120,000 Marriott points.
I can’t promise that every agent will offer this, or that the agent this member spoke with should have offered it. Marriott agents are notoriously inconsistent. These five night packages used to be for timeshare owners only but others could still redeem for them with the right agent. This member may have just lucked into such an agent, but if they did others might be able to also.
However asking for reward code 873T may help if they don’t know what a 5 night air and hotel travel package award is (and they can likely find the other redemption categories based on your preference once they’ve found this one).