Marriott Eliminating Air And Hotel Awards Effective Next Wednesday

Marriott travel packages – a multi-night hotel stay bundled with a transfer of airline miles – used to be one of the great sweet spots of Marriott Rewards, just as ‘Nights and Flights’ was a great value option in the Starwood Preferred Guest program. Effective January 19, 2022 though these redemptions are no more.

The price of these awards rose so much when Marriott Bonvoy was introduced four years ago that they lost most of their luster, but the introduction of peak season pricing gave award category-based certificates a new use case.

If you were redeeming hotel nights during off-peak dates, you came out behind with upper-tier properties – in some cases substantially behind – using these packages. However redeeming for peak nights you could still eek out a savings of 90,000 points if what you wanted was exactly a 100,000 mile transfer and a seven night stay at a category 4 or higher hotel.

7 Nights + High Season
Category 100,000 Miles Priced Separately Savings
4              330,000                   420,000            90,000
5              390,000                   480,000            90,000
6              510,000                   600,000            90,000
7              570,000                   660,000            90,000
8              750,000                   840,000            90,000

Marriott is eliminating redemption categories (that’s never good) and they’re also eliminating Hotel and Air Travel Packages as well, effective next Wednesday.

According to an update to the program’s terms and conditions which was unannounced,

3.14 Hotel and Air Travel Packages
Effective January 19, 2022, Hotel and Air Travel Packages are no longer available for purchase.

Apparently Marriott released the information in their terms and conditions update earlier than planned, and this blog post isn’t how they wanted members to learn about the change. A spokesperson offered, “The information was published prematurely, and we regret the error. We will have additional details for members in the coming days”

The use case for these certificates has been limited the past several years, so the actual loss here is minimal. But these travel packages played such an important role for so long that eliminating them entirely still feels like part of the denouement for guests obtaining outsized value from the program.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. IHG has a decent program. 4th night free and reasonable redemption rates.

    Hyatt is a great program due to lower points costs and always quality hotels.

    Marriott and Hilton are barely worth doing for the initial bonus…barely. After that forget about them.

    Wyndham’s problem is their hotels are generally awful

  2. With every change, IHG is looking better. IHG may not promise much but at least they deliver. Marriott changing the program with almost no notice is despicable.

  3. As an SPG lifetime Platinum elite, I have just about given up on the Marriot Bonvoy program – I choose Hyatt & IHG for my stays most of the time and use their co-branded credit cards. After this latest change, the only valuable use of Bonvoy points is to top up my miles in my Alaska Airlines or American Airlines account. Should Citibank ThankYou points or Capital One points ever become transferable to AS or AA, Bonvoy points will be rendered entirely useless.

  4. Seven nights was always too long of stay for me. They used to allow five night hotel stays (and there was a work around to get them for some time).

  5. @Gary When did Marriott plan to tell members??? The packages are going away in just 7 days, yet in their statement they say “We will have additional details for members in the coming days”. Was this going to be an overnight/stealth/no notice change? Finally do you think mileage transfers in general will go away?

  6. @Greg – Where is your usual pic of the RC chef saying “Bonvoy!”

    LOL @ people saying IHG isn’t that bad. Even with this negative Marriott change, IHG is still a garbage rewards program.

  7. @ Gary — Nothing ever comes from Marriott that doesn’t confirm that we made our best travel decision ever by NEVER doing business with this company.

  8. Marriott has NEVER believed in running an attractive loyalty program. If they had their druthers, these programs wouldn’t exist in their current form. I assume nobody stays at Marriotts primarily “for the points.”

  9. lol. They didn’t want the news released in a blog post.
    They’d rather just sneak it into the T&C and have you find out about it in months.

    I’m fed up with these hotel chains that insist on making a profit.

  10. You wonder if Marriott will ever tell us how many nights will be needed for status in 2022 lol… already 4 months behind Hilton and 2 behind IHG. Completely reprehensible

  11. Most of you never would have reddened for this anyway or don’t have the points to. So why complain?

  12. Anyone who is still playing the hotel loyalty game with any of these programs has not been paying attention . . . and deserves what they get.

  13. Just attended a Marriott sales presentation only last week and these hotel+airfare awards were a major selling point.
    So happy I did not buy.
    Disgraceful that they promote some benefit that is about to be cancelled.

  14. Yet another benefit cut by the new ahole in charge of Marriott. He is becoming worse than the previous CEO. Where do they find these people. Bill Marriott is probably sorry his family is not involved anymore.

  15. Bill Marriott is rolling in the grave and one day the higher ups will screw things so bad, that Marriott and all them big boys will have their day of reckoning!!!

  16. I just got off the phone with Marriott at 11:18 PM CST. They DID confirm Marriott is CANCELING them at Midnight and at 12:01 AM 1/19/2022 Travel Packages will be HISTORY. Marriott just lost my business by taking this action. I have used these in the past and they were terrific back in the day. Now they are taking a major benefit away from devoted customers. No wonder so many people these days prefer Hyatt and Hilton. Marriott didn’t even feel the Need to tell us Publicly and a big thanks go out to Gary Leff for bringing this forward. Marriott is NOT doing what is best for their customers. I feel BONVOYED once again by this New Marriott. Good Bye Marriott.

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