Marriott Travel Packages Finally Have a Use Case With Peak Season Awards

Marriott travel packages used to be the best value in the program, combining hotel stays with airline miles transfers. The new program gutted the value of Marriott travel packages. It seems though that this may have been in anticipation of peak season award pricing which is another step towards Marriott’s cost containment efforts, and driving the program towards delivering consistent average value on each stay rather than having peaks and valleys (which create opportunity for exceptional value).

Bonvoy confirms to me that Marriott travel packages do not have restrictions on use during peak nights. Marriott reward night certificates can be used for their permitted category whether the standard room redemption is for off season, standard or peak season. As a result you get the most value during peak season.

There’s a whole lot more value for 100,000 airline mile transfers (and note that transfers to United receive 10% more miles).

Here’s what 7 night Marriott travel packages including transfer of Marriott points to 100,000 airline miles costs, along with the savings compared to redeem those same things separately:

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

The savings on Marriott travel packages, as long as you’re using the hotel nights for at least a category 4 redemption (all redemptions up to category 4 have the same price as category 4), are exactly the same — hence the drive towards average value.

This savings assumes that you’re using awards for peak season redemption for every night of a 7 night stay.

redeem travel packages at marriott boca raton

In contrast, though, things work out very badly still for Marriott travel packages if hotel nights are redeemed during off peak nights (even worse than redeemed during standard nights):

7 Nights + High Season
Category 100,000 Miles Priced Separately Savings
4              330,000                   360,000               30,000
5              390,000                   420,000               30,000
6              510,000                   480,000             (30,000)
7              570,000                   540,000             (30,000)
8              750,000                   660,000             (90,000)

Clearly travel packages are no longer the exceptional value they once were but if you’re certain to redeem exactly 7 nights at a hotel (or more, topped off with additional points) and do so during high season there’s value once again in travel package awards.

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. I still have 2 packages that expire next year. What are the best category 4 Marriott properties out there to use for a 7 night stay?

  2. @Audrey – You need to give a bit more information. Domestic or international? Beach, city stay, or other interests. How important is getting great value vs. just using the things? For instance, my wife and I just used a cat 4 package to stay at the Fairfield Fort Walton Beach. The hotel is directly on the beach but isn’t really in walking distance of much. We were good with that and liked our stay. The certificate would have expired in December and that was our only real chance to use it. We felt it a good use.

  3. Audrey – I agree with Christian. However, in terms of price range, I have observed that the only hotels where the furthest bang for your buck goes are hotels in NYC or in London (only because of the pound to dollar exchange rate) and nowhere else in the world. There are 5 category 4 hotels located in NYC but they are all located in the downtown core area. I still stick with legacy SPG hotels because the staff always honor legacy SPG elite benefits without fail.

  4. Your information is only about the 7-NITE packages.

    What about the 5-night travel packages
    that all of us who belong to MVCI
    use year after year?

    (P.S. If my name sounds familiar, Jack and I were one of your earliest clients
    when your focus was on “magical booking” !!

  5. this is why i’m not worried about the marriott changes. i know bloggers like you will find all the loopholes and silver linings and ways to make it work. thank you

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