We have given over a disproportionate amount of space in recent months to Marriott Travel Packages and how they will change following the Marriott Rewards / Starwood Preferred Guest merger next Saturday.
The reason we do this is that Marriott Travel Packages are by far the best way to spend Marriott or SPG points (if you are happy to spend seven nights in the same hotel) but they won’t be very good after next Saturday. The current pricing is here and the new pricing from next week is here.
What we didn’t know is what would happen to existing packages after next Saturday. This was very important if you were planning to order one before 18th August but not make your booking until later.
Marriott has now sent an email to most people with an unused Travel Package:
“If you are still trying to plan that perfect trip, you can hold onto the certificate and will be able to add it to a reservation starting on September 18, 2018 under the new Travel Packages program. For certificates purchased prior to 8/18, we are working to convert your package and it will be available based on the new converted values on September 18, 2018.”
The key word here is ‘convert’. Based on comments from Marriott staffers, and a conversation I had myself with the head of Marriott Rewards a couple of weeks ago, we know that Marriott had a back-up plan for unused Travel Packages. This involved refunding points for the room element and letting you keep the airline miles, which would mean that the miles would end up being ludicrously cheap.
The email above implies that Marriott does now think that they have found a way of converting certificates issued under the old categories to the new ones.
Nothing is guaranteed, but if you were thinking of taking a gamble on buying a Travel Package in the hope that Marriott would give you a chunky refund after you’d got the miles, it seems you will be disappointed.
It is also worth noting that no Travel Package bookings will be possible between 18th August and 18th September. This means that you will miss the opportunity to get first pick at the ex-SPG hotels or those where pricing is coming down.
The special website explaining what will happen next Saturday when the two schemes merge is here.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (July 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year. Until 31st August 2021, the bonus is doubled to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)