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What ACTUALLY happens to your Marriott Travel Package following the SPG merger

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As I write this, the new Marriott and Starwood websites are still unavailable as the huge task of combining the two databases continues.  If we’re lucky it will be up and running when you read this, but then think of TSB ….

At 7.15pm last night, Marriott Rewards finally disclosed via a Flyertalk post what will happen to Travel Packages which have been bought but not redeemed.

Marriott Travel Packages category changes

They will be mapped across like this.

For bookings made before January:

  • Cat 1-5 can book a new Cat 1-4
  • Cat 6 can book a new Cat 1-4
  • Cat 7 can book a new Cat 5
  • Cat 8 can book a new Cat 5
  • Cat 9 can book a new Cat 6
  • Tier 1-3 can book a new Cat 6
  • Tier 4-5 can book a new Cat 7

For bookings made after peak and off-peak pricing is launched in January, this is how I interpret the Flyertalk post (but it can be read other ways, see the comments below):

  • Cat 1-5 can book anything up to 30,000 points
  • Cat 6 can book anything up to 30,000 points
  • Cat 7 can book anything up to 40,000 points
  • Cat 8 can book anything up to 40,000 points
  • Cat 9 can book anything up to 60,000 points
  • Tier 1-3 can book anything up to 60,000 points
  • Tier 4-5 can book anything up to 70,000 points

Let’s be clear about one thing.  No-one loses in the long term here.  In each case, you can book an equivalent or higher value property than you could previously book.  For example, at present a Cat 9 is a 45,000 point hotel and you can book anything up to 60,000 points from January. (Between now and January, some people are worse off because Marriott has postponed the launch of peak pricing.)

Some people have clearly spent more than necessary.  Anyone who has a Category 6, Category 8 or Tier 1-3 Travel Package could have bought a cheaper package one level lower and still been able to book the same hotels.

It is also worth noting that, because of the caps, from January it doesn’t matter what certificate you currently hold – no-one can book a standard or peak date Cat 8 hotel.  Both of these are more than 70,000 points.  You could get a Cat 8 on an off-peak date which would be 70,000 points.  Check out the new reward chart:

I am surprised that Marriott did this.  Clearly some of its higher value members will now feel a little annoyed, even though they are no worse off.  That’s human nature.

If, in the last few days, you upgraded a Cat 1-5 to a Cat 6, or a Cat 7 to a Cat 8, or a Cat 9 to a Tier 1-3, I would certainly be sending Marriott a note to ask for a refund given that you have literally wasted those points.

The real question is why Marriott Rewards could not have released this information earlier, as it is now too late.  This is especially true given that you can no longer upgrade any certificate you currently have in the bank.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (180)

  • Mark says:

    at least the Amex conversion rate is confirmed as 2 amex points to 3 marriott no sudden shocks there. Not taking anything for granted atm.

  • rachael says:

    Well…every agent a diiferent story. Today it was confirmed the booking I made before the merger will be honored at the old rate. They advised they can’t change my booking to the old rate but will in a few weeks time due to IT problems. I have taken the name of the agent I spoke to. She also said there will be no more 5 night packages, Rob do you know anything different ?

  • Will says:

    Given how long they’ve had to prepare for this, it’s a bit of a shambles both in terms of information and what’s going on the with IT. They should have tripled up the starpoints long ago imho as it seems to have caused all sorts having 2 different value currencies on the day of the new scheme. At least if they’d have solved that long ago it would be one less thing to worry about.

  • Wongster says:

    Hi folks,

    Does anyone know how long your current Marriott status will last and be reset? I heard it’ll only be until 31 Jan 2019, is that true?

    Thanks

  • RIccatti says:

    The issue for me is that on SPG account update — all my night counts got SCRAMBLED.

    I had personal Double Nights Credit promotion from Starwood, and that was erased as the system reformatted the data back to 1 night credit for night instead of double credit.

    I also had Lifetime Night count changed (separate issue from above) and no idea how the new number came about.

    Still have two accounts — if I login with email, I end up with SPG reservations, if I login with new number, I end up with Marriott reservations. Point balances not combined.

    • Will says:

      It literally beggars belief that they couldn’t get all this done in the background by creating a 3rd pseudo account prior to going live with combined scheme totals tracking the 2 online schemes. It should have been easy to cross check total nights/points/rewards/certs on this account against the respective SPG/Marriott to ensure accuracy then go live by replacing both with the combined one overnight.

  • Alan says:

    Latest update (so far only released via OMAAT!) is that you can now make bookings using Travel Packages (no one month hiatus) and 30k compensation for those losing out (eg old cat 6) will be provided, with 45k if cancelled as before. No ability to upgrade from what they’ve said.