Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

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.

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.

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.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (February 2024)

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 comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

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 Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy 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.)

Comments (179)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Melvin says:

    Once Marriott confirm this to me, I will definitely be writing to complain. Having directly bought a cat 6, expecting it to map to cat 5 at worst, I have lost out. I won’t be asking for a 30k point refund, but instead suggest they take 30k more from me for a cat upgrade.

    • Melvin says:

      My unused certificate still shows as Cat 6. This is interesting because my account has been upgraded as it’s gone from Gold to Platinum.

    • Nick Burch says:

      Like you, I took a cat 6 package, as the hotel I want to redeem for (ex-SPG) is new cat 5. Will be having words with them mid week when things calm down…

  • DV says:

    I annoyingly upgraded 2x 1-5 packages to car 8. They refunded 45k points and debited 135k points for each package. Anyone know if I can just cancel those and get the 2x 135k points refunded?

  • BJ says:

    The one month restriction on the use of TP never made sense to me, I did not believe it would take that long to convert them all. It now seems obvious that it was probably put in place to buy them a breathing space to deal with the fallout (They have been scheming for months!) and allow them to make any forced adjustments. If I paid more than I needed to by buying a 6, 8 or T1-3 I would certainly now be chasing Marriott up for a refund.

  • Nelson says:

    O/T. Hilton Diamond. If I start my diamond challenge 5th of October and do my 8th stay 3rd of Jan 2019 will I get diamond till march 2021? Or should I have all eight stays in 2019 to get diamond till march 2021?

    • BJ says:

      No, only 2020. You would need to wait until they update terms to a 2021 challenge . This will not likely be until next year, and may not happen at all.

      • Genghis says:

        Indeed, current calendar year, next and till 31 March year after

        • BJ says:

          The last time I used a status match it ended on the day stipulated despite my completing it during January and February.

  • Mariusz says:

    I did not think for a moment that these would map 1-1.
    Wonder what will happen with those that attached the TP to a booking at Domes of Elounda.

    • waribai says:

      If it’s already attached, I think they’ll honour it!

      • Mariusz says:

        Well I’m sure these are fine if booked.
        What would happen if you detach the TP from the booking?! 🙂

    • Steve-B says:

      No change to my booking at Domes. If you have already attached a TP to a booking you locked in the rates/terms at that point in time, not sure why you would think otherwise?

  • Genghis says:

    I think I made the right decision by not buying. I want to book a new Cat 7 over the next few months. This would have required old tier 4-5 at 540k points. Instead I can now buy 7 nights for 6 x 60k = 360k (I assume there’s still 5 for 4?), not pay 180k for 120k avios (about par) or lock myself into 7 nights

    • Rob says:

      Another quirk is that, for some airlines, you are not much worse off. Miles & More, for LH F lovers, only got you 85k vs 120k for Avios. Now it is equal which offsets much, not all, of the price rise.

    • Genghis says:

      And I can book straight away and not have to wait a month or so

  • Alexb says:

    Has anyone spg points transferred to Marriott mine are not showing up

    • Alex W says:

      Not yet, even though other changes have been made to my linked Marriott account.

    • E says:

      You have to choose to merge so that you get the choice not to until the end of the year (if you thought you’d qualify for Lifetime status under the old rules you can hold off for example so that you can get there before merging.

      They said the merge option would be rolled out to members in batches over the next few days so everyone didn’t overload the system by all merging at once.

      The automatic merge will only take place at the end of the year if you haven’t chosen already to merge points by then.

  • Mark2 says:

    I have been upgraded to Platinum but my wife has stayed Gold, perhaps because the stay this year was in my name. It is in a Residence Inn so breakfast included but may get a better room. Last year at Delta Suites in Vancouver BC (highly recommended) they treated us like royalty, apparently not realising that this was our first Marriott stay.
    I have a booking in Oct 18 which has had the points attached. I paid 320,000 but have just made a duplicate booking for 280,000. This is on the assumption that I can cancel the old booking and apply the points to the new one and gain 40,000. Has anyone got experience of doing something similar please? Is it best to ring Cork?

    • Wally1976 says:

      I’m in a similar situation – been made Platinum myself but wife still Gold!? There was no previous or upcoming stays on wife’s account.

      I also have two upcoming bookings for 20k points each (Courtyard Gatwick) – I have rebooked at 17.5k and cancelled the old bookings this morning. The 2x20k points haven’t gone back into my account yet but hopefully I just need to be a little patient.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.