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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.

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.

  • Mark2 says:

    I have just noticed this:
    ‘Platinum Elite and Platinum Premier Elite members enjoy complimentary United MileagePlus Premier® Silver Status.@
    It may be of use to some of you and probably a good idea to grab it if you have the undeserved Platinum status in case the error is corrected.

    • Alex W says:

      Don’t think I will take the risk – it could alert Marriott that the status is a mistake.

  • Ian M says:

    I’m disgusted by this. Marriott clearly knew what they were planning to do and didn’t tell us. More than one Marriott customer service team told me they would map over like for like. Cat 6 would be new cat 6 etc..

    I was told when I booked that I could upgraded at the time of booking a hotel if I wanted a higher cat. Now it seems that is no longer the case but there seems to have been no official announcement? They should have emailed everyone who held a TP and given a fair notice period.

    Not sure how you can say no one loses here Rob. I bought a cat 8 package. Old cat 8 packages were for hotels up to 40,000 points a night. My cat 8 package is now a new cat 5 package. New cat 5 packages are only valid at hotels up to 35,000 points a night (for the rest of this year at least).

  • Gin and Tonic Please says:

    Well, this is going to be fun. The UK/Ireland call centre were telling everyone on Fri that packages will move across at the same level (i.e. Cat 7 old = Cat 7 new). Several of us (me included) posted that on here. Clearly they were misinformed…

    For me, I was trying to book Domes Noruz Chania (old Cat 9, new cat 7). The sales rep I spoke to convinced me of the fact above, and sold me a Cat 7 package – despite the fact I asked for a Cat 9. I was sceptical so got her to put it in writing. Really glad I did. Off now to write the complaint letter.

    • David says:

      Please keep us posted.

      • David says:

        Just realised that comes across that you could think I was being insincere.

        Honeslty, please do keep us posted. Madness they could not have given people clarity before, and then had agents giving duff info.

        • Gin and Tonic Please says:

          Hahaha. Don’t worry – I didn’t read that as insincere. Will keep you posted – though I don’t expect a response until tomorrow, as the agent I was dealing with told me she’s not working the weekend.

      • Alan says:

        Agreed, look forward to hearing how you get on.

    • MarkH says:

      Would like to hear what happens. Similar things happened to me in that I wanted to upgrade to cat 9 but the rep told me to bother as the new cats would only go up to 8 and they would map 1-1.

      So not only did I not get the cat I wanted I have overpaid for the one I ended up with.

      Marriott obviously knew how they were going to map these across so why didn’t they just announce it in advance so everyone could make an informed decision?

    • Gin and Tonic Please says:

      Delighted to say that I’ve had an email back from Marriott this morning confirming that my (old) Cat 7 certificate has been attached to the (new) Cat 7 booking for Domes Noruz Chania. Have to say, the agent I dealt with has been fantastic.

      • New Card says:

        Congratulations – please could I ask who you emailed?

        • Gin and Tonic Please says:

          Email address was the usual However, it was down to the fact that my case was already being handled by a particular agent, so all my messages got routed directly to her (via a case reference number). I first spoke to her via the call centre.

  • Anna says:

    OT as no bits but hotel related. Do you get HH points for spending in a hotel restaurant? We stayed at the Hilton Manchester airport last week, booked through BA so no base points (though we got all the other gold perks), but nothing for the restaurant spend either. Fairly new to HH so still learning!

    • Alex W says:

      You need to book direct with Hilton to get honors points and choose to earn honors points not BA Avios. And make sure food is charged to your room so it’s added to your bill (don’t pay in the restaurant).

      • Anna says:

        Yes I know about the direct booking but I thought spending in the restaurant would earn HH points. So if you eat in one of their restaurants while not staying at the hotel you won’t earn any points?

        • Tom1 says:

          That’s correct in my understanding and experience.

        • Rob says:

          No. Marriott / SPG allow this, Hyatt does, IHG does not.

        • HAM76 says:

          The Marriott Courtyard in Hamburg did not let me earn points for getting a spa pass today. Is it specific for restaurants or should I have gotten points for other hotel spend as a non-guest.

          • Rob says:

            It only starts today for Marriott (SPG always did it) and there are exceptions – see the T&C’s of the new scheme.

  • Alan says:

    I think you’re being overly generous to Marriott, Rob. Until things move to points-based in 2019 folks have definitely lost out. Any of the properties I was interested in using are all Cat 5 (new) and were Cat 6 (old) at the time. I therefore bought cat 6 assuming it would move to 5, the same as the hotel. As they were SPG properties I couldn’t book them at the time anyway and am now blocked for a month from doing so (reducing the effective voucher validity to 11 months too). Then of course on top of that they made cat 1-5 map to the same as cat 6, with no mention of any recompense for the unnecessary extra spend. Will give it a few days to settle then be getting in touch.

    Currently showing as Plat Elite but wouldn’t be surprised if this is a transition glitch that gets corrected in the coming days once they finish their database migration work.

  • Richard says:

    Raffles, I don’t think you’ve got this right. I’m not sure where you’re getting this bit of the conversion from:

    “For bookings made after peak and off-peak pricing is launched in January: …”

    The original post on Flyertalk made clear pretty clear that these would be Category-based certificates (e.g. a Cat 6 certificate could be used at a Cat 6 property at any time, whether off peak/standard/peak), and I don’t see anywhere to suggest that you could use a Cat 6 certificate at a Cat 7 property during the off-peak period once that pricing is introduced. The “max points value” in the header of the column was just an indiciation of the maximum value that you could get, if you used the voucher in a peak period — which is slightly disingenuous given that peak pricing isn’t being introduced for ages (in many cases after the relevant certificate has lapsed).

    • Rob says:

      The original wording was not clear. That is not how I read it and others have taken the same view. We will see.

      • Richard says:

        But if your reading is correct, then a Cat 1-4 certificate would be valid at a Cat 5 property from day one (since the standard pricing for a Cat 5 is 30k/night). If that were the case, don’t you think Marriott would have made a much bigger deal of it?

        As with most things here, wherever there is ambiguity we should probably assume that it will be resolved in Marriott’s favour…

    • Mariusz says:

      This is how I read too.
      This actually means the devaluation is real as there aren’t that many nice Cat 6 properties.
      Especially true for those with Tier 1-3 TP.

    • Ian M says:

      I really don’t understand how you can say no one loses here Rob. I bought a cat 8 package. Old cat 8 packages were for hotels up to 40,000 points a night. My cat 8 package is now a new cat 5 package. New cat 5 packages are only valid at hotels up to 35,000 points a night (for the rest of this year at least).

    • Blue says:

      Yep, the conversions are to new certs which are category based. There isn’t going to be an option to use off-peak at the next cat up.

  • VK says:

    Would make sense. But I’m going to hold off until Rob weighs in. And then do the same!

  • Crafty says:

    It’s a different points currency so is unrelated

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Didn’t see anything about min spend. Will have to take another look at the T&C’s

    • the_real_a says:

      Just FYI – its £3k spend plus making good any refunds. I had to raise a complaint with them to get this paid ex-gratia when i was a few pounds off due to refunds.

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