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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.

  • PhilW says:

    O/T I’m a Hilton gold member. I’d like to redeem a stay with points for my parents who are staying in BKK later in the year. They don’t hold status. Am I able to redeem the 5 nights for price of 4 for them? Would the nights credit to my account?

    • Rob says:

      Yes and yes. Booking will be in your name but you can add them as 2nd guest.

      • PhilW says:

        Thanks Rob

        • Tom1 says:

          I did this for my family earlier in the year – when they checked in at hotel (perhaps naively) they checked in toegther and the hotel denied the gold benefits because I, the gold cardholder, wasn’t staying.
          I think if one of my parents had checked in alone, and (if asked) said that I would be joining later, that might have worked.
          The points/nights credit still posted to my account though.

    • John says:

      Rob’s solution is unlikely to work in Thailand as everyone’s passport is copied so they will know the cardholder is not there.

      What you need to do is make the redemption booking on the phone “for someone else”, then tell them to put your dad’s name on the reservation. Only the American call centre knows how to do this, so if you don’t get an American accent HUACA a few hours later. The hotel will see your dad as the Gold cardholder and your new will not appear anywhere.

    • BJ says:

      It is crazy to redeem points on Hilton in BKK when you can get the likes of Park Plaza for under £45pn with various promos stacked on top.

  • N says:

    I had one Cat 1-5 free night cert. This has now converted to “Global Promo Replacement Rwd – 1 Night up to 25,000 points”. A bit annoying as I was hoping to use it at a new Cat 5. Ah well!

    • Alan says:

      Interesting – where did you see that appear? My Marriott account is still showing the cat 6 as it did previously.

  • Craig says:

    I made a points booking before the change, the rate has gone up, should they honour the original rate? Platinum for me too but the original booking is in my wife’s name, just need to decide if it’s worth rebooking at the higher rate for free breakfast?

    • N says:

      Yes original rate will be honoured as long as no changes

      • Optimus Prime says:

        I have a booking but using points in advance – I.e. I’m 40k points short that will transfer later in the year.

        Will they ask for the new rate instead of the original one when topping up the booking points?

      • Rachael says:

        not true they said unless paid for they will bill at the new rate

  • Dave says:

    I have been screwed over. I was going to book the Marriott Maui which was Cat 8 but had to confirm dates, now it is Cat 6, so I have been screwed.

    • Russ says:

      We have been screwed. Have 2 Cat 6 which I was hoping to redeem at Grosvenor House Dubai once dates sorted.

  • TM says:

    Slightly OT- I have some avios left from the Iberia 90k and so I am planning to book a hotel for a night or two. I am struggling to find out which hotels recognise your status through avios bookings – some previous articles have mentioned Hilton and Marriott as being the best – is this still the case?

    • Tom1 says:

      I thought Marriott was the only one, but this was one of the things that would change in the new program iirc

    • Rob says:

      None do. Marriott did until last night but that is no longer possible under the new scheme.

      • Genghis says:

        Shangri-la?

      • TM says:

        Thanks. Might just have to book two nights and fly out on Friday evening, rather than stretch out a one night Saturday booking with early check in and check out.

  • rob says:

    Marriot points question

    I understand you can transfer 50k points per year between Marriot accounts and there is a $10 fee for this, although it is waived if you are gold+.

    However, would I still have to pay the fee if the person making the transfer has no status, but I have new Platinum status? (SPG route isn’t an option as we aren’t at same address)

    Many thanks

    • Mark2 says:

      limit now increased to 100,000 per year It is not clear whether limit applies to giving or receiving; previously it was receiving.
      I would guess that the donor may have to pay $10, but they should negotiate.

  • Nelson says:

    O/T is it still possible to extend spire elite for one year by buying ambassador status?

    • Rob says:

      No, I they that got fixed.

      • Pangolin says:

        However, some FlyerTalk posts I’ve seen recently seem to suggest that you get Platinum status granted (FWIW) for signing up to Ambassador (even without having the Premium card). It used to be Gold.

        • Alan says:

          I thought that was just them doing market research about potential changes to the AMB programme?

    • Kai says:

      Worked for me (again) in January.

      • Yuff says:

        I seem to have been spire elite forever, no idea how …I have renewed ambassador a couple of times though

  • fivebobbill says:

    Am looking to book into JW Marriott in Dubai in November. However my Amex Platinum rewards transfer page is still showing 2 Membership Rewards points = 1 Starwood point. I assume this will be changing to 2 MR = 3 Starwood points to reflect the merger with Marriott, can anyone confirm this please? And if so when it is likely to be updated. Thank you

    • Rob says:

      It should do but is not confirmed. Amex transfers are suspended for a while yet anyway.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      I’m waiting with baited breath, as I’ve been told it’s going to 3 MR – 2 Marriott on Aussie cards, although this hasn’t been confirmed to me by Amex yet.

      Given the 2:1 historic MR:SPG applied pretty much everywhere, I’d expected this to be the same with the UK programme, but am hoping I’ll be proved wrong (for both programmes actually, but even if the UK one retains a decent transfer rate I’ll be happy).

    • fivebobbill says:

      Thanks everyone, just to update that the Amex site is now showing 2 MR = 3 SP as of today, although, as has been pointed out, activity has been suspended until tomorrow (21st Aug).

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