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What ACTUALLY happens to your Marriott Travel Package

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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.)

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  1. Rachael says:

    I made a booking before the merger but didn’t secure with a points pay and my booking has now been changed to the new tier e.g. 180 points for a 5 night stay is now 240 points. Has anyone else had this happen ?
    I also asked about the gold to platinum and she said all gold Marriott status was going to be moved to platinum so everyone who has been upgraded should see a move down in the immediate period.

    • Rachael I’m in a similar boat but just spoke to Marriott and they confirmed that the original price will be honoured – will just need to call in to get it sorted when you have the points and are ready to get the certificate

  2. Is anyone aware when Amex will start earned points transfer again from the SPG Amex card? I had points disappear from my amex account at the start of the month but are yet to appear in my SPG account.

    • I was told 10th September on the phone the other day. By someone in Brighton (The only reason I’m passing the information on).

  3. I’ve a strange one, my wife was unexpectedly upgraded to Plat yesterday/today with Marriott, but when she logs into SPG she’s still gold! How’s that going to work then?

  4. I had 3 spg cert 1-5 in my account. 2 have now been converted to a cert up to 40K points and one to cert up to 35k point. My marriott 1-5 cert got converted as expected to 25K points.
    Strange that even to the same cert they decided to give different value

  5. the streets says:

    I have points in my SPG account that i want to transfer to my Marriott account. Does anyone know if this function is still available or do i have to merge the accounts?

  6. Rachael says:

    *sorry typo mistake. Anyone changed to Platinum at the moment through SPG match SHOULD NOT see a change according to the Marriott host I spoke to. They will remain platinum.

    • Pangolin says:

      Huh? So basically everything they said (David Flueck and all) about people only getting status by nights earned rather than linked status or status via credit cards is wrong?

      And so my unexpected downgrade is permanent, while other people’s unexpected upgrades are also permanent (e.g. not a temporary bug)?

      I have one status below what Marriott promised me in an email, so if there is no change to this then I will definitely not be a happy bunny!

      • Pangolin, this might be another thing that the agents don’t really know yet. I’m in the same position as you and the agent told me that the statuses had yet to be finally processed. So different stories from different agents by the sound of it. But I’ll also not be happy if this is not the case and I’m downgraded!

    • It is in writing on the pre-merger website that you will be Gold so don’t put much faith in that.

    • Hmm not sure I’d put much credence in what they’ve told you – I’d expect it to downgrade once they complete the database merge/cleanse. I still can’t access my SPG account, only my Marriott one (and that includes trying SPG membership number/password combo)

  7. +1 Marriott upgraded to platinum, SPG remains gold. Same with OH.
    +1 on a pre merger booking with Marriott but no points applied. Original booking was 10 nights, pay for 8 @ 40k per night, total 320k points due. Booking now changed to 50k per night, 400k due. The whole point of booking it pre merger was to only pay 40k per night……I will be arguing this one.

  8. I see that the limit for transfers between Marriott accounts has increased to 100,000 per year.

  9. Anyone else having issues accessing their SPG account? No luck even with SPG membership number and password, just says invalid details (although definitely correct, were copied from password manager!) or not available.

    • When I attempted to login to my SPG account for the first time I was given a new account number. (Not the same as my Marriott account number, but the same length).

    • Decided to leave mine well alone in the event it might trigger something with Marriott platinum status.

  10. Gambled on mapping 1:1 and didn’t work out, can’t complian with the way they’ve mapped on the whole.
    I do think the inability to upgrade is very poor form from Marriott. Really wouldn’t cost them that much to allow you to upgrade at booking time, even if it’s the points difference vs travel package “worth” as they will apply it in 2019 and what a pure points redemption for 7 days would be.

    Either way sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t.

    I see absolutely no justification for not releasing this info prior to the combined scheme.

  11. OT: signed up for Amex SPG card pre move to 3x Starpoints – hit bonus and 10k Starpoints awarded for hitting £1k spend – all spend points tripled but bonus hasn’t. Chat insisting the 10k Starpoints won’t be tripled – anyone had luck in getting this resolved?

    • Bit weird, my bonus tripled fine

      • Seems not same adjustments being made to all accounts then – will give Brighton call centre tomorrow to try and resolve I think

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