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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 (December 2023)

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

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 (180)

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

  • CountryKerry says:

    OT: Slightly confused by the changes!

    I just made a booking for tomorrow, and I’m no longer Gold Elite but Platinum Elite! I had my status through the Platinum card. Will this revert to the new gold tomorrow?


    • Rob says:

      In theory you should be Gold ….

    • Pangolin says:

      I would keep quiet about that!

      It will be interesting to see what happens. I think there will be a fair amount of SNAFUs like this, so fingers crossed… maybe I’ll get Platinum Premier by mistake!

      • Pangolin says:

        Actually, it’s worse than I thought. I forgot that since I was already Platinum in Marriott before the merger then I should have been given Platinum Premier anyway. In fact I’ve just logged in and it shows me as straight Platinum. ?!?

        So unlike some, who had SPG Gold via Amex and got upgraded to Platinum, I had bona fide Marriott Platinum beforehand but have been *downgraded* to Platinum in the new scheme.

        What about other people who had Marriott Platinum before? Is your status Platinum or Platinum Premier?

        • rob says:

          It could be worse. I seem to have been ‘upgraded’ in both schemes to platinum, but I’ve lost all of my points…

          Let’s hope they return by tomorrow.

        • E says:

          I was Platinum before and should be Platinum Premier but, like Pangolin, I was still Platinum today. I spoke to the Cork team this afternoon and they said they could see on their system I was Platinum Premier but that has process still to be run through the merge and it would be another couple of days before I’d see I was Platinum Premier instead of Platinum. Will give it another couple of days and see what happens.

    • Alan says:

      Let us know how you go – I’m suspicious these unexpected Plats will be reversed once they finish their database tidy-up but with your stay being tomorrow hopefully that won’t affect you!

  • 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.

    • Sunil says:

      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

  • Munch says:

    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.

    • Crafty says:

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

  • Adrian says:

    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?

  • Jac says:

    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

  • 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?

  • 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!

      • E says:

        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!

    • Rob says:

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

    • Alan says:

      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)

  • Tracy says:

    +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.

    • Flyerstarter says:

      Same here, my booking for next year has increased from 180k to 240k! Already contacted support for a response.

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

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