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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.

  • Mark2 says:

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

  • Alan says:

    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.

    • David says:

      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).

    • BJ says:

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

  • Will says:

    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.

  • Jay says:

    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?

    • Louise says:

      Bit weird, my bonus tripled fine

      • Jay says:

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

  • Christian says:

    The reason that the packages are bad but not even worse is that Marriott already devalued many hotels.

  • Belfast Biscuit says:

    Rob, surely Marriot should have contacted people with travel packages and given them time to make a decision before removing the option to upgrade? Isn’t this open to someone taking some sort of legal action for this circumstance? Normally I’d expect a minimum of 30 days before a major change takes place.

    • Rob says:

      I agree, this was very badly handled. Everyone thought they were keeping it quiet because it would be generous and they didn’t want people piling in. It is a stupid thing to do on literally Day 1 of the new scheme.

    • New Card says:

      I agree and I really don’t see how changing such a fundamental term of the certificate post-purchase can be legal (at least in the UK, where consumer rights legislation has some teeth).

      • Belfast Biscuit says:

        Is there anyone here willing to test this out – even sounding out Marriott?

        Or perhaps a better way is for Rob to feedback directly to Marriott and see what they say?

        • Mark says:

          has anyone actually called marriott yet and complained? if so what was their response?

        • will says:

          At this stage we just have a flyertalk post to go off AFAIK. There’s really no point in doing anything until there is an official announcement incl confirmation that upgrades/downgrades are a thing of the past.
          They are locked out until late September anyway so probably best to let the dust settle before considering where holders stand.

  • Belfast Biscuit says:

    Would make a great article Rob!

  • will says:

    Ref SPG cards. Others here have commented on bonus points not tripling up, personally I’m on a double points for 3 months offer which is now generating 4 new scheme points per pound which technically should be 6 points per pound. Any word from amex on this in terms of what’s going on?

    • JPa says:

      Looks like I have lost my brief platinum status from yesterday. All my points have merged over now on that account and gone to gold….

      My wife still has two accounts, the SPG one has tripled but hasn’t merged with the other account. They still have two different balances. Her one was never platinum though, still all gold.

      • S**mo says:

        I have both accounts as platinum, however the SPG points have not tripled automatically?

    • S**mo says:

      I’m in the same boat… was sold a retention offer as ‘Double points for 3 months’

      But only being given 1 additional point per £

      AMEX Chat and Call centre are telling me 1 extra point is the offer, not double points…..
      I just can’t get them to understand.

      • Will says:

        Interesting. It’s actually in writing on mine as “1 additional starpoint” hopefully they’ll recognise a starpoint isn’t a new scheme point.

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

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