It appears that Marriott Bonvoy is scrapping its ‘Travel Package’ redemptions next week. An update to the programme terms and conditions online, now removed, said that packages will not be offered after 19th January.
A ‘Travel Package’ allows you to redeem a large chunk of Marriott Bonvoy points for a seven night hotel stay plus either 50,000 or 100,000 airline miles.
Here is the price list, taken from the Marriott website here:
Importantly, there was no obligation to use the airline miles in conjunction with the hotel booking. The miles were dropped into your frequent flyer account and you could do whatever you wanted with them, whenever you wanted.
Back in the old days, before Marriott bought Starwood and the programme was called Marriott Rewards, ‘Travel Packages’ were – slam dunk – the sweet spot. The savings you could make over booking a seven night hotel stay and swapping points for 50,000 or 100,000 miles were significant. The only snag was that, pre the Starwood acquisition, Marriott didn’t really have many hotels where you would want to spend seven nights.
When Marriott Bonvoy launched, ‘Travel Packages’ were repriced and most of the value was removed. When peak and off-peak pricing launched, ‘Travel Packages’ staged a minor revival. Because the price was fixed irrespective of when you used it, there was some value if you redeemed it for seven ‘peak’ hotel nights.
Redeem off-peak, of course, and you were clearly out of the money. For example:
- 7 nights in a Category 8 hotel off-peak (one night free) = 70,000 x 6 = 420,000 Bonvoy points
- 100,000 Avios = 240,000 Bonvoy points
- Total when purchased separately = 660,000 Bonvoy points
- Cost of a Category 8 travel package + 100,000 Avios = 750,000 Bonvoy points
This isn’t why Marriott Bonvoy is scrapping the packages, however. It is scrapping them because from March, Marriott Bonvoy will move to revenue-based redemptions, with no category charts. With no category charts, you can’t price travel packages.
It isn’t clear what will happen to anyone with an unused ‘Travel Package’. Marriott will, apparently, be making a formal announcement next week – it looks like it never intended to give advance notice of this change.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (May 2022)
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.
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 Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.
(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.)