Positive Updates Regarding Marriott Travel Packages

One of the major questions leading up to Marriott’s new loyalty program was how they would handle existing Travel Packages. On Saturday they revealed how Travel Packages would transfer over to Marriott’s new program:

Unfortunately the mapping of certificates wasn’t quite as good as most of us were expecting.

On the plus side, Marriott has announced some positive updates regarding this, which I consider to be good news (at least compared to what we initially thought).

Existing Travel Package certificates can be redeemed starting today

Initially Marriott said that you wouldn’t be able to redeem existing Travel Package certificates until September 18, 2018. This one month period where you couldn’t redeem was supposedly due to potential issues Marriott was worried they’d have with their new technology.

As it turns out that isn’t an issue and they’ve completed the testing necessary. As a result you’ll be able to redeem existing Travel Package certificates starting today.

Some members can get partial refunds on Travel Packages

Members who booked a Category 6, Category 8, or Tier 1-3 Travel Package can receive a one-time exchange for a package one category lower.

The reason this is being done for these categories is because in all cases you’d get the same value if you had booked a hotel that’s one category lower, so as a gesture of goodwill Marriott will refund 30,000 points per certificate for those who request it.

This one-time exchange can be requested by contacting Marriott at this link, and selecting the “packages – deals” topic.

You actually have until these certificates expire in order to exchange them, and once you do, the certificates will once again be valid for a year, so you can potentially make that work in your favor.

Trade existing certificates for points

With Marriott Travel Packages you’ve always been able to exchange your certificate for a set number of points, and this will continue to be possible for existing certificates issued prior to August 18, at the same rates as before.

Category 1-5 certificates can be traded for 45,000 points, and higher level certificates can be traded for 45,000 points plus the difference in cost between certificates.

As a reminder, here’s the old Marriott Travel Packages pricing:

In other words, if you had a Category 9 Certificate you could elect to get 165,000 Marriott points back (the 120,000 point difference between Categories 1-5 and Category 9, plus 45,000 points). This is an option that many might be interested in.

To unbundle the math even further, this would be the equivalent of having redeemed 75,000 Starpoints or 225,000 Marriott Rewards points for 120,000 airline miles, which I’d consider to be pretty good.

Bottom line

While Marriott Travel Packages haven’t worked out as well as I had (perhaps optimistically) thought, these are at least positive developments. With these developments you’ll at least get 30,000 points back if you booked one of three types of packages, and in the process you’ll be able to extend the expiration of your certificate as well.

It’s also nice that the one month “freeze” isn’t actually happening.

In light of these developments, what do you plan on doing with your Marriott Travel Packages?

Comments

  1. Lucky, could you also try to get clarification from Marriott whether the travel packages are category based or points based?

  2. This is absolutely awesome Lucky, thank you very much for sharing and ALSO for calling out Marriott on their BS decision before this, unlike TPG who said this was all great and dandy. Appreciate you not being a sellout.

  3. This is great news and I don’t think anyone really has a right to complain now. Well done for championing this!

  4. Thank you Lucky. I booked a Tier 1-3 and a Cat 9 gambling on the same thing you did in your final post. My intention was to use them at a few properties that are now Category 7, obviously that won’t work. There are no Category 6 properties I’m interested in.

    I know you have posted that they WILL NOT allow upgrades. I was holding out hope they’d change their minds after the backlash, it seems like a low risk proposition for them to allow.

    If there is 0% chance of this happening I’m better off refunding and getting 130k + 140k points back because I need the 270k to book one of the Category 7 properties before all of the good dates get snatched up.

    Do you think there is any chance they’ll reconsider on upgrades? If not, are we able to get those points refunded effective immediately?

    Thanks

  5. @lucky I know you bought two packages so I am curious to know what you are going to do concerning this latest development? Hotel refund? Stay 7 days in a destination (you don’t stay in a location more than 3 days, yeah)?

  6. Our hope they would go straight across, Cat 1-5 to Cat 1-5, didn’t work out. So we’re looking at interesting, expensive places that we want to go, with new-Cat-4 hotels, to spend a week.

  7. I want to convert my cat 8 to a cat 9 to get the property I want for a fall 2019 trip (attachable until Oct 2018) at the rate difference of the old travel package pricing. I only got cat 8 because the CSR told me it would mapped to work for the desired property.

  8. Has anyone been able to redeem a travel cert online yet (for SPG), or have they had to call?

    I have a need for a SPG property in Stockholm that is a Cat 5 now. I’ve tried a few times online but no dice.

    Thanks for all of the great updates!

  9. I want to convert my cat 9 to tier 5 to stay category 7 hotels.
    But they clearly told us that upgrade/downgrade is not possible after the merger. Probably, it is a long shot.

  10. Could someone please post what it says if you have the Category 6 certificate? there is no more points next to it

    Mine has changed. it just has “7 nights travel package Category 6” without the points next to ut

  11. @Lucky, do you know if there’s a deadline to trade the existing certificate for points? eg. I have one that’s expiring in Dec.2018 (a cert. which I was counting on using by upgrading but since no upgrades are allowed & I can’t think of using it on any category 1-4 by Dec.2018, I’m thinking of just trading it in for the 45k Marriott points).

  12. I bought a cat 8 and booked a resort that’s now a new cat 6. I need to reschedule that stay to a date after the current expiration. Any idea if this will be able to be done? I’m obviously not going to request the 30k refund if I can keep this property.

  13. ” the mapping of certificates wasn’t quite as good as most of us were expecting.”

    That may qualify as the understatement of the century 😀

    I too would rather just move up a category, as opposed to getting a refund of 30k points and being stuck with a near-useless Cat. 1-4 certificate :-/ I’m looking for hotels in Japan (for next fall, so can’t book yet), where there are NINE Category 6 hotels (which I’d planned on), TWENTY-THREE Category 5 hotels (which I could live with, although not as happily), and only ONE Category 4 hotel, in the middle of nowhere. And seven nights in the middle of nowhere is not my idea of fun.

  14. One thing I haven’t seen addressed elsewhere is Ritz Carlton Card free nights from the sign up bonus (historically Tier 1-4). Mine were seamlessly converted to Category 6 – up to 60K points, which I just successfully redeemed online. Very happy with this.

  15. I received a confirmation email when I purchased a travel package several days ago but my account still doesn’t show any activity of it being purchased and my points balance hasn’t changed. Anyone else?

  16. I bought seven 5 night, Catagory 1-5. Certificates ( timeshare owner).
    I would like to know the points refund on those.
    Thank you.

  17. I also want to know if they will refund the extra 30,000 points I paid when I purchased a Tier 1-3 package and attached it to a reservation last month. Any info or tips would be very much appreciated!

  18. I called and tried to redeem a travel package certificate just now, but was told that you cannot do so until Sept 18. I guess it is a HUCA situation, but they put you on hold for a long time so i’m not too excited to do that.

  19. So is this the way it’s going to be: Marriott makes crazy , unfriendly decisions, only to backtrack when consumers scream? Pity they can’t get it right in the first instance. There is an emerging pattern of anti consumer decisions. It wouldn’t have happened this way with SPG.

  20. I just asked to move my Tier 1-3 down to a Cat 9/6. Thank goodness they are willing to set this right.

  21. It’s still not right that we can’t upgrade or downgrade categories if desired, given we were told we could at the time we purchased the packages. It’s pretty crazy to expect someone to guess in advance exactly what category of hotel they are going to want.

  22. @Hugh Jasole says:
    August 20, 2018 at 4:41 pm
    One thing I haven’t seen addressed elsewhere is Ritz Carlton Card free nights from the sign up bonus (historically Tier 1-4). Mine were seamlessly converted to Category 6 – up to 60K points, which I just successfully redeemed online. Very happy with this.

    Were you able to redeem it for a today’s cat 7 hotel since they are 60k each?

  23. Slightly off topic… but SPG Gold earned from $30k spend on the credit card was supposed to convert to Marriott Gold. But I just logged into Marriott and they are saying I am Platinum. Any other datapoints? That would totally change the game for me.

  24. 2.5 hours on the phone and SEVERAL CSRs later, they ARE NOT ABLE TO book the travel package. #FakeNews

  25. Just tried to sign into MR with the same question of the SPG $30K spend. It briefly indicated that I was also upgraded to Platinum then crashed and burned and I cannot log in, nor can my wife. Assume it will recover soon. Am interested in the Free Nights that are also supposed to be a part of the new SPG Amex card.

  26. Same thing here, at least an hour trying to deal with this and five different supervisors, they all said that they have no word from anyone that it’s possible to do anything until September 18th.

    Really wish you guys wouldn’t release this info until it’s confirmed that it can actually be done. What a waste of an evening.

  27. If I choose to get a full refund of an old Cat 6, how many points do I get back? I don’t want to downgrade and get a partial refund.

  28. Need ability to upgrade one level to make it fair.

    Also curious what happens to TPs that are already attached. Can I keep my reservation if I request 30K refund? Ot what happens if I need to change dates/detach it?

  29. Thank you for pushing this with Marriott. We’ve got half of the natural solution.

    I called, got a great agent who tried a number of things to attach Marriott properties and all had errors.

    SPG properties can’t even be pulled up in their system, those are ‘still downloading’ and they’ve been told it could take as long as end of week.

  30. Can we also keep on them to allow upgrades. My plans fell through due to my husband having unexpected kidney stone surgery. Now our alternate won’t work because it’s a property that went up and now we can’t upgrade. We are Hilton gold and fairmont/Accor. Think we are going to be seeing a lot more of them. In fact last night after when we were unexpectedly delayed at ord by plane mechanical issues, united offered us a choice of Chicago Marriott suites or Hilton, we chose the latter. Normally would choose Marriott because we are plat and gold there but I’ve been pissed about their cheating out.

  31. Thanks, Lucky, for helping push this issue with Marriott! This is good news and definitely a step in the right direction, but it still doesn’t make everyone whole. There was a lot of misinformation provided by Marriott reps in the days leading up to the merger and many people bought travel packages in a particular category based on that misinformation. If Marriott had released the mapping before merger day, as it should have, it would have allowed folks to make informed decisions about which package to purchase (or whether to upgrade existing packages before the merger). Marriott acted in bad faith by not releasing the mapping in advance. It should now do the right thing and let those holding old travel packages request a one-time upgrade at old package prices.

  32. We cant upgrade package anymore? I have (new) cat1-4 now but wanna book cat 5.

    I read earlier that they do not allow to do that anymore. U think there ll be a chance it d doable?

  33. This is so dumb. They are bailing out the folks who gambled and lost then cried about it. Worse, their certs are actually more valuable since they can extend a free year. We all know happiness is relative and now I am being harmed because I used to feel great that I’d picked the least screwed category and now I feel just as screwed as everyone else. Hogwash!

  34. Is there a benefit to keeping the old higher category package when peak/off-peak goes into effect in 2019? The statement seems to imply the certificates will be valid up to their nightly points value.

  35. Emailing didn’t work. Got this back.

    “Please know that in order to change this if we are able at this time you will have to contact the reservations team directly as that request is not handled by this department or via email.”

  36. Agents were clearly misinformed. When I attempted to book a Category 9, the agent said it i snot necessary because Category 9s won’t exist in the new program. If you were a regular guest who didn’t read blogs, you would trust the agent’s advice. This a counter to people taking Marriott’s side saying people are whining.

  37. @lucky

    To echo many people on here, possible to now press them for allowing at least one category upgrade?

    Thanks

  38. Confused by your chart mapping new categories eff 8/18/18. You apply peak award points (e.g. Cat 1-4 max 30k) which will not become effective until sometime in 2019 and which will differ at each property. The accurate points for certificate reservations made 8/18-12/31 is lower for each category (e.g. Cat 1-4 25k points). Don’t know your logic, but chart misleads the entire argument that current Cat 6, 8 etc. are being cheated retroactively.
    In my case the Manhattan hotels I would have liked to have booked with my current Cat 6 cert (30k) were all Cat 8 currently, but were being reduced to Cat 5 eff. 8/18. Why should I have to had paid 40k/night (60K points additional) for hotels that were going to become Cat 5 (30k) hotels within 10 days of getting the cert?
    I understand that Marriott seemed to be addressing the high end hotels that were increasing in Category by telling members to book before the deadline, but they did nothing for members who knew hotels were decreasing significantly.

  39. Has anybody actually been successful using lucky’s contact customer service link?

    Responses from that have said no changes to previous communication, no changes until September 18, and to not take blogs as official communication from Marriott

  40. Two days before conversion, a Marriott TP rep advised me that the old cat 8 should be safe after conversion to attach to one of the Honolulu properties I wanted. We discussed specific properties. Turns out the old cat 8 turns into new cat 5, and any of the properties I wanted are a new cat 6 which (was old cat 9). Yes, I assume most of the responsibility for my actions.
    But, had the Marriott rep advised me I needed an old cat 9, I would have coughed up the additional 30 K points. Sadly, one now needs and additional 120K points to move up one cat after conversion, even if upgrades were possible.
    I believe Marriott should assume some partial responsibility for having reps provide inaccurate info so close to conversion date as they HAD to know what would fly and what would not. I think it would be fair to allow those impacted to upgrade one time only using the difference in the upgrade cost based on the pre conversation chart.

    Reviewing Marriott’s Business code of ethics, it quotes J. W. Marriott stating…. “Our business relies upon integrity and good judgment”. Further, their code of ethics also states , and I quote“… As a leading worldwide hospitality company, Marriott is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Customers should always be treated fairly and with respect.” And one last excerpt in their C of E states: “Avoid even inadvertently misleading customers.” Me thinks many, many folks feel mislead!

    I do not think the way they are handling these travel package issues with integrity or good judgment. Sadly, their “Tradition of Integrity.” seems to be clouded by profit even at the cost of distancing some of their stakeholders, who help comprise their prime customer base.

    Attention Marriott, the proof is in the pudding. Let’s be more than just words on a paper and perhaps back up your words with actions!

  41. Hi. I’m a little confused. What can I do with an old category 7 certificate? Trade it in for a week at a new category 5 or get a refund for points? How many points would I get back. 45,000 plus 60,000 difference?

  42. Apologies, in my recent post I references Marriotts Code of Ethics, I should have stated it was the Marriott’s Business Conduct Guide. I apologize for the confusion

  43. @Ryan Lewis

    “This is so dumb. They are bailing out the folks who gambled and lost then cried about it. Worse, their certs are actually more valuable since they can extend a free year. We all know happiness is relative and now I am being harmed because I used to feel great that I’d picked the least screwed category and now I feel just as screwed as everyone else. Hogwash!”

    Which category did you pick? If it wasn’t 1-4, then you have zero room to speak. Example- say you picked a cat 9- just because it was the “least screwed category” doesn’t mean it couldn’t have easily been the most screwed category. You gambled like everyone else and just got lucky.
    You weren’t smarter.

  44. As many are saying, the solution you posted in this blog doesn’t work. I followed the instructions to the letter and received this email response, negating everything mentioned in your above blog:

    “Thank you for contact Marriott customer care. Please know that in order to change this, if we are able at this time, you will have to contact the reservations team directly as that request is not handled by this department or via email.”

    When I pressed further, I received this response:

    “We are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our website. Our corporate office has been notified of the issue, and this issue should be corrected soon. I’m sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience in this matter.”

    Then I called, and the phone agent insisted that nothing can be done until September 18th and that no formal announcement had been made to anyone. They also insisted that bloggers (and yes, I had pointed out that the information came from Marriott’s and SPG’s social media people on Flyertalk AND Marriott Insider) are not an official source of information.

    Please update your blog to reflect accurate information. Refunds aren’t being processed, TP certs are still blacked out, and Marriott and SPG reps are denying that your information is from a viable source.

    Marriott did NOT fix the situation. They just wanted to stop the bad press from bloggers such as yourself.

  45. Just spent 40 minutes with Marriott Rewards. Was told that Existing travel packages are still on hold till September 18th. Quoted the info shared with Lucky and TPG and was told he checked with his manager and Corporate and the certificates cannot be used. He also said there is no ability to cash out the certificate. Marriott sure needs to improve communication with their line level people!!!!!

  46. @Lucky,

    The information provided to you is incorrect. As stated by multiple folks above, Marriott responded to my request stating that “After further reviewing your account, I see that your certificate is not attached to your reservation.

    Any certificates that were not attached to reservations prior to August 17, 2018 will not be honored. There will be no adjustment of points for the category changes, and you will need to book at the points rate for the new category. There will be a month long black out period ending mid September, where you will be unable to access your certificates. Once access to use them are restored, guests will have the ability to book reservations through http://www.marriott.com

    Not only are they not reimbursing the points, the information provided that you can use the certificates as of yesterday is also incorrect. The E-mail clearly restates the blackout period until mid September. Marriott’s statement to you is either deliberately false or has just been communicated to the bloggers yet awaiting communication to their own CS department. Please do update your post accordingly

  47. @Joe,

    Thanks a lot for the link. I have responded to the CSR e-mail with the link. Hopefully a better picture emerges soon

  48. Got reply from Marriott saying “no refund and still has black out for one month”. Is there any official resource towards the “partial refund” policy?

  49. I have talked to multiple agents on the phone for the past 2 days. None of them have been able to attach an existing certificate that I purchased a few months back. One of them has opened an internal case with Marriott Rewards. My travel is coming this weekend, not very hopeful at this time.

  50. I got the same email back similiar to a few posts above:

    Any certificates that were not attached to reservations prior to August 17, 2018 will not be honored. There will be no adjustment of points for the category changes, and you will need to book at the points rate for the new category. There will be a month long black out period ending mid September, where you will be unable to access your certificates. Once access to use them are restored, guests will have the ability to book reservations through http://www.marriott.com”

    I also called in August 15/16 and the CSR after reaching multiple supervisors advised me not to attach my certificate as the hotel that I had a reservation for is going down in the number of points so he said the safest thing is not to attach. So now I’m stuck with a Category 8 certificate (which I paid 40k points per night for) and my reservation shows I only needed 35k per night.

  51. @Ram

    You may want to try this approach – IF your cert is NOT attached.

    1) Ask a supervisor to manually convert your legacy cert (does not matter it is a “virgin cert” or a Partial cert) to a new TP cert (it has the same partial corresponding part).

    2) Once the new TP cert is issued, the system can now accept the cert to attach to your upcoming reservation.

    Just ask to speak to the supervisor once you get a human to pick up the call. No reason to waste time to repeat your dilemma again and again. Supervisor if a competent one, can do the above smoothly. I got it done on Sunday, BEFORE the official lines have changed.

  52. More of the same as everyone above. I received this email in response to my 30,000 miles adjustment request for my Tier 1-3 certificate:

    “Thank you for reaching out to Marriott Customer Care regarding your travel package details.

    After further reviewing your account, I see that your certificate is not attached to your reservation. Any certificates that were not attached prior to August 17, 2018 will not be honored.

    There will be no adjustment of points for the category changes, and you will need to book at the points rate for the new category.

    There will be a month long black out period ending mid September, where you will be unable to access your certificates. Once access to use them are restored, guests will have the ability to book reservations through http://www.marriott.com.”

    Terrible customer service

  53. I talked to another agent, she was really good. She escalated to her supervisor and his supervisor talked to his manager as well. There is no way that they know off to convert the legacy TP to the new TP and all of them are telling me that TP cannot be used until 9/18.
    Bummer.

  54. @Ram

    That is absolutely UNTRUE.

    Read this post on FT, not only they can do it, the supervisor screwed up on the reordering the new cert (up one category and the system took 30k from the poster’s account but the poster did not want the upgrade because the hotel he needs is lower category.)

    Follow the subsequent events after that. You will see it definitely can be done. Unfortunately finding a supervisor who is competent or willing to try, is another matter altogether.

    https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30111618-post6077.htmlhttps://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30111618-post6077.html

  55. I asked them to cancel my Tier 1-3 certificate and I got the same standard response. Simply ridiculous and insulting to us.

  56. I requested 30k refund on 8/20, got the same standard kick back on the same day. I thought I contacted too early, and decided to hang around to see any success data points, but there seems to have been none. The miscommunication is unbelievable at this point.

  57. Ben, by way of update, I went through the process of submitting the electronic request for a 30,000 point reimbursement for my Tier 1-3 Travel Package to be downgraded to a New Category 6 certificate.

    I made the request on August 20 and today (9 days later!) have finally received a positive response. 30,000 points were redeposited into my account and my certificate now shows as a Category 6 certificate valid until 1 year from today (August 29, 2019).

    Thought you might appreciate the datapoint.

  58. Since the “packages – deals” link does not appear when I click your link to Marriott, what item from the drop down menu should I use?

  59. @Lucky, can you confirm where the writing is on Marriott’s end about the refunding of category 1-5 7night certs.for 45k Marriott points? I called 2x today and marriotts reps (didn’t seem to know what they’re doing) told me it can’t be done post 8/18th. Thanks.

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