For those looking to maximize our points, one of the biggest questions leading up to Marriott’s new program is how existing Travel Packages will be handled. I won’t rehash everything I’ve already written, so I recommend checking out these posts first, if you haven’t read them yet:
- No, We Still Don’t Know How Marriott Will Handle Existing Travel Packages
- My Theory On How Marriott Will Handle Existing Travel Packages
- Marriott Travel Packages: I’ve Decided On A Strategy… I Think
Marriott’s new loyalty program launches August 18, so we have just about a week remaining to book these Travel Packages before they devalue. I’ve shared my strategy about the Travel Packages that I think I’ll book, though the truth is that I still haven’t pulled the trigger on one of these.
I figure it makes sense to wait as long as possible so we can get as much info as possible before committing to this.
Marriott has now provided me with the following update regarding Travel Packages:
When our loyalty programs unify on August 18, our new Travel Package award chart here, will go into effect and members will be able to book for packages at all 6,700 of our hotels.
However, if you currently have a Travel Package Certificate that’s not yet attached to a hotel reservation, you have the following options:
- If you know when you want to travel, make a new reservation or attach your certificate to an existing one prior to August 18, 2018.
- If you are still trying to plan that perfect trip, you can hold onto the certificate and will be able to add it to a reservation starting September 18, 2018.
Please note that you will not be able to modify your certificate for an existing reservation or attach it to a new one between August 18 and September 18, 2018.
So it’s a pretty big update that you won’t be able to redeem Travel Packages for an entire month following the new program taking effect. Given all the incredible short term points values that will be available, I can see some of the best properties selling out very quickly.
It’s not a total deal breaker, but that is a bummer.
It’s also telling that they say you will indeed be able to redeem these after August. Many people speculated that they’d convert these certificates into some points amount, but this confirm that won’t be happening.
I’ve followed up to ask how the categories for the certificates will convert, though I think it’s telling that they haven’t revealed that, which suggests to me that they still won’t do that.
So yeah, this is a pretty frustrating update, as it seems they’re trying to do everything they can to prevent people from truly maximizing these certificates (which in some way I can’t blame them for, but…). On the plus side, at least they’re sharing some further info.
Will this impact your Marriott Travel Packages strategy?