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Craig has written extensively on the subject of Marriott’s excellent Travel Packages, so if you want more info about them (and how they will change after August 2018), you should definitely check out his articles here and here. In essence though, Marriott Travel Packages are probably the best value redemption in the points/miles world currently available:
The top right-hand corner is where you should be looking, as it offers the highest value.
For 270,000 Marriott Points (equivalent to 90,000 Starpoints), you can receive 120,000 Miles (Alaska, American, Avios, etc) and a seven-night stay in a Category 1-5 hotel.
You said 5 nights…?
The only ‘problem’ with these 7 night packages is that I rarely want to spend a week in one hotel, so although I could stay for just some of my 7 night booking, it feels a bit wasteful.
That’s despite the fact that even if you don’t use the free nights certificate at all, you would still be getting a good deal from the Miles alone – 90,000 SPG Starpoints (equivalent to 270,000 Marriott Points) would normally transfer into 110,000 airline miles, but via a Marriott Travel Package you get 120,000.
5 night Travel Packages have theoretically been around for years, but it’s difficult to find official information about them and the general view is that they were only supposed to be available to Marriott Vacation Club owners. These packages require fewer Marriott Points, but offer the same amount of airline miles as the 7 night packages.
Given that I was looking to redeem my own Marriott Points for a package, I was extremely interested to hear from reader Andrew in the comments on a previous article that he had been proactively offered a 5-night Package rather than a 7 night one.
For a 5 night Category 1-5 Package with 120,000 airline miles, the cost was 235,000 Marriott Points – that’s 35,000 less than a 7 night Package.
Does it work?
From my own tests this week, absolutely:
I rang the Marriott Rewards UK number a few times and every agent either asked me if I wanted a 5 or 7 night Package, or initially suggested a 7 night package but was happy to help when I asked for a 5 night one instead.
This may be a case of different agents offering different information, so if you have any issues I’d recommend just calling back later. That said, every agent I spoke to seemed to know all about the Travel Packages and they were happy to issue a 5 night one without any hesitation.