(CONFIRMED) 5 Night Marriott Travel Packages are Available – Fantastic Use of SPG / Marriott Points!

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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.

Bottom line

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.

Comments

  1. S says

    Perfect, I was just short of 270,000 and was hoping to hit it before August but this works much better!

    I tend to focus on airlines so this will be my first hotel redemption. I know in general availability is a lot better than flights but is it also the case that you need to book early, not bank of being able to secure peak dates/destinations or do you generally collect Marriott points with quite high confidence that you can will get what you ideally want (with a bit of flexibility)?

    • Craig Sowerby says

      In general, if there is a standard room available for sale, you can book it using points (or in this case a 5/7 night certificate). I’ve never had a problem, although some popular hotels / destinations can indeed fill up.

      A useful tip is to book your Marriott hotel at the same time as your flights using miles. Believe it or not, Marriott allow you to book reward stays without having the points yet.

  2. KevinZ says

    Well, I wasn’t too optimistic about this new information as I have tried several times before with Marriott UK call centre. I just tried again upon reading this new info, and no question asked, a 5 nights certificate issued, Thanks so much! (the line was a bit busy though, about 8 minutes waiting)

  3. Craig Sowerby says

    Good one. I’m still left with two slightly better lottery tickets though.

    If the certificates are cancelled and you get a full points refund, the 7-nighters would get 150K back whilst the 5-nights only 100K.

    Or if the truly amazing happens and we end up with certificates valid for the new Category 5, there will be lots of great hotels for a week…

    • Joe Deeney says

      Risk/reward though – 5 night is 35k less, 7 night have a (small?) chance of getting an extra 50k. I’d want better odds.

      If Cat 5 maps to new Cat 5, I still wouldn’t personally value the extra 2 nights as worth much/anything – I’d probably not stay the full time. But, obviously lots of people would value that.

      Extremely interested to see what Marriott do with these Certs!

  4. Roger says

    Tried that line, didn’t work for me. Was told only 7 night is available

    Can you please share exactly which phone number and options were used?

    • Joe Deeney says

      Hi Roger,

      The number I used was 020 7012 7312 – if you’re getting nowhere with a particular agent, just thank them for their time and call back later.

  5. kds4 says

    The Marriott Rewards 5 night travel packages are marketed specifically to owners of Marriott Vacation Clubs. Information about them is legitimately accessible only through a secure MVC website for owners of Marriott timeshares. If the author of this article obtained a 5 night travel package from Marriott Rewards while not being an MVC owner, the fault lies with Marriott for not enforcing their own guidelines on who is supposed to be able to redeem these 5 night travel packages.

  6. Ryan says

    Tried 3 times, was not ‘memorable’ just asked the question. 3 agents across 5 calls, all the same answer… no, you need to be a vacation club owner.

    Short wait times though for once!

  7. S says

    I must admit I haven’t paid close attention to the merger developments so apologies if this is stupid, but how confident would you feel about booking a Cat 9 package today, in the hope of redeeming for a SPG hotel which will be Cat 8 in the new scheme?

    • S says

      OK that was a stupid question. Perhaps I should say how confidence would you be to book a Tier 4-5 now in the expectation of being able to book the new Cat 8 (or Cat 7 until 2019)?

      • Craig Sowerby says

        Current best guess is that you will either get a refund of points equivalent to 7 nights at the top category booked… or the certificate will track across to an equivalent level in the new system.

        But instinct tells me you might just be best off booking Cat 7/8 5-night stays on points during the autumn, rather than play the lottery of the travel packages.

  8. Andrew M says

    As a further data point, my five night package was booked by a US call centre. It seems Marriott may have clamped down on the five night packages. Perhaps Joe and myself were just lucky to get ours before the memo was sent.

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