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Yesterday I wrote about an e-mail I received from Marriott Rewards regarding outstanding Travel Package certificates. You can re-read that post by clicking here. For now, it appears that we will not be receiving a points refund, but will receive a new travel certificate after 18 September. Which precise category? We still don’t know…
For those of us with Category 1-5 certificates, we should receive new travel certificates valid for the new Categories 1-4, as the old Category 5 and the new Category 4 will be exactly equal in terms of points per night. These have long been the most popular Travel Packages to book. Besides being the most efficient use of points, Marriott Rewards would allow members to upgrade to a higher award category, simply by paying the additional points outlined in the Travel Package award chart. But instead of linking to that chart, I’m going to show you the upgrade costs from the standard 270,000 point Travel Package.
- Category 6 –> +30,000 points
- Category 7 –> +60,000 points
- Category 8 –> +90,000 points
- Category 9 –> +120,000 points
- Tier 1-3 –> +150,000 points
- Tier 4-5 –> +270,000 points
Now… everything changes with the new Travel Packages, but a substantial element of the changes involve:
- a reduction in the number of miles you will receive
- an increase in the number of points you must pay for the entry level Travel Package
But, assuming that Marriott will still allow members to upgrade their travel certificates, perhaps these factors will be less important. Here’s what the “upgrade charge” is likely to be:
- Base Package (1-4) –> 0 points
- Category 5 –> +60,000 points
- Category 6 –> +180,000 points
- Category 7 –> +240,000 points
I won’t bother with Category 8, since it is highly unlikely that you will book a Travel Package today but not attach it to a high-end, Category 8 hotel during 2018, when award prices will be capped at the Category 7 level.
What is that likely to mean?
Marriott has too many hotels for me to generalise about what readers might be interested in booking. But here’s yet another link to the hotels and their new award categories. But if you have your eye on a specific hotel, here’s my analysis:
- Old Category 1-5 hotel going to become new Category 1-4 —> No change, can wait.
- Old Category 6 hotel going to become new Category 4 —> Wait… price should reduce and you will probably get a partial points refund
- Old Category 6 hotel going to become new Category 5 or 6 –> BOOK NOW! Will cost more later
- Old Category 7 hotel going to become new Category 5 –> No change likely, can wait.
- Old Category 7 hotel going to become new Category 6 –> BOOK NOW! Will cost more later
- Old Category 8 or 9 hotel going to become new Category 6 or 7 –> BOOK NOW! Will cost more later
- Tier 1-3 hotel going to become new Category 6 or 7 –> BOOK NOW! Will cost more later
- Tier 4-5 travel certificate –> DOWNGRADE your certificate whilst you still can. It looks to me that you would be refunded 270,000 points but would only need 240,000 points to upgrade back to Category 8 later on.
Marriott is keeping us bloggers busy as they try to figure out the dozens of outstanding issues. I bet that management now regrets not waiting for 1 January 2019, like many of us suggested would be wiser.
Of course, if you intended to use your Marriott Travel Package certificate on an SPG hotel, you’re completely at the mercy of Marriott.
What are you doing with any outstanding Travel Package certificates?