Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.
Up until last August, Marriott’s Travel Packages were one of the highest value redemption options available for hotel point collectors. This status changed, however, as the new Marriott Bonvoy started to charge substantially more points for the various types of Travel Package.
For those unfamiliar with Marriott Travel Packages, you redeem a substantial number of points in exchange for:
- 100,000 airline miles (110K if you choose United Airlines)
- A certificate valid for a seven-night stay at a hotel within your chosen “award category”
For the avoidance of doubt, there is no requirement to use your miles in conjunction with the hotel stay. You spend the miles as you wish (but once you’ve chosen an airline partner you cannot change your mind) and you spend the travel certificate on any qualifying hotel stay within one year. (extensions are apparently no longer granted)
Here’s what you’ll pay for a Travel Package today.
Because you can ALWAYS simply convert 240,000 Marriott points into 100,000 airline miles (without bothering with a Travel Package), the net effect is this:
- 90,000 additional points for one week at a Category 1-4 hotel
- 150,000 additional points for one week at a Category 5 hotel
- 270,000 additional points for one week at a Category 6 hotel
- 330,000 additional points for one week at a Category 7 hotel
- 510,000 additional points for one week at a Category 8 hotel
When I analysed this subject last year, the potential savings didn’t seem to make a Travel Package worthwhile. However, now that Marriott Bonvoy have gotten around to implementing peak pricing, should my analysis change?
Marriott Bonvoy has clarified that…
The new award redemption chart will not impact travel packages. After you purchase your travel package, you can book the category you used your points to redeem for, regardless of whether the property is currently offering Off-Peak, Standard or Peak redemption rates.
In other words… you can use your Travel Package hotel certificates during peak dates… no problem… therefore saving substantially more points (versus just spending points for an award stay). Here’s what a 7-night stay might cost you at peak date pricing:
- Category 1 – 60,000 points
- Category 2 – 90,000 points
- Category 3 – 120,000 points
- Category 4 – 180,000 points
- Category 5 – 240,000 points
- Category 6 – 360,000 points
- Category 7 – 420,000 points
- Category 8 – 600,000 points
So… with the exception of Categories 1 and 2, you can save a large number of points by booking a Travel Package… provided you plan to use your hotel week during peak holiday season (likely!) and can make excellent use of airline miles.
Give Us an Example…
If you were to book a one-week peak date stay using points at the Sheraton Arabella hotel in Mallorca, Spain, (pictured above) you’d almost certainly pay 240,000 Marriott points for this award Category 5 hotel.
However, if you were to book a Travel Package instead, you’d pay 390,000 points. But you’d receive the added bonus of 100,000 airline miles – Avios if you must, or much more valuable miles such as Alaska, ANA or United…
You can do some maths if you wish, but suffice it to say that this is a good deal! (especially considering the £200+ per night you’d otherwise be paying…)
I THINK that the best way of spending Marriott points is a 5 (or 10) night award stay, to maximise the benefits of the “pay for four nights, but stay five” discount and to only convert to airline miles during conversion bonuses (such as the current AA offer), but my lack of a Ph.D in Mathematics makes my instinct hard to prove.
Nonetheless, if I needed a seven-night award stay during peak dates, I would be very tempted to book a Marriott Travel Package, and pick up 100,000 “exotic” miles at a very reasonable price.