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Marriott has ended, as of today, the Travel Packages that were formerly tremendously popular but significantly devalued following the merger with Starwood Preferred Guest.
These allowed you to get a 7 night hotel stay (or a 5 night stay for Marriott Vacation Club members) along with a tranche of airline miles for a discount vs. redeeming for each separately.
Members can no longer redeem for these.
Marriott tells me:
Travel Packages with hotel and air components are being discontinued today (January 19). This includes members with a current Travel Package certificate attached to a reservation and members who have purchased a Travel Package but not yet attached the certificate to a reservation.
The popularity of Travel Packages has been steadily decreasing. With the introduction of flexible point redemption rates sometime in March and the elimination of hotel categories, we can no longer offer Travel Packages.
For members who have a current Travel Package certificate attached to a reservation, they can rest assured their package will be honored, and no additional action is required. However, if they need to make any modifications after March 2, 2022, they will need to contact Member Support and an associate will refund the total hotel portion in points.*
Members who have purchased a Travel Package but have not yet attached their Travel Package Certificate to a reservation, must contact Member Support by February 28, 2022. for assistance in attaching their certificate. If a member does not attach their Travel Package Certificate to a reservation by that date, the certificate will be cancelled and the total hotel portion will be refunded to your account as points.
I asked what happens if someone needs to cancel. How many points would they get back?
I was told:
The refund is equivalent to the number of days of the package times the peak redemption rate for the category purchased. For example, 7 days x 70,000.
This is actually the most generous possible outcome, which is great to see. The rates for these until they were discontinued today were:
So, in the event you have to cancel, here’s what you’ll get back:
1-4 30,000 X 7 = 210,000
5 40,000 X 7 = 280,000
6 60,000 X 7 = 320,000
7 70,000 X 7 = 490,000
8 100,000 X 7 = 700,000
Really, I’m impressed by that outcome.
However, I’m unimpressed with the discontinuation generally. The reason given is that it’s due to the discontinuation of award categories (which I’ve been clear about saying is a terrible move for Marriott as the points will ultimately not be worth collecting over cash due to a revenue based redemption model coming in March).
Even here, they could have kept the same maximum value for the certificates. i.e. a cert valid for Category 8 could have just had a maximum redemption value of 100,000 points per night.
However, that’s not the direction they’ve gone.
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You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.