Posted by William Charles on August 14, 2018
Hotel Booking

Published on August 14th, 2018 | by William Charles

37

Marriott Travel Package Chaos: What Will Happen To Existing Certificates After August 18th?

Marriott & SPG will become a unified program on August 18th, overall I’d say they have done a good job of informing loyalty members how things will work under the new program and so far things seem fair or as relatively fair as one could expect with a merger/acquisition of this size. One thing that isn’t clear is what will happen to people with Marriott travel packages, these packages can still be bought through August 17th under the current rates before they dramatically increase in cost.

What’s The Problem?

The reason it’s not clear is because the award chart is changing dramatically (see image below).


The problem is that in a lot of cases it’s not possible to directly map the current certificates onto the new programs award chart. For example if I have a travel package with 7 nights at a category 6 property. Under the old program that could be used at properties that cost 30,000 points per night. Under the new program there is no category that costs 30,000 points per night, it’s either 25,000 or 35,000 points. So Marriott would need to decide between being generous/vindictive. They do have other options which we discuss below.

What We Know So Far

We don’t know a lot, but we do have a few facts so let’s lead with those before we get into speculation territory.

Marriott’s Options

Marriott has several options, I think it’s important to understand each option and the upsides/downsides.

  1. Convert certificates into points. This is highly unlikely and based on the last press release from Marriott seems to have been almost entirely ruled out. The reason I say I think this is highly unlikely is because it effectively means that people would have purchased airline miles for 1 Marriott point each, an incredible deal and costly for Marriott.
  2. Map over to the new program generously. E.g category 1-5 maps over to 1-4 and then category six maps over to 5 etc.
  3. Maps over to the new program greedily. E.g category six maps over to category four.
  4. Keep a separate award chart for these certificates for 12 months. Basically they would just keep a list of properties that are currently available under each category and then these certificates would be good at those properties only. In my opinion this is the most likely outcome. Certificate holders can’t complain as the same hotels that were available at the time of redeeming points for the travel package would still be available for redemption.
  5. All certificates turn into category 1-4 and then you receive a points refund. You can then upgrade your category 1-4 certificate with points, this was mentioned on Flyertalk by user maxcalls (thanks to Frequent Miler for pointing it out).

What I Think Will Happen

Honestly I have no clue. I think the ‘fairest’ solution for everybody involved (including Marriott) would be option #4. Maintaining a separate award list/chart for 12 months seems like a logistical nightmare though so I think that #5 is also an option. That still leaves some people being unable to redeem their certificates for properties they would have been previously able to, but Marriott has said all along that if you want a specific property you should book before the change. Goodluck to everybody that has gambled on these ending in a favorable outcome.



37
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Anon
Anon

So under your options, #4 would mean no redemptions at SPG hotels? I dont think that would be a fair option for consumers, as a lot of people are counting on being able to book SPG properties in September.

JS
JS

Good analysis, but do not agree with the conclusion.

#4 is not doable. The agents will be really confused with more than 6,000 properties. It is much easier to do #5 since it is fair to anyone and it avoids all logistic issues. You just weed out the people who wants to game the TPs with this transition. I do not think you can dream to use 40,000 MR points to book an all suite property that normally costs 90,000 MR or 30,000 SPG points.

#2 is also a possibility.

Brian
Brian

How is #5 fair to everyone? I purchased category 8 because I didn’t want to stay at a low category property. I think most people who plan on using the nights and not want to covert them back to a small amount of points would find it severely unfair.

Phil
Phil

To hold a certificate through the transition or not…? That’s the question. I currently have a Cat 8 certificate unattached to a reservation. Trying to decide if I want to go to Hawaii or not.

CtownBin
CtownBin

Where in Hawaii would you use the certificate?

AJ
AJ

Can we book the reservation with 7 day certificate before 8/18. Then after September, cancel it to rebook at desirable properties. Do anyone know if they allow cancellation on a reservation with these certificates?

BW
BW

It would likely go back to your account but then when you try to re attach it will be at the new rate (more expensive)

Phil
Phil

Isn’t it pretty much confirmed it’s going to be #2 or #3 based on what Marriott said this past weekend?

“While we plan on sharing the full conversion chart on 8/18, I can let you know that all existing certificates will convert to similarly valued categories after that date.”

Rob
Rob

Options 1, 4 and 5 do not coexist with the statement “similarly valued categories”

Blue
Blue

“The points refunded to your account will enable you to upgrade the certificate to a similarly valued category.”

Rob
Rob

“all existing certificates will convert to similarly valued categories”
Interpret however you see fit, but if they meant what you think they meant, they would have said they will convert to similar value. Saying they will convert to a similarly valued category would not be a true statement if a ritz tier 5 cert were converted to a new cat 1-4 cert regardless how many points they returned.

Tom
Tom

#5 is based on feedback from 1 CSR at the MRR Indian Call center. I cannot believe how much traction it has got in the past 24hrs.
Today FT has another poster who had their CSR tell them they had a Program Info sheet that said a Cat 5 today will map to Cat 4 in the new program.
They all can’t be correct…..my bet is on #2

Radster
Radster

I agree. While all the wild speculation is fun (I purchased a speculative Cat 6 package), I believe the Occam’s razor choice of #2 will prevail.

JS
JS

No.

JS
JS

old Cat 1-5 will be mapped to new Cat-1-4. This is certain. Not questionable.

#5 is highly possible. It gives you the opportunity to re-book the certificate with similar valued categories.

#5 will take the mapping out of the equation. You get the opportunity to use the TP now. Or it is the history. Goner!

Mike
Mike

I spoke with a rep last night. He wasn’t exactly sure how they would convert, but he indicated that they were not being converted to points. Most likely some option between 3 and 4. He claimed that my current Cat 6 cert “should” convert to a new Cat 5. He said I didn’t need to attach my cert before Aug 18. Not sure how much I believe him as it sounded too good to be true. Might attach the cert anyway just to be safe.

howard
howard

Thank you for the detailed analysis!
One question not asked so much is about the Cat1-5 FN cert (not the 7 night cert that comes with the package, but one that came with the legacy Marriott Premier credit card and ALREADY ISSUED to the member’s account): will that be treated the same as the travel package cert? I understand that it’s only one night (vs 7 night in the case of travel package), but I still want to plan accordingly and make the best use of it.

JF
JF

Marriott has already said the free night certificates from the card anniversary will just become a FN at any property up to 25k points.

howard
howard

oh!! Is that automatic (i.e. no interruption between Aug and Sept 18 like the travel package cert)? Somehow I missed this info. If you could provide a link or post that would be great!

FlyingNinja
FlyingNinja

As I see it, option 5 will hurt the ones who wants to gamble at higher categories. So if I was to gamble, I would just redeem, attach it to a property, and use it within the next 12 months as intended.

JS
JS

Marriott should just hurt the people who want to gamble or speculate. You should not get more than what you deserve. It is not fair to use 50k points to book a 90k property. Let the bubble burst.

lilurbanachiever
lilurbanachiever

The problem is also that it is difficult to understand all the rules. I am still not sure what happens if I book a stay with a 7-day certificate and then decide to cancel. Does the certificate go back to my account or not ?

Mike
Mike

According to the rep I talked to last night, yes you would get a certificate back in your account. Question is what would the value of the certificate be?

Dave
Dave

I have a category 1-5 cert and want to upgrade to a cat 8, which requires 90K points. I have 89K. Marriott has said there might be “intermittent blackouts” from 8/15-8/18, so I want to do this upgrade today. I transferred 1K Chase UR to Marriott on Sunday thinking the points would post by now, but no. About an hour ago, I bought 1K from Marriott’s website ($12.50), other people have said it usually takes 2-3 minutes; but still no points. If they don’t post by end of day, will Marriott “extend” me the 1K for this upgrade? I know they’ll let you do this for bookings, but I don’t know about Travel packages. I’m a Gold member from SPG.

readerS
readerS

They don’t. So I purchased points. It took one day to post.

kathy nokes
kathy nokes

I was just on the phone with them, I needed to purchase 10k points to upgrade my package. The nice CSR couldn’t get the points purchase system to work, so she just added 10k points to my account. Being polite and friendly helps!

GL
GL

Another possibility is option 2 but with the new certs for 6 days instead of 7.

JS
JS

You think Marriott will map all 40,000 booking with 50,000 properties?? No no.

Jeremy
Jeremy

I have a cat 1-5 cert, should, or CAN i upgrade it before transition? I tried once and was denied a few months ago-

Greg
Greg

My question is what happens to the ritz certs, heres me hoping they get converted to 60k points.

tim
tim

Another data point – just called in this morning to purchase another current Category 6 package – taking a chance that on Sept 18 this will convert to a new Category 5 at 35,000 points, which is what I need for Marriott Puerto Vallarta. The rep told me that on Saturday current Category 6 certificates will convert to new 50,000 point ones. She seemed like she knew her stuff, but then again, this seems different than what most others are reporting. Hope the data point benefits the conversation though 🙂

Back to Top ↑