Posted by William Charles on August 15, 2018
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Published on August 15th, 2018 | by William Charles

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Marriott Travel Packages Update: No More Upgrades/Downgrade, Extensions, Points Back & More

I know some of you are sick of the Marriott travel package updates/saga but SPG Lurker (an official spokesperson) just answered a bunch of questions and I think they are worth mentioning.

  • Travel package certificates expiring during the blackout period may be extended upon request.
  • We will convert existing certificates to similarly valued categories after 8/18. Members who know their travel plans should make reservations prior to 8/18. You will not be able to modify your certificate for an existing reservation or attach it to a new one 8/18-9/18.
  • Members will be able to cancel and get points back at a reduced amount.
  • After 8/18, certificates cannot be upgraded or downgraded, regardless of when they were purchased.
  • If you have an existing Travel Package and would like to use for a SPG hotel, you will need to wait until after 9/18. Or, you can redeem points for a new Travel Package under the new program starting 8/18, including SPG hotels.
  • Between 8/18 and 9/18, you can cancel a Travel Package reservation, but you will not be able to rebook until after 9/18.

Considering they are saying you’ll be able to cancel and get points back at a reduced amount, we can deduct that the certificates won’t be automatically converted to points. That was always wishful thinking in my opinion. It’s annoying they won’t allow packages to be upgraded or downgrade anymore as well.



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Eileen Kerrigan

Any word on whether we’ll be able to get an extension if we haven’t booked yet? I purchased a Cat. 6 package (120 VS miles), but really don’t want to use it until Fall 2018 … but it’s too early to book either flights or hotels yet :-/ (Actually, if they hadn’t squashed the SPG 18-month-ahead booking policy, I COULD have booked an SPG hotel, but no dice — I did call SPG to ask.)

I might upgrade if I knew what the Travel Packages Cat mapping looked like. But running out of time…

I have my Paris trip set for late Sept and have a Cat 9 package already attached and booked. Was hoping I would have a chance to at least see whether the top category SPG properties would be available, but I will just have one week after 9/18 to do it (and likely wouldn’t have 7 straight nights at that point anyway). Oh well, still happy to just stick with the current Marriott Cat 9 and go on a great trip and not worry about this saga anymore. Obviously the last travel package I’ll ever be cashing in

I’d just like to know when they are going to actually communicate directly to/with me about the upcoming month-long redemption outtage. So far no email or notice, just stuff I’ve read via blogs. I’d be super pissed if I hadn’t been told about this blackout month and then tried to book on say August 20th.

The lack of communication (i.e. not even an email notice) from them directly to me about this as a certificate holder really destroys a lot of loaylity and good will they’ve built up with me over the years.

Has anyone else actually received communication from Marriott about this?

It was in an email directly from Marriott. “Take Action With Your Travel Certificate”. Mine came on 8/10.

I think they emailed everyone who has an unattached certificate, I know I received the information about the month blackout in an email referencing my unattached certificate. I agree they should have emailed everyone, since many people are still buying travel packages now and that info might affect them as well.

I didn’t get anything, and I have an unattached Cat 1-5 cert, but I just got it on 7/20, so maybe it’s too new to start being pushy about using it?

I got the email, except the only Cert I have IS (or was supposed to be) attached to an upcoming reservation. So I had to waste time contacting Marriott to confirm that they still show the Cert attached.

It was about mid-July that I called and had the Cert attached, so my only guess – in conjunction with your data point – is maybe they pulled the Cert statuses used to feed this email sometime earlier in July? That might explain your situation and mine both. Just a guess though.

Not sure why they couldn’t have used more current information…or just sent an email to all members warning them of the upcoming “dead period” and such.

Hey DoC: The Lurker posts regarding no up or down grades are foolish. This was post by Lurker IV (4). Seems like the original Lurker “William” jumped out the window after hearing all this crap and the next 2 shot themselves.

Saying Policy is no upgrades or downgrades simply does not work. Say you booked a current Cat 6 and attached a certificate now. Then on August 18th the hotel is downgraded to a new Cat 4. Ok, you cancel get the old certificate refunded but now want to use it for the Cat 4 booking (which is 5,000 points per night less and one category less). They have to let you downgrade the certificate and refund the points.

Pretty sure they’ll give a bit on this..

BTW I think original Lurker was “Jae”

Not to argue, but I don’t think there’s much they “have” to do. The certificate will be good for a hotel UP TO a certain category, so same as the cc free night certs if you decide to use it on a lesser category hotel you’re free to do that but they don’t refund you anything.

Not allowing any changes to the hotel certificates will make the travel packages less appealing, which in the end what I think they’re shooting for. Anyone interested in converting SPG/Marriott points to airline miles gets travel packages with or without any real plan for the hotel cert.

If the property goes up in points, do you want to spend the points and get the certificated upgraded?

Come on folks. Be reasonable. For each of the 6,000 hotels, you already know the the old and new point costs of each hotel.

What will happen to the existing Ritz Carlton certificates earned from the Chase Ritz card?

Will turn into a points based certificate. How many points worth? Remains to be seen. I’m hoping they will be valid for new Cat 1-7

is the Ritz free night transferable? I want to book it for a family member without showing up.

There are not, what you can do is booked under your name and add one of the family member’s name to the reservation, that would do it, i just did it and no problem, i was at home and my bud was in SF playing gold with his wife.

Man or woman, I say please add my girlfriend or boyfriend to the reservation please, always works with me past few years.

I attached a yearly free night from chase last year for my brother, phone rep said after I asked her to add his name that I MUST be onsite checking in for this type award (with ID) I got a little nervous but all was fine, desk did not care brother checked in on my award.

Rumor is that, it is worth about 60,000 MR points, the same cost of original Tier 1-4 cost.

big question is what “reduced amount” means. they can’t get the airline miles back so i wonder if “reduced amount” means the X minus 120,000 figure that’s been thrown out there or is much, much lower than that.

+1

As Greg at FrequentMiler pointed out, downgrades on the new, post-Aug 18 travel package chart could have yielded massive points refunds. However downgrades on the old, pre-Aug 18 travel package chart are pretty reasonable. “Reduced amount” could just mean the old chart.

I suspect the No Upgrade or downgrade is to maximize the breakage Marriott is hoping.

We are not given ANY information on how the existing certs will be converted to whatever instrument for booking a hotel stay.

For those who claim we already know the pre/post point levels of the 6K+ hotels have missed several very crucial points –
Other than the old Cat 5 has the exact matching to the new Cat 4, there are NO clean and exact match for most old categories, not to mention the Ritz tiers.
For example, Cat 6 30K/night does NOT exist in the new carts because there is NO 30K/night – it jumps from 25K to 35K and then to 50K – missing several levels on the old charts.

On top of that, we can not book SPG properties before Sept 18. All these SPG properties will become Marriott properties on Aug 19 but we can not book them until Sept 19…

Many people would end up not being able to use their certs because of the above. So they would cancel the cert and accept a “reduced point refunds” – that is EXACTLY Marriott is counting on because now it has breakage on the hotel stay part. The hotel stay part actually is the sweeter portion of the TP, as it is almost like “free” stay even you only use 4 or 5 nights out of the 7 nights.

I agree, I bet that increasing breakage is their goal.

Along those lines, I expect a gradual devaluation in many of the program features (not just the usual points devals) over the next year or two. I think Marriott kept some of the good SPG features in order to placate people during the merger finalization. I’m guessing one of the first “enhancements” will be requiring more points in order to get the 5K mileage bonus for airline transfers.

More expensive and more restricted is what I’m getting from all the updates.

Where does it say no more extensions? When I booked my TP a couple days ago, the rep said it could be extended. That was the understanding I had. It wouldn’t be right if Marriott took that away. Right now I’ve booked a resort in Kauai for July 2019, but I’m really looking to go in early 2020. Even if they do stop extensions, I wonder if they’ll let me change the res date to 2020.

How is this not a class action suit waiting to happen?

It is. Way too many agents have promised something different. Which is why I don’t think Marriott can possibly maintain this position.

I have 3 free nights at Ritz 1-4 and a cat 8 cert. what will happen to these?

So frustrating I was slowly switching from Hilton but now I see Marriott has been devaluation after devaluation after devaluation! All under disguise of a more member benefits- lies! They inflate prices to lower them- advertising gimmick!
I’m done following that carrot and done with them!

I just got off the phone with a Marriott rep who tried to say that travel packages couldn’t be purchased any longer. It was a 45 min wait so I really didn’t want to
HUCA. After some debate he agreed to “try” booking it but didn’t think it would work. It did! So be persistent if a rep gives you bad info!

DP: Just called and booked Category 1-5 7-Night Packages in about 15 minutes. The rep was very helpful and know what she was doing right from the start. Granted, I still don’t have a redemption in mind yet, but I need the airline miles now.

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