For months, Marriott Rewards members who redeemed points for Hotel + Air packages have been agonizing about their fate, and now that the two programs have become one, we finally have the answer to how existing travel packages will convert to the new program.
Keep in mind that this conversion applies to existing Marriott and Ritz-Carlton travel packages that have not been attached to a reservation. If you applied a travel package and booked a stay prior to Aug. 18, your booking will not be affected.
Old Travel Packages vs. New Travel Packages
- Category 1-5 (up to 25,000 points) à Category 1-4 (up to 30,000 points)
- Category 6 (up to 30,000 points) à Category 1-4 (up to 30,000 points)
- Category 7 (up to 35,000 points) à Category 5 (up to 40,000 points)
- Category 8 (up to 40,000 points) à Category 5 (up to 40,000 points)
- Category 9 (up 45,000 points) à Category 6 (up to 60,000 points)
- Ritz-Carlton Tier 1-3 (up to 50,000 points) à Category 6 (up to 60,000 points)
- Ritz-Carlton Tier 4-5 (up to 70,000 points) à Category 7 (up to 70,000 points)
How Soon Can I Attach Travel Package Certificates?
Before the merger took place, Marriott warned program members that both unattached and attached travel package certificates would be frozen for one month after the programs integrate into one. However, the blackout period lasted only two days, and it is now possible to redeem the certificates and make changes to existing reservations if necessary.
I Redeemed Too Many Points for a Travel Package. Can I Get Them Back?
This scenario applies to those program members who redeemed points for Categories 6 and 8 and Tier 1-3 in the old program but lost the gamble. Both of those redemptions required more points than the previous hotel tier but book into the same (lower) category travel package in the new program.
If you’re one of these program members, you are allowed to request a one-time downgrade for your unused travel package and Marriott will reimburse 30,000 points for your unattached certificate. You can request a package modification by following this link. Make sure to select “Packages – Deals” from the dropdown menu.
At this time, it is not possible to request an upgrade to an existing travel package.
Can I Ditch My Travel Package Entirely and Get a Points Refund?
Yes, you can trade your old Category 1-5 certificates for 45,000 points. All other certificates can be traded back in for 45,000 points plus the difference in points. For example, Category 1-5 certificate cost 200,000 points, and Category 9 certificate cost 320,000 points. You will get 45,000 plus the difference in package costs, which is 120,000 points. So, you’ll get 165,000 points back.
Personally, I didn’t redeem any Starpoints/Marriott Rewards points for a travel package, but I feel for those who did. On one hand, those who took advantage of an attractive package deal benefitted one last time. On the other, the previously unannounced conversion rates left a lot of program members unhappy.
Why Marriott didn’t release package conversion charts before the merger is beyond me. The timing didn’t allow Marriott guests to make informed decisions, and now it’s a mess. They could have avoided it by providing information beforehand. Transparency does wonders for loyalty, and Marriott was neither transparent nor loyal to its program members.
If you booked one before the merger, what will you do with your existing travel package?