Marriott Travel Packages: worst-case scenario


The Marriott Travel Package Conversion chart is out, and it isn’t very pretty. The outcome was pretty close to Greg’s worst-case scenario. While I had assumed that Marriott was refusing to tell us how the certificates would map because they intended an overly generous solution, the outcome wssn’t so generous at all: most people who didn’t attach a certificate before are actually losing value, and many could have paid less to get the same thing. It’s a disappointing end and I think a missed opportunity for Marriott to wow customers on Day 1 of the new program.

The Mapping Chart

Here is the chart that Marriott provided to show us how Travel Packages would map:

And here is how they explained that chart:

No certificate is losing value in terms of points, and with the new free night award chart that goes live today 70% of our properties either stayed at the same threshold or moved down. As we structured the conversion chart, we took into account the introduction of peak and off-peak redemption rates which will be introduced in early 2019. This means, that if you have an existing Category 9 certificate which maps to Category 6 starting today, holders will still be able to attach a stay when rates within that category are at their highest.

Wow. That’s an overly generous characterization.The reality is that this mapping creates more losers than winners in terms of the value of Travel Package certificates. Here are some of the key groups that came out behind.

Anyone who bought a Category 6, 8, Ritz Tier 1-3 package

This one is simple: if you bought any of the above Travel Packages, you might feel like you got robbed of 30K points. That’s because you could have bought the next level down for 30K points fewer and ended up with the same thing. By a stroke of luck, I was inspired to upgrade my Category 6 certificate to a Category 9 at the last minute on Friday afternoon, giving me a very small win. If I’d have stuck with the Category 6, I’d have felt like it was a raw deal since I could have bought a Cat 1-5 and ended up with the same thing: a “new” Category 1-4 certificate. Surely those who bought these categories will feel like Marriott kept us in the dark to soak some folks for 30K extra points.

Of course, the other perspective is that Marriott designed these packages for people to book a hotel category rather than hold onto a certificated as some type of stored value. And in fact they gave us quite a bit of notice to search for good value. For instance, if I had kept my Category 6 and attached it to a reservation at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc, I’d have gotten a week at a property that now costs 35K points per night — both getting more value than I “paid” for and more value than I could if I waited until today to attach it.

Anyone who bought a Ritz Tier 4-5 package

The best this group can do is come out even, but if you bought this certificate and intended to make a reservation this year, you are coming out behind. That’s this package that was valid at properties that charged up to 70K points (Ritz Tier 4). In the new program, the top-tier properties will only cost 60K points per night until early 2019. In off-peak periods, this certificate will buy you a 50K property. There is one small upside: it looks like next year’s Category 8 hotels are listed as Category 7 for now, so I believe you’ll be able to attach this certificate to what will become Category 8 properties if you do so before early 2019.

Anyone who stays at a non-peak time

While Marriott has pat itself on the back a number of times with claims about how many properties are going down in price, they make that claim based on the new “standard” pricing of hotels. Yet they mapped these certificates based on peak pricing. Marriott is claiming that properties went down in price based on standard pricing yet they are telling you your Travel Package certificate maintained its value based on peak pricing. Talk about trying to have your cake and eat it, too!

For example, imagine a property that was old Category 6 — that category was 30K points per night yesterday. If Marriott has now classified that property as a Category 4 (25K points per night at standard pricing), they have claimed that it went down in price (a claim that Stephen Pepper has shown isn’t really as genuine as Marriott would like you to believe). Your old Category 6 Travel Package certificate used to work at properties that cost 30K — but now it will buy you 7 nights at that same former Category 6 hotel. If that hotel decreased in price, and the maximum value of your certificate will not get you something more than 7 nights at that same property, did your certificate not decrease in value also? Marriott will tell you it maintained its value, but that is a half-truth at best.

Almost anyone who will use a certificate during “standard” or “off-peak” pricing times

As noted above, Marriott made a pretty chart based on peak pricing to try to show Travel Package certificates maintaining value. Peak pricing won’t even debut until sometime next year — and even then, you may not stay at a peak time. Here’s a chart showing how the packages are mapping based on “standard” and “off-peak” pricing:

Existing  (old) Travel Package Certificate  Old value per night New value per night at standard pricing New value per night at off-peak pricing
Cat 1-5 25K 25K 20K
Cat 6 30K 25K 20K
Cat 7 35K 35K 30K
Cat 8 40K 35K 30K
Cat 9 45K 50K 40K
Ritz Tier 1-3 50K 50K 40K
Ritz Tier 4-5 70K 60K 50K

You’ll note that there is only a single cell shaded in green above. That’s the only scenario where the new certificates are a win. That’s it. Any other certificate and the best you did was break even if you reserve during a standard or off-peak time (and remember that if you make a reservation before early 2019, even if you stay during late 2019, there is only standard pricing — meaning that if you intended to make a reservation before 2019, the true value you’re getting is based on the standard pricing column above.

Remember that probably you still won

I won’t lie — I’m really disappointed in the way that Marriott handled thi. However, I think it is important to keep in mind that travel package certificates were a good value for most people.

For example, a Category 8 certificate was 360K Marriott points — the equivalent of 120K Starpoints. Had you converted those Starpoints directly to airline miles, you could have had 150K airline miles (and no hotel stay). With a travel package, you essentially gave up the opportunity to earn 30K miles in exchange for a 7-night certificate which is now valid at properties that cost 35K points at standard pricing. That’s not bad.

And from that perspective, most packages aren’t a terrible deal. If you otherwise would have used your points for airline miles, you could look at this from the perspective of an opportunity cost in terms of the number of miles you could have had (over the 120K that came with the package). In essence, you gave up this number of “extra” miles you could have had in order to get a 7-night certificate. See the following chart for your opportunity cost in miles for each level.

Existing  (old) Travel Package Certificate  Old cost in Starpoints Number of miles you could have had Opportunity cost of 7-night certificate in miles
Cat 1-5 90K 110K -10K (this one is a win in miles)
Cat 6 100K 125K 5K
Cat 7 110K 135K 15K
Cat 8 120K 150K 30K
Cat 9 130K 160K 40K
Ritz Tier 1-3 140K 175K 55K
Ritz Tier 4-5 180K 225K 105K

As you can see, that’s a pretty reasonable trade in most cases for a 7-night hotel stay. In my opinion, the value starts to becom questionable at Ritz Tier 1-3 since 55K Alaska miles could be redeemed for a 1-way business class ticket to Australia. Whether or not you’ll get an equivalent value out of the 7-night certificate depends on how you use it (and whether or not you would have used those miles to go to Australia or some other similarly-valuable use). The Ritz Tier 4-5 package represents the largest opportunity cost, and it isn’t small.

It’s disappointing that Marriott massively devalued the 7-night certificate for those who did not yet attach it, but it was still a good deal in most instances.

Bottom line

Marriott noted that they were encouraging members to attach certificates before 8/18 if members knew where they would like to stay. I wasn’t sure what to make of that, but it is now clear that the reason to attach was to avoid losing value. As mentioned above, I upgraded my 6 to a 9 before the deadline. I was tempted to leave it unattached, but Greg convinced me that there would be no harm in attaching since the likely worst-case scenario would be that I would get the same value out of the certificate as an unattached certificate — and he is right. Those who attached a certificate to a property going up in value certainly came out of this much better off as the certificate would otherwise lose value for everyone but Category 9 holders. Here’s hoping you attached your certificate — and that you can now make that trip work, otherwise you’re facing a devaluation.

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[…] the new Marriott Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy travel package mappings were announced, we were bitterly disappointed.  Not only didn’t we win big, but many certificate holders seemed to lose.  If you had […]


I am still confused about how to proceed and need some help. I bought a Category 6 seven night package on 08/15 and am not sure about what I should do regarding asking for the 30k bonus refund or booking a stay. Example: I am interested in the Westin Cayman resort which right now is listed as a Category 6 hotel on the Marriott site. Will my package certificate change in designation and no longer be a “6”? If so, should I book now while the Westin and my certificate match? And if I ask for the 30k refund now, will that cause something which will prevent me form booking the Westin? Thank you for any help

Mary Jane

To Nick, Greg or anybody, I am going to cancel a Starwood booking at a Westin that I had booked last month with Starwood points. Does anybody know if I will get my starwood points x3 back (since now it will be in Marriott points)?

[…] Nick reported in the post “Marriott Travel Packages: worst-case scenario, we were far from thrilled with the way Marriott has handled the conversion of old travel packages […]


Nick – Check out Lucky’s post at OMAAT:

Existing Travel Package certificates can be redeemed starting today

Initially Marriott said that you wouldn’t be able to redeem existing Travel Package certificates until September 18, 2018. This one month period where you couldn’t redeem was supposedly due to potential issues Marriott was worried they’d have with their new technology.

As it turns out that isn’t an issue and they’ve completed the testing necessary. As a result you’ll be able to redeem existing Travel Package certificates starting today.

Some members can get partial refunds on Travel Packages

Members who booked a Category 6, Category 8, or Tier 1-3 Travel Package can receive a one-time exchange for a package one category lower.

The reason this is being done for these categories is because in all cases you’d get the same value if you had booked a hotel that’s one category lower, so as a gesture of goodwill Marriott will refund 30,000 points per certificate for those who request it.

This one-time exchange can be requested by contacting Marriott at this link, and selecting the “packages – deals” topic.

You actually have until these certificates expire in order to exchange them, and once you do, the certificates will once again be valid for a year, so you can potentially make that work in your favor.

Trade existing certificates for points

With Marriott Travel Packages you’ve always been able to exchange your certificate for a set number of points, and this will continue to be possible for existing certificates issued prior to August 18, at the same rates as before.

Category 1-5 certificates can be traded for 45,000 points, and higher level certificates can be traded for 45,000 points plus the difference in cost between certificates.


@MarriottRewards @Marriott Report Marriott Travel Certificate Fraud to your state’s consumer protection office. Use this @USAgov website to find your state’s office. Fight Back! #MarriottTraveler #Marriott #marriottrewards #MarriottFraud


honestly, why do you guys care so much? YOU ALL KNEW that it was gamble, which means there is a chance that you WONT come out ahead. You knew the terms and conditions of the travel packages wont be released until after the merger which means nothing anyone says is 100% concrete. I took a gamble too, I lost, its 30k points not the end of the world jesus. Marriott also told you guys to attach your certs BEFORE the merger, and if you dont know your travel dates for sure then dont buy a package. Or be like me and buy it but also know that you can win OR lose at the end of the day. Keep crying crybabies, they will never refund you your 30k points…


Wow “Philip” with Marriott is working overtime with these posts. Hope they’re paying you time and a half!


I’d like to book a SPG cat 4 hotel using the 7 night certificate with travel starting 9/21. Right now the hotel shows 7 nights availability but it may not have the availability if I book on 9/18. Can I book the hotel using points now and after 9/18 ask Marriott to attach the 7-night certificate?


My accounts are still separate. My sisters accounts are still separate. I thought they’re supposed to combine accounts. Now how do you combine accounts


Grab the pitchforks, people! Burn the witches!


So I converted a cat 1-5 to a cat 6 Friday night – not long before the end, since it took awhile to get through. I intend to use the cert at a place that was cat 7, and is now cat 5. At first the person said it could only be done if I’m making a reservation, but when I said I didn’t know my dates (which is true), she put me on hold to get a supervisor to help. After some time, she said the conversion was made. When I checked online 30 minutes later the site was already down, so I don’t know what it said. But of course I was VERY irritated when I saw today that unless Marriott steps up, I used 30k for absolutely nothing, and may not be able to book at the hotel I was planning on.

But today, it says “P870 PARTIAL PKG-CAT 6” with expiration date of 8/17/2019. I took a screenshot.

Did anyone else have this? I’m wondering if I did it so late that it slid in as a cat 6 under the new rules? If so, I’m going to just keep my head down. If it then converts back to cat 1-4, I’ll holler and show the screenshot.

Here’s hoping Marriott comes through for everyone. Probably won’t, but you never know.


It is the OLD Cat 6. This is the exact description on an upgraded Old Cat 5 to Old Cat 6
Mine that was upgraded in June read identically like yours. P870 is the code of partial cert whenever you have done any extension / downgrade / upgrade to an original cert.

You have not gotten a windfall. No need to keep your heads down as you are screwed just like all us the Cat 6 and 8 cert holders.


So, does everyone’s cert still read with the old category? If anyone’s has converted, what does it say?


They haven’t run whatever back end script they need to actually do the conversion. Since they can’t be touched for a month it may be a bit/is probably pretty complicated.


Yes, I have that. I actually downgraded from a 7 to a cat 5 which I knew woild become cat 1-4. I have a use for it and wanted 60k back in my account to be more flexible with one or two nights and top properties. I got the 60k points difference back in my account and the new 7 day cert does have the Partial Package wording. I am not worried about the verbiage and i have screen shots of everything. I think its just their new way of notating things.

I originally was going to buy a 6 but went with the 7 as all the bloggers were pushing the 6, saying Marriott would probably be generous and I didn’t believe that which is why I went for the 7 as a sure thing for mapping. But, since I like the cat 1-4 hotels and would rather have more points I ended up doing the downgrade on Friday night around 10:00pm.


Seems like you were smart. I bought a 6 and 8 and attached them to reservations before the 18th even though both properties we wanted were going down in price. We knew our dates and wanted to make plane reservations. Not knowing what would happen to unattached certs I took the chance that I would lose points. And boy, did I – 60k points lost. Oh well. We’ll still enjoy our trips.


Marriott says 70% of their hotels are going down or staying the same, which leaves 30% going up. As far as the packages are concerned, we care only about new Cat 4 and up. Has anyone done any analysis of what percentage goes up in these categories?

Eileen Kerrigan

I don’t think that’s correct. From what I read when they first published the new categories a month or so ago, it was more like 70% going UP. They may be technically going down in category (e.g., from a 6 to a 5), but the “price” (in points) goes up, especially when they start charging peak rates in 2019.


Can’t see my 4 packages at all online. I bought 3 for cat 1-5 and 1 for Cat 7, so I suppose I am OK in that area. The new web site is all correct for me in the combined points except my latest SPG card earnings are absent. AMEX was quite unhelpful when I called.


They should be in the activity tab.

Your Amex Marriott points aren’t in SPG yet but the statement should show them.


OK, thanks. I now looked up through my old Marriott login and they are there. Obviously Marriott and SPG have not yet merged as I see them as they were last week, except for my missing SPG points from my last statement in early August. Presumably it will all work out OK.


On a separate note, have you looked at the #of nights and SNAs? Mine are incorrect. I had 11 SNA and now shows 10 SNAs. I am also missing nights stays on SPG side for this year. Ugh. Does anyone else see discrepancies on their account?


Here are 2 lone DPs I found in the comment sections of 2 different blogs.

1) One person posted after 8pm on OMAAT that he canceled his Cat 6 cert and received 75K pts refund which already showed in his account.

2) One person posted in the middle of the night in the comment section of a Chinese blog that he was told once Merger is completed, Cat 6 will receive 30K refund.

I suggest for those who are wronged in this conversion, start calling Marriott and report back what you are being told.


They say the old 9 maps to new 6 “max 60k”. If it’s a point based certificate (it might not be), 60k is enough for a category 7 before peak pricing comes in next year no?


No. It is a category based cert. Marriott uses the PEAK pricing that is not in effect until early 2019 to indicate the cert can be used at the category whether the property is at off, standard, peak pricing.
It is a DELIBERATE Act to MISLEAD people like you that thought your cert can be used at the point level hotel. It can NOT.
You can ONLY use the cert at the category that is mapped to.


that is confusing indeed.


@Greg- Do you still think they will allow canceling a certificate for the reduced points? Thanks!

Eileen Kerrigan

Someone on a Facebook travel page just posted that they were able to cancel a Cat. 7 package and got 75k points.

So instead of being able to book 7 nights, they’ll be able to book 2 … maybe.



I know many folks are legitimately disappointed with the Travel Package conversion. The most common complaint seems to be that “I paid too much” since my Cat 8 package is the same price as a Cat 7 package, etc. Remember, we are going from a system with 7 different tiers to a new system with 4 tiers (could have been 5 tiers, if new Cat 8 included). This complaint was inevitable!!!! If value is based on what someone else paid or the theoretical best possible deal you lost. But if value is based on what you can purchase right now you are a winner, as all the Travel Packages just went way up in price. Please feel free to abandon Marriott (as many of you have threatened); this will free up rooms at lots of nice hotels for the rest of us. We were all told months ago to book these packages ASAP- you decided to gamble and you lost your bet. Do losing gamblers stop going to Vegas? No, they think they will win next time they “play the game.” I look forward to using my 2 free nights from getting the Ritz Carlton Rewards card last month (thank you, Frequent Miler) at any 60k hotel in the system. Good luck next time.


I actually do somewhat agree with you. I don’t have any issue with what other people received for their packages, because the compression of categories was always going to mean that two different old categories at two different prices would end up with the same new category. What I have an issue with is that the cat 8 package used to be good at Properties up to 40,000 points and now it is good up to 35000 points. The category 6 used to be good at Properties up to 30,000 points and now it is only good up to 25,000 points. That seems like a breach of the agreement and the outright theft of 5000 points per night. What the holders of cat 6 and cat 8 certainly agreed to with Marriott has been unilaterally degraded by Marriott without negotiation or compensation.

Andrew B

What I would like to know is what the expiration dates are for existing certificates.
Does it change to a later date or is it the original one?

My situation is that I had two category six certificates attached to a Zurich hotel that had changed categories to category seven, I was looking forward to July and early August stays as booked (I stayed last year on two similar certificates).
Then I was hospitalized and decided not to go to Zurich because medical care would cost tens of thousands of dollars if I needed it. I accepted some losses in prepaid hotel nights and flight cancellation fees.

It is currently difficult for me to use the certificates prior to expiration, so I hope that they are either automatically extended as part of this process, or that someone at Marriott has a heart (who might I contact) and either allow me to use them at the Renaissance next summer as originally booked, or at the very least extend them so that I can use them elsewhere.

Like a lot of people , I am watching Marriott and their communications – such things as upgrades just one category, suites, what breakfast where, breakfast instead of welcome gift, do resorts the place where one would want have late check out, etc to see if it is even worth staying with the chain, or if my other favorite , Hyatt, is more worthy.

With a lot of luck, and it involves my health, my sons health and my moms, I will make platinum this year at both legacy Starwood hotels and Marriott legacy hotels, representing my eighth and ninth platinum years, with 2019 appearing real easy as the final platinum year. By then I will know whether I want to stay with this company except on rare occasions, regardless of what status I might have with them.


Totally different but I’ve just logged into Marriott and PointSavers seems to have changed. For a Cat 2 it was 7,500 a night and now it’s 8,000 a night off peak.


I wonder if we are being deliberately set up here by Marriott. Are we going to have a ‘we have listened to our loyal customer’s concerns and decided to map to the standard period’ when reverting to standard period was their intention all along.

Either way I’m denying the new Term changes and asking for a full refund based on original rates.


IMO, there’s zero chance of this. They MAY relent and allow a one time upgrade purchase (maybe only to the next category up).


I believe the right thing to do would be to allow cat 6, 8, and tier 1-3 certs a one-time downgrade or upgrade option for the difference in price under the old chart.

Alex Z.

I love all the comments, especially whining ones and threatening too – I will never ever forever stay at Marriott anymore ))
It’s not a fairytale guys, it’s called “capitalism”. All the corporations care about are not clients, employees or anyone else, but stock price and max profit for stake holders. That’s the only truth you need to know.
You can’t gamble against the house, like someone mentioned. And of course they counted and recounted all the possible scenarios far in advance, they know how many travel hackers use their services, how many people have travel packages, how many of them attached/unattached, they know how many will be pissed off and for how long they not gonna stay at Marriott )) They counted and knew everything and decided to go that way. The reason is – to maximize profit. Again, that’s the only thing they (corporations) care about.
Sorry for those who lost some points and value, but lets not cry nor be mad, and accumulate more points at Hilton, IHG, Hyatt and in 2-3 years at .. Marriott ))


I think you give their data analytics department more credit than they deserve. After working for years in a similar environment, I bet their decision was based less on in-depth data analysis, but more on “Hey that sounds like a great idea, let’s do it!” Besides, it’s obvious to everyone here that this is capitalism and they’re looking to stay profitable first, but the point is profit is contingent on customers’ satisfaction in this business, and “whining and threats” are meant to show to the company that perhaps they underestimated the amount of dissatisfaction their decisions have caused. At this point nobody knows who is right, time will tell.


Why is Marriott not allowing changes or reservations for an entire month if they already know the mapping?
Are we supposed to believe that Marriott management did not know the mapping prior to August 18th, and just stayed up late and came up with it over night?
Was there simply no possible way Marriott could have released their plan for mapping future categories prior to making the changes active?
Marriott chose to conduct business with their customers in a manner completely lacking integrity. Now the result is many feel taken advantage of and dissatisfied.
Rewards members should file Better Business Bureau complaints, especially those that were told or assured by Marriott employees. If Marriott has become too big in this merger to care about ethical business or competition then hopefully anti-trust regulators will take notice in the future.
It would be interesting to know how much Marriott gained financially from this “exciting new change” because they are clearly not winning over the hearts and minds of their customers with the change.


Ok. I followed DoC’s lead and attached my Cat 1-5 (old basis) to the old Cat 5 property Marriott Calgary Airport in terminal for a week next July., thats in the middle of summer school holidays etc.

This property remains a Cat 5 under the new rating system, so effectively the property was upgraded.

What do you think will be the chance of me now switching this reservation to a new category 5 property in another city, that was perhaps even a Cat 8 under the old scheme?

Please advise
(Greg- we sat opposite at Saturdays dinner at ftu dc.)


unfortunately, zero chance. You have won by attached to a hotel with increasing points. However, if you cancel that reservation, you forego what you have won. I believe you will get a new Cat 1-4 instead instead of a new Cat 5. Er, feel free to try to prove I am wrong. But don’t blame me if I am right.


Yup, I’m pretty much anticipating exactly what you described. But heck, it was, and still is worth the debate when I call in to change to another property, that I’m giving up a Cat 5 valued rez for something much less. Time will tell!

Greg The Frequent Miler

I think that frugalman is right, but I’m waiting for official word from Marriott


I’m one of the many who got both a pre-merger Cat 6 and Cat 8. Now I’m just hopeful the option of getting the points refund is somewhat acceptable, and at least get a better points refund than the Cat 1-5 and Cat 7 respectively.


did marriott confirm the rates for returning the hotel certs if you don’t want them? not sure i can ever stay 7 nights with my cat 1-4. might just return it


It was 45k for old cat 1-5 and the. An additional 30k for each higher level. No idea what it is now. May be the same, may not be. I have not seen anything official on it post 8/18


I got greedy with “Starwood Lurker” or whatever his f’ing name is said, that floater certificates would be turned into points, I bought 2 cat 8’s thinking it would be good for winter vacation or maybe sooner but since then we learned one month blackout and now the worse case scenario conversion.

I’m thinking 2x’s 135k point refund is decent, I would probly never stay in a hotel 7 Days in a row anyway but with the points back I can stay at the hotel I want for 5 days (5th) free

No more gambling for me, I feel like a kick in the stomach, “they kept key info from lots of customers” purposely


Is Starwood Lurker really a rep for SPG? If so he gave out false information that screwed up a lot of folks. Conspiracy theory: Can this purposely be done by Marriott so they can cut their loss? Hum…


There are a number of Starwood Lurkers, starting with Starwood Lurker l, William, who,is a great guy and a real pro. I think there are now a few Starwood Lurkers, such as Starwood Lurker IV. They are employees and are not making up their own rules. They are telling people what they were told to tell them. Seeing a lot of vitriol directed to these people on FT. They don’t make the rules.


lurkers can be a great source of info, or as clueless as a first line CSR on their first day…nothing they say is “official” and in this case they helped Marriott screw us with incorrect info. Nice guys or not, they are part of the propaganda machine and damage control for SPG social media. They could do us all a favor and keep their mouths shut if they don’t know the “official” policy, instead Marriott can disavow anything they say, because they are not official company spokesmen…they should be berated and ignored on FT in the future.


What about that “Marriott” will keep its customers whole?
Be decent if not generous? Bull! I told my self they are keeping info tight to its vest because they don’t want waves of people buying certs, they did not keep me whole, they took an extre 60k points from me (2. cat 8 certs)

I’m not really loyal to one hotel, I have nights with all the chains, 70/80 nights a year, NOW, I will put Marriott on the back burner after my points dry up, show them as a consumer yes you have over 6k hotels but I’m avoiding you, keep your eggs and Mellon, I eat out anyway


I have an unattached Cat 6 cert and can live with the mapping. But Marriott needs to make this right with those holding Cat 6, 8, and Tier 1-3 Certs by refunding points and/or allowing upgrades. We need to be vocal about this. I just tweeted about this and plan to continue to register my displeasure on social media. I hope others will do the same. If Marriott doesn’t make this right, I’m taking all of my stays elsewhere.


Can you please share Marriott’s official announcement on 7 night Travel Package certificate(s) devaluation?

Thank you in advance.

Through Marriott Rewards Insider, their “Company Representative, Marriott Rewards”


It is on FlyerTalk posted by Starwood Lurker IV.


For members with existing Travel Packages (booked prior to today and not yet attached to a reservation), today we are able to share how they will convert within the newly unified program. Please see the full chart below.

No existing Travel Package certificate is losing value in terms of points and, with the new Free Night Award Chart that goes live today, 70% of our hotels either stayed at the same redemption rate threshold or moved down. As we structured the conversion chart, we considered the introduction of peak and off-peak redemption rates, which will be introduced in early 2019. This means that if you have an existing Category 9 certificate, which converts to Category 6 starting today, holders will still be able to attach the certificate to a stay when redemption rates within that category are at their highest.

Please let us know if you have any questions and we’ll do our best to answer.”


AlexL, thank you for your quick response.

“Starwood Lurker IV” a Marriott rep/SPG rep?

The reason why I ask; I recently acquired multiple travel packages and Marriott rep(Platinum desk) confirmed issued certificates will stay in the same category which was issued for. Only upon confirmation, I agreed to move forward in obtaining the certificates. I guess next couple of weeks going to be interesting…


I believe so. DoC has the link to the post. It has the name and the title “Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts LLC.” The same message also posted by Marriott Rewards Insider. It has been so long since the news broke. If anything inaccurate with the information, I think Marriott would have clarified already.
(I choose not to post the link because it will go under moderation.)


Remember that it was a Starwood Lurker who was responsible for touching off the whole “We’re refunding points” nonsense.


Right but I double/triple confirmed stating that almost all blogs says the certificate(s) will be devalued but the rep checked with leadership team and confirmed me that there is no devaluation. Only after the confirmation I went ahead and purchased.

Oh btw, the rep did say there is no Cat 9 and if I purchase cat 9. My certificate will be valid to be used for any category between 1 to 8 and will not refund the difference in points.

I have asked the rep to make a note about my conversation as well I have supporting evidence to prove that’s the case.

Hope Marriott roles back my certificates to issued categories. Let’s see.

As always this community is amazing and Thank you all.


I had EXACTLY the same experience. The conversation was even started by the rep. He said I was getting a great deal because my cat. 8 cert would be good in the NEW cat 8 properties. I’m really pissed at the total lack of info they give their front line “customer service” reps.


I am traveling this week and I will talk to Marriott upon my return to see how they resolve this issue. Will keep you all posted.


Thank you! I may make official complaint and will report back as well. I have the (first) name of the agent with whom I spoke.
Marriott’s solution (letting us “trade down”) does me NO good, as I am only interested in higher end properties and was expecting at least a new cat. 8 option.


Do we know what is going to happen with the 2 free tier 1-4 Ritz Carlton certificate from chase Ritz card?


Seeing how they handled this situation, they will probably map it to a cat 1-4 in Marriott. Seriously, Marriott sucks. I paid 30,000 points to upgrade to a cat 6 TC Thursday. Literally pissed those points down the drain because Marriott felt like screwing over their customers.


Have the Ritz card and 2 certs. I can confirm that mine are showing they are each now good for any property up to 60,000 points. (Current category 7…… or category 8 until 2019). No complaints here.


Thanks. So this certificate are only point-based, not category limit attached? On the same boat, but I booked two old Tire 4 hotel in caution. If it does not have category limit, I will cancel and rebook (the point booking is still not up yet as of my typing though)


Thank you for this important info. I haven’t completed my spend yet but have been wondering!


oops, also – do these have to be RC properties or any Marriott property?


Mine are 60k points in the mobile app


I confirm that as well after cancelling my previous reservation. But I still can’t book a St. Regis hotel yet even though I see free night is available. The online booking says, “To use free night certificates at this hotel, please call Member Support at +1-888-625-4988 in the US, or our worldwide contact numbers.”. But when I tried the number, I was told it is still not doable…

Anybody managed to book a SPG property with Marriott FN certificates? Please let me know and I will call and do the same.


Why did Marriott not release this information earlier? I was under the impression that they hadn’t finalized the mapping and needed another month. Was the mapping withheld on purpose?


If you go look you’ll see the certificates are still listed as the old ones on your account. My guess is that they need to do something to go through their reservation database and flag the old certificates that are currently attached to reservations to the new categories so that if they are detached they flip to the new category.


Up front, I must confess that I was in it for the miles – 264k United miles to be exact. Then there was the opportunity to get a couple of 5-night certificates. OK by me. Then I made the astute (aka, lucky) decision to go for two cat 7 certificates. Another “win” (or at least minimizing the “loss”). So, I can’t complain . . . too much.

My only real issue is that Marriott did not need to do it this way. What is the downside of telling people what the mapping of old to new would be before the change? Certainly it’s not greater than the goodwill they would have earned by being up front about these changes. Poor form, Marriott.

I think Marriott has blown an opportunity to appear (if not be) customer-centered. The devaluation of the travel packages, coupled with this “I won’t tell you until it’s too late” (not to mention the elimination of stacking elite nights from cards and meetings), does not bode well as Marriott kicks off the combined program.

Hopefully, the Marriott leadership will get the message – being the biggest and the richest may enable them to push around the travel hackers, but over time it only ensures, if they do not change their approach, that they eventually (probably in 12-24 months) will become the largest struggling chain.

I expect that most travel hackers (as well as some regular customers) will move on (to Hilton, Hyatt, and/or IHG) – if not now (or previously), almost certainly within a couple of years. As for me, I will grace Marriott’s lobbies for at least another 18-30 months, depending upon how long my Marriott/SPG cards continue to produce free night certificates at reasonable annual fee prices and how long my 2018 Plat 75 elite status (thanks for the tips, Greg) will translate into Plat status.

So, I thank Marriott for the short-term opportunities to capitalize on some decent deals. But I also recognize the trajectory Marriott has chosen and I already am transitioning to competitor offerings which, over time (and maintaining current trajectories), already have or shortly will become more lucrative – unless Marriott, of course, makes adjustments. The game continues.


I think this was willful deception by Marriott. They knew full well how the certificates would translate, but they held back letting anybody know so they could sucker some people — like me — into paying for higher category certificates (30K to upgrade from Cat 1-5 to a Cat 6) that are completely wasted now. That’s just corporate greed, plain and simple. I upgraded to a Cat 6 on the theory that they would “never” downgrade that to a Cat 1-4, which is utterly worthless to me as there are no Cat 1-4 hotels that I would want to stay at for a whole week (and which I could never convince my wife to stay at even if I were willing). And by no longer allowing us to pay even more points to upgrade to something useful, they’ve deprived it of anything but salvage value for me.

The other thing that Nick’s post doesn’t sufficiently come to grips with is that a lot of us (at least me) bought the travel certificates intending to spend them on former Starwood properties, and so we could not attach the certificates to any of those properties before the deadline. I had several new Cat 5 Starwood hotels that I was planning to use my old Cat 6 certificate on, and now it is completely useless.

Really, really disappointed in Marriott. I guess I’m glad in a way that I used up all my existing points on the travel certificates because I don’t plan on staying in any Marriott hotels from now on.


I’m with you that I also emptied out my Marriott points. I’m thinking to switch my loyalty to Hilton, IHG, and maybe Hyatt as Marriott clearly showed they had no shame in screwing us up.

Mary Jane

What is the best way to shame Marriott on Public Media? I just upgraded my certificate yesterday from a Cat5 to a Cat 6. I don’t think it is fair at all.


Yes we need to teach them a lesson. They can’t spin their way out of this. 30k Marriott points was not some pocket change. I just posted my displeasure on Flyertalk and other blogs. Perhaps if enough of us complain they will do the right thing and refund us the points.




I think it is hilarious how many peopleare saying “see i was right”…

In my opinion, actions speak louder than words and if you have a travel package that converted in a manner you are happy with, then you called it….Boom! If you are complaining, you clearly didn’t factor in everything correctly…Doh!


which package did you buy Jennifer?

BTW, read on Flyertalk or Dansdeal that someone got 75k points back to dump the 7 night package. Too bad I don’t really know anyone or I would love to have purchased the new Cat 1-4 packages. I have 3 upcoming stays , all 5 to 7 nights , with new Cat 4. I can only purchase one as I only had enough points to redeem one travel package


Jan, because of the uncertainty and my feeling that Marriott might engage in a ‘worst case scenario’ category conversion, i just went with the old Cat 1-5 cert. Wish I had had enough points to buy multiple TPs as well. I do feel bad for anyone who is getting the short end of the stick.


Nick, I appreciate your posts and I can sense you are trying to soften the blow here. I read your blog extensively and thought too that Marriott would give us the more generous mapping and not go for the worse case scenario, as that was not as extensively discussed. I hold no ill will toward this blog; I put all the blame on Marriott as they purposely withhold this information. I have two cat 6 certificates and definitely lost big on this. My only hope now is Marriott will do the right thing and refund me 60k points.


We were told that we couldn’t upgrade or downgrade prior to the deadline date. Fair enough. But I think that Cat 6, 8 and Tier 1-3 should be refunded in points. Cat 6, for example, should receive 30k points back.


This whole thing was a mess for the past few weeks. Long call wait time. MR representatives gave out WRONG information. I guess Marriott did the math and figured out that it’s less costly to screw us who bought the cat 6 and 8 packages rather than giving us the more favorable map. Perhaps they thought with less competition they can afford to piss us off. I hope many of us will vote with our wallet and give Marriott a lesson.



It is very irresponsible to blame others for your own actions. Greg and Nick published so many because they valued the soon-be-gone benefits and wanted people to catch the last boat (for your own sake, not theirs). But, hi, did you notice the warning in those articles, or only see those winning? As a long time reader of this blog and judging from all types of posts here ( from old manufacturing spending to latest best credit card category), I am pretty sure this blog is still my must-read daily website.


yeah I took the gamble and I know Marriott has really screwed people the last few years but I thought this was going to be a big moment for them to shine, but for everyone out there pissed here lets load it up on social media throw lots of complaints online make it viral how Marriott is out to screw their own loyal customers at least a refund is in order for those losing points. Last the biggest problem one of their people threw out a a wild crazy generous idea and at the last couple days they came out with their “warnings” I was just hoping it was to scare people off but no Marriot shows how messed up they really are again.


Looks like it was the peak pricing scenario I was afraid of.


How many points can we get refunded if we have a cat 8 certificate?


The answer is 135k. God Damn Awful


I have a category 8 currently booked for a property that just turned to category 6. I won’t be able to stay on booked date but I do want to say at this property. If I reschedule the reservation for a later date, can I keep the same property? Or will my certificate reset to category 5 if I attempt to reschedule? Also, any word if the certificates can still be extended a year?


Personally, I think you will unfortunately fall into the new Cat 5 certificate. Unlike airline ticket reschedule, you have to cancel the current one and book a new reservation simply because you change the dates.

Per SPG representative, the certificate can not be downgrade or upgrade. So I sense it will also mean no extension. But it is purely out of my guess. Hope I am wrong.

Greg The Frequent Miler

I’m waiting to hear from Marriott about this scenario, but I expect that frugalman is right. You’ll get a cat 5 cert.


Any word on if the certs can still be extended a year?


I upgraded to a Cat 9 & attached to Domes of Elounda next July. However, I’m not sure if I will go there. Can I use it for any another Category 7 property? If I cancel, how many points will be refunded?


I think you will get a new certificate with NEW Cat 6. So you can book any 50K/night hotel. It is a rare win for old certificate holders. Cong!

Greg The Frequent Miler

I expect that you’ll have to cancel your existing reservation and you’ll get back a category 6 certificate which is good for 50K points per night standard / 60K peak. You won’t be able to rebook Domes of Elounda with the certificate.


What about just changing dates?:)

Points Pinnacle

Marriott is really stingy/greedy with this one. I cant see myself booking any paid stays with them moving forward. I booked a cat 7 package and I am fine with my options as theres a few decent hotels I can look forward to.

The fact that they sat on this and there is no flexibility for the people that wasted 30,000 points is really sad and greedy


First table last column is very confusing. I thought max value 30k (for new cat 1 – 4) means we can use it at any property that can be booked for 30k points after Jan 1. Why are you saying that the max peak value is 20k?

What am I missing Nick?



That table was issued by Marriott and intentionally confuses you…For example, Cat 1-4 is 25K/night for standard rate. When they introduce peak/off-peak in 2019, the 25K could become either 20K or 30K. So when they say it could cover up to 30K, it means the certificate is kind of “peak/off-peak seasons”-proof. So even if you book a Cat 4 hotel at peak season (30K), you can still use this certificate.

However, it does NOT mean what you said, ” I thought max value 30k (for new cat 1 – 4) means we can use it at any property that can be booked for 30k points after Jan 1.” For example, a Cat 5 hotel at off-peak season could be also 30K (don’t confuse this “30K” with that “30K” for a Cat 4 hotel at peak season), I believe you will NOT be able to use your Cat 1-4 category (in this sense, it is not purely point-determined certificates). “Max” means “no more than” but not “anything up to”


I’ve read other places that said the e-certs will all be points based on Jan 1. So, I guess I’m still confused about how they work. Somebody here quoted a redemption value for the e-certs. Old cat 1 – 5 used to be 45k, do we know the new redemption values?


Agree with you. If it is PURELY point based. Then, they shouldn’t assign a new category number on it. But from the table they present, from the word of “Max”, I have to say it is likely to be category-based as the old way. This could be a good thing actually as you at least don’t have to worry about the timing when you redeem your certificate. It make the award night search less complicated.


I guess we will find out eventually. Of course the other shoe is the category adjustments on Jan 1 when they introduce the new category and high/low seasons.

Greg The Frequent Miler

Unlike credit card free night certs, which will now be point based, the travel package certs continue to be category based. So, Marriott claims that the value is based on peak pricing.

ab in ab

ya well, I think their crooks. I know, in some respects it was a gamble (maybe even one I should have known was akin to betting against the house) but if they had just told us the mapping…even a week ago…there wouldn’t be any upset customers. Or at least those who would be upset would have little to no standing to do so. Silly decision that will likely cost them some customers.


There is still a slim chance that during the upcoming one month transition period, Marriott would refund 30K (=6*5K) pts back to the accounts of those who hold an (unattached?) old 7-night Cat 6 and Cat 8 certificates, and 60K (=6*10K) to those holding Tire 4-5 certificates. “6” instead of “7” is used due to the fifth night free. Let’s see.