Marriott has published the following travel package conversion chart and the following statement,
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.
Well that’s a whole lot of spin.
The chart above is a direct hit with the worst case scenario that I wrote about in Option 4, which was my original guess from this post back in April.
|Current Travel Package Certificate and cost||Current value||Worst case scenario||Best case scenario||Value of nights based on the 2 scenarios||Points used for 132K United miles and United miles received per point.|
|Cat 1-5 Certificate: 270K||Good for 7 nights at category 1-5 (25K points/night)||Good for 7 nights at category 1-4 (20K-30K points/night)||Same as worst case||180K|
|Category 6 Certificate: 300K||Good for 7 nights at category 6 (30K points/night)||Good for 7 nights at category 1-4 (20K-30K points/night)||Good for 7 nights at category 5 (30K-40K points/night)||180K|
|Category 7 Certificate: 330K||Good for 7 nights at category 7 (35K points/night)||Good for 7 nights at category 5 (30K-40K points/night)||Same as worst case||240K|
|Category 8 Certificate: 360K||Good for 7 nights at category 8 (40K points/night)||Good for 7 nights at category 5 (30K-40K points/night)||Good for 7 nights at category 6 (40K-60K points/night)||240K|
0K (Zero cost United miles)
|Category 9 Certificate: 390K||Good for 7 nights at category 9 (45K points/night)||Good for 7 nights at category 6 (40K-60K points/night)||Same as worst case||360K|
|Tier 1-3 Certificate: 420K||Good for 7 nights at tier 1-3 (50K points/night)||Good for 7 nights at category 6 (40K-60K points/night)||Good for 7 nights at category 7 (50K-70K points/night)||360K|
0K (Zero cost United miles)
|Tier 4-5 Certificate: 540K||Good for 7 nights at tier 4-5 (70K points/night)||Good for 7 nights at category 7 (50K-70K points/night)||Good for 7 nights at category 8 (70K-100K points/night)||420K|
0K (Zero cost United miles)
I wrote that “This option has the advantage of being compatible with the new travel packages and will be a lot easier to implement. The biggest problem with this option is that it would make some people very unhappy based on how multiple current categories would map to the same new category.”
I also created an option 4a, “Marriott could solve the problems found in option 4 by refunding some points to people who have certificates that map to the same level as a cheaper level of certificate. In other words if both current category 8 and 9 wind up mapping to the new category 6, Marriott could just refund 30K points to people who redeemed for a category 9 certificate to make them whole. This is a good possibility if Marriott want to keep everyone happy.”
Except Marriott doesn’t want to keep anyone happy. They kept everyone in the dark about their plans and then released a plan with the absolute worst case scenario. They rounded everything down a category so that even people who bought a top-tier 4-5 certificate won’t be able to book a top-tier hotel past January when they introduce an 8th category:
|Previous Starwood Chart||Previous Previous Marriott Chart||August 2018 Combined Chart||February 2019 Combined Chart|
|Category 1||6,000 (Weekends)|
|Category 2||9,000 (Weekends)|
|Category 3||21,000||15,000||17,500||15,000 off-peak
|Category 4||30,000||20,000||25,000||20,000 off-peak
|Category 5||36,000 off-peak|
|Category 6||60,000 off-peak|
|Category 7||90,000 off-peak|
|Category 8||-||40,000||-||70,000 off-peak
|Ritz Tier 1||-||30,000||-||-|
|Ritz Tier 2||-||40,000||-||-|
|Ritz Tier 3||-||50,000||-||-|
|Ritz Tier 4||-||60,000||-||-|
|Ritz Tier 5||-||70,000||-||-|
Worse yet, they’re making zero effort to keep people who overpaid for a category 6, 8, or tier 1-3 certificate happy. They are lumping those together with category 5, 7, and 9, despite charging them 30K more points.
Marriott claims to live by the #GoldenRule, “Treating others like we’d like to be treated. It has always been our guiding principle.” However they absolutely took the low road here, there is no way anyone would want to be treated like this. They purposefully hid their intentions and took advantage of their most loyal members with this conversion.
It’s bad enough that they took the worse case scenario, but it’s an absolute slap in the face that they haven’t even offered to refund the 30K points to those who redeemed for a category 6, 8, or tier 1-3 certificate. And it’s ridiculous that they won’t convert tier 4-5 certificates into category 8 certificates.
All of the above applies to certificates that are not attached to hotels. Marriott has not yet announced what will happen with certificates that are attached to hotels as far as how date changes or hotel changes will work.
Marriott has killed the SPG AMEX with a 33% devaluation that they are spinning to cardholders as earning 2 points per dollar and they have acted deviously with these travel packages. I sure hope that they reconsider both positions or they’ll watch their members head for the exits. It’s a really poor showing for day 1 of the merged programs.