Update, 3/10: Points have been refunded as I calculated in the post below! For example, below is the 420K point refund for a 7 night category 6 certificate that was converted over from an old category 9 certificate.
That certificate originally only cost 390K points for 7 nights and 132,000 airline miles, making the original travel packages an incredible deal after all!
Just be sure to reserve future hotel stays before points are devalued on March 29th to lock in current award pricing.
Update, 2/8: Here is my saga getting points refunded for a category 8 package that was already attached to a hotel stay.
Originally posted on 1/19:
What, you expected Marriott to actually let their members know about a major program change?
Their media relations team and customer service refused to confirm that the packages would be discontinued, but sure enough, they are no longer available for sale.
I guess we should now also be nervous that Marriott could devalue their airline transfer ratio without notice?
All travel packages with unredeemed hotel certificates must be redeemed by 2/28.
If you don’t redeem them by 2/28, Marriott will automatically convert them into points at the peak level on 3/1. To be fair, that’s a generous outcome, though not as generous as honoring them to their expiration date after they kill their award charts. But I guess it was too much to ask for Marriott to honor their existing award charts for certificate holders? Or they don’t want to give away that kind of value after the upcoming devaluation…
Changes to hotel reservations with travel packages will not be allowed after 2/28, though they can be refunded to points at the old peak rate.
People that bought a travel package before the deadline may not have gotten a hedge against devaluation, but they will wind up well off.
- If you bought a category 1-4 certificate and 110K miles for 330K Marriott points you will get a refund of 210K Marriott points after 2/28 if you don’t use your hotel certificate.
- If you bought a category 5 certificate and 110K miles for 390K Marriott points you will get a refund of 280K Marriott points after 2/28 if you don’t use your hotel certificate.
- If you bought a category 6 certificate and 110K miles for 510K Marriott points you will get a refund of 420K Marriott points after 2/28 if you don’t use your hotel certificate.
- If you bought a category 7 certificate and 110K miles for 570K Marriott points you will get a refund of 490K Marriott points after 2/28 if you don’t use your hotel certificate.
- If you bought a category 8 certificate and 110K miles for 750K Marriott points you will get a refund of 700K Marriott points after 2/28 if you don’t use your hotel certificate.
In other words you would normally need to use 240K Marriott for 110K miles, but if you bought a category 8 package, you will have only used 50K Marriott points after the refund. Score!
Kudos to Marriott for treating existing travel package holders fairly this time. That’s more than could be said last time, so I guess Marriott learned their lesson?
On the other hand, this probably means we are in for a rough devaluation if Marriott is paying people back with peak points rather than allowing them to keep using their hotel package certificates. Does that mean my prediction about some hotels doubling or tripling in points cost will come true?
We will only get part 1 of the devaluation in March 2022 when some 97% of Marriott hotels will still stay in the current point range, the next part will go into effect in 2023 when those ranges will be discontinued as well.
Do you have a travel package?