Marriott’s Latest Devaluations Means Travel Packages Are Much More Attractive

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Update: This post has been updated with the correct number of airline miles for each new travel package.

Related post: Read about the differences between the Marriott card offerings here.


This is a more technical, advanced level post than usual. I didn’t think I’d travel back into the weeds of travel packages, but they’re back again…

Marriott is introducing peak pricing on hotels next month. Worse yet, peak dates won’t be disclosed, but will be dynamic. Plus 5th night free awards will no longer give the actual 5th night for free, rather they will give the cheapest night for free.

Marriott massively devalued existing and new travel packages last year. But in the good news department, travel packages won’t be affected by peak pricing. They will work within a category regardless of the dates. That’s good news for people with existing travel packages and it means we should take another look at the value provided by new packages.

You can buy travel packages here.

For example a package with 7 nights in a category 1-4 hotel with 55K airline miles costs 255K Marriott points. The better value package provides 100K airline miles for 330K Marriott points. Normally you need 60K Marriott for 25K airline miles (2.4 Marriott points for 1 mile), while the large package gives an extra 50K airline miles for an extra 75K Marriott points (1.5 Marriott points for 1 mile).

If you choose United as your airline you’ll get 55K miles with the 255K package and 110K miles with the 330K package.

Normally you need 60K Marriott for 27.5K United miles (2.18 Marriott points for 1 mile). Marriott only gives that many miles if you transfer in blocks of 60K Marriott points, but for comparison’s sake we’ll use the ideal ratio to compute the value given by travel packages. That means if you wanted 110K United miles you would need about 240K Marriott points. The same math applies for other airline miles, as normally you would need 240K Marriott points for 100K other airline miles at the ideal ratio of 2.4 Marriott points for 1 mile.

Now we can calculate how many Marriott points you would have to use for 110K United miles (or 100K other airline miles) and 7 nights at a hotel. As 7 nights at a hotel would include 1 night for free, we can add the cost of 6 nights onto the 240K points that would normally be needed.

As you can tell from the new award chart in this post, 7 nights at a category 4 hotel would cost 120K points off-peak, 150K points standard, or 180K points peak after the 1 free night.

The chart below compares the value you can get from each package, depending on which category you use and if you redeem for nights during off-peak, standard, or peak dates:

Travel Package Category:Cost for 7 nights and 110K miles:Value if redeemed at off-peak rates:Value if redeemed at standard rates:Value if redeemed at peak rates:
Category 1-4330K Marriott360K Marriott
(30K savings)
390K Marriott
(60K savings)
420K Marriott
(90K savings)
Category 5390K Marriott420K Marriott
(30K savings)
450K Marriott
(60K savings)
480K Marriott
(90K savings)
Category 6510K Marriott480K Marriott
(Negative 30K savings)
540K Marriott
(30K savings)
600K Marriott
(90K savings)
Category 7570K Marriott540K Marriott
(Negative 30K savings)
600K Marriott
(30K savings)
660K Marriott
(90K savings)
Category 8750K Marriott660K Marriott
(Negative 90K savings)
750K Marriott
(No savings)
840K Marriott
(90K savings)

If you use the package during peak dates you’ll always come out 90K points ahead of what you would pay if you redeemed for the miles and 7 nights separately. That’s a much better value than what these packages offered until now.

The use case for off-peak and standard dates is more mixed, with better value to be had from the lower category packages than the higher category packages.

Will you redeem for a new Marriott travel package?

 

 

 

 

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12 Comments On "Marriott’s Latest Devaluations Means Travel Packages Are Much More Attractive"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Ari

Problem with packages is that the good values start at 300k points, which is $150k of spend on the Marriott card. That’s way above what mere most people do in a year. And by the time you collect all those points, who is to say Marriott doesn’t devalue the packages? Other then sign up bonuses that are hard to get on these cards if you ever had an spg card, how does one get to 330k or 570k points?

Dave

If you’re spending 150K to get 300K points, you’re doing it wrong. Churning new cards, getting retention bonuses and spending a few $ on some promotions, MS, etc….

Plenty of ways to do this and spending 150K is not the way to be doing it.

Helen

Thanks for the detailed post. I’m a tad confused because Marriott says that only for UA you get 110k miles and all other airlines you would get 100k (while you’re saying UA is 121k while all others are 110k). So the 10% more for UA above other airlines is already included in the 110k. Would appreciate clarification. Thanks.

Dovid

Does Marriott still offer 5 night packages or only 7? What is the redemption tiers for the 5 nights? Thanks

Shaul

Any word if credit card nights will be affected by peak/off-peak?

BigAl

Hi Dan, Thanks as usual for the informative and helpful posts. Can you book a seven day package for seven rooms for one night, or alternatively, use the package over a few stays instead of a one week long stretch?

Mark

are the packages able to upgraded to higher categories, if yes, is the value still there?

Mark

Sorry, just saw the chart.

Natan

The other problem with the package is you need to use 7 nights otherwise you are wasting night

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