Potential huge win with Marriott Travel Packages before August

Marriott travel packages are awards in which you exchange Marriott Rewards points for airline miles plus a 7 night stay certificate (or a 5 night certificate for timeshare owners).  You do not have to book your actual stay right away.  You have a year to do so, and Marriott Rewards has been very generous about extending the validity of the certificate for another year when asked.  So, many of us will have 7 night certificates in their accounts when Marriott and Starwood merge programs in August.  What will happen to those certificates then?

The Point-Equivalent Hypothesis

Previously, we had been told that all outstanding certificates will be replaced with new certificates that match the number of points that the current certificate is valid for.  For example, Marriott category 1-5 certificates today can be used at hotels that cost up to 25,000 points per night, so we expect those certificates to be replaced with new ones that are good for free nights costing up to 25,000 points per night.  In other words, the new certificates will have point limits rather than category limits.  This view of our certificate future is directly supported by Marriott’s official transition FAQ, with the caveat that this is about credit card free night certificates, not travel package certificates:

I HAVE A FREE NIGHT CERTIFICATE FROM A MARRIOTT REWARDS OR RITZ-CARLTON REWARDS CREDIT CARD. CAN I USE IT AT AN SPG HOTEL (OR VICE VERSA) AFTER AUGUST?

Members may book a redemption reservation with an existing Free Night Certificate under the current terms up until August 2018, even if the arrival date is after August 2018. Starting in August, any outstanding Certificates will be updated from Category-based to points-based values in the new combined redemption chart and may be used for stays at Rewards or SPG hotels up to the points value displayed on your updated Certificate. For example, you will be able to apply a Marriott Rewards Free Night Certificate to an SPG stay, or an SPG Free Night Award to a Marriott Rewards stay. Ritz-Carlton Rewards Free Night Certificates can also be applied to Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels.

To me, this seems like a fair way to deal with all existing certificates, especially since Marriott claims that more hotels will go down in award price than up in the new program.  Plus, it will make all existing certificates more valuable since they’ll be usable at all hotels across the Marriott / SPG / Ritz portfolio that cost that many points or fewer.

The Points-Back Hypothesis

A reliable source of SPG / Marriott info, Starwood Lurker on Flyertalk, threw a wrench in our certificate assumptions when he posted the following on Flyertalk:

Floater certificates, including outstanding Marriott Travel Packages, will be cancelled and converted to equivalent points, credited to the member’s account for future redemption. <added by Starwood Lurker 18May18>

At first, I thought that Starwood Lurker was confused.  The Marriott FAQ that I referenced above can be misinterpreted if you don’t carefully read the whole thing.  Consider the beginning of this sentence: “any outstanding Certificates will be updated from Category-based to points-based values…”  That part does make it sound like you’ll get points back.  But the rest makes it clear that you’ll get a certificate: “… up to the points value displayed on your updated Certificate.”  So, I figured that Starwood Lurker had made a mistake and would amend his statement later.  But he didn’t…

Starwood Lurker posted again on the topic a few days later in response to someone asking how many points would be refunded.  His non-answer clearly tells us that he continued to believe that the certificates would be exchanged for points, but he didn’t know how many points:

“I have a 7-night category 1-5 Marriott certificate from the travel package. Are you saying I will receive 150,000 Marriott points for it, to use for anything I want?”
All I am saying is exactly was was written: Floater certificates, including outstanding Marriott Travel Packages, will be cancelled and converted to equivalent points, credited to the member’s account for future redemption. <added by Starwood Lurker 18May18>

I have no idea what the converted equivalent points will be.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts LLC

Recently, on June 18th, Starwood Lurker asserted that he “cannot” answer the question of how many points would be refunded:
“…Would love if William could confirm the value of the hotel point value of a travel package when refunded…”
Would love to be able to, but I cannot.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders

The fact that Starwood Lurker has continued to support the idea that certificates will be refunded suggests to me that his original assertion wasn’t a mistake.  He believed it on May 18th and continued to believe it on June 18th.

What the heck are “floater certificates”?

I can’t find a good definition of Marriott / SPG “floater certificates” anywhere.  Previously I figured that floater certificates were all free night certificates that haven’t yet been redeemed for free nights.  But, in the Flyertalk Wiki on this subject, Starwood Lurker makes a distinction between “outstanding awards for certificates” and “floater certificates”.  He maintains that “outstanding awards for certificates” will be converted to new certificates with commensurate value, but “floater certificates” will be converted to points:

C5. How will existing Chase category-5 certificates be handled after the realignment of categories?

  • “Starting in August, any outstanding Certificates will be updated from Category-based to points-based values in the new combined redemption chart and may be used for stays at Rewards or SPG hotels up to the points value displayed on your updated Certificate.” (Source: https://members.marriott.com/faq/#i-…a-after-august)
  • Existing awards can be attached to any reservation made through July 2018 and are valid for 50 weeks. Any outstanding awards for certificates with a pre-defined category (like Chase or MegaBonus promotional certificates) will be converted to a commensurate value with the new award schedule. Floater certificates will be cancelled and converted to equivalent points, credited to the member’s account for future redemption. <added by Starwood Lurker 19Apr18>

So all we can be really confident of is that “outstanding Marriott Travel Packages” are floater certificates.  My guess is that “outstanding Marriott Travel Packages” are packages that have been purchased, but where the free nights have not yet been booked.

UPDATE 6/21/2018: Starwood Lurker answered my question on Flyertalk as follows:

47. What is the definition of a “floater certificate”?

Examples might include the annual Credit Card certs, Megabonus certs, and unused Travel Package certs. <added by Starwood Lurker 21Jun18>

Wow!  This potentially means that credit card free night certificates will turn into point equivalents as long as they’re in your account by August.  Suddenly I’m even more interested in the Ritz card

Why this is important

It has long been possible for Marriott Rewards members to cancel their 7 night stay certificates in exchange for points.  Category 1-5 certificates net 45K points.  Higher level certificates net 45K plus the difference in price between that certificate and a category 1-5 certificate.  For example, a category 8 certificate costs 90K more than a category 1-5 certificate, so cancelling a category 8 would get you 45K + 90K = 135K points back.

If Marriott were to unilaterally cancel certificates at the current refund rate, customers would be outraged.  Consider someone planning to use a category 1-5 certificate for 7 nights at a category 5 hotel.  If they instead got only 45K points, they’d only be able to use those points for one night… almost two since current category 5 hotels cost 25K points per night.

To stay whole, a category 1-5 certificate owner would have to get 25K x 7 – 25K for 5th night free = 150K points.

If Marriott is really going to cancel certificates in exchange for points, I think they’d have to keep people whole.  In fact, Marriott execs have consistently stated their goal to keep customers whole, in many different ways, through the transition.  This means that category 1-5 certs would net 150K points, cat 1-6 would net 180K, etc.

That would be amazing

Consider buying a category 1-5 package for 270K points.  Under normal circumstances, that would get you 132K United miles or 120K airline miles of various other types (or less with some others), plus the 7 night certificate.  But if your certificate was refunded for 150K points, then you would really get 132K United miles or 120K other miles for a net cost of only 270K – 150K = 120K Marriott points.

This gets more jaw dropping when we look at this from the point of view of SPG Starpoints which normally transfer to airline miles 1 to 1.25 (20K to 25K).  Since SPG Starpoints convert to Marriott 1 to 3, you would get the following exchange rates after the point refund:

  • Net 40K SPG Starpoints = 132K United
  • Net 40K SPG Starpoints = 120K other miles (Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic)
  • Net 40K SPG Starpoints = 85K Aeroflot, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA LifeMiles, China Eastern, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Korean Air SKYPASS, LAN, Lufthansa Miles & More, Multiplus, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Saudia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways Voyager, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines
  • Net 40K SPG Starpoints = 60K JetBlue

Of course, you can’t cycle the same points over and over since the refund won’t appear until August.  So, it’s probably more accurate to consider what can be done with the refunded points.  We know that in August, 60K rewards points will be transferable to 25K airline miles, so 150K rewards points will be transferable to 60K airline miles (two 60K transfers to 25K miles each, and one 30K transfer to 10K miles).  It follows then that those who prefer airline miles can (theoretically) convert points as follows:

  • 90K SPG points = 120K airline miles (see above for other rates) + 7 night cat 1-5 certificate…
  • 7 night certificate = 150K rewards points = 60K airline miles
  • Total: 90K SPG points = 120K airline miles + 60K airline miles = 180K airline miles (more for United, less for various international airlines and JetBlue).  That’s a terrific, 1 to 2 transfer ratio!

But, I’m not at all confident…

If I was confident that travel package certificates would convert to points as described above, I’d shout on the rooftops for everyone to buy a package now.  In fact, I think it would make sense for anyone who can afford it to buy the needed points during the current 35% off points sale (details here) in order to convert those points to airline miles at an extremely favorable ratio.

My biggest hesitation is with the fact that I don’t understand why Marriott would do this.  If they have the ability to convert one night certificates to points equivalent certificates in the new program, why couldn’t they do the same with travel packages?  If multi-day certificates were the problem, then why not convert them to 7 one-night certificates?  It just doesn’t make sense.

Based on the fact that I had previously been told that the stay certificates would convert to points equivalent certificates, plus the fact that I don’t really know what “floater certificates” are, plus the fact that the whole idea of refunding them for points makes little sense, I wouldn’t bet much on this really happening.  If I had to estimate a probability, I’d say that there’s maybe a 20% chance of it playing out as described above.

The downside of buying now

There are two significant downsides to buying travel packages before August.  One is that you might prefer to conserve your points to book SPG properties that are currently category 7 or higher (off-the-chart properties) when they temporarily go down to 60K rewards points (20K Starpoints) in August.

St. Regis Princeville in Kauai currently prices at 30K to 35K points per night, but it will go down to 20K starpoints per night (60K rewards points) in August until a new chart category is introduced in early 2019.

Another reason not to buy now is that there may be better deals in August.  We have been told that travel packages will still exist and will offer similar value.  We’ve also been told that Marriott’s goal is to offer all airline miles at the same rates.  This could mean that high value airline miles that are currently a bad deal with travel packages will suddenly become a great deal (examples include ANA, Asiana Airlines, Japan Airlines, and Korean Air SKYPASS).

How I’ll Play It

It’s worth keeping in mind that travel packages as they exist today are a great deal if you need the airline miles.  If you have a real need (or good use) for 132K United Airlines miles or 120K Alaska miles, to name two examples, then a travel package can be a great deal even if you have no interest in ever using the stay certificate.

I currently have a 7 night category 8 stay certificate with no immediate plans for how to use it.  If I were to cancel it now, I’d get back 135K points and I’d be fine with that since I really purchased the package for the airline miles.  But, if this plays out the way I described above, the certificate could turn into 240K points in August.  That would be a huge win.  So, obviously I’ll hold onto my certificate to see what happens in August.

The real question for me is whether to buy an additional package.  If I needed airline miles I’d do it, but I’m flush with most miles in quite a few programs.  Plus, I want to use my points to book SPG properties that are currently category 7 or higher when they temporarily go down to 60K rewards points (20K Starpoints) in August.

More Info

More info about Travel Packages:

More info about the Marriott SPG Merger:

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Dee
Guest
Dee

When i told my husband about this, he said, “Great minds like that used to go into astrophysics.” Thanks, Greg. I’m going to give it a shot. I need the Alaska miles anyway.

Marsha
Guest
Marsha

I have a 5 day cat 1-5 certificate (from fly and hotel redemption). On the certificate it states it is 10k points. In the past when I called Marriott to extend it, they said I can extend its expiration or get 10k points back. I’m worried that this floater certificate may get converted to only 10k points by Marriott in Aug. What do you suggest I do? TIA

Tony
Guest
Tony

If a cat 1-5 certificate were to convert to 150K points (which I also think is the most likely scenario) post Aug 1, these refunded points will likely be subject to restrictions. The restrictions may include hard expiration date on these converted points as well as minimum number of nights (or minimum number of points) requirement on redemption. This assumes Marriott’s IT is up to the task, of course.

Blue
Guest
Blue

I don’t see any way for Marriott to avoid making people whole. If some has a cert they bought 7 nights in a hotel of a certain category. However the transition occurs that needs to be maintained. I think Starwood Lurker didn’t answer directly because he didn’t want to touch off a gold rush.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Great post as always Greg. Need your advice of what to do. I have 7 night Category 1-5 set to expire Mid Jan 2019. I already extended it one year. I have a 7 night reservation at Wailea Marriott Feb 2019 already booked but have not attached or upgraded the 7 night certificate to the Category 8 requirements. My plan was to wait until mid July to hopefully get Marriott new award chart for hotels to see if my hotel will go up or drop a category and then spend extra points and upgrade to Category 8 and extend my expiration cert date depending on category change.

Would I be better off holding onto Category 1-5 cert and waiting to see what August brings or upgrade and pay extra points to upgrade to Category 8 now. I definitely want to use my 7 night in Maui in February 2019. Thanks

AndrewOnTheRoad
Guest
AndrewOnTheRoad

Perhaps “floater certificates” are ones that have already had the experiation date extended at least once? That would make sense of using the term floater.

Also, given how generous Marriott seems to be in terms of extending the expiration date of certificates as well as how they’ve seemed to be attentive to keeping people whole throughout this merger process I find it very hard to believe that the packages would be transferred to merely 45k points.

I’m curious as to what will happen if I book a stay now with a 7-night cat 5 certificate and then cancel that stay after the changes in August.

Now if only I can figure out what I want to do with my current cert: keep it, upgrade it now so I can use it at a cat 8 SPG come August, or book somewhere now with likely intent of cancelling it after August

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Excellent post Greg! I know Marriott has maintained that purchasing these travel packages after the program merger will offer “similar” value. However, it’s hard to imagine that purchasing them later will offer “better” value than they do today. In a best case scenario, “similar” is likely to mean “the same”, but there is always the possibility that it could be less generous. With that said, it seems like it might be worth rolling the dice by purchasing a package today. If they decide to be generous as you described, I feel like that is most likely to happen as a one time event at the moment they merge the programs, rather than as an ongoing future rewards structure. Thoughts?

Busybody
Guest
Busybody

I plan a 7 night stay in May at a category 9. The straight up cost is 270k points. If I bought a package, I would pay 390k for the 7 night stay and 132k United miles. This means that the extra 120k marriott points convert to 132k united miles, right? Admittedly I have just gotten off a 24h shift and my mind is not at its best, but is there a downside in buying the package even though I don’t really need more miles at present?

iverge
Guest
iverge

Something to consider regarding the miles portion of travel packages – This could also mean that high value airline miles that are currently a good deal with travel packages will suddenly become a bad deal (examples include Air Canada, American, Alaska)

Larry
Guest
Larry

Greg — I currently have a 1-5 cert attached to a reservation for October of this year. What would you do? If I cancel the reservation I think I give myself the best chance at upside with really no downside. If Marriott tried to give me 45,000 points I would think outrage would be easily in order but I guess there’s some risk.

Bern
Guest
Bern

As Greg has mentioned in his post, right now the best way to go is wait for announcements, until confirmed news have revealed what will happen then it would be good to make those informed decisions to change.

It just frustrates me that Marriott is running behind on their timeline and they are now clearly backed up trying to find answers to these truckload of details.

Bern
Guest
Bern

I honestly thought Marriott announcing this merger mid year was a hot mess, and still thinking it is.. Given how all the elite folks in flyertalk/marriottinsider forums are complaining about Marriott existing CS currently facing meltdowns in their call center and their customer service responses significantly delayed.

We are already approaching late June, still no news regarding how the actual implementation on how it will work out in August. If you look at the time line, essentially everyone only have 4 weeks left to make the necessary adjustments when they announced the new redemption chart and finalized news.

– Is it going to be August 1st or August 31st?
– Will travel package adjustments details be announced before August to give folks time to redeem their certs? Or will it immediately go LIVE on August 1st? If folks are only given 2 weeks to “adjust”, I foresee the already crumbling call centers to eventually disseminate to nothing.
– Do you think they will adjust the miles redemption amount in the new chart? There have been plenty of news that adjustments will take place.

It is frustrating because this is the time I’m planning my business and leisure travels for the 3rd quarter of the year, but I’m holding off because I want to decide if I should burn off my Marriott travel package certs or continue to only book and pre-pay cash at SPG properties to maximize as much starpoints (with my AMEX SPG card) as I can until the merge.

Brett W
Guest
Brett W

Greg, I was looking at booking a Ritz Tier 1-3 Package now for use next year but am rethinking it. Can you confirm that new program will include Air + Hotel packages with top hotels that are now in SPG brand?

Leo
Guest
Leo

Excellent Article Greg. Would your theory works the same for 5 night certificates? I don’t have enough spg points to buy two 7 night certificate packages however i can buy two 5 night packages for 235,000 Marriott points each and get total 240 Alaska Miles which is what i want.

Hal
Guest
Hal

Great post. Regardless of if this works or not, I’m very tempted to convert 90k SPG to 270k Marriott and transfer to Alaska. But this would be completely speculative as I have no need for it at the moment.
Are you going to give it a shot?

Paul
Guest
Paul

Thanks for the info and speculation, Greg. Isn’t it possible they will just leave the floating packages alone and adjust categories based on the new chart (i.e Cat 1-5 becomes Cat 1-4)? Mine expires 8/3 so I have to make a change to keep it. Was going to upgrade to Cat 8 for Hawaii but I would probably be happier with 150k extra points for the flexibility.

fll
Guest
fll

Starwood Lurker does NOT “believe”. He can only post what the Marriott Loyalty Team has approved he to post
He has said this from the very beginning and actually emphasized that, ANY words he posted would have to first go thru Marriott Loyalty Team’s review and approval hence any answer would be delayed.

You can speculate however way you would like to see it and think the most optimal direction, but in reality is, Marriott has steadfastly REFUSED to give us any hint on which direction it is going.

I am not sure having such article on a popular blog would help the case or pushing Marriott to the less desirable direction, i.e. just point refund at 45K on the Cat 5 floater and each higher level you get back an additional 30K. This has always been the case when a customer chooses to cancel.

Of course the fair way Marriott to do it is to convert the cert to the new categories and that is what we who really want to use the cert for hotel stays are hoping.

Not everyone redeem the TP is aiming for getting the miles on the cheap – rather it is the redemption option that makes most sense if you have enough points to do so.

The SPG 1 to 3 has enabled many to get enough pts to do so. Marriott has tolerated this lope-sided valuation for 2 years, may be it does not feel it should give yet another “huge win” to those hacking this sweet spot.

Brent
Guest
Brent

Lopsided valuation? Blogs have always had around a 2.1c SPG vs. 0.7 MR average.

bye Ebg
Guest
bye Ebg

Man, it’d be awesome if this theory actually worked. I have 3 Ritz certs good for Tier 1-4. That could potentially mean 180K (60 x 3) points. That’d be enough for me to top up for another travel package.

fll
Guest
fll

To those who keep speculating what Lurker “believes”, “holding back the info to avoid gold rush”, or he is “misinformed”…

This is what William said on May 10th after people kept asking him to clarify this and that…

If this question is in the wiki of this thread, it has been passed on to the loyalty team. If it is not there, then someone needs to take the initiative to add it, so it can be.

It should be abundantly clear to everyone by now that no questions are being answered by me…either by posting here, sending an email or by sending a Private Mail…until I have an approved message from the loyalty team.

For my part, I will continue to answer the questions as soon as I receive the answers. I promise not to slip them in my back pocket and sit on them.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts LLC

Original post on FT

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starwood-starwood-preferred-guest/1904261-official-announcement-see-how-our-three-loyalty-programs-will-become-one-august-69.html#post29739367

He has mentioned how the questions are being answered in numerous previous posts. It boils down as that he can only know / post what has been confirmed / approved by the Marriott Loyalty Team.

While Greg has continuously made speculative assumption, readers should know – all these are speculations and William has not held back anything that Marriott has let him post.

So far Marriott has NOT revealed information even it has previously promised – most noticeably is the new hotel category charts which are promised to be available in JUNE. We are now on June 20th, nothing has come out on that promise.

Keep on speculating and take whatever action your risk tolerance levels allowed, but dont be led down the garden path by speculation and later regret it.

fll
Guest
fll

To those who keep speculating what Lurker “believes”, “holding back the info to avoid gold rush”, or he is “misinformed”…

This is what William said on May 10th after people kept asking him to clarify this and that…

If this question is in the wiki of this thread, it has been passed on to the loyalty team. If it is not there, then someone needs to take the initiative to add it, so it can be.

It should be abundantly clear to everyone by now that no questions are being answered by me…either by posting here, sending an email or by sending a Private Mail…until I have an approved message from the loyalty team.

For my part, I will continue to answer the questions as soon as I receive the answers. I promise not to slip them in my back pocket and sit on them.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts LLC

You can find this post on the FT mega thread, or search under his handle to find his latest post which is the ONLY post he made on May 10th, to emphasize to everyone who actually reads the thread that anything he said thru any channel – has to be approved by the loyalty team.

And this is not the first time he mentions this, but I guess people continue to ask questions despite they are already in the wiki waiting for answers so he has to use very clear language to tell people that if there are no answers to the questions, it is because Marriott Loyalty Team has not given any answer to the question.

So far Marriott has NOT revealed information even it has previously promised – most noticeably is the new hotel category charts which are promised to be available in JUNE. We are now on June 20th, nothing has come out on that promise.

Count me the more pessimistic camp that I dont believe Marriott would go the path(s) being speculated here.

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

I honestly don’t see how they can do anything but make us whole. Not everybody purchasing the packages are hackers or read blogs. Let’s say I’m a normal person sitting on a 1-5 7 night certificate and have no idea they are about to change to points. I would be pissed if all the sudden I wasn’t able to redeem those points for 7 nights at a category 1-5 (or equivalent). I actually think that would cause a lawsuit.

Ben
Guest
Ben

Good point, I think it’s more likely their policy will be geared towards a “layperson” than a gamer. Especially since this is a one-time event where they can calculate the risk, as opposed to an ongoing loophole/sweet spot that could be perpetually gamed.

Buddy M.
Guest
Buddy M.

Greg, Do you know which SPG cat 7 properties aren’t either all suites properties or have other attributes which would make them cost more than 60k Marriott points come August 1st? I am looking to use my Marriott points to get a travel package at the Marriott Cat 8 level and maxing on frequent flier points(probably Alaska). I’m thinking at this point there’s no rush to do this, maybe we’ll learn something more about what’s going to happen before August 1st. What do you think?

NinjaX
Guest
NinjaX

greg. this was a very detailed post. however, dare i say it was a waste of your efforts to put this much time writing your thoughts without concrete policy from Marriott. anything and everything could change as soon as marriott announces their plans. i guess your readers always appreciate your thoughts on potential huge wins. but this is similar to the massive blogs posts writing about what may/may not happen when marriott bought SPG. so much talk and speculation. huge waste of time without directives from marriott and when the final word came out, it rendered past discussion obsolete. anyway, just saying. we need more info from marriott ASAP so we can take the time to analyze.

Ben
Guest
Ben

Disagree. This is a thorny issue; I’ve read several breathless accounts talking up one aspect or another, and this is the most well-rounded, logically reasoned perspective I’ve seen.

Kalboz
Guest
Kalboz

Greg says, “… huge win with Marriott Travel Packages before August …”

How so?

Currently, Marriott will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate. That’s not a good value for the 7 night hotel certificate. And the quote by SPG Lurker does not give confidence that there will be a better rate of refund for the floating certificates.

trackback

[…] Marriott Travel Packages. One about the best airlines to go with them and the other contemplating how to win big before August. I advise bloggers to draft posts expressing their outrage when Marriott kills this, […]

Mark
Guest
Mark

Well I ordered a 7 night cat 1-5 yesterday (and got the Alaska miles) for 270 and the agent called the certificate a “floater” certificate and it is sitting in my account with a 6/21/2019 expiration date. I did an expedited award hoping against hope that the miles would make it in two days so I can beat the F class AS award mileage increasing from 25K to 30K and they arrived this afternoon so it was a 24 hour turnaround. Yippee! Now does anyone know if AS will charge me to change a date by a day on an “A” class award ticket if I have no status with them?

FlyerDad
Guest
FlyerDad

Greg–I thought you had written somewhere that IF one was going to do this, you’d recommend a category 7, is that correct? And if so, how come? Also, any additional thoughts about 5 night vs. 7 night (assuming one is eligible)? Thanks very much.

Josh
Guest
Josh
Josh
Guest
Josh

Is there any thought to upgrading your cat 1-5 to cat 6 just to ‘lock in’ the points? Just in case Marriott gives you somewhere in between a cat1-5 valuation for your points?

James R
Guest
James R

Greg, before August, what airline miles transfer to an international destination do you consider to be an excellent value for the 120,000 miles and Marriott points? Everywhere I check requires way more miles than what I will have by more than 80,000 miles I would have to buy.

Nick Reyes
Editor

You might be interested in this post:

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/06/21/46860/

James R
Guest
James R

I Read it but am not sure how do you find these award miles you mentioned on respective airlines.? Some of the airlines try to make me try to sign in when I do Not even have a frequent flyer number to see award miles required.

Excuse my ignorance but I see nothing like what you have posted to be the best in each respective category (First Class/Business Class to Asia/Africa/Australia) on the previous mentioned airline.

Can you help steer me how to find those award miles as I am interested in (Capetown, Greece and New Zealand). Alaska look interesting but I have never flown them much less with 2 people who want to travel in something other than just Economy and would love a lie flat bed. Thanks Nick.

trackback

[…] redeeming points on a Marriott travel package before August 1st. I won’t rehash all the info, Frequent Miler has a series of excellent posts on the subject. Once again, there is a lot of uncertainty, but there is a potential for a huge upside. I […]

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[…] Time is running out to book a Marriott Travel Package under the current rewards structure.  We don’t know yet whether travel packages will be better or worse in the new program, but we do know that there’s a slight chance that redeeming points for a travel package before August will result in a big win (please click through this link for details). […]

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[…] gets into the nuanced detail and provides some guesses and recommendations, which you may access here.  I would say that you’re best to just use your certificate to lock in a hotel now.  If […]

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[…] Greg wrote about the potential for a huge win with Marriott Travel Packages. Of course, we don’t know that there will be a huge win — it’s just potential. […]

Shannon M
Guest
Shannon M

Good afternoon All,
Thank you for all of the great information you have provided; I appreciate the detail.
I am lifetime platinum ambassador with SPG sitting with sub 700k Starpoints and I have about 280K Marriott Points. I am thinking of converting my Marriott Points to a travel package and I am wondering if it is better to go less miles and higher category or vice versa. I have some status with all of the airlines, but I would likely fly American Airlines now that the Delta Program is about to be sunset. I can always use airline miles, but with all the changes coming in August am I better served to have a higher certificate? I usually vacation travel in the category 5/6 range, but I’m not against living larger Thank you and I appreciate your time and effort on this.

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[…] See also: Potential huge win with Marriott Travel Packages before August. […]

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[…] with existing travel package certificates when the programs merge.  In my earlier post “Potential huge win with Marriott Travel Packages before August,” I detailed the possibility that the certificates will be converted to the number of points […]

Tater Harris
Guest
Tater Harris

I have 360k marriott points, 215k amex plat points, and 100k delta skymiles plus my wife has 100k delta skymiles. I’m wanting to stay at the St. Regis Bali in November. Would it make sense to book a Marriott TP now? I would be flying from Atlanta and could use the extra skymiles.