Navigating Marriott’s phone prompts to book a Travel Package

Marriott 7 Night Travel Packages

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).

To redeem points for a travel package resulting in a 7 night certificate and 120,000 miles (or 132,000 miles if you choose United miles), you’ll need at least 270,000 Marriott points.

And you’ll need lot’s of patience.

Marriott Travel Packages can’t be booked online.  And most Marriott phone agents don’t know how to book them.  The trick is to get Marriott Rewards on the phone, not Marriott Customer Service, and definitely not Marriott Reservations.

Unfortunately, the Marriott Rewards phone numbers now route to a central phone menu with voice prompts that will have you shouting in anger within minutes.  Here’s the key to navigate the phone prompts with minimal stress…

  1. Call Marriott at 1-800-321-7396 (or any other Marriott phone number you have)
  2. Wait for the recording to tell you that you can learn all about the new program online.
  3. In response to: “How can I help you today?”
    Say: “Transfer rewards points.”
  4. Then the computer will ask you more specifics about the transfer.
    Interrupt the computer and say “Something else.”
  5. Wait on hold for a long, long time.

If an agent answers with something like “Marriott Rewards, can I have your rewards number?” then you’ve made it to the right place!

Good luck!

UPDATE: Also see this post for details about foreign call centers that may answer much more quickly.

See also:

And 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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John
Guest
John

I just did this today. I was on hold and transferred around all day yesterday with no luck. Finally got through this morning. Just waiting for my airline miles to post but I got my 7 night certificate already.

Nick Reyes
Editor

Just did this right now. Total phone call time = 20 minutes, 43 seconds following these instructions.

David
Guest
David

I booked a package via the Marriott Rewards phone # just a few days ago and they got it done in a matter of minutes. I just pressed zero to get to a rep, told them i wanted a 7-night category 9 package with United miles, and they took care of it fast. They even made the actual hotel res since I already knew where I wanted to book.

John
Guest
John

How long did it take to get your United miles to show up in your account?

David
Guest
David

I believe they showed up within about 48 hours

Miller508
Guest
Miller508

Next day for me

NinjaX
Guest
NinjaX

nice! very useful man. thank u.

going to wait until last min then unload cuz i need all my SPG points to post.

Billy E.
Guest
Billy E.

Do you have any info on Doctor of Credit’s recent post about Amex restricting applications for the new SPG Luxury card based on having the Marriott or Ritz card in the past 24 months?

Thank you for your time.

Nancy
Guest
Nancy

Looking to go to New Zealand and Australia using airline miles from a package to help get us there in business class.
What airline miles do you suggest getting in the Marriott Package?

Nick Reyes
Editor

Greg provided several links in the “see also” section of the post. Check the link called “Which airlines are best for Marriott Travel Packages?” for a summary of “the best miles to get to ______”.

In your case. Alaska or ANA (though ANA is only 85K miles and you can get those via Membership Rewards).

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[…] Best award to burn Marriott/SPG points is the Travel Packages. So, here is good advice: Navigating Marriott’s phone prompts to book a Travel Package. […]

Blue
Guest
Blue

45 minutes but got a 7N United Cat 8. Figure I can use it for a week in NY if the conversion sucks.

trackback

[…] want to see this post that Greg did the other day to save yourself a lot of time and hassle: Navigating Marriott’s phone prompts to book a Travel Package. I followed Greg’s instructions to a T the other day and was off the phone with my package in […]

C.J.
Guest
C.J.

Why does everyone book United packages? I’m in Atlanta and use Delta. I would book for 3 to Hawaii or Europe, am I missing out by not using United? Their cash rates are typically more from here and not convenient and I’m having a hard time finding premium seats using Singapore miles on star alliance from here as well.

sheela
Guest
sheela

People probably pick united because of the 10% bonus. If you don’t live in a hub for one of the airlines, the choice isn’t as straight forward unless you have a specific redemption in mind. Personally, I use miles for economy awards and United has decent availability close to my flight dates(my work schedule prevents me from booking any trips more than 2 months in advance). So the 10% bonus is gravy

Nick Reyes
Editor

If you’re booking to Europe, United gives you access to more partners (in addition to United, you’ve got Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, SAS, LOT Polish, Brussels Airlines, Singapore, Turkish…I’m sure I’m missing one or two off the top of my head), whereas Delta gives you access to Delta, Air France, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic (possible I’m missing something here off the top of my head as well). In that specific circumstance, you would theoretically have a lot more award options available to get to Euorpe.

It’s also nice that United publishes an award chart, so you can easily know how many miles it will cost from Point A to Point B if you find saver availability. United also has the free excursionist perk.

That’s not to say that United has the most competitive award chart. They’d charge you 70K one-way in business class on partners to Europe. Aeroplan would charge you 55K for the same seat – so I’m not saying that United is the right choice for you, but rather if your question is “Why do people choose United” and I compare it to your situation, those are some reasons it might appeal more than Delta.

And like sheela said, more miles is nice — getting an extra 12K is basically a free one-way ticket in the US on top of the package, right?

I personally wouldn’t choose United on these because I collect enough URs that I can always have United miles when I need them. But if I were saving for a specific redemption, United certainly might make sense. And if you’re redeeming more than one travel package, those extra 12K chunks can start to add up.

Leo
Guest
Leo

Thanks Nick…. Im a savy traveler and wanna travel to Europe in Economy (cheapest) way possible in order to extend my miles…. i have heard Alaska or United are my best options… would you please give me a little on top of your head advantages of Alaska miles as compared to united too please? cause im headed more towards the united miles. Thanks

Nick Reyes
Editor

Alaska isn’t a good choice for travel to Europe. Your options would be pretty limited. You’d be better off with United since there are *so many* Star Alliance options to Europe (United, Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, SAS, LOT Polish, Brussels Airlines, Turkish, Singapore…I’m sure I’m still missing a partner). Alaska has other sweet spots – I wouldn’t consider Europe to be one of them.

Depending on when you’re planning to travel and where you’re from, another option might be Air France / KLM. Their most recent promo awards have economy class to Europe from about 11K miles each way, whereas most programs charge about 30K one-way. But then you’re relying on limited routes / dates.

ktc
Guest
ktc

thx for the summary, called & booked Cat 6/United package. total time: 3 min. either lucky or have LT status

gaspipe
Guest
gaspipe

Should I convert my SPG points first OR am I able to mix and match? If I must convert first, what is the simplest way?

Nick Reyes
Editor

Yes, you have to convert your SPG points to Marriott first. You can do that here:

https://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/account/starpoints/redeem/moreOptions.html?language=en_US

It’s instant.

gaspipe
Guest
gaspipe

Posting this here b/c this was the site I felt helped me the most with booking a 5 Night stay!

If anyone is looking to nook a 5 night stay vs a 7 night I was just able to do it today! Seems when I called the Vacation Club Rep wanted to transfer me to Rewards Department but due to holiday and long waits she actually did it for me!!

I called and told them “My cousin told me I was able to purchase a 5 Night Marriott Travel Package.” (my friend is actually a Vacation Club Member and I was ready to throw his name if I had to). She said I was correct and would transfer me to the Rewards Dept. After so hold time she came back on, told me that they are experiencing some high call volumes and could help me.

She took my membership numbers to my Marriott and United and within a few min it was done. Email recieved and I saw the certificate on my online profile.

The number I called was 1-866-814-6901. Here is the site where I got the info:
https://tinyurl.com/y9pbf4wj

Good Luck!!

Sayeed
Guest
Sayeed

Man, I really lucked out. I followed your advice exactly and got connected with an agent in less than a minute, and the whole thing took probably 3 to 4 minutes. I transferred to Alaska and a category 6. The agent kept saying I will get 132,000 miles. I guess he was thinking of United, but I suspect I’ll end up getting 120,000.

Daniel Aboud
Guest
Daniel Aboud

Thanks for the tricks to get through the prompts quickly. 15 minutes on hold, 90 seconds to book the package.

Sayeed
Guest
Sayeed

Did anyone get any confirmation about the miles after getting the package? I received confirmation on the hotel certificate immediately, but nothing about the miles so far.

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[…] Navigating Marriott’s phone prompts to book a Travel Package. […]

thatirieguy
Guest
thatirieguy

Wow, was a bit concerned after reading this. Called to book a 7-night Cat 6 and was done and complete in get this…3 minutes! Best call experience ever!!!!!

Jordan
Guest
Jordan

Booked a package this morning using these prompts. Got through to a rep and finished the booking in 8 minutes! Thanks!

AndrewOnTheRoad
Guest
AndrewOnTheRoad

I just did this now. Took me 8 minutes and 21 seconds and on a Sunday when the Marriott Rewards office is supposed to be closed. 🙂

I called the number listed in your post, followed your instructions, and when she answered she greeted me with “Reservations.” I said “oh, is this reservations, I thought I was calling the Membership Rewards department” and she said she could help me with that, too, immediately asking me for my Marriott Rewards number.

She asked me what I’d like to do and she was clearly well versed in how to process the nights & flights travel packages. The whole thing was quick and easy.

Crash
Guest
Crash

Data point – I called Sunday night 7/22 and it took me 2.5 hours to get through to someone. I then had to educate them on booking the package. It was very annoying.

Jason Gui
Guest
Jason Gui

Got through in 15 minutes, and had it all sorted out in 20 minutes. Called at 2pm EST on July 31st. Previously I’d spent over 10+ hours trying to reach anyone, and kept getting disconnected as I was calling from international. Thanks for much for the guide!!

The customer service rep said that August 18th will be when the new Marriott Travel Package redemption levels goes into effect, not August 1st as I had previously dreaded.

Nick Reyes
Editor

Awesome! Glad it worked out for you.

And the 18th date is accurate — Marriott announced that last week. See this post for more:

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/07/25/travel-packages-bookable-through-august-17th-marriott-spg-to-tie-the-loyalty-knot-on-saturday-august-18th/

trackback

[…] Instructions to Book a Marriott Travel Package […]

Jo N
Guest
Jo N

Just adding a data point – called the UK number. Wait time was about 10 minutes. I asked for the 5 night package, but was denied (was told only for Marriott Vacation Club owners). Booked the 7 night package. All done in 15 minutes (including wait time).

MSer
Guest
MSer

Used the number – redeemed for several packages. Done in less than 10 minutes, including hold time. Called 1-800-321-7396 Saturday afternoon. Very surprised how fast and painless it was…

Mel
Guest
Mel

Took me 7mins! They’re quick now!

trackback

[…] you are trying to redeem for a Travel Package, a while back Frequent Miler shared the best way to get in touch with the right department — call 800.321.7396, and then […]

trackback

[…] I called 8/17 at 9:30 am PDT. I got connected in 22 minutes by following Greg’s instructions: call 1-800-321-7396. Listen to the new program info then when asked “How can I help you […]

Erin
Guest
Erin

I just finished speaking with Marriott to purchase a package about 20 minutes ago. My points are still on my account and I’m not seeing any certificate. How can I confirm that the transaction was completed? The rep gave me the certificate # but I’d feel better seeing it in my account.

Javi
Guest
Javi

I’ve heard rumors that we’ll no longer be able to upgrade a certificate to a higher level category within the new program. Does anyone know if this true or attempted to upgrade since last week?