Now that we have covered off the new Marriott Rewards Chart and when/what to book, we take a look at the new Marriott Travel Packages and what they represent to Marriott Reward Members.
Previously, the Marriott Travel Package represented incredible value, especially during the Marriott/SPG transition period where SPG Points transferred to Marriott Points at a 1:3 ratio. Jayce covered off these packages extensively but long story short, you essentially got a free 7-night hotel stay when you transferred your Marriott points to an airline program you needed points in anyways.
Now that Marriott has announced that they will be revamping the program, it deserves a second look to determine if you should load up on Travel Packages before August 1st or if you should wait.
In short – a lot.
First off, in the old program (I’m going to call everything pre-August 2018 the “old program”), there were 4 different packages based on what airline you wanted to transfer your point to. You would first need to determine the airline points you needed, look for it in the small print and then determine how many Marriott Points you required in order to initiate the transfer.
Additions and Subtractions
In order to properly compare the old and the new packages, we first need to see what has changed in terms of the airline transfer partners. If you don’t look at the packages closely, you might miss out on a couple of interesting tidbits.
Effective August 1, 2019, the following airlines will no longer be redeemable for the Travel Package: GOL and JetBlue
Effective August 1, 2019, the following airlines will allow for points transfers through the Travel Package: Aegean, China Southern, Hainan, Thai, Virgin Australia
All in all, the airlines that we are losing as transfer partners are fairly insignificant while the additions are pretty good … but at what cost?
In order to do an apples to apples comparison of the old and new packages, we need to try to control for some variables. In order to do that, we must make some concessions and assumptions, namely:
- The old Category 1-5 is equivalent to the new Category 1-4
- We will assume the hotel stay certificate holds no value for the purposes of this calculation
- The subtraction of GOL and JetBlue and the addition of Aegean, China Southern, Hainan, Thai and Virgin Australia have no bearing in the comparison
Based on this, I have calculated the cost of an airline point in Marriott Reward Points for the old program and the new program.
As you can see, the new Marriott Travel Packages only outperforms the old Package 4. The interesting thing is that Package 4 was for JetBlue, an airline that isn’t part of the new Travel Package anyways.
If we eliminate the old Package 4, we can see that in no instance does the new Travel Package represent a better deal.
If you ever had an eye on the Marriott Travel Package, I would encourage you to get into one prior to August 1, 2018 as the new program represents poor value. That being said, if you were looking to redeem for the airlines in the old Package 2, you aren’t that much further behind, though it will certainly cost you a little bit more.
If you are close to being able to redeem for the old Travel Package and need some points in order to do so, I would encourage you to purchase SPG points as you can currently get a 35% bonus on points purchase through July 20th. Click the banner below for details.