I have been using Marriott Travel Package in the past.
This year with over 750,000 points in my account, I still have to pay over $5,000 of flight cost in addition to all the costs that accrued the 750,000 like staying at different Marriott hotels just to gather up enough points for my family. We have four people in our family and in the past I neve had to reach in my pocket to pay extra for airfare.
What is wrong with this picture? 750,000 gives me over 240,000 miles of airfare. Delta wants 640,000 miles and united wants 450,000 miles.
Has anyone had a recent experience like this? Please post.
I always use my airline FF miles for travel because the 'trade value' costs so much to turn Marriott points into airline miles.
I don't know the answer to this, but others may.....if you changed your status from points to miles in your MR account, does the value equal mile for mile in the airline trade? If it does, that would be a big advantage for you as the 750k would have covered the miles needed. You might want to check that out.
Anyway, enjoy the trip....where are you going that cost so many miles?
Yes! Same problem. In fact, I just posted about it. Even the representative on the phone (can't remember if it was Marriott or the airline) said it wasn't a good deal. Marriott points do not translate directly 1:1 into airline miles. I don't think the airlines like doing this, they just do it to be cooperative with the hotel industry.
In 2005, we used 250K Marriott points to do 7 nights in Paris and two round trip airfares (which were multi-destination). No problem and no extra taxes/fees by the airlines. This past year, we just couldn't make it work. In the end, it was going to be 400K Marriott points for 5 nights and two round trip airfares, but also with about $2400 in taxes added on by the airlines.
So now I won't even consider using Marriott Rewards points on a package deal. I'll use them strictly for hotel stays. And I don't consider that a bad thing at all. When one considers that a 5 night stay at the beautiful C-E in Paris or the Grand Flora in Rome during peak season can cost anywhere from $3500 to $8000, staying free on points is certainly no small savings. I'll take it!
NathalieF I do not see how mileage has been the same since 2005. That has definitely not been my experience. I understand what you're saying about the additional cost of hotel redemption: prior to 2009 one could do 7 nights at cat 7 (the highest cat at the time) for 150K Marriott points, I believe, where as now it costs 160K Marriott points for 5 nights at a cat 8 (which used to be cat 7). But in my experience, I can definitely not get a 5 night two person round trip airfare for anywhere near what it used to be, and it's because of 1) the conversion of hotel points to airline miles, and 2) the taxes that the airlines charge. To be clear, I am referring strictly to U.S. to European travel, not travel packages within the U.S.
jep2020 Jep, would you mind weighing in on this, as you seem to have had some good package experiences. Thanks.
In the years prior to January 2009, travel packages from Marriott Rewards ranged from 165,000 points (7 night stay in category 1-5 hotel, 50,000 frequent flyer miles) up to 270,000 (7 night stay in category 7 hotel, 120,000 miles). This was back when category 7 was the highest. That of course was for standard rewards. There was also "Stay Anytime" rewards, which were needed when a hotel was either blacked-out, or when the hotel was sold out of the rooms they had alloted for rewards usage. The "Stay Anytime" packages ranged from 225,000 points (7 night stay in category 1-5 hotel, 50,000 frequent flyer miles) up to 345,000 (7 night stay in category 7 hotel, 120,000 miles).
The travel packages from Marriott Rewards do cost more now, this is true. However, the increase in cost was due to the hotel portion of the package, not the mileage. As an example of the mileage conversion from Marriott to airlines not changing, please see http://www.marriott.com/rewards/usepoints/morerew.mi. You'll see that the cost to do a conversion from points to miles (not looking at packages) is the same as it was even 10 years ago.
In the end, the increase in our travel package as well as the airline perhaps charging more miles probably explains the larger cost.
Thank you so much for posting the link. Looking at the conversion chart, 125,000 MR points converts to 35,000 Air France miles (unless I'm missing something). The thing is, 35K miles isn't going to get me very far. Even 50K miles on Delta isn't going to get me to Europe and back. So it's going to take a lot more than 125K MR points (at least double that) to get me to Europe and back, which is just not a good deal. On the other hand, if I use my MR points for hotel stays at the nicest Marriotts, considering the cost per room at these best properties (and also considering currency conversion rates), I receive far more value for my points. The cost of staying at the nicest Marriotts in Europe can be about the same as the cost of an airline ticket there and back, but requires far less points than using points for airfare. That's all I'm saying. I'm not disappointed. I just think it's smarter to use Marriott points for Marriott hotels, and use the frequent flyer miles earned with my airline loyalty program for airfare. When one converts Marriott points to airline miles, the value of the Marriott Reward points are thus diminished.
Have you tried points.com?
You can trade airline points on this site, as well as keep all your FF conviently organized.
Only problem is that Marriott does not participate, but some of the other hotel chains do.
I just went to Barcelona on Continental/United for 60K points.
Just finished this and lost I have discovered many ways to do this.
I have a post on Useing Marriott Points at Paris C-E you may find useful.
Here is another tack.
Check the point/cost matrix on the rewards page. As you know, it will show points for hotel, air, or packages along with other options.
Whiten the packages there are three variables, category, length of stay, and air miles. You must get the miles required for your trip form the airlines, then go to the matrix and round up.
Marriott will then transfer the points for miles required and a hotel certificate to the hotel.
There are no other charges, the cost shown on the matrix it the cost with the exception of fuel surcharges and taxes.
You must be aware of the airline fuel charges before you have the miles transferred, you cannot return the miles to reward points.
As far as the attitude of both the airline and Marriott agents it is not a matter of whether they like it or not it is a contract between the airlines and Marriott
There is no escaping attitudes. The only choice I see is to hang up and redial.
The rewrite is never as good as the original but here it is. I hope it helps. if I have made some mistakes or left something out pleast let me know.
Sounds like some great trips, Enjoy
To piggyback on this, here are the webpage instructions and matrices for hotel/air packages.
I have used the Travel Packages many times and I thought that they were the best value ... maybe I'm mistaken based on the above discussion. PainedPlatinum started a post on this topic a while back and I have asked him to add a link when he gets a mo. (I sent him my analysis and I didn't keep a copy ... now, I can't find the post.)
I have just checked back to PP's other post on this topic. I have been through my response again and it still seems to me that the Travel Packages make sense. However, given the responses from some of our long experienced MRIs, I am worried that I am missing something. PP has given the link to his other post above ... thanks PP. If someone could have a quick read and tell me how it doesn't make sense, that would be very helpful. The key bits of my thinking are shown below and respond to PP's original question. Thanks.
"I have used these a few times over the years that I have been in the MR program. The way that it has worked for me is as follows ...
Using your example of the 230K points ... you would get a 'voucher' for a 7 nights stay at a Cat 6 Marriott hotel and 50,000 miles would be credited to the FF program of your choice (provided you are already a member. As you state, if you needed 120K miles instead of 50K, you would need to opt for the 300K points trade.
If you break this down into component parts and used the MR points separately ... a Cat 6 hotel stay for 7 nights would require 180K MR points ... 50K miles would require 125K MR points ... so, 305K in total. (In you second example, the cost of 120K miles bought separately looks like costing 310K points ... adding this to the hotel cost of 180K points, gives a total of 490K points.)
By going for the travel package, you get a saving of 75K points in example 1 and 190K points in example 2. The only drawback that I have found is that the 7 night stay has to be a continuous stay, you cannot split it across a couple of locations. The hotel voucher is valid for 1 year.
We used a load of points to get two Upper Class flights to Australia with Virgin a few years ago and stayed at the Marriott Circular Quay for a week. We needed about 360K miles for the trip (we traded for 3 x 120k points packages), so had two weeks of vouchers left after the trip ... we used them fairly quickly. It seemed great value as the flights would have been £6500 each (nearly $10K each)."
I used miles to go to Australia business class on Quantas and the cost of the flights would have been about 20k/person each way. Don´t remember how many miles but over 100k per ticket. I think if you go upper class in an international trip, you can´´t beat it. As for coach, often you can snag a really good deal and would probably be better to pay and then get miles. Save your Marriott points for a hotel pkg