Coming off the back of announcing its move to completely remove award charts starting March 2022, Marriott Bonvoy has now made the decision to eliminate its once very popular Hotel + Air Package awards.
For those unfamiliar, Marriott’s Hotel + Air Package awards allowed you to redeem your points for a certificate for a 7-night hotel stay plus a certain number of airline miles ranging from 50,000 to 110,000 (depending on your chosen airline). But as of January 19, 2022, it appears you will no longer be able to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points for these packages.
History of Marriott Hotel + Air Package Awards
Many, many, moons ago, before the Marriott and SPG merger in 2018, Marriott’s Hotel + Air Package award redemptions were by far one of the best ways to redeem your Marriott Rewards points.
Prior to the merger, you could redeem 250,000 Marriott Rewards points for 100,000 airline miles (from your choice of 41 airlines) and a 7-night stay at a Category 5 hotel. Then, after the merger, this specific redemption was devalued to a price of 330,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (a 32% increase in the number of points required), and the 7-night certificate was dropped to a Category 4 hotel. Of course, higher hotel category redemptions were devalued as well.
After this change, what was once the best way to redeem your points quickly became a mediocre option that only made sense in certain circumstances.
Should You Still Book a Marriott Hotel + Air Package?
If you were planning on purchasing one of these packages, then you need to make sure you do so before Marriott Bonvoy removes it as a redemption option on January 19, 2022.
If you had no plans to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points for a Hotel + Air Package then you should probably keep it that way and avoid purchasing anything speculatively. However, if you have a large balance of Marriott Bonvoy points, you might want to consider burning through some of those in 2022 before Marriott Bonvoy award pricing becomes fully dynamic in 2023.
Hot Tip: Check out our guide on Marriott Hotel + Air Packages, as well as tips on the best ways to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for hotel stays and for flights.
Why This Decision Was Made
The effective date for the change was recently published in Marriott Bonvoy’s Program Terms and Conditions but was as quickly removed:
We received a statement from a Marriott Bonvoy spokesperson that said, “The information was published prematurely, and we regret the error. We will have additional details for members in the coming days.”
We don’t yet have a reason why this redemption is being pulled. What’s strange is that the spokesperson states that the information was published “prematurely,” yet the removal date erroneously published clearly stated: “Effective January 19, 2022, Hotel and Air Travel Packages are no longer available for purchase.”
Given that, when exactly was Marriott Bonvoy planning on letting members know of this change? Especially since the packages are being removed with just a few days’ warning and yet no official announcement has been made from the hotel chain regarding it.
The loyalty program giveth, and the loyalty program taketh away.
Marriott Hotel + Air Package awards are hardly what they once were, so losing them as a redemption option is far from a massive loss, though it is a devaluation nonetheless. What’s more concerning is that Marriott Bonvoy seemed to be waiting until the eleventh hour to notify members of this change… if it was even planning to notify them at all.
Ultimately, this is yet another example of why you should not hoard points within any loyalty programs, as it’s only a matter of time before another devaluation rears its ugly head.
Featured Image Credit:
Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels