Finally: The Word on Marriott-Starwood Travel Packages

by Bill Shuman

As Marriott and Starwood  Marriott stated they would combine the best benefits of both programs and for the most part stuck to that mantra throughout the merger. However, in the last week, Marriott failed to communicate some key details. The biggest source of that frustration was the revelation that members could not make any changes to Travel Packages even after spending more points than others to receive the same redemption.

The good news is that it only took Marriott a few days to realize the mistake; a Senior Level Marriott Executive communicated earlier today some very exciting news regarding those Travel Packages, along with another update on the merger.

Travel Package Update

One of the biggest sources of confusion for members leading into the Aug. 18th merger was the month-long blackout on cancellations and modifications to old Marriott Travel Packages.

Two days in, Marriott decided to lift the blackout and members are now able to reserve, modify, or cancel old Travel Packages. Marriott previously stated that members would no longer be able to upgrade, or downgrade, category levels on any old or new Travel Packages.

However, they have provided a one-time exception for members who booked old Category 6, Category 8, and Tier 1-3 that will enable them to downgrade one level and receive a 30,000 point refund. Unfortunately, it appears like these requests will not be handled automatically, so if you need to submit a request, use the “Marriott Contact Us” page, dropdown option “packages – deals” in order to submit your request.

Marriott Travel Packages Deal


Combining Accounts

The other bit of good news that came from Marriott in their official communication is that members will start receiving invitations upon login to combine their Marriott Rewards, SPG, and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards accounts. This new update will allow members to use their correct status, and earn more rewards, sooner than expected. Marriott states that the login prompts are “rolling out in batches to our members through tomorrow” and are to be manually linked by the member. Even though I was not prompted on login I was successfully able to combine my Marriott Rewards with my others.


Marriott Starwood Merger

Marriott Starwood Merger


Overall, Marriott handled a merger this size with incredible efficiency and attention to detail. Even though members were left in the dark about Travel Packages, Marriott took another step in this communication that ensures the merger finishes as smoothly as it started.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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Christopher Russell August 21, 2018 - 4:17 pm

Last night I sent a message to Marriott using the “Package-Deal” category to get the downgrade since I had purchased a category 8 package. Today, I received a response back saying that they are not downgrading to a Category 7 unless you had previously attached your package to a hotel reservation prior to this change. I then called the platinum line today and was told the same thing, that although I purchased a category 8 I was not eligible is downgraded to a 7 because I had not attached it prior to the blackout date. I am wondering if anybody has successfully been able to downgrade their category 8 to a category 7 and get a refund of the points if they hadn’t previously attached their package.

Bill Shuman August 25, 2018 - 4:46 pm


That’s the first I’ve heard of anyone being denied a downgrade. I would try emailing them and in the email include the information that Marriott sent out to see what they say. Beyond that I’d keep calling and asking as sometimes different representatives handle things differently.


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