Because ~1,000 of Marriott’s hotels are moving up a category on March 19, 2015, you should book certain Marriott hotels now.
Let’s take a look at the changes.
Marriott Category Changes
Link: Marriott Award Chart
Marriott’s new award chart starts on March 19, 2015. And because ~1,000 Marriott hotels will cost more, there are some hotels you should book before then. Unless you’re booking 1 of the 360 hotels that will cost less. Those you should book on March 19, 2015, and beyond.
Marriott hotels include:
- AC Hotels by Marriott
- Autograph Collection Hotels
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
- Gaylord Hotels
- JW Marriott
- Marriott Hotels
- Marriott Vacation Club
- Moxy Hotels
- Protea Hotels
- Renaissance Hotels
- Residence Inn by Marriott
- Springhill Suites by Marriott
- TownePlace Suites by Marriott
You can get a lot of Marriott points from the sign-up bonuses to cards such as the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card, Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, and the Ritz-Carlton (you can use Ritz-Carlton points at Marriott hotels) cards.
Hotels Moving to a Higher Category
There are ~1,000 hotels moving to a higher category. That’s over 25% of all Marriott hotels!
Here are a few hotels that will cost more Marriott points per night and their new category:
- AC Hotel Barcelona Forum – Category 7
- Chicago Marriott Suites Downers Grove – Category 4
- Fairfield Inn Seattle Bellevue – Category 5
- Gaylord Opryland – Category 7
- Renaissance Aruba Beach Resort & Casino – Category 8
- SpringHill Suites Boston Andover – Category 3
- The Columbus, A Renaissance Hotel – Category 6
- TownePlace Suites Cleveland Streetsboro – Category 2
- Union Station Hotel, Autograph Collection – Category 8
But if you’re using free night certificates for hotels that will cost more on March 19, 2015, and have NOT ordered them by March 18, 2015, you will have to call Marriott at 801-468-4000 to get the lower price (you won’t be able to book online).
And remember you get the 5th night free when you redeem 4 nights. So you’ll save some Marriott points even with the increased category cost.
So a 5 night stay at the Renaissance Aruba Beach Resort and Casino will cost 160,000 Marriott points as a Category 8 hotel instead of 140,000 Marriott points as a Category 7 hotel.
These changes might cause folks to think twice about getting a Marriott Rewards Premier card. Because there won’t be as many Category 1 to 4 hotels where they can use their sign-up bonus free night.
And folks who already hold the Marriott Rewards Premier card might decide to cancel their card in the 2nd year to avoid paying the $85 annual fee. That’s because there will be fewer hotels in Categories 1 to 5 to use the free night you get on your account anniversary.
And many Ritz-Carlton hotels in Florida will be Category 5 hotels. So the free night at a Category 1 to 4 hotel won’t be much benefit for folks applying for the Ritz-Carlton card who want to use their free night in Florida.
Hotels Moving to a Lower Category
Marriott is moving ~360 hotels to a lower category on March 19, 2015.
Here are some of the hotels that will cost fewer Marriott points per night and their new category:
- Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino – Category 2
- Denver Marriott Westminster – Category 3
- JW Marriott Hotel Bogota – Category 5
- Moscow Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel – Category 7
- Residence Inn Atlanta Gwinnett Place – Category 1
- Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port – Category 6
- Spa do Vinho Hotel & Spa, Autograph Collection – Category 4
- The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow – Ritz-Carlton Category 2
If you’ve booked a hotel that is moving down a category, you should rebook after March 19, 2015, if you are within your cancellation period.
So 5 nights at the Denver Marriott Westminster will cost 60,000 Marriott points instead of 80,000 Marriott points after March 19, 2015.
There are ~1,000 hotels going up a category which means you’ll pay more Marriott points to stay at hotels like the Gaylord Opryland.
And ~360 hotels are going down a category. So you’ll pay less at hotels like the Denver Marriott Westminster.