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Crime Scene: Marriott’s 2018 Hotel Category Changes, and What You Should Do About Them

Crime Scene: Marriott’s 2018 Hotel Category Changes, and What You Should Do About Them

Million Mile SecretsCrime Scene: Marriott’s 2018 Hotel Category Changes, and What You Should Do About ThemMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Just after Starwood released their 2018 hotel category changes, Marriott has announced they are changing award prices for 1,300+ Marriott hotels beginning March 6, 2018.  And it’s NOT good news.

Over 1,000 hotels are going up in category, and the rest are dropping.  Most of the affected hotels are in the US.  But if you make a reservations before March 6, 2018, you’ll still get the current award price.

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I’ll explain more about these changes.  Because for certain hotels, it’s best to book now.  But for others, it’s better to wait!

What’s Happening?

Link:   List of Marriott Hotel Award Changes

Effective March 6, 2018, award prices of 1,300+ Marriott hotels will either increase or decrease.

Marriott hotels include:

If you want to lock-in the current prices, you MUST make your reservations before March 6, 2018.

Hotels Increasing in Price

1,000+ hotels are going up in price.  Some notable increases are:

This also means you’ll have fewer hotels you can redeem your Chase Marriott annual free night with.  Because there are ~130 Category 5 hotels that are jumping to Category 6.  And just ~45 Category 6 hotels that are dropping to a Category 5.  And the annual free night is only valid at Marriott Category 1 through 5 hotels.

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Here’s the full list of changes.

Hotels Decreasing in Price

There are ~250 hotels moving to a lower category.  That’s a shameful amount compared to the number of hotels increasing in price.  A few that caught my eye were:

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The Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando Kissimmee/Celebration Is a 10 Minute Drive From Walt Disney World in Orlando

Want More Marriott Points?

Link:   Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Link:   Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

With both the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier card, and the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Small Business card, you can earn 75,000 Marriott points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.  The annual fee for both cards is waived the first year.

And don’t forget, you can transfer Marriott points to Starwood at a ratio of 3:1 (3 Marriott points = 1 Starwood point).

Bottom Line

Bad news for most of us who collect Marriott points!  Over ~1,300 Marriott hotels are changing award prices effective March 6, 2018.  And ~1,100 of those hotels are going up in price!

Any reservations made before March 6, 2018, will be honored at their current rates.  So if you have a hotel in mind that’s scheduled to increase, book soon.  

Do these changes complicate or help your upcoming travel?

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Shame on Marriott. The annual reward night is getting harder to use. I wouldn’t have a problem if they would allow us to pay additional points for a Category 6 and above. Seems like a winning solution for all of us.

Makes the Marriott free night that much less valuable. I already had difficulty using it for anything decent, trying to get value for the annual fee paid. They need to increase the award to include Category 6, otherwise I may be a goner.

Now that’s more like it. Tell it like it is. We can take it. Thanks.