~1,000 Marriott Hotels Will Cost More Points With New Award Chart

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~1,000 Marriott Hotels Will Cost More Points With New Award Chart

Million Mile Secrets~1,000 Marriott Hotels Will Cost More Points With New Award ChartMillion Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Marriott has announced their new award chart and unlike Hilton, Hyatt, and Starwoodthe Marriott award chart changes are more significant. 

Because ~1,000 of Marriott’s hotels are moving up a category on March 19, 2015, you should book certain Marriott hotels now.

1,080 Marriott Hotels Will Cost More Points With New Award Chart
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa Is 1 of ~1,000 Marriott Hotels That Will Cost More on March 19, 2015

Let’s take a look at the changes.

Marriott Category Changes

Link:   Marriott Award Chart 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:

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.

1,080 Marriott Hotels Will Cost More Points With New Award Chart
You’ll Pay Fewer Points to Stay at the JW Marriott Hotel Bogota on March 19, 2015

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:

If you book a hotel on or before March 18, 2015, you’ll pay the old award chart rates for stays through February 15, 2016.

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).

1,080 Marriott Hotels Will Cost More Points With New Award Chart
The Renaissance Aruba Beach Resort & Casino Will Cost 5,000 More Marriott Points Per Night After March 18, 2015

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:

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.

Not only will you pay fewer points to stay at the Spa do Vinho Hotel & Spa, you can use your free night at a Category 1 to 4 hotel if you’re new to the Marriott Rewards Premier card.

1,080 Marriott Hotels Will Cost More Points With New Award Chart
You’ll Need Fewer Points to Stay at the Spa do Vinho Hotel & Spa, Autograph Collection

So 5 nights at the Denver Marriott Westminster will cost 60,000 Marriott points instead of 80,000 Marriott points after March 19, 2015. 

Bottom Line

Marriott is changing their award chart for bookings made after March 18, 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.

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Marriott is punishing those who stay on points. Great example, Sherman Oaks Marriott was a Cat 4. In 2014 it changed to a Cat 5. Now for 2015 it changes to a Cat 6. During this time, the hotel was not remodeled and prices have not changed from my experience. I stay there 2-3 nights a year. The Marriott card is useless for the free night there. This hotel is deserving of a Cat 4, maybe a Cat 5, although it sits on the fwy. Cat 6 absolutely not.