Last night Marriott announced both hotel category changes (almost all are going ‘up’ in price) and the introduction of a new, higher award category — category 9.
- The new category 9 will cost 45,000 points per night
- 36% of properties will go up by one or more categories (almost all by only 1)
- Only 1% of properties will drop by a category.
The changes go into effect May 16. Here’s the full list of properties changing categories.
They new category 9 hotels are:
- Boston Marriott Long Wharf
- Le Merigot, A JW Marriott Beach Hotel & Spa, Santa Monica
- London Marriott Hotel County Hall
- London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square
- Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel
- London Marriott Hotel Park Lane
- JW Marriott Essex House
- New York Marriott Marquis
- Paris Marriott Hotel Champs-Elysees
- St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel
- Renaissance New York Hotel Times Square
- Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel
- Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe Hotel
So stay out of London, Paris, Midtown Manhattan, Boston, and Santa Monica if you’re a Marriott Rewards member!
The good news is that we get a bit of notice (and thus an opportunity, if we already have enough points in our account, to redeem now and as far in advance as nearly a year and under the current rates).
Marriott hasn’t always been so generous, tending not to release lists of hotels going up in price in advance and even eliminating categories of awards without notice. They’ve gotten pushback on this things, and so it’s good to see they’ve learned something.
This is the new award chart that goes into effect May 16. Categories 1-8 have not changed points requirements (though more than a third of hotels have gone up a category, so require more poitns). Only category 9 is new here:
Not a great time to be a Marriott Rewards member with a large number of banked points.