Loyalty Traveler reports that Marriott Rewards is making its annual adjustment to reward categories (which hotels cost how many points) — new rates go into effect March 15 — 100 hotels are going down a category and 526 are going up a category.
Marriott is the chain whose economics I’m least familiar with, several years ago it was explained to me that hotels are compensated based on the number of redemptions made during the year — the more redemptions, the more they were paid per redemption. This was how Marriott incentivized hotels to make more rooms available as awards.
I hadn’t paid much attention, and since that time Marriott has changed policies to more closely match its competitors and make award rooms available on points more or less whenever those rooms are available for cash. And I hadn’t thus learned whether their compensation model changed along with it.
You can download a .pdf file with all of the hotel-by-hotel changes.
One interesting tidbit from the document suggests that the hotel compensation model may not have fundamentally changed:
Marriott Rewards has 8 hotel categories which are determined by prior
year redemption volume at each hotel and are not determined by brand, rate, amenities, location, or services offered.
You can also download a .pdf of the full list of hotels by category for 2012 that will be in effect from March 15 onward.
I certainly don’t like to see so many more hotels going up in price than going down, but at least it’s only ~ 15% of properties that are getting more expensive.