Marriott hasn’t had the easiest of years. In 2018 they merged their loyalty program with the Starwood Preferred Guest program and integrated SPG properties into the Marriott booking system. It took a long time but it looks to be largely complete, although there are definitely still some hiccups. When the two brands merged in August it led to over 5,718 properties changing point redemption categories.

The Points Guy’s Nick Ewen actually did the math and

  • 2,187 properties increased in price (31.86%)
  • 1,144 properties remained the same (16.67%)
  • 3,533 properties decreased in price (51.47%)

With such a radical change in the middle of 2018 you would hope that the redemption pricing would have remained the same for at least a year. It should come as no surprise but Marriott is changing tiers on a couple of very high-end properties. Luckily it looks like only 5 properties are changing, so far.

3 will be increasing in price and 2 will be dropping in price. The hotels increasing include:

Image result for Hotel Talisa, Vail

Hotel Talisa, Vail

The Park Central San Francisco

August 2018 Category Points Per Night March 2019 Category New Points Per Night  (*Range Includes Peak/Off Peak)
5 35,000 6 40,000-60,000

Hotel Talisa, Vail

August 2018 Category Points Per Night March 2019 Category New Points Per Night (*Range Includes Peak/Off Peak)
6 50,000 7 50,000-70,000

Gramercy Park Hotel, New York, a Member of Design Hotels

August 2018 Category Points Per Night March 2019 Category New Points Per Night (*Range Includes Peak/Off Peak)
7 60,000 8 70,000-100,000

I imagine that you should be able to book a room at the Hotel Talisa for 50,000 points (category 7 off-peak rate) most times of the year except during the holidays as Vail and other ski towns tend to get a little quiet.

Hotel Talisa, Vail

The hotels that are getting cheaper include:

Pine Cliffs Hotel, Algarve, a Luxury Collection Resort

August 2018 Category Points Per Night March 2019 Category New Points Per Night  (*Range Includes Peak/Off Peak)
7 60,000 6 40,000-60,000

11 Howard, New York, a Member of Design Hotels

August 2018 Category Points Per Night March 2019 Category New Points Per Night   (*Range Includes Peak/Off Peak)
8 60,000* 7 50,000-70,000

*Tier 8 Pricing hasn’t applied to category 8 properties yet. Currently redeem Category 8 at Category 7 rates

All these changes have already gone into effect, except for the two NYC properties. If you’re booked at a higher rate at the Pine Cliffs, you can probably call Marriott to get the difference refunded to you. If award costs have increased since you booked, Marriott will honor the original points rate.

A Marriott representative has confirmed that “If a customer makes a points advance reservation under category 7 rates and then the hotel becomes a category 8, Marriott will honor the original rate. While we haven’t announced when category 8 rates take effect, we recommend our members  order the certificate before Category 8 takes effect – we will provide ample lead time – with the main benefit being that the member can attach it themselves with no phone call to our Customer Engagement Centers.  If the member doesn’t have the points by the time category 8 rates take effect, but before their stay, they can only attach their certificate at the original point price by calling the Customer Engagement Centers. “

In Conclusion

It’s not right for Marriott to make no notice changes, but these are pretty mild. Dwayne wade sums up my current feelings towards all hotel programs right now

Feature Image Pine Cliffs Hotel, Algarve

H/T to JT Genter at TPG

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