Monday, February 22, 2016

Marriott Rewards 2016 Hotel Category/Tier Updates - 22 Hotels in Canada affected (nearly 800 Worldwide)

Earlier this year we brought you the details of the IHG Rewards Club hotel category changes and said it wouldn't be too long before we saw other hotels release their annual changes. Now that we are back from vacation we are playing catch up as two chains released these changes last week! First off was Marriott Rewards as they announced the changes on FlyerTalk and summarized all the hotels changing here.

Here's an excerpt of what they posted on FT:
How many hotels are affected?
82% of the properties remain unchanged.
62% of all the properties will remain in Categories 1-4.
18% of the hotels are changing. Of those changing, 30% are decreasing by one category and 70% are increasing by one category.

*NEW!* – March 24, 2016 is also the day you can begin mixing cash and points for reservations of one night or more using the NEW Cash + Points.
The good news for those of you redeeming for stays in Canada is that we saw many hotels go down by one category while only three went up by one. Of course the province that is hurting right now, Alberta saw the largest percentage of those hotel drops as 11 of the 19 properties going down are in Alberta. Somewhat surprising is seeing 6 locations in the Toronto also go down!

Here is the complete summary of our local hotel changes

Hotels in Canada moving up (more points required):

Hotels in Canada moving down in category (less points required):

So what does this mean for Marriott Rewards members? Well take a look at the complete list of hotel changes here to see if any hotels you have currently booked with points or are planning to book with points to see if they are moving up or down. If the location(s) are moving up then you'll want to lock in your booking before March 24th when these changes take place as you'll still be able to redeem at the current 2015 rates. Remember Marriott allows you to book almost a year out so you can book stays in 2017 at this time. However if one or more of planned redemptions is at a location moving down a category you'll want to hold off until March 24th to book to ensure you use less points for that redemption. Already booked for a stay after March 24th? Once that day comes check to see if the hotel has award nights available at the lower rate, book it and then cancel your old award reservation.

Also embedded in this news is that March 24th will also be the official launch of Marriott Rewards' Cash+Points option which detailed sometime ago.

The great news for Canadian redemptions and the 30% of hotel changes that go down a category means that you have some more options to utilize the free nights received from the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Card, of course on the flipside you have quite a few hotels (500+ Worldwide) that will cost you more points or become ineligible for the free night from this credit card.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the latest Marriott Rewards hotel category changes? Are you happy with them or with the majority of changing locations outside of Canada moving up like we tend to see each year make you angry with them (again!)


Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Card
30,000 Bonus Rewards Points when you apply for and receive the Premier card. Points are awarded after your first purchase.
Annual Fee: $120 (waived in the first year)
Supplementary cards: free
30,000 Marriott Rewards Points sign up bonus after your first purchase
1 Free Night at a Category 1 - 4 location upon card approval
5 Marriott Rewards points per $ spent at Marriott locations
2 Marriott Rewards points per $ spent on Airline Tickets, Car Rental agencies and restaurants
1 Marriott Rewards point on all other spending
15 Night credit towards elite status, which translates to automatic Silver status
Anniversary bonus of 1 free night at a Category 1 - 5 location
Apply online.
Canadian Residents Only
Chase is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply 

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