Since last August, there has been somewhat of a sweet spot (if you want to call it that) for booking high end hotels in the Marriott Rewards (Bonvoy as of next week) program. When the three loyalty programs under the Marriott banner became one last August they kept all their hotels in the Category 1 to 7 levels and didn’t introduce peak season pricing. This meant you only had to spend 60,000 points on the best hotels in the portfolio. They did tell us that sometime in 2019 the new Category 8 would come out and that would have a standard redemption rate of 85,000 points (going up to 100,000 for peak times). That means you’ve been able to essentially ‘save’ 25,000 points per night for those hotels that will be moving to category 8 and you still can. That is only until March 4th as on the 5th the Category 8 level will take effect. Out of the chain’s 6,500+ hotels only 68 will fall into this new category but they are some of the most sought after such as two locations in French Polynesia, a couple in the Maldives and Paris as well as a lot of the premier Ritz-Carlton hotels.
In today’s announcement of the launch date for Category 8, Marriott also revealed other hotels that will be moving up or down in award night categories. The entire list of hotels changing can be found here (PDF) and comprises of over 380 hotels. Of that list only 37 are moving down, the remaining 346 are moving up on March 5. This means you’ll want to book your free nights at hotels going up as soon as possible so you don’t spend as many points and if you happen to be wanting to redeem for one of the 37 going down you’ll want to wait to book.
In Canada we 9 properties affected in these changes and they are all going up in price!
You can find the entire category list of over 6,700 Marriott hotels here.