Marriott Hotels Annual Category Changes

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It is this time of year again where every hotel changes re-looks at their hotel categories and makes some sort of change. Marriott is no different than the rest and while the redemption chart is not changing, there are MANY hotel moving up or down a category. Unfortunately, more hotels are moving up than down. This change takes place on March 20, 2015, so as long as you make your reservation prior to that date you are good to go.

There is a 35 page list of all the hotels changing and they are alphabetized by hotel name so there is no real way to see a list of hotels moving per region. But they do have it sectioned off my hotels moving down (pages 1-9) vs. hotels moving up (pages 10-35).

Marriott Category Changes

After a quick glance at the list, it seems as though there are little “aspirational” hotels moving categories. Many of them are your Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Courtyard, etc., and while those hotels can be great for redeeming points, chances are if the desired hotel you are looking to stay at went up a category there might be another non-affected Marriott hotel nearby.

Of course any change that is not in the consumers favor is a devaluation of points in my book. And remember, this can affect the free night category 1-5 certificates you earn from the Marriott credit card and the MegaBonus certificates available at a category 1-4 hotel.

Keep in mind that you can book a Marriott hotel 50 weeks out, so as long as you book by March 20, you will lock in at today’s category rate. The unfortunate thing is that if you need to change your reservation, you will be taking on the new points required if your hotel has gone up. Additionally, Marriott allows you to book award stays even if you do not have the points in your account yet. So you can go ahead and book more stays than you have points for as long as you earn the points by the time your stay comes along. This will also help booking multiple stays if you are not 100% sure of you vacation plans.

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