In August, Marriott will multiply everyone’s Starpoint balance by 3 to create a unified program. The unified program will have Marriott and Starwood hotels in a single award chart with 7 award categories. This interim period from August 2018 through January 2018 may be a great time to book Starwood hotels at a big discount, so start racking up the Starpoints now before your earnings drop by 33% in August.
In February 2019 a new unified award chart will launch with 8 award categories, along with 3 tiers of pricing within each category.
The good news is that 5th night free awards and cash and points awards are here to stay.
It’s tough to compare the current award charts because the current Marriott program has categories and tiers and the current Starwood program has points worth 3 times what Marriott points are worth.
I can’t make the comparison for Marriott hotels any easier to understand due to the complexity of their current award chart and it’s hard to say how good or bad this is as we don’t yet know which hotels will be in which categories.
We also don’t know what will happen with SPG hotels that haven’t been bookable with standard rates, such as the W or S. Regis Maldives.
For this comparison chart I have tripled the Starwood award chart to help make things a little easier to compare:
|Previous Starwood Chart||Previous Previous Marriott Chart||August 2018 Combined Chart||February 2019 Combined Chart|
|Category 1||6,000 (Weekends)|
|Category 2||9,000 (Weekends)|
|Category 3||21,000||15,000||17,500||15,000 off-peak
|Category 4||30,000||20,000||25,000||20,000 off-peak
|Category 5||36,000 off-peak|
|Category 6||60,000 off-peak|
|Category 7||90,000 off-peak|
|Category 8||-||40,000||-||70,000 off-peak
|Ritz Tier 1||-||30,000||-||-|
|Ritz Tier 2||-||40,000||-||-|
|Ritz Tier 3||-||50,000||-||-|
|Ritz Tier 4||-||60,000||-||-|
|Ritz Tier 5||-||70,000||-||-|
At least from the Starwood side, that chart looks like things should be pretty good. What are your thoughts on the new award chart?