Final Hours To Lock In Hotel Bargains Before Marriott 2019 Category Changes: Category 8 Pricing, 346 Hotels Getting More Expensive, 37 Getting Less Expensive

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Update: Today is the final day to lock in your hotel reservations now before they get more expensive!


Originally posted on 2/8:

Read about previous category changes:

Marriott 2019 Complete List Of Annual Category Changes 

You can view current categories for Marriott hotels here.

Book stays before 3/5 local hotel time to lock in current rates for future stays at hotels that are going up.  You can book stays up to 350 days in advance. Almost all hotel stays are cancellable for free until a certain amount of time before the stay (read the fine print).  If you have a reservation at a hotel that is going down then just cancel and rebook the stay on 3/5 when this year’s category changes go into effect.

Most hotels chains reorganize their categories yearly to keep them current with the average rates that they charge. Legacy Starwood hotels still have no capacity controls on standard rooms. The good part about that is that if a major event is in town and rates are quadruple what they normally are, you can still use the regular amount of points as long as the hotel is not sold out of standard rooms.

You can request a points advance to lock in current rates as long as you have the points in your account 2 weeks before your stay. A Marriott manager will be required to complete the override and honor the old category, so there will be some hassle factor to get this to work. Be prepared to spend a lot of time on the phone finding a manager that knows how to do the override if you go down this route.

Hotels going up from category 5 to 6 will no longer be bookable with anniversary nights from cards like the Starwood Consumer AMEX, Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Consumer Card, and Chase Marriott Premier Plus Business Card 

Hotels going up from category 6 to 7 will no longer be bookable with anniversary nights from cards like the Starwood Luxury AMEX and the discontinued Ritz Carlton card. However when off-peak nights are introduced later this this year you should be able to use these nights on category 7 hotels.

Note that you won’t be able to change the dates on a reservation after the price goes up, your only options are to use the stay or cancel it and get your points back. You can make one night reservations if you’re not sure how many nights you want to stay, though you won’t be able to take advantage of a free night on a 5 night point stay like that.

In addition to hotel category changes, higher category 8 pricing will go into effect on 3/5. However peak and off-peak pricing won’t be added until later in 2019. Every 5th night will remain free on award stays.

 Current Marriott Award ChartMarch 2019 Marriott Award ChartFuture Award Chart
Category 17,5007,5005,000 off-peak
7,500 standard
10,000 peak
Category 212,50012,50010,000 off-peak
12,500 standard
15,000 peak
Category 317,50017,50015,000 off-peak
17,500 standard
20,000 peak
Category 425,00025,00020,000 off-peak
25,000 standard
30,000 peak
Category 535,00035,00030,000 off-peak
35,000 standard
40,000 peak
Category 650,00050,00040,000 off-peak
50,000 standard
60,000 peak
Category 760,00060,00050,000 off-peak
60,000 standard
70,000 peak
Category 860,00085,00070,000 off-peak
85,000 standard
100,000 peak

Highlights:

  • The Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel is a great airport hotel and becomes a good value dropping from category 5 to 4. Oddly enough the lower end Four Points by Sheraton LAX goes up from a category 4 to 5.
  • 2 W hotels in LA go down from a category 7 to 6, making them a good value and eligible for anniversary nights on the SPG Luxury AMEX.
  • The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket used to be an all-suites hotel with SPG costing a points fortune. It will drop down from category 7 to 6 and become eligible for anniversary nights on the SPG Luxury AMEX.
  • The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa will drop down from category 7 to 6 and become eligible for anniversary nights on the SPG Luxury AMEX. This is a lower end Maldives resort, but a decent option on a budget. This hotel doesn’t require a pricey seaplane transfer as most Maldives resorts do.

Lowlights:

  • Israel gets hit hard again with the Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel climbing from a category 5 to 6, making it ineligible for anniversary nights on the base Starwood and Marriott cards. The Jaffa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, climbs from a category 6 to 7, making it ineligible for anniversary nights on the SPG Luxury card.
  • Several Hawaii hotels are going up in price, including the Residence Inn Maui Wailea and Sheraton Waikiki.
  • Many London hotels are moving up as well.
  • The Westin Venice, which was supposed to have been a decent category 7 value, will jump to category 8, making just as pricey as more luxurious options there.
  • The W Hong Kong, which was supposed to have been a decent category 7 value, will jump to category 8.
  • Category 8 pricing goes up from 60K points to 85K points, so you’ll want to make bookings at those hotels now.

Sample hotels going more expensive:

  • Aloft Cleveland Airport, was 1, now 2
  • Panama Marriott Hotel, was 2, now 3
  • Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls, NY, was 3, now 4
  • JW Marriott Hotel Beijing, was 3, now 4
  • Aloft New York Brooklyn, was 4, now 5
  • S. Regis Chengdu, China, was 4, now 5
  • Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown, was 4, now 5
  • Courtyard Palm Springs, was 4, now 5
  • Four Points by Sheraton LAX, was 4, now 5
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Los Angeles LAX, was 4, now 5
  • Four Points by Sheraton French Quarter, was 4, now 5
  • Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel, was 4, now 5
  • Sheraton Lisbon Hotel & Spa, was 5, now 4
  • Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami, was 5, now 6
  • W Miami, was 5, now 6
  • Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel, was 5, now 6
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, Tucson, was 5, now 6
  • Hollywood Beach Marriott, was 5, now 6
  • Sheraton Niagara Falls, NY, was 5, now 6
  • Residence Inn Maui Wailea, was 5, now 6
  • Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Honolulu, was 5, now 6
  • Courtyard Boston Copley Square, was 5, now 6
  • Courtyard New York Manhattan/Central Park, was 5, now 6
  • Courtyard San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf, was 5, now 6
  • Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa, was 5, now 6
  • Sheraton Suites Key West, was 5, now 6
  • Renaissance Montreal Downtown Hotel, was 5, now 6
  • London Marriott Hotel Kensington, was 5, now 6
  • Residence Inn London Bridge, was 5, now 6
  • Westin Palace, Milan, was 5, now 6
  • Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel, was 5, now 6
  • JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, was 5, now 6
  • San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, was 5, now 6
  • The Jaffa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tel Aviv, was 6, now 7
  • Sheraton Waikiki, Honolulu, was 6, now 7
  • The Saint Hotel Key West, Autograph Collection, was 6, now 7
  • Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel, was 6, now 7
  • Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa, was 6, now 7
  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Autograph Collection, was 6, now 7
  • Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Kauai, Autograph Collection, was 6, now 7
  • Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, was 6, now 7
  • Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel, was 6, now 7
  • French Leave Resort Bahamas, Autograph Collection, was 6, now 7

Here are all of the category 7 hotels going up to category 8 (60K points to 85K points):

  • Westin Europa & Regina, Venice
  • W Hong Kong
  • The London EDITION
  • Ritz-Carlton, Dubai
  • The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach, UAE
  • Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Napa Valley
  • Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection
  • Pine Cliffs Residence, a Luxury Collection Resort, Algarve

Sample hotels going less expensive:

  • Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel, was 5, now 4
  • W Hollywood, was 7, now 6
  • W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills, was 7, now 6
  • The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket, was 7, now 6
  • Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, was 7, now 6
  • Westin Dublin, was 7, now 6
  • S. Regis Osaka, was 8, now 7 (Effectively unchanged and will remain at 60K points)

Here are all of the category 8 hotels, which will climb from 60K points to 85K points when category 8 pricing goes up on 3/5:

  • Gramercy Park Hotel, New York, a Member of Design Hotels
  • Phoenician Residences, a Luxury Collection Residence Club, Scottsdale
  • The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale
  • The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, New York City
  • The Miami Beach EDITION
  • The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami
  • The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, CO
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, FL
  • The S. Regis Aspen Resort
  • The S. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
  • The S. Regis Deer Valley, UT
  • The S. Regis New York
  • W South Beach
  • Schloss Fuschl, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Fuschlsee-Salzburg, Austria
  • Kenoa Exclusive Beach Spa & Resort, Barra de Sao Miguel, a Member of Design Hotels, Brazil
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
  • The Westin Golf Resort & Spa All Inclusive, Playa Conchal, Costa Rica
  • Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Limassol, Cyprus
  • Hôtel de Berri, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Paris, France
  • Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Paris, France
  • Le Méridien Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  • The S. Regis Bora Bora Resort, French Polynesia
  • Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Crete, Greece
  • Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection, Greece
  • Mystique, A Luxury Collection Resort, Santorini, Greece
  • Santa Marina, a Luxury Collection Resort, Mykonos, Greece
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
  • The St. Regis Bali Resort, Indonesia
  • Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
  • G-Rough, Rome, a Member of Design Hotels, Italy
  • Hotel Cala di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Costa Smeralda, Italy
  • Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice, Italy
  • Hotel Pitrizza, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Costa Smeralda, Italy
  • Hotel Romazzino, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Costa Smeralda, Italy
  • PalazzinaG, Venice, a Member of Design Hotels, Italy
  • The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice, Italy
  • The S. Regis Florence, Italy
  • The S. Regis Rome, Italy
  • Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto, Japan
  • The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Japan
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Japan
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, Japan
  • The S. Regis Osaka, Japan
  • The S. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Maldives
  • W Maldives
  • The S. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Mexico
  • The S. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
  • The S. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort, Spain
  • Giardino Ascona, A Member Of Design Hotels, Switzerland
  • Giardino Mountain, a Member of Design Hotels, Switzerland
  • Hotel President Wilson, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Geneva, Switzerland
  • W Verbier, Switzerland
  • Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand
  • W Koh Samui, Thailand
  • Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, UAE
  • The Wellesley Knightsbridge, a Luxury Collection Hotel, London, UK
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, USVI

Which hotels will you book before rates go up?

HT: mochjas, via DDF

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93 Comments On "Final Hours To Lock In Hotel Bargains Before Marriott 2019 Category Changes: Category 8 Pricing, 346 Hotels Getting More Expensive, 37 Getting Less Expensive"

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PRR

If i book a stay, can i MODIFY dates and lengths of stay after 3/5 without getting charged the new rate?

Yossi Fisch

Ouch

pau

thank you dan for this post

shmuel

can we know if the certificates will be bookable into top tier categories after the merger and what happened to the tracel packages

MendyR

+1

jojo

+100

Pad18

Wow, kol hakavod for this detailed information !

jb

” If you have a reservation at a hotel that is going down then just cancel and rebook the stay on 3/5 when this year’s category changes go into effect.” Before the merger I had booked the westin in cozumel for february 2019. The hotel actually went down in price…Do you think they will credit me the points without canceling and rebooking?

Sam

Well now I understand the new program name.
Bonvoy-age Marriott!

JD

The #marriotmassacre continues

Pghtown

Waiting over a week for transfer of Marriott points to United Mileage Plus to go through. Flights now not available with points. Good bye Marriott Bon Voy.

really

Dan, are you absolutely sure about this ‘You can request a points advance to lock in current rates as long as you have the points in your account 2 weeks before your stay.’
I’ve been screwed on this in the past.

Yechiel Z

Think I’m finna close my Starwood finally, just need to get my free night in…

Delta has a 75k promo for the business and personal cards.

dovid

“You can request a points advance to lock in current rates as long as you have the points in your account 2 weeks before your stay.” does this mean I can book hotels 350 days from march 5th 2019 at the old 60k rates even if I know I want get the points for awhile? as long as I have the right amount of points 2 weeks before the stay? are you sure?

Brad

For those with free Ritz nights how will we be affected

zr

If I book with my category 5 certificate a 7 night stay that’s going up to a category 6, then don’t get to use the stay and need to cancel do I get the points back? does the certificate turn into a category 5 or 6?

Steve

Dan, any recommendations on hotels that will soon be joining the category 8 that should be enjoyed this summer? Looking to use about 250,000 points for my parents to relax after a tough winter.

Marriott massacre

What a huge disappointment. It’s not just that 346 I getting more expensive, compared to 37 less expensive. So many of those that are getting more expensive are in Florida, NYC and California, and are being switched from category 5-6, making the free night for anyone but Luxury SPG holders highly deflated.
Make no mistake, this was a very calculated move on their end.

Yossi

Points Advance – Members can book stays when they do not have enough points if they earn or purchase the needed points at least 14 days prior to check-in. Members who wish to book a points advance redemption under the current Marriott Rewards and SPG award chart are encouraged to order redemption certificates before March 5 to lock in the rate. On March 5, redemption bookings are subject to the new unified program award chart.

yman

dan,
https://www.marriott.com/loyalty/terms/default.mi#pointsadvance

would i be able to lock in the renaissance in tel aviv with my free night anniversary by booking by march 5th if i don’t receive the anniversary night until may? i have enough points right now. obviously, i would book it for after our card anniversary.

yman

dan? how does this impact the anniversary nights?

mike

how will the 5-7 nights cert get affected by this? meaning if i currently have a cert attached to DOMES OF ELOUNDA which is cat 8, will i be able to wait until after 3/5 and book stay at St Regis Maldives using that cert? its a 5 night cert

YoniPDX

Locked in reservations @ Jaffa in Tel Aviv 50k vs $700+, Its still baffles me how some US properties are Cat 6 (50k) but are available as low as $179-199 cash.

With AF going up and peak pricing rolling out (doubtful that it will fall in consumers favor).

Will be interesting to see what sign-up bonuses are offered with Bonvoy rollout. Seems like when AF rolls around will have to reassess just how ugly the peak pricing is.

Aps

Just tried applying for spg consumer card for my wife and they told me I wouldnt receive the welcome offer. She never had this card yet and last marriot sign up bonus she received was over 2 years ago and I closed that card a year ago already. And the last amex card she opened was like 3 years ago. Anyone else have this?

Pointdexter

The Miami Beach EDITION
The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami
The S. Regis Aspen Resort
The S. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
W South Beach

These are all currently Category 7 not 8

Mike Smith

if I’m not getting my certificate from the spg consumer Amex untill April, will they let me book a stay at one of these hotels that are going up in price, meaning will they let me book in advance with this certificate that I don’t have yet for a later date?

Jack

@Dan- how about 7 nigh certificates? Are they bookable and will they honor the change to another cat 8 in a few months?

NUMEN

WHAT ABOUT THOSE CERTIFICATES EARNED FROM SIGN UP (CURRENTLY UP TO 60K POINTS0 CAN THEY BE USED AT THE LAST MINUTE? THANKS

Kbzsk

Marriott has lost my business over this whole mess but they don’t seem to care. Maybe if enough people leave to build points elsewhere, they’ll be more competitive again. #notamarriottfan

David

On the Bonvoy Brilliant card, will the $300 annual credit work on gift cards to avoid it going to waste if not used on time?

Yang

yes

P.S.

If using a cat 5 certificate to book a cat 5 that’s going up to a category 6, what happens to the certificate if the reservation is canceled?

Dimples

How do I know if my category 6 hotel is changing or not? Fort Lauderdale Marriott harbour beach and spa? Should I lock in my points reservation now for December 2019?

uri

isn’t today march 3rd? so we have 2 days? no? im just asking to make sure don’t mean to second guess you still unsure where to lock in hotel?

Motty

Hi
I’m looking to book in The S. Regis Bal Harbour Resort for January 2020
this is the cancellation policy
You may cancel your reservation for no charge until March 4, 2019.

Chaim

Yes, I noticed that too!

Srully

Any6with help on this ?

David

You need to book a queen room then you’ll get 7 days prior the king rooms are March 4thd

Moshy

@Dan
Does this make sense, website says “Rate Details
Redemption, deposit required, non-refundable if cancelled more than 1 day after booking”

Gil

In the post about the Bonvoy Free night redemptions you say that Turnberry Isle in Aventura should be a possible hotel to book at. Also, based on the current listing (until tomorrow) I should also be able to book at 35k points. When i go to the hotel website they say they are not taking point redemptions at this time – for any date that i tried.
Are they not allowing anyone to book at the current (soon to be old) rate?
Is there anyway to book with points at the current redemption level?

Joe S

Isn’t this a category 6 requiring 50K?

dumb

can anybody HELP me i’m lost – amex says i have 66,197 but on my account i see 175,395 which one is correct and what the difference between them
ALSO they said my yr is up now and will be charged annual fee in the end of month but get a free night where can i book in israel for the free night NOW before it goes UP
and can i cancel before the charge goes thru and use the free night
THANX

ophie

how many united points does 180k marriot convert to? the chart is very confusing on marriott.com it says im getting 66 thousand after i inputted 180,000 into “convert miles to points””

anj

What’s up with the lack of availability? It was pretty easy finding rooms with points with SPG, but now there is sparse availability. I thought with status there are no blackout dates, but they only set aside a few rooms apparently – a defacto blackout! Any chance repeat attempts speaking / HUCA would work in freeing up an available cash pay room for points?

Kbzsk

I’ve tried this for Tokyo Ritz (bc all of a sudden there’s no availability with points) and after being transferred twice, they won’t allow me to use points to when just this weekend there were rooms available for points… “It’s based on availability and it’s no longer available for points but I’m happy to book it for you 75k yen.”
No thanks!! Seems fishy.
I’m really beginning to not like Marriott.

isaac

We would like to inform you about above reservation booked for our property using your Marriott Bonvoy Membership. As explained during the booking process, the cancellation policy is 7 days before arrival; in the event that you need to cancel your booking with less than 7 days or if it is a No-Show, then the Hotel will proceed in processing a charge of the equivalent to 1-night for a total of $1,229 + tax to the Credit card used to make the reservation. As this is a direct charge penalty, please note that any points will be refunded

Moe

Beware!! Marriott’s rewards program is a bait n switch scam, theyre spending millions of dollars to promote their Bonvoy and other loyalty programs on blogs and deal sites however once signed up they modify the program and eliminate many of the benefits, check out any of their previous offers and programs to see their misleading record.

moish

hey Dan since you are a pro traveler – which hotel cat 6 do you recommend attaching my cert to? somewhere nice and warm during winter months.

Jeff

Is there a way to see when a hotel is peak or off peak?

Traveler 718

You wrote that the booking must be made by midnight hotel local time, but I’m still seeing the 60k rate on properties where it’s now past midnight (e.g. Maldives, Dubai). Once it’s past midnight hotel time and hasn’t yet changed, is it safe to assume I have until midnight EST, or if not, when will the switch go into effect?

family trip

Hi dan! for a family w 3 lil kids (5 4 and 1) for 2020 winter break 7-10 days which should I consider strongest?
1)Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu
2)French Leave Resort Bahamas
3)Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort
or maybe a different option?

joseph

hi just booked st regis for 5 day in January 2020 the cancelation policy after march 5 not cancelable DAN what’s this about

joseph

hi dan I made a reservation for jan 2020 they wrote that the cancelation policy that its not cancelable after march 5 what’s going on ??????

Jeff Bezos

WARNING: U CAN ONLY CANCEL BY TONIGHT MIDNIGHT

Helen

Ok so I’m trying to book St Regis Bal Harbour for January 2020 and its available for my dates for 60k per night but the cancellation policy states that I ” may cancel your reservation for no charge until March 6, 2019. Please note that we will assess a fee if you must cancel after this deadline.”
Seriously??? I have 2 days to cancel? Every other hotel I just did this with to lock in Cat 7 pricing for Cat 8 hotels is allowing a 7 day cancellation prior to arrival date
This is ridiculous.

Chaim

The king bed rooms had that policy. The two queen rooms did not

mendy

the deal is still on

mendy

when is yeshiva week 2020?

mendy

the change took effect

mendy

legit crazy all the rooms i booked before 12 am with advance points purchase i locked in rate and now the price in the confirmation went up to 85k so not fair at dan what can i do i have screenshots of booking at the 60k rate?

BrooklynDan

I tried to book hawaii at 4am NY time which is still 3/4 in Hawaii, and new prices are already up.

Sarah

Ritz Carlton Kyoto was only available 4 days, so couldn’t take advantage of 5th night free 🙁 Now the price is at 85k (instead of 60k), If a fifth night opens up, I wouldn’t be able to add it in right?

Chaim

Any reservation booked with Points Advance has gone up in price. You should have taken a screenshot as well as sent yourself an email with prices, which Marriott SHOULD honor.

But they may Bonvoy it.

Moshy

Wow
I din’t take screenshots, Any luck for old Price ?

Avrohom

I just checked my reservation and sure enough they are showing time the higher price. Is there anything I could do now?

Cc sick

I think I may have actually found a mistake on your part . St Regis Bahia still cat 7 at 60,000

scott

i booked multiple reservations at hotels going up in category before the deadline and they were changed to the higher pts cost. Anyone have success in calling to complain and had positive results to report?

Joseph

I have a printed confirmation with the old points but now my online confirmation has changed to 85k per night. Will they honor it?

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