Marriott Reward just released a list of hotels that are changing 2013 in award categories. There are 46 hotels moving down by one award category and 1311 hotels moving up by a category. Only one property jumped two categories (Renaissance Barcelona Hotel) from 5 to 7.
Marriott is also introducing a new category 9 that requires 45000 reward points per night. Marriott made this announcement on their online community that you can access here
You can book using old award levels through May 15, 2013. The new award categories are in effect from May 16, 2013.
Here are the new award category 9 hotels:
Boston Marriott Long Wharf
Le Merigot, A JW Marriott Beach Hotel & Spa, Santa Monica
London Marriott Hotel County Hall
London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square
Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel
London Marriott Hotel Park Lane
JW Marriott Essex House
New York Marriott Marquis
Paris Marriott Hotel Champs-Elysees
St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel
Renaissance New York Hotel Times Square
Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel
Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe Hotel
The number of hotels moving up by category is staggering 1312 that represents 36% of Marriott Rewards properties. Only 1% of the hotels are moving down.
The number of hotels moving from category 4 to 5 is staggering 370. MegaBonus free night certs are capped to cat 1 to 4 properties and you can no longer use them at these. Also, the free night certs issues for having the Marriott banded Chase credit card will find it harder to use theirs as 190 properties are moving from category 5 to 6.
Here’s the PDF of the properties changing in categories:
What does this mean for you?
You should try to plan you Marriott redemptions for the next 12 months before the May 15 deadline. If the property is going up in number of required points, it is wise to do the reservation. Same goes for the MegaBonus and Chase free night certificates.
The devaluation is ugly, but have to appreciate that Marriott makes the list of hotels changing in categories 3 months In advance of the change. It is getting increasingly hard to find sweet spots on Marriott Rewards. The properties, where you actually wish to redeem, seem to just go up and up every year.
To find out how badly you will be burned, you should have a look at your award activity in the past 12 months and how much those would have cost in points after the May devaluation.
My personal devaluation is 20%. I redeemed for the Renaissance Sao Paulo last year that will go from category 5 to 6 and requires 20% more points starting May 16, 2013.