Marriott Rewards 2015 Award Category Changes

Marriott Rewards released on Wednesday a list of hotels that are moving up and down in award categories on March 19, 2015.

Marriott Rewards 2015 Award Category Changes

Total of 27% of Marriott hotels are moving up in award category and 9% are moving down. EDITION hotels are now redeemable under Ritz-Carlton (huge point requirement increase).

Marriott Released the following PDF of these changes

Download (PDF, 649KB)

It would have been helpful if they had categorized it by country and city.

Marriott Rewards properties moving up:

Marriott Rewards 2015 Award Category changes UP

The number of properties moving up is high across all award categories. Remember that EDITION hotels are now redeemable under Ritz-Carlton levels.

Marriott Rewards properties moving down:

Marriott Rewards 2015 Award Category changes DOWN

Mainly the lower category properties are going down in number of points required in March.

Remember that you can book a Marriott Rewards award reservation without having the required points in your account. Just make sure that you have them by your stay.

Conclusion

These yearly Marriott Rewards category changes are ugly. More than quarter of all properties are moving up and only 9% are moving down. You cannot explain change such as this by rising hotel rates.

At these redemption change levels year after year, the Marriott Rewards program makes very little sense for a non-frequent traveler that cannot cash his/her earned points once per year for a travel package.

I would expect Marriott Rewards to devalue the Travel Package redemption option sometime in the near future.

It still makes sense to use points for Marriott properties in the Middle East and some parts of Asia compared to cash rates. It is very difficult to find value using points in major cities in Europe and North America.

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