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Marriott Bonvoy’s annual hotel category changes will take effect on March 4, 2020. These annual category changes have always been a part of the Marriott Bonvoy program over the years. However, this year seems to be the biggest shift in categories. Many of the properties are increasing in price, which can affect our award travel bookings.
Most of the Marriott brand properties category changes are moving up in price, not down. Only 7% of Marriott’s worldwide properties are moving to a lower category, while 22% of their properties are moving to a higher category. In simple terms, this means that approximately 1,500 hotels and resorts worldwide will require more points for an award stays after March 4th.
If your favorite hotel is moving to a higher category, what I suggest to do is save some of your points by booking at the current redemption rate before the changes go into effect. If a hotel your were looking at is moving to a lower category, then you might want to wait until after March 4th.
For example, when reviewing the chart I noticed The Barcelona EDITION in Barcelona, Spain was a category 7. However, after March 4th it will change to a category 8. This means I will soon need to use more points to stay at this property. The standard rate value for a category 7 hotel is 60,000 points, but after a March 4th booking this same property at a standard rate will be 85,000 points.
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On the other end of the spectrum, The Westin Calgary in Canada is currently a category 5 but will be decreasing to a category 4. With the standard rate value, the points needed will decrease from 35,000 to 25,000. So, you’ll be saving 10,000 points on the standard rate for this property after March 4th.
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Please follow this link to Marriott Bonvoy’s website which will provide you with to the redemption chart. The chart will help you determine if you should book your travel prior to the category changes that will take effect on March 4th.
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