Reminder! Book Those Marriott and SPG Hotels Before the Award Category Changes

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about the impending adjustments at Marriott and SPG. The changes will be implemented on 6 March.

You can re-read what I wrote with these links.

Hundreds of hotels will be changing award categories. And you want to make sure to avoid any increases by booking any award ideas, even speculative ones, before the changes are implemented. Award nights are usually completely flexible, so you can cancel later if your plans fall through…

In addition, occasionally a few hotels will sneak onto the list (or sneak off of it). I’ve already noticed that the Four Points hotel in Las Vegas is no longer going to drop to a Category 2.

So, it’s worth revisiting the full list published by the two hotel chains. Again, here are the links you’ll need:

2018 might just be the last year that we see category changes in this format… since at some point we will surely witness the carnage of merging two award charts into one!! So you might want to be doubly conscious of burning any Marriott or SPG points on a hotel that is due to cost more on 6 March…


  1. Roger says

    Hi Craig,

    Care to expand your last paragraph?
    Are you advising or going against redemption due to mass category change next year?

    Look forward to your insight.
    I have booked Phu Quoc for 7 nights but apparently there is no longer free breakfast for Gold.
    Have my eye on JWM @ SINGAPORE, which is not featured in this category change, so still some time to make up my mind.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      I’m advising to burn points if you have a suitable use. I very much hope to be wrong, but I suspect that a cap of 45,000 Marriott points won’t survive some seriously top end SPG properties joining the club. Of course there’s no real urgency unless any of the category change hotels interest you.

      You mention a good example. MR have hotels like the JWM in Singapore as a Category 8, which is the equivalent of 13,333 Starpoints per night. I suspect it would be a Category 5 or 6 in SPG (16 / 20K). Given MR’s history of category creep, I can hardly imagine those SPG hotels costing fewer points going forward…

      Well done with Phu Quoc. I’ve never been but, by most accounts, it is an amazing use of a Category 5 free week certificate from a Travel Package. Even without breakfast it’s probably close to the best use you can get from it.

      That said, unless Marriott sorts out the lottery system of breakfast – I have no idea really when I get and don’t get it as a Platinum- they are going to annoy a lot of SPG regulars

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