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Marriott has just released the info on how many Points you’ll need after August, for a large range of hotels. There are actually a lot more examples included than I was expecting at this stage, with Marriott choosing 5 “top redemption destinations”: Bali, Caribbean & Mexico, Dubai, New York and Paris.
The hotels included in the lists aren’t completely comprehensive for those destinations, but there’s still more than enough information for us to draw some pretty solid conclusions about the new programme I think.
You’ll be pleased to see that our move to one, combined Award Chart offers even more value for your points, with more hotels moving down in redemption rates than up. This will hold true as we place all hotels in our new Award Chart in August.
The new Award Chart will debut in August, with standard redemption rates for Category 1–7 available to book. See the full Award Chart here.
Hotels slated for Category 8 will be placed temporarily in Category 7, until Category 8 is introduced in early 2019. This means even greater value – a savings of 25,000 points per night!
In early 2019, we’ll also introduce peak and off-peak redemption rates.
We’ll of course honor all redemptions made at current rates even if your stays occur after the new rates take effect. If your hotel is going to a lower redemption rate, you’ll want to rebook in August when the lower rate becomes effective.
Let’s take a look at the hotel charts!
Caribbean & Mexico
If you’re having any trouble seeing the screenshots above, you can go and check the charts out on the Marriott site here.
I think the first thing to say is that Marriott is actually selling themselves a bit short here! You’ve probably spotted quite a few SPG hotels that are supposedly going from 36,000 Points (12,000 Starpoints) up to 50,000 Points in the new programme, but that’s not completely accurate. Those hotels are currently SPG Category 5 and require 36,000-48,000 Points (12,000-16,000 Starpoints) per night, depending on whether the hotel judges it to be a peak date or not. There’s no denying that 14,000 Points (4,667 Starpoints) more is a big increase, but for popular dates, the increase is actually just 2,000 Points (667 Starpoints), which is rather more reasonable!
There are 3 main positives I can see:
- Top category SPG hotels really are going to be a lot more affordable (at least until Category 8 is released next year).
- There are still going to be reasonable options in the centre of cities like New York for 35,000 Points per night. There was a risk that even the lesser brands in prime locations might all get swept up to the new Category 6 (50,000 Points) – that’s not happening.
- Marriott’s communication continues to be good. We will see all the new categories in advance of the new programme launching, which means if a hotel you want to stay at is going to require more Points, you can just book before using the current award pricing.
I’m sure there will be negatives too of course, but overall this looks pretty good so far and is broadly what I was expecting.
What do you think of the new categories?