Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards (replaced by Marriott Bonvoy)

Marriott posts complete list of hotel reward category changes for March 8

Marriott posted today on FlyerTalk the complete list of 351 hotels moving up and 89 hotels moving down in category on March 8.

On a personal note: I sincerely thank you Marriott for releasing the full list of category changes prior to implementing the changes. A reward night increase of 5,000 points per night might not seem like a big deal, but for some members a 5,000 points per night reward increase means a free night is another $500 in hotel spend out of reach. Earning an additional 5,000 points for a reward night is a big deal for some members who may only have accumulated sufficient points for one or two hotel nights after several years of hotel stays.

I hope I didn’t burn my bridges with Marriott managers. I truly think full transparency with regard to category changes is the right action to take for a socially responsible corporation that markets the ability to earn free hotel nights through its Marriott Rewards loyalty program.

If one member benefits (not me personally since I only have 278 points)  from booking a reward this week for a hotel that will increase in cost next week, then I feel the social media efforts to move Marriott in the right direction were justified.

A big Loyalty Traveler “Thanks” to all the other voices that helped sway Marriott to release the full list of hotel reward category changes before the March 8 increase.

Now find a good hotel and book some reward nights.

Complete list of Marriott Rewards hotel category changes effective Mach 8, 2011

Related Post: February 25, 2011 –


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  • Papahoosier March 3, 2011

    I used to be a loyal member to SPG (still a platinum member) until this year when I changed jobs and had to start staying at a Courtyard. The Marriott rewards program isn’t even close to comparing to the offerings of SPG. The categories assigned to Marriotts is ridiculous compared to Starwood properties and I’m surprised it’s not brought up more on this website how far apart the two programs sit in terms of their categories, bonus programs, and treatment of elite members. By the way, as a Gold member (which is 50 nights by the way) gets you basically nothing at a Courtyard…not even free breakfast! C’MON!

  • Ric Garrido March 4, 2011

    Marriott category assignment is actually highly favorable when compared to other programs. Only Hyatt has a better overall distribution across the different categories from low to high.

    Marriott has a high proportion of hotels in the bottom four categories and a low proportion in the top four categories.

    At the high end hotels, Marriott is one of the best programs for the ability to earn hotel points with less spend for a high end reward.

    Marriott is not very creative with promotions and earning large bonuses requires lots of hotel nights with most of the MegaBonus offers.

    Treatment of elites is a mixed story. SPG elite doesn’t get you breakfast at most properties. But in general I think SPG does a great of recognizing elites.

    Marriott sees HHonors as its primary competitive set and they seem to hold their own pretty well against HHonors. I do not think they try to compete with other loyalty programs since the Marriott advantage is size and upscale hotel geographic coverage.

    In the US, it seems Marriott is only competing against Hilton HHonors and to a lesser degree IHG Priority Club.

  • Papahoosier March 4, 2011

    What you are saying makes sense, but it is annoying when I have 2 free nights at a category 4 hotel at a Marriott and there is absolutely nowhere I want to travel and stay at that quatlity of hotel. On the other hand, with a promotion from SPG last year, I stayed 3 nights at the Westin Paris (category 6) for free! No points….just 3 free nights based on number of stays promotion. That’s a quality program and why I was so loyal to Starwood. However, I guess your point is now that I have a new job, I have to stay at a Marriott brand because SPG doesn’t have the pure volume that Marriott does. The nearest SPG is 20 miles from my new place of work while Marriott (or I could choose a Raddison!) is around the corner. I’ll stop preaching about it, but I do miss SPG as I’m trying to find more value out of the Marriott program. With either program, I have this website as a FAVORITE as I come here quite often to check out the most recent promotional offers. Thank you for all of the thousands of points I’ve earned simply because of this website!

  • Ric Garrido March 5, 2011

    @Papahoosier – thanks for being a loyal reader.

    I am fond of saying that promotions make all the difference in hotel loyalty programs. All the difference may be a bit too strong, but I certainly feel SPG has a strong edge on the promotion front which is usually not factored into head-to-head hotel loyalty program comparisons – except here on Loyalty Traveler and some other blogs.

    I like Marriott hotels when I get around to them every now and then. The combination of high qualification for elite status and relatively poor promotion value compared to other chains like Hyatt and SPG keep me out of Marriott brands most of the time.

    Radisson is a program to at least give a try in my opinion. The Club Carlson loyalty program launching at the end of the month will have the fastest earning reward nights in the business. There are about 500 Country Inn & Suites in U.S. to meet many geographic needs.

    Earning 50,000 points for high end Radisson Blu international properties is the lowest hotel reward to hotel spend ratio of any high end hotel reward.

    In the past the program has run 50% off rewards and plenty of bonus points offers for a low number of hotel nights. Main issue tends to be a limit on earning bonuses with several of the goldpoints promotions.

    If you find yourself frequenting Marriott you may want to consider the Marriott Premier Visa. You get 15 nights elite credit annually. If you find yourself between elite levels your extra nights rollover. Benefits of a free night certificate (valid for cat 4 first year, then cat 5 for renewal years). Rebate of 15,000 points for 7-night stays at category 7 and 8 hotel rewards.

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