hotel reward category hotel reward category changes Marriott International Marriott Rewards (replaced by Marriott Bonvoy) Starwood Preferred Guest

Going Up? 2017 Marriott and SPG Hotel Category changes March 7

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Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest posted lists yesterday for hotels worldwide changing reward category as of March 7, 2017. This post focuses on Marriott Rewards changes. I will examine Starwood Hotels separately.

Marriott Rewards with 1,072 hotels has far more properties changing hotel reward category . This represents 23% of Marriott brand hotels worldwide.

  • 639 (59.6%) Marriott brand hotels go up in reward category.
  • 433 (40.4%) hotels go down in reward category.

Starwood Hotels has 325 properties changing 2017 category, with 207 hotels moving down and 118 going up. Always nice to see a redistribution focused more on moving hotels down than up.

Sum result is a mixed bag with 757 hotels rising in reward category between Marriott and Starwood chains and 640 hotels going down.

These are long lists of hotels and there are many ways to analyze the changes. In this piece, I look at the distribution of hotel reward night category changes.

Not too many hotels stand out to me as ones to rush out and book before they increase or hotels to get excited about when they drop next month. I am not a big fan of Marriott and Starwood, primarily due to their relative high room rates compared to other hotel options I find and low value promotions for the casual traveler not planning to stay a whole lot of nights or spend a whole lot of money with these chains.

639 Marriott Rewards Hotels Go Up on March 7, 2017.

Marriott 3-7-2017 639 hotels up

433 Marriott Rewards Hotels Go Down on March 7, 2017.

Marriott 433 hotels down 3-7-17

Ritz-Carlton Rewards

One error in tables above are those numbers include 6 Ritz-Carlton hotels changing category. Ritz-Carlton tiers do not align with Marriott Rewards categories.

Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Bali, Budapest and Istanbul drop from Tier 3 at 50,000 points to Tier 2 at 40,000 points per reward night, a 20% decrease.

Ritz Carlton Hotels in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Rancho Mirage in California increase 20% from Tier 3 and 50,000 points to Tier 4 at 60,000 points. Ritz-Carlton Highlands Tahoe, California increases from Tier 4 to Tier 5, up from 60,000 to 70,000 points.

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Hotel Tiers 1-5

Ritz-Carlton rewards tiers


Brian Cohen at The Gate looked at the geographic distribution of hotel reward changes for Marriott and Starwood. The changes overwhelmingly impact USA hotels.

569 of 639 hotels going up in Marriott Rewards are in the USA, an astounding 89% of increases are at USA hotels.

327 of 433 hotels going down in Marriott Rewards on March 7 are USA hotels. That is 75.6% of total properties globally dropping category are in the USA.

Basically, Marriott Rewards changes are primarily impacting USA hotels with relatively little impact for hotels in most countries on a global international scale.




  • Charlotte (TYR) February 10, 2017

    Thinking about heading to Japan- best think quickly since both hotels I was thinking about staying in are going up a category. Every hotel in Japan on this list is going up a category.

  • Ric Garrido February 11, 2017

    Japan is one of those hot spots.

    My nephew is moving to Japan next month. Choice Privileges hotels are low reward rates at 8,000 points, although the room rates are quite low for those same properties in Tokyo.

    I might be headed to Japan later this year and finally leave the airport after about ten trips through Tokyo Narita over the past 16 years.

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