Most hotel programs assign individual hotels to ‘categories’ with a fixed number of points required to redeem the hotels in each category. And chains more or less adjust the hotels assigned to each category once a year.
Starwood announced their hotel reward category changes several days ago. About the same number of hotels are getting more expensive as are getting less expensive, with increases concentrated in the U.S.
Hyatt announced their changes in December with more hotels going down in price than going up.
(Hilton of course no longer makes announcements about annual changes, they just post changes to a web page throughout the year. This is in the name of ‘transparency’. Hilton is also an anomaly in that there are huge point ranges for several of the categories, which makes category assignments almost meaningful for those hotels.)
Marriott has posted a .pdf of hotels that are changing reward category. These changes go into effect March 20.
About a third of hotels are going up or down in price. The changes are skewed 3-1 in favor of increases. As a result, more than a quarter of all Marriott hotels will cost more points to redeem.
This has been a long term trend for Marriott.
- In 2012, 526 hotels went up in award category while just 100 went down.
- 2013 was the year that most programs hit us hard. It’s the year that gutted Hilton HHonors. So in 2013 we saw Marriott Rewards add a new top category 9 (45,000 points per night) and increase the cost of 36% of their hotels.
- In 2014 a quarter of Marriott hotels changed award category, skewed 4-1 in favor of price increases. As a result, one in five Marriott hotels required more points to redeem than even in 2013.
It’s really quite shocking to see increases of this magnitude again. This isn’t just a one year phenomenon.
Atrium of the Seattle Airport Marriott which is going up from category 6 to category 7
Download the .pdf. It isn’t categorized well and it isn’t sortable. But if there’s a property you’re interested in, do a find for it. If it’s going to be getting more expensive in a month, make a reservation now at the lower price.
(HT: One Mile at a Time)