Marriott Rewards Annual Hotel Category Moves – March 15th

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It’s the time of year for hotels to do some evaluation and make category adjustments for their individual hotel properties.  Today it is Marriott that released their category lists for the following year.  The good news is that this time they released their list with some advance notice.  Hotels can be reserved at their current category rates until March 14th.  After that date the new category list will be in effect.  If the hotel you are booked at is dropping a category, you can call to rebook at the lower rate starting on March 15th.

You can look at the new list here.  I haven’t had time yet to go over the list in detail, but for me personally the key thing to look at is hotels that are coming down to a Category 4 from a 5, or going up from a Category 4 to a 5.  This is because the MegaBonus free nights can be used at a Category 1-4 hotel, so when a hotel moves up to a 5 from a 4 it is now out of reach for the purposes of that promotion.  The Marriott credit card also awards free night or nights (depending on the card) at sign-up that can be used at a Category 1-4 hotel upon sign-up.  The Marriott Rewards Premier Rewards credit card also awards an annual free night at the renewal anniversary that can be used at a Category 1-5 hotel, so those with that card will also want to look at moves that involve Category 5 hotels.  Of course, if Marriott is one of your primary hotel loyalty programs, then any category changes could be important to you. 

Some hotels that jumped out at me quickly as going from a 4 to a 5 are some airport hotels such as Renaissance London Heathrow, Los Angeles Airport Marriott, Fairfield Inn at JFK and LaGuardia, as well as the Couryard Waikiki Beach, and JW Marriott Houston.

According to the Marriott representative on Flyertalk, 3% of hotels are decreasing by one category (100 hotels) and 15% are increasing by one category (526 hotels).

Are any of your favorites moving up or down?

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  1. Hey MP:

    Any advice regarding Network Solutions not allowing a Grand Slam hit? I followed your advice and signed up and then used the discount coupon so I only paid $26 for the signup. They never contacted me, but I found out through USAIR that I was denied a HIT because of using the coupon. That denial gave me 23 hits instead of 24. Any advice would be welcome.

  2. I am disappointed to see the Maui & Kauai properties increase. I already have a vacation planned to Kauai and was using SPG points but was considering changing it to Maui if some other family members join us. They honestly cannot tell us till May if they can come in June. I figured I could move over points from Ultimate Rewards to cover the stay on Maui if need be..but now I won’t even bother if the category is going up! We had a great time about 4 years ago at the Marriott Maui when I think it cost me 120K for 5 nights!!! So now we will just stay at the Honua Kai if we move over to Maui!!!!

  3. Sorry to hear some of y’alls favorites are moving up!

    @michael, that really stinks. I have to admit I don’t remember the terms of that hit off the top of my head. I know it worked for many people with the coupon code (including me), but I can’t remember if it specifically forbid it. Did you get any screen shots? When did you complete that hit? Have you checked the Grand Slam Flyertalk thread to see if anyone else is having similar problems? Those would be my steps. Ultimately, if you have tried following up with both NetSol and US Airways and they both aren’t helpful I’m not sure what else can be done. If that is the case it will come down to what the terms and conditions were for NetSol (which I just can’t remember off the top of my head).

  4. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I had plane tickets for anchorage in June. Did not reserve my hotel yet. Was planning on reserving the hotel using my Marriott points and two free nights for cat 1-4 some time in April. Your post revealed that all Marriott Locations in Anchorage will now be CAT 5. I just made my reservation now while they were still cat 4. You saved me at least $600! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

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