Summary of the 2018 Marriott Rewards Category Changes

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Earlier today I shared a rundown of the Starwood Preferred Guest 2018 award chart changes that families need to know, and (unfortunately) now it is time to do the same with the Marriott Rewards side of things.

Just like with Starwood, on March 6, 2018, the Marriott Rewards annual category changes will take effect. They are not changing the number of points required per category, but they are moving a bunch of properties around within those categories. This year, 74% properties will stay at the same award rate, 21% will move up in category, and only 5% will move down. Right there we see the bad news with more than 4x more properties increasing in category than decreasing. Here’s a look at the Marriott Rewards chart so you can see what a change in category means for the corresponding points rate. Unlike with Starwood, the Marriott award chart goes up in incremental steps instead of leaps.

Hundreds of Marriott Properties Increasing in Award Cost

Frankly, when you look at the list of the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of properties changing category, it is pretty overwhelming. Here’s a very small sampling of some Marriott properties that are going up in points cost.

  • Atlantis, Coral Towers, Autograph Collection 7 to 8
  • JW Marriott Guanacaste (Costa Rica) Resort & Spa 7 to 8
  • Amsterdam Marriott Hotel 8 to 9
  • Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa 7 to 8
  • Powerscourt Hotel (Ireland), Autograph Collection 7 to 8

For what it is worth, Powerscourt was seriously one of my favorite areas on our trip to Ireland!

Going to cost more for the Coral Tower at Atlantis

Focus on the Category 5 Marriott Properties

While it may be hard to know where to focus on the list of Marriott properties increasing in category if you don’t have any specific trips in mind to book right away, I do recommend keying in on the properties that are going from a 5 to a 6 if you have any Marriott Category 1 – 5 awards to use. These Category 1 – 5 awards are earned through the Marriott co-branded credit cards and the periodic Marriott MegaBonus promotions. Unfortunately, there are a number of properties moving from a 5 to a 6, including the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland and the Renaissance Austin Hotel, among many others.

Gaylord National Resort

On the happier side of the coin, some Marriott properties are dropping from a Category 6 to a 5, making them fair game for the Category 1 – 5 certificates once these changes kick in. Some of these properties dropping to a Category 5 include:

  • Courtyard Anaheim Resort/Convention Center
  • Courtyard Miami at Dolphin Mall
  • Courtyard Naples
  • Courtyard Pittsburgh Downtown
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Anchorage Midtown
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Austin South
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Nashville at Opryland
  • Fairfield Inn Portland Maine Mall
  • Long Island Marriott
  • Knoxville Marriott
  • Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel
  • Phoenix Marriott Mesa
  • Norfolk Waterside Marriott
  • Renaissance Meadowlands Hotel
  • Residence Inn Bozeman
  • Residence Inn Denver Downtown
  • Seattle Marriott Bellevue
  • SpringHill Suites New York LaGuardia Airport
  • TownePlace Suites Anaheim Maingate Near Angel Stadium
  • Courtyard Rio de Janeiro Barra da Tijuca
  • JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square
  • Hotel Nassau Breda, Autograph Collection (The Netherlands)
  • The Hague Marriott Hotel (The Netherlands)
  • Courtyard Madrid Princesa

The Hague Marriott Hotel

I’m not emotionally invested in Marriott properties the way that I am with some Starwood resorts, but these changes are still bad. There are far more properties going up than coming down, so if you can get something locked in before the rates change on March 6, 2018, at least you can delay the impact of the 2018 Marriott Rewards category changes to your own points.

Are any of your Marriott favorites going up or down in award cost in 2018?

Head here to learn more about available credit cards and their bonuses.

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  1. I have a room reserved at the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance for July on points but don’t have the points in my account yet. I assume I’m still good at the old rate? It’s moving from a cat 8 to a 9 🙁

    • I did the same. Booked the Courtyard Theme Park Entrance for July, and the Marriott Fallsview in Niagara for Sept. I’m not 100% certain we’ll do the Niagara trip this year but wanted to lock in the rate just in case. (We are definitely doing Disneyland in July but I have other hotel options there in case I can’t get enough points for both Marriott stays.)

  2. I don’t understand the last comment. Marriott properties ARE Starwood properties now. If it makes it easier just divide the point categories by 3 to understand it in SPG terms. I’ve said it before, but Cat 9 Marriotts at 15k SPG points are an insanely good deal.

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