Winners and Losers in the Newly Released Marriott Award Chart Preview

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The biggest announcement of last week was unquestionably from Marriott as we learned many details about how and when Marriott Rewards will combine with the Starwood Preferred Guest program. It wasn’t all good news, but I think it was largely as positive as we could reasonably hope for given the massive size of the combined program and the state of loyalty as a whole.

 

While some exhales may have been heard with last week’s announcements, the elephant in the room was always largely about how much the individual properties will cost with points in the newly combined award chart. We got to see the new award chart categories, but not where the individual properties will fall within the categories.

New combined Marriott award chart takes effect August 1, 2018

While we are likely still several weeks away from getting a look at the full combined award chart, Marriott has now given us tangible insight into what the new award prices will look like by releasing examples of award pricing in New York City, Mexico, The Caribbean, Bali, Dubai, and Paris. Not all properties in those cities are on the example list, but there are enough of them to get a feel for how much of this will play out.

Winners and Losers in the Newly Released Marriott Award Chart Preview

Before we get to some specific examples, they did confirm that the chart is capped at Category 7 for 60,000 points per night for 2018, and that you will be able to make bookings for future dates during that time. In early 2019, the cap increases to 100,000 points per night with an eight Category and peak/off-peak pricing. If you want to capitalize on a property that decreases in award price in August, you will have to rebook when the lower rate becomes effective.

My overall take on the just-announced award chart examples is that it isn’t an overall gutting of the chart, but many of the mid-tier leisure destinations where you may want to use your points are getting pricier, sometimes by a wide margin. These were largely the spots that were under-priced at the moment, such as the Westin Grand Cayman that is currently as few as 12,000 SPG points per night or 9,600 per night with the fifth night free. This property will be taking a painful leap up to 60,000 points per night, which is the same as 20,000 SPG points per night. That hurts, but honestly, the property was already scheduled to go to 20,000 SPG points per night earlier this year and simply didn’t make the leap as planned.

Head here to read reviews and tips related to the Westin Grand Cayman.

Get to booking Grand Cayman if you haven’t already

I know lots of you have bookings at the Westin Grand Cayman at the 12,000 points per night rate, and if you don’t, then you have until August 1st to make a booking at the current rate (do it!). Another painful jump will be the Westin Resort and Spa in Cancun going from a current Category 3 at 7,000 SPG points per night to 35,000 points per night in the new program. Had it been a flat transition at a 1:3 ratio, it would have rung in at 21,000 points per night.

Westin Cancun

Remember that to get from the current SPG rates to the new Marriott rates, many properties have to adjust at least a little up or down to fit into the new ’round’ numbers. Not all leisure properties are going up in award pricing, and in fact, you can and should absolutely book the top tier category properties that will temporarily get less expensive in August, though I’ll talk more about that in a minute.

Here are some pricing examples from the new combined Marriott award chart that takes effect August 1, 2018.

The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta

Going from 21,000 to 25,000 points per night

JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City

Staying at 35,000 points per night

Marriott Cancun Resort

Going from 40,000 to 35,000 points per night

Westin Cozumel

Going from 36,000 to 35,000 points per night

The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club

Going from 30,000 to 35,000 points per night

The Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun

Going from 21,000 to 35,000 points per night

The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun

Staying at 50,000 points per night

The St. Regis Mexico City

Going from 60,000 to 50,000 points per night

The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba

Staying at 60,000 points per night

The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa

Going from 36,000 to 60,000 points per night

W Punta de Mita

Staying at 60,000 points per night

The Westin Paris – Vendome

Staying at 60,000 points per night

Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Paris

Temporarily going from 90,000 to 60,000 points per night. In 2019, it will go to 85,000 points per night.

The Westin New York Grand Central

Going from 60,000 to 50,000 points per night

Check out my review of the Westin Grand Central.

Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel

Going from 36,000 to 50,000 points per night

The St. Regis New York

Temporarily going from 90,000 to 60,000 points per night. In 2019, it will go to 85,000 points per night.

The St. Regis Bali Resort

Temporarily going from 90,000 to 60,000 points per night. In 2019, it will go to 85,000 points per night.

These top-tier St. Regis resorts that will drop from 90,000 to 60,000 points per night (the equivalent of 30,000 to 20,000 SPG points) on August 1st, are absolutely worth booking if you can make it happen. I’ll do a whole post on these properties soon, but I personally highly recommend the St. Regis New York and especially recommend the St. Regis Punta Mita in Mexico.

St. Regis Punta Mita

Take a look at the full preview list and let me know your thoughts! What properties do you plan to book pre and post August 1st?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Please write your own articles & new news. You’re the queen of old news. STOP COPYING OTHER BLOGGERS. STOP REPORTING OLD NEWS.

    • Old news? I wrote about this within an hour of its release. Now, that won’t be first as this info and most other related SPG/Marriott info has been handed under embargo to the sites that launch it first, but it is hardly old news or copied from anyone. That said, once you know this or any other info, feel free to steer clear of headlines that are clearly not useful to you.

    • @DJ – Grow up. Tossing around insults doesn’t make you look any better to other people. If you have a point to make, people will take you seriously if you act in a more mature fashion.

      As to the levels themselves, it’s a mixed bag, but it’s extremely likely to get much worse within a year. Marriott loves devaluations, and the new added category is just the tip of the iceberg, with seasonal variations making value much harder to extract and the Marriott level creep where hotels continually go up in level.
      There will presumably be the temporary bargains on some super expensive hotels, but many of those are so highbrow that they’re not much fun to stay in for my wife and I.

  2. so the Westin grand cayman is 48,000 its for 5 nights.I don’t have many SPG points but could transfer MR @ 1000/333 or a total of 144,000 MR. Is that still a good deal?

    • Are you talking Marriott Rewards or Membership Rewards? If Marriott Rewards then I think it is a good deal still. Five nights will cost you 240,000 points once the new rates kick in on 8/1.

  3. Very old news…like 15 minutes old :0). . I am getting as many SPG points as possible before August. Would love to try St Regis Maldives and Bora Bora. Reality is that all are losers…since after August will cost us 50% more spending to get the same points as now. Keep the good work.

    • True, it will get harder to earn with the credit card, but we’ll pick up some anniversary nights, so…..#tradeoff.

  4. Not impressive. Marriott cherry picked Mexico where costs are cheap and redemptions are less valuable (because rates are often low). By contrast some NYC hotels are going up as predicted. I think we know why we aren’t seeing ,SF, LA,London.

    The only carrot is that Rates will actually drop for a few months at top SPG properties-so the best advice is try to book them during the window in 2H-2018.

  5. Thanks for this and ignore the idiot above.

    So are they going to update 7 day packages in june?

    getting kind of hard to plan right now

  6. if I can get it, I’m planning to book 2 nights at the St Regis in NYC after Thanksgiving/beginning of Dec and then 2 or 3 nights at the St Regis Aspen right before Christmas. I was already planning to spend Christmas in Colorado visiting my dad so this is just a bonus side trip =) My girls will be almost 2 and 3 in Dec and I really want to take them dog sledding and maybe put the 3 year old in ski school. and go snow tubing! I had been planning to use the Wyndham points from current promotion to stay 2 nights in NYC so now I’ll have to find another use for them. or use them for the following Dec.

    I’m also planning to book something for Whistler in the summer of 2019 for a family reunion but not sure which hotel though.

    • Those plans all sound great! The only thing I will say about St. Regis Aspen is that it is not in a good location for kids ski schools/skiing. Westin Snowmass is a great location for that. However, I do love the St. Regis Aspen and we did stay there with our own four-year-old a few years back.

      • Can you elaborate on what makes St Regis Aspen not good for skiing? Or are you just talking about the ski school?

        • I’m referring to ski school or for those who are beginners. It isn’t in a ski out location the way that Westin Snowmass is 15-20 minutes down the road. The St. Regis Aspen next to a mountain that is not beginner friendly. Buttermilk is also family friendly and a shorter drive away than Snowmass. St. Regis is great for walking around Aspen or more advanced skiers, but for families, it isn’t the best choice if your goal is to be right on the mountain. This review has a little more info.
          https://mommypoints.boardingarea.com/2014/01/07/review-of-the-st-regis-aspen-spg-property/

          • Thanks. We bought the Ikon pass, so I think we are going out to this area next February – I think we will stick with the Westin, though the reviews are meh.

  7. Glad to see some decent 35,000 point and under properties where we’ll be able to use the free night certificates that now come with the current SPG cards. I’m hoping there will be some in London as well, since that is our plan for summer 2019. If not, I’ll plan Mexico or Dominican Republic for Feb 2020 and use them there.

    • I like that the Renaissance Republique in Paris came in at 35,000. Our family will likely keep all of our SPG cards that come with a free night to use at that property – we were just there and it was perfect.

  8. Ugh at the Sheraton NY Times Square- big jump for my go-to spot. I think in 2019 no NYC hotels will be redeemable on free certs. I’m blowing all my SPG points in the next few months. I’m gonna miss the old SPG! Will put my 130K points to good use in Portugal and a few other spots this year.

  9. For those top tier properties that might be temporarily dropping, what would stop them (Marriott/SPG) from limiting availability so you can’t get these temporary price dropped award stays anyway?

    • JS, I’m sure some property somewhere will play with availability, but their goal is not to tick off customers kicking off a new program.

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