New Marriott award chart analysis

This morning Marriott unveiled award pricing for every hotel in the combined Marriott / Ritz / SPG program effective August 2018 (See: NOW LIVE: New Marriott SPG Award Category Assignments).  And, while I was crunching numbers, Nick published his initial thoughts: New Marriott award chart: first reactions.

If you’d like to see details of my analyses, click here for details.  For everyone else, here were my findings:

  • Average (mean) award prices remain roughly the same.
  • More hotels will be cheaper in the new program vs more expensive (52% will be cheaper, 31% more expensive)
  • Top Tier SPG properties will be cheaper under the new program (as expected).
  • Top Tier Marriott properties will be more expensive under the new program (as expected).
    • Only 2 current Category 9 Marriott hotels are going down in price! (Fairfield Inn & Suites Ocean City, and Residence Inn Ocean City)
    • Most top tier Marriott hotels go from 45K to 50K (new category 6)
    • One Category 9 Marriott is going all the way up to new category 8 (Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection).
  • Current category 1-5 certificates become more valuable. If you have existing certificates we expect them to be replaced with 25K certificates in August.
    • Very few Marriott category 1-5 hotels are going up in price above 25K in August (only 5!).  This means that your category 1-5 certificates will retain their value.
    • 4 Ritz properties will be bookable with these certificates starting in August
    • 548 Marriott properties will drop down to 25K points per night and will then be bookable with these certificates.
  • The 35K certificates that will come with SPG cards and the Marriott Premier Plus card will be quite valuable:
    • 6,341 hotels will be bookable for 35K points or less
    • This includes 27 Ritz properties worldwide and 5 in the US, plus 11 St. Regis hotels worldwide (none in the US).
  • The 50K certificates that will come with the SPG Luxury card (and probably with a revamped Ritz card) will be extremely valuable.  Within the US alone, these luxury brands will be available for 50K per night:
    • Autograph Collection 24
    • JW Marriott 10
    • Le Meridien 3
    • Luxury Collection 6
    • Ritz-Carlton 16
    • St. Regis 1
    • Tribute Portfolio 3
    • VISTA 9

SPG Category Mappings

Here are the actual category mappings for SPG properties from old to new. The % column shows the percent of hotels within the same original category that were assigned to this new category.  Rows with very low percentages are not shown.  I’ve highlighted in red where prices have gone up significantly and in green where prices go down significantly.

Keep in mind that the hotels that map to category 8 above will actually be category 7 (60K points) from August to early 2019.

Marriott & Ritz Chart Mappings

Here are the actual category mappings for Marriott & Ritz properties. The % column shows the percent of hotels within the same original category that were assigned to this new category.  Rows with very low percentages are not shown.  I’ve highlighted in red where prices have gone up significantly and in green where prices go down significantly.

Not surprisingly, almost all current top tier Marriott’s (Cat 9) are going up in price.  74% go up only 5K per night, but a significant percentage go up more.

More info

Please see our Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide, or click through to the guide via any of these topic links:

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Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Greg The Frequent MilerleviBlueBook these now: Top properties going UP in August - Frequent MilerDenise Recent comment authors
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Peter
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Peter

Hi Greg, I think the list of hotels that you are showing to be booked before August are incorrect.

I think you might have pasted the wrong table there. Seems like that table are the hotels that would be cheaper after August.

Love your content!

Peter

Edit: Since I have already posted a comment, do you have any idea what the suite redemption would be like? Am planning for a trip to Japan next year and am considering redeeming a few nights of suite if possible. Thanks!

Christ
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Christ

“The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel, The St. Regis Princeville Resort, Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown East, Autograph Collection’s Hotel Punta Islita, and Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Napa Valley will redeem for 5,000 fewer points in the new program”. Greg listed The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort on the “Book now” list

Credit Card Nerd
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Credit Card Nerd

Agreed I was looking at the Gritti Palace (currently 105k Marriott points) it will now be 60k Marriott points on August 1st

Nick Reyes
Editor

You’re right. We had the wrong list in there. Edited it out and Greg will update later. Thanks!

Corridor
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Corridor

A bit confused by this post. The book now list seems inaccurate?

Barry
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Barry

For Disney World trips, I’ve stayed at the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort. This hotel was a category 2 Starwood Hotel and could be booked for about 4000 Starpoints per night (12,000 Marriott points). The new chart has this hotel listed at 25,000 Marriott points per night. The Hyatt Grand Cyprus down the road is a lot nicer hotel and is 15,000 Hyatt points per night (plus Hyatt doesn’t charge resort fees when you book with points). I know where I’ll be taking my business in the future.

Christian
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Christian

I’ve been waiting for the changeover to book the King George in Athens on points, since it’s currently heavily overpriced at 20,000 SPG points per night versus $250 cash, and surely Marriott couldn’t be crazy enough to charge a top tier price for a $250 a night hotel, right? My bad, Marriott did exactly that. They are charging the maximum price on points, the same as the most expensive Marriott on earth. I haven’t been a fan of the merger, but I figured that this would be the single redeeming instance of the new program. No, Marriott is once again proving itself shortsighted. Time to look elsewhere.

DaveC
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DaveC

Does it matter if we have our points parked in SPG or Marriott when this new chart officially kicks in? Right now, I have almost all my points in SPG but I’m wondering if I should transfer to Marriott preemptively so I will be ready right when things go live.

Glenn
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Glenn

If I read the SPG table correctly, about half of the Cat 1-4 hotels are going up a category no?

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frugalman
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frugalman

Can anyone do the math and show me why I should be happy with the new policy:
(1) If I use 330K now, I can redeem a 7-night of old Cat 7 (35K/night value)+120K miles;
(2) If I use 330K after 8/1, I can get a 7-night of new Cat 4 (25K/night value) +100K miles.
I lose in term of both certificate value(35K->25K) and airline miles (-20K).

I think the best strategy is redeeming old certificate AND had better also booking before 8/1 if you have any plan to use it this winter or next summer. For the hotels that I am monitoring, all of them request more points after 8/1. You’d better do the homework yourself: https://points-redemption.marriott.com/category-change

dale m
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dale m

I will continue to hope for a eventual clearer reading, as I have recently purchased a cat6 package, having had enuff experience with the annual cat5 certificate / properties to recognize how category changes over the past 2-3 years have hurt … not sure if it’s Marriott obfuscating or I’m just overwhelmed and dense, but would love to know what / how the cat6 packages will be treated when there’s a clear answer.

Frugalman’s example is helpful, but I can’t decipher why there are two lines in the Marriott / Ritz mappings chart … i.e., why an old cat5 maps to new categories 3 AND 4 (?) or why an old cat6 maps to new categories 4 AND 5 (??) – thankls

frugalman
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frugalman

This is my imagined scenario for the existing certificate including 7-night ones:
Old Cat 5 (25K)= New cat 4(25K)
Old Cat 6 (30K)= New Cat 4(25K) (yes, devaluation)
Old Cat 7 (35K)= New Cat 5(35K)
Old Cat 8 (40K)= New Cat 5(35K) (yes, devaluation)
Old Cat 9 (45K)= New Cat 6(50K) (yes, this is the only appreciation)
For the appreciation of the last item, it is not out of kindness, but Marriott would feel too shamed if they did so much depreciation (10K) on this one.

Of course, I might be wrong. The best (hopefully actual) scenario could be (no changes from above other than the two noted ones.)
Old Cat 5 (25K)= New cat 4(25K)
Old Cat 6 (30K)= New Cat 5(35K) (Change. Appreciation!)
Old Cat 7 (35K)= New Cat 5(35K)
Old Cat 8 (40K)= New Cat 6(50K) (Change. Appreciation!)
Old Cat 9 (45K)= New Cat 6(50K)

Two notes: even though old Cat 5 is equal to new Cat 4, remember it takes different costs to get them: 270K now vs 330K later. Plus I pointed out early you also get less airline miles if do it later. Similar things happen in other “equality” as well.

For those thinking 7-night certificate might be converted back to points but questioning the ratio, you could book a reservation now to “freeze” your 7-night certificate. If the conversion is good, unfreeze your certificate ((cancel reservation); otherwise, just spend your 7 night there (yeh, you’d better pick a hotel you would like to stay for 7 nights).

Let’s wait and see.

Blue
Guest
Blue

If that’s the plan, since they are floaters there’s no real devaluation since the package can just be adjusted down.

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[…] I am bargain minded so the PointSavers rates starting in 2019 look pretty good. This takes a deeper look into the changes by Frequent Miler and then we get this post by DansDeals who is screaming AMAZING! For my short […]

Jacinto
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Jacinto

I have a 5 night SPG reservation at the Westin Ka’Anapali Villa North for late August. It is 20,000 SPG points per night and 1 free night, for a total of 80,000 points. I also have an unused Marriott vacation package (Cat 1-5) and an addition 90,000 SPG points on the way before end of August. Should I be using a better way to book that Westin reservation ? I’m SPG Gold.

P-nope
Guest
P-nope

Let’s hope the introduction of peak and off-peak pricing next yar will prevent Marriott from moving hotels up at least one Cat. for the foreseeable future.

Denise
Guest
Denise

Can anyone let me know if I get a Ritz Carlton card at the end of July and earn the 2 free night certificates in 90 days, will I get those nights converted into Marriott points equivalents? I am thinking of using these two free nights at top end St Regis Properties.

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[…] at the new rates in August. Greg has published an in-depth analysis (and a shorter summary) here: New Marriott award chart analysis. Overall, the changes don’t look bad — at least for now. Still, some great properties […]

levi
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levi

So to be clear, come August, I can book for 60k how far out and it would be honored… until the end of the booking window? Which is how far out? IE – thinking St Regis but not until later in 2019