Above is a link to the thread. Nice PDF provided.
BUT WOW! 1/3 of the properties going up in category. Including a new category 9 covering most of Paris and London. Tons of cat 4 props going to 5 and 5's going to 6. Very FEW decreases. Make your 2013 reservations now and start saving points! The value of points just went down a bit.
From Flyertalk. A Great post: I think this devaulation is worse than the 2009 one for platinum members. There is no increase in bonus points for platinum members this time, and they basically made each category worth the previously lower one. Cat 5 is the new 4 and so on with the new category 9. A lot of solid category 3 properties are now 4. Some properties like La Jolla Marriott have gone from category 4 to 6 in two years.
If Marriott is going to charge these rates for award rooms, they need to stop the excuse of not offering free breakfast on weekends at USA/Canada properties for gold and platinum members.
I also feel breakfast at Courtyards for Golds and Plats should be offered. DOZENS of them have increased in category. This is the business hotel model. The competition provides breakfast at similarly branded hotels with status. We need benefits added. This devaluation after the loss of BOGO.
Come on Marriott. Earn our loyalty. PLEASE.
Marriott has just devalued the points that we have accumulated as well as the usefulness of all certificates like those earned with megabonus. With so many properties up-categorized there will be few decent hotels to stay at with certificates limited to category 4 or category 5. Marriott should at least upgrade the certifcates to make them good through category 6 and 7.
I have these observations:
1. So much for the reason given last year regarding level changes being driven by redemption patterns. This is obviously the new Marriott: devalue the points we have worked so hard to get by 20-30% and eliminate all platinum awards.
2. Those of us who purchased Marriott Vacation Club properties at least partially because of the ability to convert our weeks to MR points have been hit the hardest. The categories of the MVC continue to increase while the points we are given are at 1985 levels. I will never convert a week to MR points again, and I doubt anyone else will.
3. Saving points for travel at retirement is no longer an option. 4.
4. Several Residence Inns have increased category, but there is still no option to book a 1-2BR room.
5. We will use more points but have lower likelihood than ever to receive an upgrade.
It would also sure be nice if the devaluations were listed by city, so we can at least plan our trip prior to April next year.
I think you are right. Much is a self fulfilling prophecy. The give a megabonus of Cat 4 certs. Suddenly, an increase in Cat 4 redemptions. Guess what? They jack a ton of Cat 4 properties to Cat 5. This has happened two years in a row. Plus a bunch of other increases.
I will say they have added rollover nights as a permanent. That helps maintain status, but doesn't add to point totals or benefits.
What's more, as others have pointed out, the Megabonus and Visa certificates become even more useless... and what's a person such as myself to do? I live on Oahu. The lowest category hotel is the Courtyard Waikiki, followed by the Waikiki Beach Marriott, the Ko Olina Beach Club, and finally the JW Marriott Ihilani. CY used to be cat. 4 when I first joined, and the Waikiki Marriott was cat. 5. Last year they moved up to cat. 5 and 6 respectively, but now they're moving up another category again! So while the Megabonus certificates were useless to me locally last year, the Visa certificate will be completely useless to me too after the category change. While this may not seem like a big deal, it isn't always practical to travel to use the certificate because of all the other associated costs that get added on. That being said, it would be nice to see the certificates see an upgrade too, or even provide certificate redemption discounts to those that live in areas such as Hawaii, London, Paris, etc. that see such high category levels.
On a related note, as I've noted in a separate thread, the CY Waikiki is in very sorry shape... I've stayed there 3 times, and while the staff is outstanding, the property is anything but! The A/C units are LOUD if they even work at all... The noise coming off the street is also quite loud, as the windows/glass doors aren't soundproof. The furniture in the rooms are warn, and the beds are pretty uncomfortable compared to other properties. I've experienced broken cabinets (that fall at you) and even broken picture frames too.... The property has so much potential, but the property is so neglected... A new competing property recently opened (the Hyatt Place) that offers modern rooms with split air systems (not window mount A/C), complimentary hot breakfast daily, etc. The competition is beginning to up the ante here, and I'd hate to see Marriott fall behind!
Unfortunately most reward programs tend to be like this, points or miles get devalued over time.
There is no advantage in storing up large balances of points as terms and conditions can change at any time and they are always for the worse.
We were enjoying the benefits of airmiles and then it changed to avios, with a fee attached to each redemption!
It seems now more than ever those category 4 certificates will be even harder to use with all the changes.
This calculation may need to be revised with this new category 9 level!