67 Replies Latest reply: Oct 10, 2015 1:44 PM by wcastillo14 RSS

The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched

pingreeman Platinum 1 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

It’s time for my annual analysis on the new categories, so here we go:

 

Overall since 2012:

 

2248 Hotels have had category changes in the last three years as follows:

621 in year 2012; 517 up in category, 102 down

1353 in year 2013; 1306 up in category, 47 down

1081 in year 2014; 849 up in category, 232 down

237 Hotels have been adjusted in every year (must be popular)

50 have gone up year over year for three straight years

1 has gone down year over year for three straight years

237 have vacillated year over year of which 209 were upped in 2014, 28 down

Ritz hotels (only two years of category changes) show the following:

All 20 up in 2014

6 up in 2013 and up again in 2014 for two consecutive years

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA SpringHill Suites By Marriott SpringHill Suites Charlotte Airport
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA SpringHill Suites By Marriott SpringHill Suites Charlotte University Research Park
Greenville, South Carolina, USA Marriott Hotels & Resorts Greenville Marriott
  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    erc Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Good stuff, thanks for compiling, certainly shows the trend. The 2013 down number of 205 strikes me as pretty high, I thought it was in the forties, but either way, I viewed 2013 as the turning point of Marriott restructuring the award program for the near future (this year, shorter advance reservation period).

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
      pingreeman Platinum 1 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      erc - WOW - your insights are phenomenal as I had a formula error in my Excel spreadsheet, so I have edited the number for 2013 from 205 down to 47 down. A couple of other changes in numbers were also made and updated. All are accurate now.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    pingreeman Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    In case anyone is wondering, here are the fifty venues that have gone up by at least one category every year for the last three years:

     

    Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront, Autograph CollectionFairfield Inn Temecula
    Courtyard Aberdeen at Ripken StadiumFairfield Inn Tuscaloosa
    Courtyard Amsterdam AirportGrand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, Autograph Collection
    Courtyard Anchorage AirportHotel Duval, Autograph Collection
    Courtyard BloomingtonKalanipu'u Kauai Lagoons
    Courtyard Franklin Cool SpringsKauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club
    Courtyard Grand Rapids DowntownManila Marriott Hotel
    Courtyard Greenville DowntownMarco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa
    Courtyard Key LargoMarriott's Crystal Shores
    Courtyard Louisville AirportMVCI Marriott's Kauai Beach Club
    Courtyard Louisville DowntownMVCI Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club
    Courtyard Nashville DowntownOakland Marriott City Center
    Courtyard Palo Alto Los AltosPalm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa
    Courtyard Portland Downtown/Lloyd CenterPittsburgh Marriott City Center
    Courtyard Savannah Downtown/Historic DistrictRenaissance Boston Hotel & Spa at Patriot Place
    Courtyard Shreveport-Bossier City/Louisiana BoardwalkRenaissance Moscow Hotel Monarch Centre
    Courtyard TuscaloosaRenaissance Nashville Hotel
    Courtyard Waikiki BeachResidence Inn Austin Downtown/Convention Center
    Fairfield Inn Anchorage MidtownSpringHill Suites Fort Lauderdale Airport
    Fairfield Inn BloomingtonSpringHill Suites Pittsburgh North Shore
    Fairfield Inn Key WestSpringHill Suites Portland Hillsboro
    Fairfield Inn Medford Long IslandSpringHill Suites San Angelo
    Fairfield Inn Saratoga MaltaSpringhill Suites Savannah Downtown/Historic District
    Fairfield Inn South Bend at Notre DameSpringHill Suites Temecula Valley Wine Country
    Fairfield Inn State CollegeWaikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    pingreeman Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    The great bargain on points for category decreases:

     

    The one venue that has gone down by one or more category levels in each of the three years is:

     

    JW Marriott Hotel Cairo

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    superchief1 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    This is very interesting information. I had the perception that Wentworth by the Sea and Marriott Key West resort also went up every year. I know they are 3 levels higher than four years ago, but perhaps they went up two categories at once or the first increase was in 2011.

     

    Most MVC timeshare resorts continue to go up annually. I think one driving factor for their increase is that there is very limited availability due to owners no longer redeeming their owned weeks for MR points. Overall, our point values have declined by 30-50 % over the past four years. Spend your points now before the next devaluation.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
      pingreeman Platinum 1 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      superchief1 - Per my spreadsheet, Wentworth shows the following:

       

      Hotel Name2011201220132014
      Wentworth by the Sea, A Marriott Hotel & Spa789

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
        superchief1 Platinum
        Currently Being Moderated

        I'll have to go back through my MR redemption history but I am almost sure that I used a category 6 redemption for my 2012 stay at Wentworth by the Sea (120k for four nights). I don't think it was a point saver.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
      emvp Platinum 3 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      An interesting observation that point values have declined 30-50%in the past four years.  Does Marriott have established criteria  for their annual classification of properties?  The upward bias in classifications  does seem to inflate the average point requirement for awards and to deflate the value of points.  A little less obvious than UALs recent 12.5% increase in award point requirements across the board, but probably just as effective.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
      moonflower Platinum 13 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      That may be true of MVCI resorts but it is interesting that they are regularly offered at a 35% discount for paid stays. Hardly a sign that they are oversubscribed?

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    gm1 Gold 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Pingreeman

     

    Thank you for the analysis as this is very useful information.  I agree with superchief1 about earning and burning points as they will only lose value over time.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    painedplatinum Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Nice work PGM

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Great work Ping!  It would be interesting to see what the actual % increase  of points needed year-to-year is.  For example is it a 5% increase?  10% increase?  or more?  I now that much of what I buy has increased year over year concistently and my guess is that most everyone is feeling the inflation pinch in their every day lives.  Oh, I know the government tells us inflation is in check, but who of us really believes that?  Not anyone paying for gas, buying groceries, paying the cable bill, etc..  Prices are up, and in some cases, big time.  Just a thought.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      Any increase by 5,000 points a night is an aggessive percentage, higher than other costs are rising. A Category Eight going to a Nine is a 5k increase on a 40k base or 12.5% and so on down to let's say a Cat. 4 which is a 25% increase, combine that with pingreeman's highlighting of properties going up each year or two out of three and you have some significant price increases. And of course any Cat. 4's or Cat. 5 going to a Cat. 6 is the removal of 100% of Certificate value, somewhat similar to the "from $99" deals, where the single $99 rate is removed Day One.


      Ironically whereas the self payers are hit twice, with points inflation and price inflation in hotel cash rates; the corporate traveler who earns points on the company's dollar, has the point inflation partially softened by the recent aggressive rate increases, thus earning more points. This, of course is the concern of corporate travel managers with the 'Delta' model, travelers chasing points and not rates. This also shows in the Marriott.com pricing grids with several of their prices making no financial sense to the intelligent buyer (two different AAA prices, AAA prices higher than Standard Rate, Marriott Rewards Offers at higher prices than Standard Rates - all on the exact same room) where apparently the only reason Marriott offers those rates is because some travelers choose them.


      I believe the award increases is a very effective (as in, Marriott hasn't lost any market share, in spite of the gnashing of teeth) shift in how they are managing the program and it's concurrent cost to them. Like a stock where you take profits off the table before further decline, I'm moving as rapidly as effective to avoid what I think will be even aggressive changes (this years 20 day booking notice vs. prior years two or two and a half months notice is IMO, a signal of future carving of other program details).

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
        californian Platinum 37 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        It is good to look at what different methods of thinking help us conclude.  To me, all this says that we should spend our points as soon as we can.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    pinegreeman,

     

    Good work and thanks for taking the time and effor to put this together for Insiders!

     

    2013 was obviously the worst year of changes.  I'm glad that 2014 had a lower rate of increases and a higher number of decreases.  I'm also glad that Category 10 was not introduced.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    marriottmemberfromla Platinum 51 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I need to use my points. They have definitely lost a lot of value the last 2 years. I had a reservation at hotel Beaux arts but canceled my trip...that one went up 1 category this year but still fairly reasonable at category 7 (though you need to use additional points to get an ocean view).

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    pingreeman Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I found on my laptop an earlier analysis going back to 2010/2011 changes when there were 3441 venues:

    • 2993 unchanged
    • 359 went up
    • 89 went down

     

    Three venues up year-after-year for four straight years:

    • Courtyard Louisville Airport [Cat 2 in 2010, Cat 6 in 2014]
    • Manila Marriott Hotel [3, 7]
    • SpringHill Suites Temecula Valley Wine Country [3, 7]

     

    The following list of hotels went up three straight years (2011, 2012, & 2013) but reprieved from another increase in 2014:

    • Courtyard Newark Elizabeth
    • Fairfield Inn Fargo
    • Residence Inn West Orange
    • SpringHill Suites Louisville Airport
    • TownePlace Suites Fayetteville Cross Creek
    • TownePlace Suites Redwood City Redwood Shores

     

    1595 venues have never had an increase and remain the same category as they had in 2010. However, of the 4049 venues tracked for 2014:

    • 2097 are now at their maximum category with
      • 1382 up by 1 cat
      • 618 up by 2 cats
      • 93 up by 3 cats
      • 4 up by 4 cats
    • 340 are now at their lowest category with
      • 328 down by 1 cat
      • 11 down by 2 cats
      • 1 down by 3 cats
      • 0 down by 4 cats

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks for the great analysis pingreeman

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    pingreeman you are certainly on top of your game!  Thanks for sharing this data and for the time it takes to put it all together.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Just how some of these hotels are given the Category they are given continues to baffle me when I look at the changes for this coming year. 

     

    Key West Beachside Hotel in the same Category as The Marco Island Beach Resort both CAT 9?

     

    Fairfield Inn Key West in the same Category as The JW Marriott Cancun Resort, Marriott's Maui Ocean Club or Coronado Island Marriott Resort all CAT 8?  Seriously??

     

    I get that location has a huge part in the Category, but while Key West is a fun spot it's pale in comparison to Cancun, Maui or Coronado Island IMHO.

     

    Looking further down that list I just keep scratching my head wondering.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
      shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      IAHFLYER

       

      Interesting point!  The way I understood it, category changes were driven by our collective usage of points to stay at specific properties.  The more interest in 'points' stays, the higher the category level.  If its that simple of a calculation, my business mind tells me it is no more, no less, than supply and demand.  If there is more that goes into the calculation, wouldn't it be nice if the community manager would share that with us. 

       

      shoeman

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
        tommo781 Silver 8 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        I agree with Iahflyer; I think our usage of points must be a huge influence on the category level.  Here in the UK there are the same sort of category changes as in the US that have no other logical explanation.  For example, West India Quay, London,  and the hotels in York and Bournemouth have all gone from 6 to 7.  West India Quay is not central London, but the area is becoming more and more popular, and it is a really lovely hotel.  York is great, we often stay there.  But it has no Executive Lounge etc.  However, York is a huge tourist spot, so I guess there are plenty of points spent there.   Bournemouth is a nice hotel, but again has no Executive Lounge.  However it is in a wonderful position in a typically British seaside resort, so again I guess there are plenty of points spent there.   I can't think of any other explanation as to why these 3 hotels are all the same category.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    superchief1 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I wouldn't be surprised if MR point redemption activity has increased overall because many of us are trying to use our points before they are devalued again. If the category increases are based on the absolute number of points redeemed,all popular destinations will likely continue to increase.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    Platinum 28 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Gentlepeople,

     

    Many points that all have merit -  my  opinion, includes many of the points put forth for the dilution of our points but also include subjective situations.  The constant deterioration in the value of points is  discussed (as most of you are aware) on a daily basis on many different postings, but adding up all the factors is rarely investigated.

     

    Now, for this humble traveler's take (including a view I believe Marriott takes) -

     

    I believe the revamping of categories are a combination of:

    1. The ability to accumulate points which becomes easier and easier every year (there are zillions of un-used points out there.

    2. The addition of more elite members entitled to benefits (especially food in CL's) (like a bunch of United frequent flyers)

    3. An attempt  (similar but not as strict as airlines) to control that percentage of rooms occupied by guests on points.

    It should also be taken into account that each property receives from Corporate a certain payment when a guest is using points - that fee or rate is based on the properties category. With food and labor costs escalating more money is needed to break even on the guests using points.

     

    Put all this in a pot, add salt, pepper to taste and you have the revamping of categories.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated
      Another reality for many of us to face along with the thoughts above, is that Marriott and most other hoteliers are aggressively pursuing the Next Generation of travelers http://news.marriott.com/2014/03/the-next-gen-traveler-holds-the-keys-to-the-future-of-hotels.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MarriottNewsCenter+%28Marriott+News+Center%29.  (Arne's linkedin blog)
      Painful as it may be to us long term loyalists, it's a sound and necessary business strategy. On top of that, the Gen Y (an older overlap of millennials, up to 32 years old) customers haven't yet built substantial balances of loyalty points (yes, there are of course exceptions, some even among some of our sharpest Insiders) and therefore are not as impacted by the devaluation (they are in Arne's words, courted by other means, such as technology, 'friendship', ethical practices, etc).  Put on top of that a 'fish in the barrel' hotel economic environment caused by the five year non-development undersupply of properties, and it's clear to understand why now is the time for Marriott and others to act. Disgruntled loyalists are easily replaced by other customers waiting to get in (as demonstrated by Marriott's past three years of record setting financial results and stock prices).
      We have discussed the various strategies for countering the inevitable trending of point devaluation - standing in front of the wave is probably the least effective. This truly is a time for us travel veterans to Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome and Insiders is a valuable arrow in our quiver. Keep on keepin' on, fellow dinosaurs (typed while watching CNBC with a prescription drug ad, where, apparently, you need pills for the side effects of your pills!).

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
        vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Well put erc!  Marriott Reward Members need to learn how to strategize and adapt to the changes of not only Marriott but other frequent traveler programs as well.  Even with this most recent devaluation from Marriott their points still have the best redemption value when compared to other hotel reward programs.

         

        We shouldn't be surprised that popular hotels and vacation properties continue to increase in rewards categories as the majority of Rewards members are using points for those properties.  The nice thing about Marriott Rewards is there are many different ways to use your points and Rewards members should give thought as to whether or not they are making the best use of points.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
          iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          All excellent points by you three however; I'm still scratching to figure out how some of these places are put into the Category they are when you compare others in the same Category.

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
            tommo781 Silver 8 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            I'm scratching too!

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
            eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            Me, too.

             

            On Sat. night, I was getting tired so I looked at Marriott in Greenville, SC thinking that since it was a cat. 5, my son could use one of his cat. 1-5 certificates there. Not only did it require only 20K points, but with point savers, it was only 15K points. They were working on it, but everyone at the Marriott was upstate SC friendly and really professional. We were told we could get points and a free continental breakfast there because the CL would be closed.  I asked how much it would cost to upgrade to a full breakfast and Kenya called and was told that we could get them anyway because of PP.


            Drove to Charlotte, NC the next day and had a SHS reservation for 2 rooms since Angel and Jerry were taking her mother to the airport the next day, so we switched roommates to make the 2 rooms work since I didn't think her mother would want to sleep on a couch.


            The desk clerk was nowhere to be found when we got to the SHS @ 2 pm.  He didn't want to check us in that early, but finally did.  I used mr.b's pts. for the other room and booked mine on sr. citizen rate to get the 2nd night for a free cat. 5 cert. since it was only $76 / nt.   The clerk was the most unprofessional person I'd ever seen at a desk, dressed in an ill-fitting polo shirt that didn't say anything about working anywhere, much less a Marriott.  When I got to the room, I called mr.b to tell him my room number and give him the phone number of where I'd landed so he could call me on his calling card.  He couldn't get through.  I then tried calling 0 and no answer.  All in all, bad place.


            The next day, we were to move to a SHS - Research Dr. in NE Charlotte nearer to Concord, NC ; a mega-shopping destination for a long time with all kinds of outlet malls and activities and the destination for Jerry's birthday celebration and my suggestion that I spring for another night for them since the room was cat. 2 and seemed to be a good use of pts. with rooms costing over $100 / night without pts.  I was apprehensive about staying there after the previous nights experience, but this cat. 2 turned out to be professionally run with several people at the desk and all dressed in their business suits, giving us a tour with everything working, including the pool chair lift that hadn't worked at the cat. 3 Airport SHS.  We were checked in immediately without even asking at 11 am, thanked for staying there since we were PP, and given pts. as a welcome gift and 2 bottles of water.  The rooms were great, it was a really nice area with lots of eating places and things to do, and near Concord.  The breakfast wasn't as good as the one at the airport, but it was really a good value.


            From there, we drove to NMB, SC to stay at a resort for a couple of nights, and then lucked into another 8 nights on Wed. night at another resort in MB during spring break!!!    The reservation clerk on the phone told me I was the luckiest person.    Yep.  I am.    

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            Location Brand Hotel
            Charlotte, North Carolina, USA SpringHill Suites By Marriott SpringHill Suites Charlotte Airport
            Charlotte, North Carolina, USA SpringHill Suites By Marriott SpringHill Suites Charlotte University Research Park
            Greenville, South Carolina, USA Marriott Hotels & Resorts Greenville Marriott
        • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
          moonflower Platinum 13 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Responding to Vaboywnder: Your message seems to have been edited but I saw the example of 'Joe' on my e-mails. However, I don't understand how the redemption option you mention would work. Could you explain please?

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
            vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            Hi Moonflower,

             

            Sorry for the confusion.  I was trying to leave an example (Joe) of alternative way of using Marriott Rewards at the end of my prevoius response and then soon after I posted it I realized my Joe example was not valid so I quickly removed it.  At the time I had to leave for work and didn't have time to give a new example.

             

            So now that I have the time here is a valid example.  Jack wants to use points towards a 3 night stay at a Category 7 property which costs $179 a night ($537 for 3 night stay).  If he used points to cover his entire stay he would be redeeming 105,000 points (35,000 points per night).  Jack could request an Instant Redemption Reward (available at most properties during a stay) of $500 instead for 100,000 points and then pay the remaining difference of $37.  Then Jack would receive additional points and elite night credits for his stay because he used the Instant Redemption option which in my opinion would be a better use of points in this scenerio.

             

            https://www.marriott.com/marriott/instant.mi

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
              iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              Great example vaboywnder

               

              I've not used an instant redemption as yet, where in reservation page does it tell you if they offer it or must you wait and ask at the hotel when you arrive?  My guess would be you book the room as a paid stay and then ask at check-in?

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
                vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                IAHFLYR,

                 

                According to the fine print:

                "Instant Redemption Awards are offered at participating hotels for the following Marriott brands: JW Marriott, EDITION, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, AC Hotels, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott,  SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton. Instant Redemption Awards are not available at Marriott Vacation Club."

                 

                Earlier I recall Instant Redemption was not available in Hawaii but I no longer see that restriction listed in the fine print so that may have changed.  Yes you would book the room as a paid stay and then request the Instant redemption at check in or sometime during your stay prior to check out.

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
              californian Platinum 37 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              This makes good sense to me.  This gives the value of $0.005 / point.

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
                vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                Yup and then you also get the additional points and elite night credits for the stay.  Below is a list of the current Instant Redemption Options.  Personally I would only recommend the $500 & $1,000 options which would give you at least $0.005 value per point.

                 

                instant.JPG

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
              eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              Very good vaboywnder !!!  Thanks for the reminder. 

               

              P.S.:  I can't seem to find the instant rewards from the sign in page.  I was wondering because I thought $1000 was 245,000 pts. the last time I looked at it.  Have they gone down?  That's really good if they have or even if my memory was being faulty on me.

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
                vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                eb5147,

                 

                I think you had the Instant Redemption confused with Marriott Gift Cards.  The $1,000 Marriott Gift Card was 245,000 points.

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
                  eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  I did have that confusion because I didn't know this existed.  Thanks for letting me know about it.  Talk about confusing to me!!!  I did also find my way to it without your urls thanks to your instructions.

                  (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
                    vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
                    Currently Being Moderated

                    eb5147,

                     

                    Your welcome.  Keep in mind that when using Instant Redemption the monetary amount can only be used for that current stay.  You will not get a credit back if you do not use the full amount during that stay.

                    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                    • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
                      eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
                      Currently Being Moderated

                      Yep.  I did read that, but thank you for the warning in case I should forget.  The more I see it, the more I'll remember.

                       

                      Also, can't be used for packages bought beforehand.  I was wondering about that, too, before I read the instructions.

                      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    Platinum 28 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Until you stop equating the quality of the property with the category you will continue to scratch our heads!!!

     

    You must accept the fact that a  property in city "a" might be a #5 and the same property if placed in city "b" could be a #7!!!!!

     

    Once you can put that behind you all the comments and theories make sense.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Excellent number crunching as always pingeeman!

     

    As for the question what governs category... Well it's redemptions!

     

    And redemption demand is based on different outcomes to business demand. Hence an excellent new FS business Marriott with oversize rooms, wonderful common spaces, good meeting room options and close access to the motorway (freeway) can end up at cat 3 (Leicester, UK) whilst a bunch of very ordinary cramped FFI in New York blaze a cat 7 trail! I'm afraid there's not much call from leisure travellers for a motorway hotel outside Leicester, whilst leisure demand in NYC rises remorselessly. However Leicester can still achieve redemptions pursuant to what I call the "O'Leary effect" (boss of Ryanair) "if I fly anywhere cheaply enough I'll fill the planes" and you have the solution to the conundrum - make redemptions cheap! Families will find things to do around Leicester when a room only costs 15,000 points/night. Now add into the mixture the effect of perceived value. A $50 night FFI will achieve no redemptions at cat9 ($0.0001/pt), people will pay the tiny cash and conserve points for better value, likewise a $500 night FS will be inundated at cat1($0.06/pt), no matter where it is (The OLeary effect). Our redemption activity determines the categories.


    Finally, I'm not sure I'd ever use the instant redemptions, they hugely undervalue the points IMHO. Ive spent over 1mill points and have always achieved values of between 1UScent (NYC) and 3UScents (Moscow). Europe presents an excellent opportunity to redeem points at top values, London, Paris, Monaco, Amsterdam, Rome and Moscow all easily bring forth 1UScent+ redemptions, even after the latest category creep. Sticking to the 5 night redemptions will open up huge numbers of other opportunities around the world. 1UScent/pt has been my minimum for almost a decade now, and nothing has changed that...

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    superchief1 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I've noticed that almost every hotel that is located in a vacation area or destination city has gone up 2-3 categories in the past 3 years, regardless of the quality of the property. Since most people redeem their points for vacations and personal trips, this will likely continue. Members will earn points on business trips and with credit cards, but redeem them for vacations and personal trips.

     

    I have found better values by using my points at fringe locations (lke Walnut Creek, CA rather than SF), and for stopovers. Luckily, I have my timeshares for vacations and they are a lot nicer than any of the category 9 hotels near a beach. Plus, parking is free.

     

    My best recent use of points was for a relocation to the Columbus area (on my own dime). I stayed for about 8 weeks (5 nights per week) in a category 1 Town Place Suites which was a nice property. This saved me a lot of out of pocket money for 160k points (the cost of 5 nights in a cat 8).

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
      eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I'm confused as to why a cat. 1 would have been that many pts. for 8 days when I thought they were 7500 pts. per night.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
        superchief1 Platinum
        Currently Being Moderated

        My mistake. I forgot it was 7500 for cat one, not 5000. I stayed 5 nights per week for 30000 pt per wk for 8 wks. Total points cost =240000, but I actually was able to use point savers (24000 per wk) for two of the weeks. This was still a good use of points for me and saved me a lot of money. I was able to stay in Cincinnati with family on weekends, and the hotel would let me leave some of my things in a secure storage area.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
      californian Platinum 37 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I noticed this too.  A nothing hotel in a vacation area keeps going up.  I guess airport locations fall into this too.  Often when I have en early flight, I like to stay at the airport and others must do the same thing.  I am trying to figure out where I am going to use my accumulated points before I have to earn more.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
        wcastillo14 Member
        Currently Being Moderated

        How much is the Friends and Family discount exactly? I'm looking for something in Los Angeles. Just can't find a decent rate and don't know what how much of a discount, if any. How much saving will I receive?

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
    rinny54 Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Where can I find the original announcement about the categories changes & date of change?  Thanks!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)