Below is the list of properties changing category levels this year. It will take place March 24th.
82% of the properties remain unchanged.
62% of the properties will remain in Categories 1-4.
18% of the hotels are changing. Of those changing, 30% are decreasing by one category and 70% are increasing by one category.
All redemption reservations booked on or before March 24, 2016 for stays beginning March 24, 2016, will be honored at the point price booked. If you have not ordered your certificate prior to March 24, 2016, call Guest Services to request the lower-priced certificate before your stay. Any changes made to existing reservations after March 24 will be subject to the new category level.
You may book redemption reservations up to 50 weeks in advance of your stay, even before having the required points in your account. For example, on March 1, 2016, you may book your redemption stay as far out as February 15, 2017.
You can also use the NEW Cash + Points to book your redemption stay starting March 24, 2016. Learn more about Cash + Points.
In my never ending effort to get kicked off this site I posted a message to the Community Manager on an earlier thread:
"You should be in politics - we can call this announcement the "MARRIOTT SPIN".......
They leave some stats out of this press release - the most important one is 75 percent of all hotels in major city centers are category 6 or higher!!!
Is there a number to call the next time I am going to NYC, SFO, IAH,PHL etc etc to secure a good Category 4 property?
This "spin" is not directed at you this is what it is a "press release". I only wish Marriott wouldn't insult my intelligence."
I feel your frustration regarding properties in city centers. I have wanted to go to Boston for a couple years now but nothing is less than a cat 7 I think. Not to harp on the same issue, but trying to use my Chase cat 1-5 cert is more difficult each year. I personally wish they should make it with no cat restrictions or make it at least 1-6 but I know that won't happen. I run into the category issue at other locations like NYC, Chicago, and Napa CA. I don't want to spend 35K points at a FFI or CY because it's a cat 7. I personally don't think any FFI should be above a cat 5, but that's just me ranting lol .
I have distant relatives down that way, from my maternal grandmother's side, and haven't been for quite some time. Would be great to go down there again sometime soon, especially fall with all the colors adding to the scenery! Are there any particular places you'd recommend to stay?
And so the bloodletting continues. There is one bright spot in all this - they didn't create Category 10 - but it's coming.
I agree that the Chase card offer should extend to at least Category 7, or at least give us the ability to pay cash towards a higher category hotel.
"Convenient" and "Category 5" have become an oxymoron.
I think that Marriott should offer category reductions for weekend stays in many cities. This would not only provide more use opportunties for Cat 5 certs, but would also fill the empty rooms at business hotels on a weekend. Pointsavers awards seem to have virtually disappeared, as did BOGO's for weekend stays. The least they can do is have weekend category requirement reductions for non-holiday weekend.
As someone who works in IT, I would expect they could handle periodic adjustments to the category, but it would make the existing method for searching based on category virtually impossible. I think the PointSaver concept was intended for this purpose, just isn't available very often. Would be great if using PointSavers allowed a Cat 6 to accept a Cat 5 cert, since it's equivalent to that number of points.
I don't think the changes this year are as bad as in recent years. It's never fun to see properties go up in category, but it a fact of life. If there are any on the list you want to book with points, now is the time to do it. I like the fact that we have advance warning. I've taken advantage of that in each of the last two years, booking at the current category and saving some points.
As for the category 5 issue, I've never had a problem finding a place to use my certificates. I'll admit, my travels tend to take me to less populated areas. I just celebrated 5 years with Marriott Rewards and here's my history (by category) of stays.
I'd love to see certificates move from 1-5 to 1-6. We all would. The point is that there are plenty of places to use certificates. Certainly not in NYC, Chicago, Hawaii, SF, Boston, or any highly sought after locale. Were they transferrable, I'd gladly take those "worthless" certificates off your hands. And I know a few others on this site who would do the same.