Over the past couple of years, there have been numerous posts on Insiders with the complaint that the Cat 5 certs are not easy to use. Cat 5 certificates are often received either as an annual benefit for using the Marriott Chase Visa, or as part of a Mega bonus promotion.
Here's a suggestion: Why not allow people to upgrade from a cat 5 for 5,000 points for each level of upgrade. A cat 5 hotel costs 25,000 points per night. A 6 is 30,000, a seven is 35,000, etc. up to 45,000 for a cat 9. A lot of people would be much happier with these cat 5 certs if they could upgrade them in this way. I rarely have a problem finding cat 5 hotels, but it does happen, occasionally. Any thoughts on this, friends?
The different categories are fixed by reference to Marriotts costs on our redemption activity. Cat1 hotels cost the least, Cat9 the most. The certs encourage redemption at those properties that don't carry their fair share of redemption activity. The IT could be easily put in place to allow upgrading but that then negates the purpose of the certs, namely to encourage lower category redemption activity. Don't expect any changes.
I don't expect any changes that benefit us, in fact probably the opposite. But I love your idea phctourist and wish we were offered options even though I have no problem using the Cat 5 certs.