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Middle Age Miles

Reminder: One Week Left to Make Award Reservations at Marriott Hotels Increasing in Points Price (especially Category 8 hotels!)

One week left to book Marriott Category 8 hotels at lower rates. Book now. Marriott devaluation.
Lobby of the Prince des Galles Hotel, Paris – this beautiful hotel is moving up to
Category 8 and increasing from 60,000 to 85,000 points on March 5 – book now!
[featured image courtesy Marriott/Prince des Galles]

We have written extensively about the upcoming Massive Marriott March Devaluation. Marriott is making a serious of changes that combine to do serious damage to the value of Marriott points and certificates. Rather than repeat all of our analysis here, we’ll hit the key points and refer you to our previous article to see more details and our in-depth analysis of the devaluation:

Today, our primary goal is to remind you that two of the key changes go into effect on March 5. Thus, we have until a week from today – Monday, March 4 – to make points reservations at existing rates for many Marriott properties. Be sure to make your plans and book now!

Recap of the Marriott Devaluation Changes Effective March 5

As a reminder, there are two major Marriott devaluation changes that are effective as of March 5:

  • 66 hotels are moving into a new Category 8, with a standard redemption cost of 85,000 points
    • For the next week, these properties remain bookable at the Category 7 standard rate of 60,000 points per night
    • We have included a full list of these properties below
    • The increase for these aspirational properties is a whopping 41.7%!
  • About 340 other Marriott-family hotels are increasing in category, making points redemptions more expensive

Also, remember that there is one more huge devaluation impact that will come later in 2019 – Marriott’s implementation of Peak/Standard/Off-Peak award night pricing. As we’ve previously written, we fully expect Marriott hotels to implement a lot of Peak higher pricing, and not a lot of Off-Peak lower pricing.

What You Need to Do in the Next Week – by Monday, March 4 at Latest

  1. Make your award reservation for any hotel that is moving up to Category 8.
  2. Make your award reservation for any other hotel that is moving up to a higher category.
  3. If you want to use a 35,000-point certificate on a hotel that is currently Category 5 (35,000 points) but is about to move up to Category 6, do it now. (We believe there are 72 hotels moving from Category 5 to 6.)
  4. If you want to use a 50,000-point certificate on a hotel that is currently Category 6 (50,000 points) but is about to move up to Category 7, do it now. (We believe there are 22 hotels moving from Category 6 to 7.)

Over the weekend, we made a somewhat speculative award reservation at the beautiful Prince des Galles in Paris, a Luxury Collection hotel. Prince des Galles is one of the properties that’s moving up to Category 8 next week. And it’s one of the aspirational-type properties where we’d never stay if we had to pay cash. The lowest standard rate for our dates is almost $900 per night!

Exterior facade of the Prince des Galles, Paris – note the Eiffel Tower peeking
over the top in the upper left! [image courtesy Marriott/Prince des Galles]

On a cents-per-point basis at the lowest standard rate, our Prince des Galles redemption comes out to about 1.5 cents per Marriott point, which is excellent. But to us, it’s more of an opportunity to use points to stay in a place we could only dream of otherwise.

And to top it off, we’ve asked to apply Suite Night Upgrades to our reservation. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that our travel plans fall into place to actually use this reservation and that our Suite Nights clear!

Prince des Galles, Paris – Makassar Suite (wow!) [image courtesy Marriott/Prince des Galles]

What Are the New Category 8 Properties that I May Want to Book Now?

To make it easier for you to see the aspirational hotels that will soon move up to Category 8, we’ve copied and pasted from the Marriott online chart:

In addition, there are 8 other properties that were not included in this Marriott chart that are moving up to Category 8 next week:

  • Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina / Autograph Collection / British Virgin Islands
  • The London EDITION / EDITION / United Kingdom
  • Las Alcobas, Napa Valley / Luxury Collection / United States
  • Pine Cluffs Residence, Algarve / Luxury Collection (Resort) / Portugal
  • The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach / Ritz-Carlton / United Arab Emirates
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai / Ritz-Carlton / United Arab Emirates
  • W Hong Kong / W Hotels / Hong Kong
  • The Westin Europa & Regina, Venice / Westin / Italy

Conclusion

Marriott is serving us a big fat plate of lemons this year. But we’ll make as much lemonade as we can by booking at the lower rates within the next week.

Book now. Have fun. Live your travel dreams.

Have you made bookings at the existing Marriott rates? Where are you going? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!


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