Rewards programmes Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) will be changing the redemption categories of some 1,330 and 276 of their properties, respectively, as part of their annual redemption category review, which will take effect on March 6, 2018.
The number of points Marriott Rewards and SPG members need to spend in order to redeem a per-night stay at a hotel is based on each hotel’s category, which is determined by factors such as its location, average room rate, renovations and amenities, among others. The higher the category, the more points it costs to redeem a stay.
For Marriott Rewards, the changes will affect some 26 per cent of the properties within the programme, with 21 per cent increasing in category (and cost) and 5 per cent decreasing.
Marriott Rewards has a total of nine categories, which range from 7,500 points per night for a standard room to 45,000 points. The categories and their respective rates are as follows:
- Category 1 – 7,500 points per night
- Category 2 – 10,000 points per night
- Category 3 – 15,000 points per night
- Category 4 – 20,000 points per night
- Category 5 – 25,000 points per night
- Category 6 – 30,000 points per night
- Category 7 – 35,000 points per night
- Category 8 – 40,000 points per night
- Category 9 – 45,000 points per night
In Asia-Pacific, a large number of properties are set to become more expensive to redeem. In China, for example, of the 34 properties affected by the changes, 28 will go up and just six will go down.
Notable category increases for hotels around the region include Australian properties Marriott Vacation Club at Surfers Paradise and Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa, Japanese properties Courtyard Tokyo Station and Okinawa Marriott Resort and Spa, and the Goa Resort and Spa in India, all going from Category 7 to Category 8. The Moxy Osaka Honmachi (opened late last year), meanwhile, is going from 6 to 7.
Meanwhile for decreases, notable properties include the Courtyard Seoul Namdaemun and the JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square, both going from Category 6 to 5, and The Plaza Seoul, Autograph Collection going from 7 to 6.
The full list of Marriott Rewards properties changing category next month can be viewed here.
SPG, meanwhile, has a total of seven categories, which range from 2,000 points per night for a standard room to 35,000. The categories and their respective rates are as follows:
- Category 1 – 2,000-3,000 Starpoints per room for a standard room
- Category 2 – 3,000-4,000 Starpoints per room for a standard room
- Category 3 – 7,000 Starpoints per room for a standard room
- Category 4 – 10,000 Starpoints per room for a standard room
- Category 5 – 12,000-16,000 Starpoints per room for a standard room
- Category 6 – 20,000-25,000 Starpoints per room for a standard room
- Category 7 – 30,000-35,000 Starpoints per room for a standard room
The new categories affect 64 properties in Asia-Pacific, with just over half going up in category (36) and just below going down (28). The majority of these are only changing by a single category, though notable exceptions include Four Points by Sheraton Srinagar in India, which is decreasing by two, and Four Points by Sheraton Hakodate in Japan, which is going up by two.
The changes for 2018 will therefore similarly see the number of points required to redeem stays in most hotels in Asia-Pacific go up, though to a much less sizeable degree to Marriott Rewards.
Among the most notable increases are the W Shanghai The Bund (opened in July last year) and the ITC Grand Bharat, A Luxury Collection Retreat, Gurgaon, which have gone from Category 5 properties to Category 6, and The St Regis Osaka, which has been bumped up to the top Category 7.
However there are also hotels in the higher categories that are set to become less costly to redeem, most notably Le Meridien Seoul that will decreasing from Category 6 to Category 5.
The full list of SPG properties changing category next month can be viewed here.
Marriott Rewards and SPG members can still redeem at the current rates until March 6, so it may be worth timing your redemption either before or after the changes take affect depending on the hotel you wish to book.