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Marriott has just revealed its revamped award charts for more than 6,000 hotels worldwide yesterday. Here we will walk you through some important analyses of the new chart.
Overall distribution of Marriott hotel categories post-August
To our delight, most (~90%) of the hotels will be classified as Cat 1-5 hotels, meaning the Marriott Premier Plus and Amex SPG cardholders will be able to redeem their Free Nights on a wide range of hotels.
Distribution of hotel categories post-August, according to brands
Here we are showing the new hotel category distributions according to the brands in an attempt to understand how Marriott classifies its vast number of brands. Not to much surprise, Ritz-Carlton and St.Regis hotels consistently have high category labels, while most of the Courtyard are within Cat 5.
Two observations, however, did catch us off-guard. The first one is that Sheraton and Marriott, the backbones of the combined SPG&Marriott hotel portfolio, are pretty much normally distributed (not skewed to any side). This definitely bring extra good news to credit card holders with lots of Free Night Certificates to dispose.
The second surprise comes from JW Marriott, which is considered “Classic Luxury” by Marriott. One would expect in the new chart JW Marriott will in general occupy the higher end of the chart, but data suggest otherwise. There is even not a single Cat 8 JW Marriott hotel!
Purely from a number’s perspective, the brand that has the highest number of Cat 8 hotels goes to Luxury Collection. This is consistent with our impressions with this brand after several recent stays in this portfolio (e.g. Tambo del Inka).
How many hotels go up/down in price?
As we could see, the majority of the hotels will cost the same number of points after August. We didn’t calculate the exact percentage of hotels going up or down in redemption cost, because Marriott shouldn’t make rookies mistakes on this part.
Which regions scores a big win after August?
- North America (USA and Canada): As most of the Marriott/SPG hotels are located in the North America, we see their overall fluctuations reflect the global trend in category changes. Most of the hotels remains the same in terms of redemption cost, and the hotels costing less slightly outnumber those costing more.
- Mainland China: A devaluation indeed. More than half of the hotels will go up in point price, and only 3/8 will go down.
- Taiwan: Contrary to their Mainland counterparts, more than 90% of SPG/Marriott hotels in Taiwan will see a drop in prices.
- Japan: Roughly speaking the situation is neutral.
- South Korea: Similar to Taiwan, a considerable number of hotels will cost fewer points after August.
- Maldives: Unsurprisingly this tropical resort island shall see a drastic reduction in redemption cost, mostly thanks to the extravagant number of points that hotels used to cost. The lingering question is will they allow redemption at standard rate?
- Europe: This is a complicated case and different countries seem to behave very differently. For instance UK hotels see more price drops, whereas if you are going to Germany you should probably make the redemption now.
Which cities score a big win after August?
Here we compiled a list of category changes to SPG/Marriott properties in some popular cities.
- New York, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Chicago: More than half of the hotels will go down in price, probably because previous redemption level was inflated.
- Beijing, Shanghai: Consistent with Mainland China in the last section, more hotel will cost more.
- Hong Kong: Slightly better than Beijing and Shanghai, though the magnitude of the change is small (mostly former Marriott properties that will see some slight price reduction).
Above are some preliminary statistics. Please leave a comment below to let us know what you would like to know more about!
The next two tables illustrate the properties that will see the drastic increase or decrease in redemption cost. The third table is the list of all future Cat 8 hotels that will only cost 60,000 Marriott points if booked between Aug 1st and Dec 31st year. If you have an aspirational trip in mind to one of those destinations, be sure to snag a room with the post-August rate!