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Here’s a Helpful Spreadsheet to Help You Calculate the Bonvoy Damage

Bonvoy Marriott Category Changes 2020

Marriott’s new rules are here, and we’re just going to say it: it’s pretty bad: unprecedented category changes and more blackout dates bad. And, as you’ve probably guessed, some of your favorite Marriott’s are on the list. How did your favorite properties fare? You can check out Marriott’s 2020 Category Changes page that’s, frankly, getting hard to look at.

OR, you can dive into this Marriott 2020 Changes spreadsheet that an enterprising FlyerTalker put together. Frankly, it still contains a ton of bad news but it’s a lot easier to search so you can rip that bandaid off a little bit quicker. In the mean time, let’s take a look at what’s changed.

The Category Changes in Broad Strokes

Every year, major hotel loyalty programs adjust their awards. Sometimes its a small change, sometimes its a large one. This time, it’s a major one. The changes will officially take place on March 4, 2020. Roughly 30% of Marriott properties will be changing categories. The bad news is that that’s a high percentage. For reference, only 6% of Marriott’s properties changed in 2019. The worse news is that most of those properties–22%, roughly 1,500 hotels– are moving into a higher, more expensive category (and that’s before you factor in peak and off-peak pricing). Only 7% of Marriott properties will be moving to a lower category.



The Ritz Carlton Vienna Bonvoy

The Ritz-Carlton Vienna (and most of the Ritz-Carlton’s) went up a category.

Some of Your Favorites Got More Expensive

While it will take some time to go through all 1,500 properties to asses the damage, if you’re a frequent stay-er, some of these category changes are going to sting. As one FlyerTalker noted, “At the hotels at which I’ve used points in the past two years, the redemption price in points has now gone up 40-50% over that time, without even accounting for peak pricing.”


“The changes in Japan are brutal.” Courtyard by Marriott Tokyo Station went up to Category 6, Westin Tokyo went up to Category 7 and the Westin Kyoto moved up to Category 6.


“Nearly everything in Mexico City is going up a category.”

United States

“For me, the bloodbath in NYC is a dealbreaker once the renewal comes up on my card.” There are only four category 5 hotels left in Manhattan: Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan SoHo Village, Residence Inn New York Downtown Manhattan/World Trade Center Area, Courtyard New York Downtown Manhattan/World Trade Center Area and New York Marriott Downtown.

“As is all too common with category changes, the ones going up are the ones where you’d want to vacation. For example, search for ‘beach USA,’ and 36 of those are changing. 33 up, 3 down. so 11:1. Search for ‘resort USA,’ and it’s 27 up, 2 down, so about 13:1.”

“This really hits hard as I’m mainly a domestic USA traveler and all the properties worth using in the big cities (Boston, NYC, LA, Seattle, etc) mostly went up a category. The only properties that went down a category are just mostly properties in rural USA.”


“All Marriott hotels in Vancouver, BC, are going up a category. These increases effectively annihilate the value of the Amex Canada Bonvoy card’s free night since it is limited to 35,000 points. our cards are coming up for renewal in a few months. I seriously doubt that we’ll keep them.”


Most hotels in France, Spain, and Italy went up.

The Ritz-Carlton’s

Almost every single one we checked has gone up. Sorry.



The St. Regis Tianjin went from a Category 3 to a Category 4

Look on the Bright Side?

OK, now that the bad news is out of the way, it might be time to look on the bright side and maybe adjust some of your travel plans where your Marriott points are concerned. Not ALL of Marriott’s hotels went down. Some dropped a category. Several properties in Asia (and Canada, and a few lower-tier Moxy’s in the UK) are now a category cheaper.
A Few Hotels That Dropped a Category:
A Few Hotels That Remained Unchanged:

Now for Some Medium News: Blackout Dates

Previously, only legacy Marriott brands could restrict award inventory on certain dates. Now (as in today, these changes won’t be postponed to March 4) all properties have that power.

How many blackout dates? It isn’t clear. Each property will be limited to “a predetermined number of days annually.” Could those properties you really want to book (and have probably gone up a category but were always blacked out anyway) finally be available?

Maybe! It’s unclear but, if you’re looking for space to be hopeful about the new Marriott changes, this is it.


But that’s it. That’s all the news. The bandaid’s off. How’d you do? Share your story and come kvetch in the 2020 Category Changes thread.


Lextheimpaler February 18, 2020

Marriott is useless. This is how you burn loyal customers. Loyalty isnt the same anymore. Even World of Hyatt isnt that great. Now I just stay at the hotels I want to. I dont go out of the way to be loyal to a particular brand. There isnt any point anymore.

gkbiiii February 12, 2020

I like hotels.com or expedia, or etc, to get cash back or free nights based on daily spend. I like "Club Levels" and am willing to spend the cost. I just got back from Club Sheraton Level, at the Maria Isabel Sheraton, Mexico City: outstanding stay, booked expedia, and had all the perks I wanted, without all the Marriott BS!

Counsellor February 11, 2020

It's not particularly surprising that the category increases are at the more popular properties. Marriott has long said that the number of reward redemptions at a property is a major factor in whether the category changes.

mc4bbs February 7, 2020

I am done with Marriott. I worked at Starwood, so I knew how god Starpoints were -- when Marriott took over they just crapped on all their loyal customers. I'll NEVER trust them again and I'll never "invest" in their points. Kayak.com (or similar consolidator website) to get wholesale deep discount pricing is the ONLY way to go these days -- all hotel points are worthless now.

Sydneyberlin February 7, 2020

RIP Starwood. Was clear from the start it would all go downhill once those Mormons take over. I went from around 50 nights per year at SPG properties to less than 5 Marriott nights this year. Mostly book Hyatt or Hilton instead now.