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Annual Award Category Changes - Effective March 5, 2019.

Annual Award Category Changes - Effective March 5, 2019.

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Old Mar 5, 19, 12:33 am   -   Wikipost
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Old Feb 8, 19, 12:30 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Programs: AA, Delta, Ritz-Carlton, Hilton Honors, IHG
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That was my exact same reaction. It really makes it difficult to find a hotel for OC 1-5.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 12:33 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post
Also just noticed that with these increases it eliminates 6 hotels in New York City that now can no longer be booked using the 35k free night credit card awards!
This is why I hate the switch to point-based certificates. We have de facto 24 categories due to peak/standard/off-peak.

It would be nice if Marriott let us top off a certificate with any gap in points.
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Last edited by rrgg; Feb 8, 19 at 12:40 pm
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Old Feb 8, 19, 12:34 pm
  #18  
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: CT/ Germany - Ich spreche deutsch
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One thing the Marketing interns that are running the program did learn in school is that you announce bad news on Friday afternoon when people are easing into the weekend! Definitely missed the class on how to win customer loyalty!
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Old Feb 8, 19, 12:38 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SFO
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So where is the thread on leaving the Marriott chain because of this? I would think it be up by now.

By now, Iíve set my expectations to earn and burn. Lots of the list that will go up for the properties I want to visit this year. Time to pre-plan.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 12:41 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by myperks View Post
So where is the thread on leaving the Marriott chain because of this? I would think it be up by now.


Wait till Monday when people actually see the news.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 12:50 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by CosmicGirl View Post
Wow.... every single property I am considering to use my OC1-5 travel package cerficate on is going up to NC5. And I can't commit to dates now. Ugh....
If you have some dates in mind, you may be able to make points advance bookings now at the 35K price and then later apply the certificate. I know that it is possible to apply a certificate as part of "paying for" a points advance booking (and if it is a multi-night booking, you can use points for the other nights at the same time); and I'm not sure but my impression is that if you make a points advance booking now and pay for it after March 5, you're supposed to still be able to lock in the points rates from when you booked. So if your booking still shows as 35K points/night when you "pay for" the points advance, I would think the certificate would still be usable then.

Note there will also still be NYC hotels available for 35K points, like the TownePlace Suites off Times Square, which is a budget hotel with very small rooms but at least in a good location (or in as good a location as some of the other NYC hotels that are going up in price anyway). Not sure if there will be many 2-bed room options left in central NYC though.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 1:05 pm
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: DAY
Programs: Rapid Rewards, Skymiles, Hilton HHonors, SPG/Marriott Rewards
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I have a couple of points advance reservations in June for a property that is going up one category. What is everyone's thought on whether I need to lock those in by paying the points prior to March 5? I don't think I shouldn't have too, but...
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Old Feb 8, 19, 1:10 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by bgriff View Post
If you have some dates in mind, you may be able to make points advance bookings now at the 35K price and then later apply the certificate. I know that it is possible to apply a certificate as part of "paying for" a points advance booking (and if it is a multi-night booking, you can use points for the other nights at the same time); and I'm not sure but my impression is that if you make a points advance booking now and pay for it after March 5, you're supposed to still be able to lock in the points rates from when you booked. So if your booking still shows as 35K points/night when you "pay for" the points advance, I would think the certificate would still be usable then.

Note there will also still be NYC hotels available for 35K points, like the TownePlace Suites off Times Square, which is a budget hotel with very small rooms but at least in a good location (or in as good a location as some of the other NYC hotels that are going up in price anyway). Not sure if there will be many 2-bed room options left in central NYC though.
Thanks for the advice, I did think of that and have asked if this is possible on the travel package thread. The issue is that the certificate doesn't mention a maximum number of points you can redeem it for so I'm afraid that if you call after the 5th they'll say "you can't attach a cat 4 certificate to a cat 5 property" even if it was booked when it was still a 4.

The OC 1-5 (NC4) can only cover up to 25K per night btw, not 35K, so they are effectively increasing everything in Manhattan to NC5 and higher.

I have a feeling that they're assigning categories mainly based on the area the property is in without any regard for its quality or lack thereof. The CY Waikiki is going up to a 6(!) for example. It's been two years since we stayed there but we couldn't wait to get out of there and run to a brand new Hampton Inn for less $ instead.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 1:10 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
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Originally Posted by bgriff View Post
If you have some dates in mind, you may be able to make points advance bookings now at the 35K price and then later apply the certificate. I know that it is possible to apply a certificate as part of "paying for" a points advance booking (and if it is a multi-night booking, you can use points for the other nights at the same time); and I'm not sure but my impression is that if you make a points advance booking now and pay for it after March 5, you're supposed to still be able to lock in the points rates from when you booked. So if your booking still shows as 35K points/night when you "pay for" the points advance, I would think the certificate would still be usable.
I think in theory you are right, but in reality prepare for pain. My experience is the advance value will change and then you need to go through the gauntlet of customer support to change it back. I had one over the merger that went up 7500 points. Given multiple issues I had over the migration with more important bookings, I decided to let it slide. I preferred to eat the cost rather than burn time and raise my stress levels with one or more CSAs.

My approach nowadays is to avoid points advance. I prefer to get the points or certs deducted and the reservation 'locked down'. There is then a much lower chance (I hope) of IT issues. You also have a confirmation email to fallback on, which you do not get with the advance.

Looking at the list, it feels more Marriott properties have changed than legacy Starwood.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 2:29 pm
  #25  
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It's another massacre. They're shutting down many of the decent values that were left on the chart.

Value of MR points just dropped IMO.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 3:09 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Programs: AA Gold, SPG Plat
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There's more than enough lamenting in this forum, but I'll just add some more: Since some good people (first and foremost: William/StarwoodLurker) are still there, I haven't given up hope that Marriott will come around to see the long-term loyalty value-prop of FTs rather than their short-term cash potential.

But these changes are just one more pain point on the road to despair.

NYC used to be one of the few good and consistent redemption values for the credit card cert, but alas it feels like someone at Marriott woke up to this "mistake."
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Old Feb 8, 19, 4:02 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post
Also just noticed that with these increases it eliminates 6 hotels in New York City that now can no longer be booked using the 35k free night credit card awards!

The Lexington Autograph Collection NYC
CY NY Manhattan Times Square
CY NY Manhattan Soho
RI NY Manhattan Central Park
RI NY Manhattan Times Square
Sheraton NY Times Square
My exact thoughts...ugh!
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Old Feb 8, 19, 4:18 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 266
Originally Posted by CosmicGirl View Post
Wow.... every single property I am considering to use my OC1-5 travel package cerficate on is going up to NC5. And I can't commit to dates now. Ugh....
Make multiple reservations.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 4:51 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 317
Originally Posted by christianj View Post
Also just noticed that with these increases it eliminates 6 hotels in New York City that now can no longer be booked using the 35k free night credit card awards!

The Lexington Autograph Collection NYC
CY NY Manhattan Times Square
CY NY Manhattan Soho
RI NY Manhattan Central Park
RI NY Manhattan Times Square
Sheraton NY Times Square
Adding some salt to the wound...with their change over to "peak/off-peak" chart there will be times (I'm assuming every desirable holiday or summer period) when you won't even be able to use the 50K free night credit certificate from their "premium" cards at those same hotels
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Old Feb 8, 19, 5:25 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 93
Originally Posted by christianj View Post
Also just noticed that with these increases it eliminates 6 hotels in New York City that now can no longer be booked using the 35k free night credit card awards!

The Lexington Autograph Collection NYC
CY NY Manhattan Times Square
CY NY Manhattan Soho
RI NY Manhattan Central Park
RI NY Manhattan Times Square
Sheraton NY Times Square
After I saw this, I looked and it seems the Fairfield Inn Times Square, AC Times Square, TownePlace Suites Times Square and Element Times Square are still category 5. The cert wouldn't work during peak pricing, though.
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