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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, 5:59 pm
  #31  
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I'm kinda surprised to see another devaluation to coincide (sorta) with the start of Bonvoy. This is the fourth one in 14 months, I'm told? I'm not saying some changes aren't justified, I just thought they'd want to start on a positive note. Legacy Marriott Members have been though a lot these last two years. Coming from the SPG side, Marriott initially had much lower redemption rates (especially because of the 1:3 conversion), and there was huge arbitration opportunity these last couple of years: Why would I stay at a 36-48k Starwood property (old SPG Cat 5, converted to Marriott points), when I could stay at a comparable and nearby Marriott for 25-35k? So there were some painful increases on the Marriott side in 2017 and 2018, while SPG saw relatively few increases. Then, in August 2018, they sorta tried to harmonize things -- put nearby Marriotts and Westins in the same category, that sort of thing. In some cases that made sense, in some it didn't -- and I think a big part of what we're seeing now corrects these adjustments. Sadly (but predictably) they're predominantly going the route of increasing points (rather than lowering the over-categorized properties). I would expect to see a few more rounds of adjustments (although hopefully not 2+ times a year!), until we're basically at SPG levels. I don't like what they're doing, but I understand it.

These changes sting especially for NC1-4 certificate redemptions. I remember occasionally having OC1-5 certs in the past, and for the most part, the Marriott properties these could be used at sucked. The summer 2018 adjustment (along with the ability to redeem certs at Starwood properties) brought some real redemption values for NC1-4, including CY HK Sheung Wan, Skycity Marriott, 4P SIN, Mar/Sher Taipei, a handful of NYC properties, Westin PVR, Plaza Seoul, Athenee -- which are now going away (and some others with occasional $200-300 rates which miraculously seem to have escaped the cull for now).

We haven't seen how the "peak" periods will play out (and SPG was no saint here, allowing properties to designate up to 1/3 of the year as "high season," although only at Cat 5 and up), but it's likely that this will further reduce points redemption values. Not a great start for Bonvoy (but it's not like most people obsess over this stuff like FTers do), so maybe dangling shiny Titanium will make people forget the pain from these devaluations.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:10 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
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.
yep.. with peak pricing, the effective value is similar to IHG: 0.006
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:13 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
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...
No you dont, but when you need to order the e-certs with the points, you need to call CS to get that done. In the past the CS would deposit the additional pts into your account, then redeem the points at the new level for the already advance-booked reservation.

I doubt this part of process would change, i.e. the IT part would be programmed to be able to distinguish the advance bookings point levels and not charge more pts if you do it yourself online.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:13 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
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.
95+% of properties are unchanged.

The net impact of points needed across all properties went up 1.56%. So yes, the value dropped about 1.5%. That's about, or less than, CPI.

Yes, for those that changed, the direction was heavily weighted (89%) to increases.

But I find it hard to call it a massacre when 95+% had no change.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:16 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
95+% of properties are unchanged.

The net impact of points needed across all properties went up 1.56%. So yes, the value dropped about 1.5%. That's about, or less than, CPI.

Yes, for those that changed, the direction was heavily weighted (89%) to increases.

But I find it hard to call it a massacre when 95+% had no change.
the thing is, they raised the category for the hotels in which many of us find the highest value. If we wanted to stay in the middle of nowhere, wed be loyal to ihg
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:16 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by jpdx View Post
This is the fourth one in 14 months,
Are you double counting programs? Yes, when they were two different companies there were "2 changes per year", but that's not really an accurate reflection. And you can always say "2 changes in 13 months" if you just overlap annual changes.

Last Spring's annual increase, this Spring's annual increase, and one consolidation (which, as I pointed out at the time, actually resulted in a net decrease in points needs program-wide). What other one?
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:18 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by BaconSF View Post


yep.. with peak pricing, the effective value is similar to IHG: 0.006
Worse.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:19 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
Are you double counting programs? Yes, when they were two different companies there were "2 changes per year", but that's not really an accurate reflection. And you can always say "2 changes in 13 months" if you just overlap annual changes.

Last Spring's annual increase, this Spring's annual increase, and one consolidation (which, as I pointed out at the time, actually resulted in a net decrease in points needs program-wide). What other one?
We have an increase last Summer at a minimum. August 18th to be exact.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:29 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by BaconSF View Post


the thing is, they raised the category for the hotels in which many of us find the highest value. If we wanted to stay in the middle of nowhere, we’d be loyal to ihg
I always find Hawaii to be an interesting proxy. I find it hard to believe that of 34 properties, many of us find two Sheratons, one Residence Inn, one Courtyard, and one Autograph to be what everyone is striving for, and devastated that they are going up. No one wants to stay in RC, Westins, LC's, and Marriotts? ?

Australia - clamoring for the Courtyard North Ryde over everything else?

57% overall are RI, CY, Aloft, FI, 4P, SHS, Sheraton - aren't those usually the middle of nowhere brands?

I'm pretty sure that if 7,000 properties went down and one went up, folks would complain that it was obviously the one everyone wanted to visit and MR was obviously &%&&#&^@members yet again.

fwiw, of all the properties I redeemed at in Peru, Spain, Greece, France, Australia and Hawaii on vacations over the last 4 years, not a single one was impacted.

(Aloft Cleveland airport?)

Last edited by CPRich; Feb 8, 19 at 6:43 pm
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:30 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
We have an increase last Summer at a minimum. August 18th to be exact.
Is that not the "one consolidation" that I specifically itemized?
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:32 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
Are you double counting programs? Yes, when they were two different companies there were "2 changes per year", but that's not really an accurate reflection. And you can always say "2 changes in 13 months" if you just overlap annual changes.

Last Spring's annual increase, this Spring's annual increase, and one consolidation (which, as I pointed out at the time, actually resulted in a net decrease in points needs program-wide). What other one?
4 in 14 months was mentioned in one of my WA groups. I suppose they must have counted it as SPG in Spring, Marriott in Spring, combined program in summer, and now this? So really an exaggeration, but even if you try to take the most positive view, "every 6 months" or "twice a year" is accurate.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:33 pm
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post
A
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
A list like this makes me wish purchases generated something related to redemption points. There are days were the points are worth more 9 cpp but not many on any of these, all of these have a lot of days, seems to Thur-Sunday, were the its 4 cpp or less.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:37 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
No you dont, but when you need to order the e-certs with the points, you need to call CS to get that done. In the past the CS would deposit the additional pts into your account, then redeem the points at the new level for the already advance-booked reservation.

I doubt this part of process would change, i.e. the IT part would be programmed to be able to distinguish the advance bookings point levels and not charge more pts if you do it yourself online.
I gotta admit, that is not the most reassuring answer.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:38 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by BaconSF View Post
the thing is, they raised the category for the hotels in which many of us find the highest value. If we wanted to stay in the middle of nowhere, wed be loyal to ihg
Exactly. CPRich's assertion, while I assume correct, of course obscures the fact that these devaluation predominantly affect the best value redemptions. It's true, but pointless to those seeking value in a program. Like a city raising metered parking fees to $10/hr in the CBD, but pointing out that on 95% of the city's streets (residential areas and suburbs), parking remains free.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:52 pm
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
I always find Hawaii to be an interesting proxy. I find it hard to believe that of 34 properties, many of us find two Sheratons, one Residence Inn, one Courtyard, and one Autograph to be what everyone is striving for, and devastated that they are going up. No one wants to stay in RC, Westins, LC's, and Marriotts? ?

Australia - clamoring for the Courtyard North Ryde over everything else?

57% overall are RI, CY, Aloft, FI, 4P, SHS, Sheraton - aren't those usually the middle of nowhere brands?

I'm pretty sure that if 7,000 properties went down and one went up, folks would complain that it was obviously the one everyone wanted to visit and MR was obviously &%&&#&@members yet again.

fwiw, of all the properties I redeemed at in Peru, Spain, Greece, France, Australia and Hawaii on vacations over the last 4 years, not a single one was impacted.

(Aloft Cleveland airport?)
I stayed at Koloa Landing last summer for 40,000 pts./night. This summer it will cost 60,000.
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