Last day to book Marriott award nights before major devaluation

Back in February a pretty major devaluation of the Marriott Rewards program was announced. The changes consisted of them adding a ninth hotel category, and 36% of properties going up at least one category.

Anyway, the changes kick in on May 16, so if you want to lock in any award nights at the old levels, this is your last chance. You can find a full listing of the categories here to get an idea of whether a property you’re eying goes up in price or not.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Marriott will let you make a reward booking even if you don’t have enough points in your account. So even if a stay is only speculative at this point it can make sense to lock it in, though just be sure you’re familiar with the cancellation policy for the property you book.


  1. Oh btw the new standard megabonus offer is 1 cat 1-5 after every 2 stays, which is pretty much the same as before.

  2. Thanks for the reminder Ben.

    Most important thing: 385 or so hotels are going from CAT 4 to CAT 5. I have two or three certs that are only good for a CAT 4.

    Book your CAT 4 certs before tomorrow if your desired hotel is on this list of 385!

  3. The good news is that these 3 hotels are dropping from a CAT 5 to CAT 4…. 🙂

    So, if one of these is your destination, save your cert until May 17th to book!

    Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino
    Panama Marriott Hotel
    Residence Inn by Marriott Juffair

  4. Thanks for the reminder. Does the PDF exclude properties that aren’t changing categories? The Cat 3 hotel I’m looking at (Fairfield Inn Great Falls) isn’t on your list.

  5. LOVE that you can choose the option to “purchase an e-cert later”. Note this also means it should be possible to reserve a current cat 5 hotel that is moving up to cat 6, earn Mega Bonus e-certs, and redeem the e-certs against your old cat 5 reservations 🙂

  6. NB: Just got off the phone with Marriott and as of “the last seven days,” one can no longer book a room without an automatic deduction of points. Though yesterday I booked a Vegas property without having all my free night certs. Today I tried booking a property in Japan for points and they were taken out of my account immediately. Perhaps this is just for international stays, but the days of booking aspirational nights without the necessary points in your account may be over.

  7. Just yesterday I booked a Ritz in Istanbul online without all the points in my account and it was no problem at all.

  8. I just started a dummy booking and the system allowed me to proceed without points, so I guess the difference is just that one no longer has the option of waiting to order the e-cert and keeping the points until then.

  9. Thanks for the reminder. Any way to book beyond one year out, like there was with HHonors.

    Bad as this devaluation was, it was nothing like HHonors, so I will actually have to cancel a couple of Marriott reservations where I got HHonors reservations instead.

  10. If you book today but need to change the dates later will you have to pay additional points?

  11. Only some people got 1 Cat 1-5 offer for every 2 stays. I got the 1 Cat 1-4 offer instead.

  12. Lucky,

    I booked JW Marriott Rio before the devaluation: 4 nights for 140K points. I did not have the points in my account at the time, but will before the redemption (next Feb).

    Nonetheless, my reservation now indicates 160K points are necessary.

    Which is correct?

  13. @ DrewBird — If your confirmation states 140,000 points then you should be good to go at that rate.

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