As Marriott and SPG continue sharing details on their very complicated mid-year transition, one of the main questions has been which properties will be falling into which categories on the new combined award chart.
Today, Marriott has released a preview of the future award charts, showcasing the new points requirements for hotels in certain cities and regions. While this isn’t a comprehensive list, it does give us a sense of how the transition and categories will be handled.
The basics of Marriott’s new award chart
In August Marriott will introduce a new award chart valid for members of all three programs. At that point Starwood Preferred Guest points will be converted into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio, so all stays will follow this pricing. Here’s the chart:
This compares very favorably to Starwood Preferred Guest’s award chart, though in some cases pricing may be higher than what Marriott Rewards used to charge.
As a reminder:
- Marriott won’t introduce Category 8 hotels until 2019, meaning that stays booked between August and December of 2018 (even if stays are on subsequent dates) will cap at Category 7
- Marriott will only use “standard” award pricing for 2018, and then in 2019 “peak” and “off-peak” pricing will be introduced
What hotels go into which categories?
Again, we don’t have the full list, but Marriott has provided the charts for five key destinations. For ease of reading, the “current points required” reflects the number of Marriott points that would theoretically be needed for a redemption. So for Starwood properties, the “current” redemption rates are displayed as triple the SPG rate, as those points will be converting to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio later this year.
Caribbean & Mexico
What do these charts tell us?
The first thing I noticed is that numerous properties are missing in each of these lists. Al Maha would typically be included with Dubai, for example, and neither Las Alcobas nor the Design hotel properties are listed with Mexico.
I’m not sure whether this is due to geographic oversight, or because there are still contract agreements being worked out with individual hotels, or if only certain hotels were selected for the purposes of these charts.
These previews also don’t give us much insight as to how Marriott will be handling the all-suite SPG properties. Neither Al Maha, the St. Regis Punta Mita, or the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort are listed with their regions, unfortunately, and the St. Regis in Bali doesn’t give us much in the way of data points.
Outside of that, I think these categorizations are about what we’d expect. Marriott is keen to note that the combined chart “offers even more value for your points, with more hotels moving down in redemption rates than up,” but that’s a tricky metric for me. I don’t know that the total number of hotels changing category matters as much as what the rates are in a given category, and the circumstances surrounding an individual property.
There is no imaginable circumstance under which I’d pay 16,600 SPG points per night at either of the Le Meridien resorts in Dubai, for example, so the new chart requiring 50,000 points for those seems a bit steep. But other adjustments, like bringing the New York Westin hotels down to 50,000 points from 60,000 seem reasonable. So looking at individual properties makes more sense to me.
I appreciate that Marriott is sharing these charts, and hope they continue to be proactive about giving members information like this.
In general, I don’t see many surprises with the pricing or category adjustments. What remains to be seen, of course, is how the peak and off-peak redemption rates are handled, and how frequently Marriott adjust categories going forward.
Anything that jumps out to you with these charts?