Book Premier Marriott Properties At Lower Rates Until March 2019

Filed Under: Marriott

Marriott undertook the big task of merging their three loyalty programs (Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest) this August. While the programs still maintain their distinct branding, the elite benefits, points earning and redemption rates, etc., are all aligned.

We know that some changes are coming to the Marriott loyalty program in 2019. This includes them coming up with a new loyalty program name, which is rumored to be Marriott Bonvoy.

One of the positive things about the new Marriott program in 2018 is that we’ve had an opportunity to temporarily redeem points for more value than we’ll get in the future.

That’s because for the rest of 2018, Marriott isn’t introducing peak and off-peak award pricing, and they aren’t introducing Category 8 award pricing. So redeeming at many hotels is significantly cheaper this year than it will be next year.


Book Al Maha Dubai for just 60,000 points per night

Here’s Marriott’s award chart, which reflects redemption costs both this year and beyond:

For example, as you could see, the absolute most you’ll pay at a Marriott hotel right now is 60,000 points per night. Meanwhile next year some hotels will cost as much 100,000 points per night in peak season. So there’s huge value in booking now, even if you’re staying after the changes occur (the pricing is based on when you book and not when you travel).

Up until now Marriott hadn’t given an exact date for when the new award chart would launch, other than saying that it will happen in early 2019. Some took that to mean January 1, while others took it to mean anytime in the first few months.


Book Mystique Santorini for just 60,000 points per night

While we still don’t have an exact date, Marriott’s website now says the following:

Save up to 25,000 points per night when you book future Category 8 hotels at the Category 7 rate until March 2019.

So it looks like Marriott’s new award chart will kick in as of March 2019. That means you have at least through February to take advantage of the lack of Category 8 pricing, as well as the lack of peak pricing.


Book the St. Regis Maldives for just 60,000 points per night

That’s great news, and means that some great values continue to exist for now.

(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)

Comments

  1. Now the debate will be is it March 1st or March 31st. This also assumes they can get their act in order and meet the deadline.

  2. Are there any amazing Cat 8 awards that are in the US (including Hawaii) or the Caribbean? Was going to look into St Regis Kauai but they left, anything else?

  3. Already booked Al Maha, Mystique Santorini, and St Regis Maldives. On my mind was the St Regis Bora Bora too…until i read your review :0)

  4. It would appear from the chart though that off-peak rates in the new system are cheaper than the current standard points rates. Now the question is how long are their peak periods vs off-peak?

  5. How can I book overwater villa at St Regis Bora Bora or Maldives? Can I upgrade with cash if I have a garden room booked already with points?

  6. Where do we find peak period dates? I’m assuming it will be different for each region, and in some cities might even be weekend vs. midweek, right?

    And do we know which Cat 7 hotels will be migrating to Cat 8? Will this correspond with an overhaul of all categories, or just Cat 7?

  7. @ Lucky – does Marriott allow you to change to a later travel date and not charge the points difference if I book now at the lower 60k per night rate?

  8. I have a Garden Villa at St. Regis Bora Bora reserved with cash. Now that legacy SPG hotels can be booked with points, I should be able to convert that reservation to points … correct?

  9. Amex MR show that they transfer to SPG at 1000 MR = 1000 SPG points

    Is this the old SPG points so get 3000 new points ??

  10. well I just answered my own question as transferred 1000 MR and received 1000 of the new points.

    I do not remember what the old transfer rate was before the merger..but this is not so good

    Maybe they will have bonus transfer rate in the future

  11. I was looking at St Regis Bora Bora for some november 2019 dates and i can see them at 60000 points but it seems to be asking for an additional cash payment of about 2400 dollars on top of the 240000 points for a 5 night stay so i’m not sure why it would be considered a steal ?
    Am i missing something or is there any way to not have the cash copay ?

  12. A reservation I made back in September at the St. Regis Maldives for five nights was 240,000 points. I just logged in yesterday to see they added $1,450 in tax & service fees, when I booked the reservation it said tax and service fees were included. Can anyone tell me if this is a standard practice?

  13. Did they ever resolve the hotel certificate rip off issue from the weeks before the merger? I’m among those stuck with a semi-useless cert that I was TOLD (by the phone rep, who claimed to be certain) was good at cat 8 and is now good up to only 5!

  14. Have a booking at st regis maldives that they charged me for 4 nights, 1 night free, 790,000!!! That’s 197,500 per night. Way off the chart. Been arguing with them for months now that it was supposed to be only 85k for owb.

  15. @Sasha: just realized the same on my booking. Did your confirmation email mention anything when you booked? How long was it and what did you do?

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