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Alright, folks. It’s the start of a new year, which means it’s also the start time for another round of hotel category changes. Yesterday, Marriott announced its category changes for 2020. See all of the changes here. You can sort on a number of metrics or search for a specific hotel. These changes go into effect March 4, 2020.
Overall, more hotels are increasing categories than decreasing. In fact, 22% of properties are increasing in category while only 7% are decreasing. Gary from View From the Wing has been tracking Marriott category changes over the years. See his analysis here.
Nick from Frequent Miler points out that if you have the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card or the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card (old SPG card) that come with a free night up to 35k points, there are 139 properties that will move out of reach for these free nights. 24 of them are in NYC! See his analysis here.
One of my favorite hotels, Sheraton Sand Key, is moving from a Category 5 to a Category 6. My family had a blast there a few years ago on spring break.
How Changes Impact Family Travel, And What to Do
For many of us with larger families, these devaluations especially sting because we need to book two rooms due to our family size or to keep our sanity. And changes like these impact us twice as much.
My family is mitigating the impact of constant hotel devaluations by relying more on condo rentals through airbnb/vrbo and using miles and points for flights. I also use flexible points from my Capital One Venture Rewards card and our stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards through Chase’s travel portal.
If you have Marriott points and you see that your desired property is increasing, be sure to book it before March 4, 2020.
Are you bummed about these Marriott category changes? Or, have you moved your cheese already?
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.