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Loophole to Book Top Marriott Hotels for Fewer Points is Closing Soon

Marriott Award Tiers

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Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood Preferred Guest hotels created the world’s largest hotel chain. And it set off a chain reaction of upsides, downsides, and changes for travelers to be mindful of.

On the trivial end, there’s a new name for this combined loyalty program: Marriott Bonvoy, with a slew of rebranded credit cards to boot. But as the two hotel chain programs integrated into one last summer, it opened up a serious sweet spot:

For the first seven-plus months, you could book top-of-the-line hotels for fewer points. Marriott said it would eventually create an eight-tiered award chart. But from August until that happened, you could save 25,000 points per night while booking St. Regis, Ritz Carlton and other top-tier properties at a seventh-tier rate.

 

Marriott Award Tiers

Marriott’s initial award chart after the merger carved out a sweet spot for top-tier properties.

 

But this loophole is finally closing. Marriott announced it will launch its eighth pricing tier effective March 5. That means you have until March 5 to book great properties like the St. Regis on Nusa Dua Beach in BaliW Hotel in Koh Samui or Ritz-Carlton properties in Dubai and Tokyo at the current rate of 60,000.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you need to stay at the hotels by March 5 – you just have to book by then. And seeing as you can book Marriott hotels almost a year in advance, you could book out as far as February 2020 at the current, lower rate.

Marriott also announced a handful of tier changes for its properties when using points – an annual tradition for the hotel chain. You can scope out the full list of changes on its website. And while Marriott still intends to introduce peak and off-peak pricing later this year, the hotel chain hasn’t yet said when that next change will come.

Here’s the full list of hotels that will start pricing at 85,000 points per night come early March:

 

Marriott Award Tiers

Marriott Award Tiers

Marriott Award Ties

 

Bottom Line

If you’ve been eyeing a premier Marriott property for a stay with points, book sooner rather than later. Come March 5, those top hotels will cost substantially more points as this lucrative loophole closes.

 

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Lead photo courtesy of Marriott

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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