SPG & Marriott Announce Category Changes For 2018

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On Thursday, Marriott announced the list of properties that will be changing award categories for 2018. All of these changes will take effect on March 6th, 2018. Any bookings made before this date will be subjected to the current award pricing.

If you have upcoming award travel to book at either a Marriott or SPG hotel, I would make sure that your destination isn’t impacted or that you make your booking before March 6th.


Marriott Changes

The biggest thing to be aware of with changes for Marriott properties is any hotel going from a category 5 to a category 6. The Marriott Credit Card offers an annual free night at a category 1-5 property. If a property moves from a category 5 to a category 6, it will no longer be eligible for the annual free night. For a full list of changes, click here.

In total, 74% of Marriott properties will be staying in the same category. 21% will be moving up a category (bad) and 5% will be moving down (good). There are over 100 properties moving from a category 5 to a category 6. That is a pretty significant devaluation of their annual free night offered by the credit card.


SPG Changes

In total there are 276 properties that will experience a category change in the Starwood portfolio. 83% of their properties are staying the same. 8% will move up a category and 9% will move down a category. The SPG changes are essentially a wash as there are a pretty even number of properties moving up and down. For a full list of changes, click here.


Bottom Line

We still don’t know how the SPG and Marriott merger will shake out in terms of the two independent loyalty programs. Mergers of this size are rarely good for the consumer, and Marriott’s massive devaluation announcement might be a sign of things to come.


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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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