Previously, hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy program were divided into eight categories, which determined the award pricing structure attributed to each hotel. As of March 29, 2022, these categories have been replaced by dynamic pricing.
In the last few days, sites such as Frequent miler and Seal the deal Travels have discovered that Marriott Bonvoy seems to be continuing to assign categories to hotels in order to establish pricing, but in a way that is a priori not visible to customers.
Secret categories and pricing
Rather than being limited to eight categories as it was in the past, there now appear to be nine categories that guide points pricing. Here are the details:
|Category||Minimum price in points per night||Maximum price in points per night|
|4||24 000||46 000|
|6||43 000||76 000|
The following hotels are not included in these categories. Here are their prices in points per night:
- Ritz-Carlton Reserve Zadun: from 131,000 to 212,000 points per night
- Dorado Beach – a Ritz-Carlton Reserve: from 173,500 to 254,000 points per night
These figures are based on research carried out by Seal the Deal Travels, according to current prices in points, so it’s not an exact science. “PointSaver” prices are not included in this table, and may therefore be lower than the minimum prices shown.
2023 Map of Marriott Bonvoy hotels by category
Milesopedia exclusive: we’ve grouped Marriott Bonvoy’s 8,000+ hotels on a map according to these new categories!
Click on the Square in the top right-hand corner to see the map in one tab and in its full size. You can then filter by category (the limitations of Google Maps have forced us to group certain categories together).
This research enabled us to define the number of hotels by category:
How to determine a hotel's category
To find out the “secret” category of a specific hotel and in which points price range it falls, you must first perform a points search for a hotel and date on the official Marriott Bonvoy website.
After arriving at the rate page of a selected hotel, right-click on “View Page Source”.
A window with the HTML code of the page will open, then you’ll need to do a search (Ctrl + F) and write: “prop_rewards_category_level“. This will highlight the code preceding the hotel category. In the case of the JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro, this is a category 5 hotel, as shown here.
We can therefore expect prices to vary between 31,000 and 69,000 points per night for this hotel.
Earning Marriott Bonvoy points
The best way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points for free stays at over 8,000 hotels worldwide is to hold the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card (and/or the Marriott Bonvoy® Business American Express®* Card).
In addition to the exceptional welcome bonus of each of these two cards, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar on all your purchases and 5 points per dollar at Marriott establishments. And every year, you’ll receive a free hotel night certificate (worth 35,000 points) and 15 Elite nights toward your Marriott Bonvoy status.
It’s not necessarily a great surprise to see that Marriott Bonvoy continues to use this categorization to determine its prices in nights per hotel. Many factors determine the categories of each hotel, such as brand, collection, location, country, etc. By not displaying these categories to the public, Marriott Bonvoy can more easily change a hotel’s category, without having to disclose this information.
If you’re monitoring prices for a given hotel, you can use this tip and the price chart to find out whether or not the price is high in points for the given hotel. And you can also see if you’re likely to use your annual one-night free certificate at a particular hotel. One more tool to maximize the use of your points!