Marriott Bonvoy has just announced category changes that will affect 201 hotels, effective March 3, 2021.
2021 Marriott Bonvoy category changes
Every year in March, Marriott Bonvoy adjusts the point redemption rates of its 7,000+ hotels worldwide.
This is done through category changes, and this year’s one will take place on March 3, 2021.
Each hotel is classified into 8 categories. Each of these categories is subdivided into 3 rates to redeem points for a free hotel night.
|1||5 000||7 500||10 000|
|2||10 000||12 500||15 000|
|3||15 000||17 500||20 000|
|4||20 000||25 000||30 000|
|5||30 000||35 000||40 000|
|6||40 000||50 000||60 000|
|7||50 000||60 000||70 000|
|8||70 000||85 000||100 000|
For example, a free night can cost between 5,000 points at off-peak rate at a Category 1 hotel – as we’ve been able to get in South Africa – and 100,000 points at a Category 8 hotel during high-peak.
Details on those Category changes
For reference, last year, 30% of hotels had changed categories.
This year, from March 3, 2021, category changes will only affect 201 hotels:
- 150 hotels will be downgraded from one category
- 51 hotels will move up one category
Small adjustments, therefore, probably due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, one might have expected more downward changes, given most Marriott Bonvoy hotels’ low occupancy rate worldwide.
An annual re-evaluation
Hotel programs adapt their rates each year according to the market conditions affecting each hotel.
In Canada, 8 hotels are changing category: 6 down against 2 up.
|Hotel||Category 2020||Category 2021|
|Courtyard Halifax Dartmouth||4||3|
|Courtyard Montreal Brossard||4||3|
|Element Toronto Airport||4||3|
|Fairfield by Marriott Edmonton International Airport||1||2|
|Fairfield by Marriott Montreal Downtown||5||4|
|Four Points by Sheraton Edmonton International Airport||1||2|
|JW Marriott Parq Vancouver||7||6|
|Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre||6||5|
For example, the Fairfield by Marriott Montreal Downtown hotel that we reviewed goes from category 5 to category 4. The same goes for the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel, also reviewed by milesopedia, which goes from category 6 to 5.
The statistics of the main countries, a milesopedia exclusivity:
|Country||Category – decline||Category – Increase||Total|
There are some nice sweetspots, especially in Bali with 3 hotels we reviewed before the COVID-19:
- Review: Element by Westin Bali Ubud (category 3 to 2)
- Review: Sthala, Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Ubud Bali (category 4 to 3)
- Review: Fairfield by Marriott Bali Legian (category 2 to 1)
The latter hotel will therefore cost as little as 5,000 points per night. And don’t forget the possibility to stay 5 nights for the price of 4 when redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points!
That means you could stay up to 12 nights with the welcome bonus offered by the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card!
Book using your points before March 3, 2021.
Browse the list shared by Marriott Bonvoy to see if the hotels you had considered for the coming year are affected. Given the small upward changes, chances are you won’t have to worry!
If this is the case, book before March 3, 2021 USING YOUR POINTS.
If you don’t have the points in your Marriott Bonvoy account, you can always make a “points advance,” but this will only block the room, not the rate!
Remember that it is possible to transfer Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy at a rate of 5:6.
By March 2021, we will update Marriott Bonvoy Hotels’ worldwide map – and the one for Canada – to help you find the hotels where you can use your points and the Annual Free Night Award coming with each Marriott Bonvoy credit card.
Don’t also forget to register for the promotion, allowing you to get double points and double Elite nights.