When Marriott announced the integration of SPG into Marriott Rewards in August, we were informed that a some of the most expensive award redemptions would actually be getting cheaper for a little while. Category 8, the top of the new award chart, wouldn’t go into effect until 2019. That meant when the programs combined in August, there was a period of time from then until the end of this year where some incredible deals could be had. Nothing in the points and miles world really gets cheaper, so this was a bit of a curve ball, albeit a temporary one.
Marriott Delays New Category 8 Pricing
As View From The Wing notes, Marriott has told us now that the implementation for the new Category 8 pricing is expected in March, 2019. That’s at least two more months than I thought we would get. Gary notes that Marriott might never have specifically told us January, that maybe we assumed it. He may be right, I don’t see any written correspondence from Marriott, though I was really sure that was the case.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve already studied the new Marriott award chart. I can’t say I’m overly surprised or pleased where the various categories ended up. The implementation of off-peak and peak pricing will definitely give us more context next year.
The Final Two Pennies
Opportunities to book these sorts of properties at these sorts of award prices don’t come along too often. We’re talking about some of the nicest hotels in the Marriott/SPG system, where some of them cost fewer points to book today versus 6 months ago.
Marriott generally has about 355 days of availability to book hotel rooms into the future. That means the schedule is open through December 7th, 2019 as of the writing of this post. If we assume Marriott hits the announced March deadline, you’ll have the opportunity to book Christmas, New Years 2019 and potentially even spring break 2020 before the new category 8 pricing goes into effect. That means you’ve got some work to do!
Let’s face it, things haven’t been going well for Marriott. Despite promises and announcements to the contrary, many Marriott and SPG elites still have missing stays and points (myself included). We still don’t have anywhere near the full picture of the massive Marriott data breach. But, for at least an extra 2 months, we’ll be able to book some pretty excellent hotels and resorts at some pretty excellent rates. Well, assuming Marriott makes the inventory available.
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