Huge Devaluation – Marriott Announces 2018 Category Changes


Following on from SPG’s 2018 category changes, Marriott have announced theirs and it’s a shocker. More than four times as many properties are moving up a category than are moving down.

JW Marriott Washington DC
JW Marriott Washington DC, increasing from category 8 to category 9

You can find the full list of changes here, but be warned – it’s not pretty. 1,082 properties are moving up a category while only 247 properties are moving down.

There is a silver lining of sorts in that there are no properties moving up more than one category, but it still represents a huge devaluation of the Marriott Rewards scheme.

It also represents a devaluation of the Chase Marriott Rewards credit cards. Both the personal and business versions come with a free night certificate for a category 1-5 hotel every year when you renew your card. With these changes there’ll be 392 79 fewer properties where you can use your free night certificates. That’s because 620 124 category 5 properties are moving up and only 228 45 category 6 properties are moving down.

Edit: tinytavosa in the comments has put together a list of the properties moving from category 5 to 6.

These changes also mean that the number of properties available in Marriott’s Category 1-5 Hotel + Air packages will reduce. If you’ve had your eye on a category 6, 7 or 8 Hotel + Air package, check the list in case the property you want to stay at is moving up a category level and will therefore require more points. If you’re planning on booking one of those packages, you might want to do so before March 6, 2018.

Marriott are thankfully giving four weeks notice of these changes, so make your reservations by March 5, 2018 if you want to stay at a property that’s moving up a category. Stays don’t have to be completed by March 5, 2018, just booked by that date.

Following Marriott’s takeover of SPG, it seems strange that they’d make minor changes to the SPG categories this year but gut their own scheme. I’m guessing they’re trying to keep SPG loyalists on board while integrating the loyalty schemes and hoping their own loyalists don’t notice (or care?)


What are your thoughts about this devaluation? Are you likely to move your loyalty away from Marriott due to these changes? Let us know in the comments below.

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Todd L

Due to all of the recent changes I won’t even consider the Marriott credit cards. Surprisingly, based on my hotel rewards analysis the best value is Best Western for domestic and international redemptions. They have upscale properties (plus and premier) and regular value if you want to save a few bucks. Regular Best Western branded properties are the same as Fairfield, Springhill and some Courtyards to me. I’m a Titanium Elite due to work travel but it doesn’t matter to me if Marriott lacks category 1 & 2 redemptions for personal travel. Get the Capital One Venture ( partnership), Best Western and/or the Orbitz credit cards instead for hotel rewards.

[…] 25,000 bonus points don’t have the same value compared to a couple of years ago due to both last year’s devaluation and this […]

Erika Hamilton

None of the Kauai properties seem to be changing. Odd.

[…] has announced its annual devaluation and while it’s not as bad as last year’s, it doesn’t make for happy reading if you have any 25,000 or 35,000 point certificates to use […]

[…] they also devalued the hotel I *most likely* would use my points at.  This come on the heels of a March 2018 increase of that same hotel. All told I’m seeing a 25% increase in the cost to book a room at this one hotel, and […]

[…] British has endowed me with a decent (some would say indecent) amount of cynicism. So when Marriott announced a huge devaluation in February 2018 that would take effect the following month, it made me wonder if they’d […]


Worse than this, they have devalued our rewards points overall. We spent 15 years accumulating our points for retirement, and now we’re finding the rug has been pulled out from under us.


On top of that they have tripled the points for category 5.
60,000 PointSaver points for 1 night at a category 5.
Last year it was 20,000


Just looked at the rewards required for one week at Orlando; it seems that they (Marriott) think that all these are 4 star.

[…] March 6 2018, many Marriott properties are changing categories (see: Huge Devaluation – Marriott Announces 2018 Category Changes). As a result, some of the best category 5 hotels will soon become category 6. When that happens, […]

[…] week we reported the latest devaluation in Marriott’s program.  Marriott announced new hotel category assignments (which determine the number of points required […]


As long as SPG is still collecting 3x in everything, nights at Marriot / RC still feel like a steal.
Knock on wood.


Hey Stephen. I compiled and sorted out all properties expect those going from Category 5 to Category 6 for a very easy view of all the possible loses coming for 7 day certificate redemptions. I am finding 124 (not 123) for what small change that is worth.

Glad I am getting to Phu Quoc this next month so I won’t miss that.

Here is a link to the google sheet if you wanna copy the info into the post or link to it. I don’t mind if you want to just copy it in, or do nothing at all. I just found it useful to make for myself as well! Enjoy.


After 30 years of chasing JWM group, being a lifetime platinum for a while now. Maybe it is time to move on.
When I retire I will not have miles to use, nor will I be able to afford the price of the rooms. Bye bye


I haven’t use my points in a couple of years and I noticed they are not a worth a shit not. I have been a gold/platinum member for many years now and I see Marriott has turn its back to their customers. Greedy companies start programs that look really good at first and then once everyone is on the hook the depreciate your earnings like we have seen here. I am doing the same thing. I am will weed out Marriott out of my portfolio. I am piss that after many years of loyalty we get the shaft.


I think your numbers for the Category 5 changes are a bit off. I only see around 100 moving up and just under 40 moving down. Still not a good move but slightly less awful.