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Marriott delays the new Category 8 until March 2019 – you get three more months to save

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I had been planning to run an article this week on “Marriott Rewards hotels in Category 7 which you should book NOW before Category 8 launches in January“.

It seems that I don’t need to bother.

Marriott Rewards has added a new line to the page on its website which shows all of the category changes:

“Save up to 25,000 points per night when you book future Category 8 hotels at the Category 7 rate until March 2019.”

This implies that the current reward pricing, without Category 8, will continue until at least the end of February.

This is a big deal.  As you can see from the chart here:

…… the introduction of Category 8 is going to lead to a chunky 42% increase in the number of points needed to book certain hotels as they rise from 60,000 points per night to 85,000 points per night for a ‘standard’ date.

For bookings on a peak date (peak date pricing does not currently exist and presumably has also been delayed until March 2019) you will see a crazy 67% increase in points needed.  Rooms will rise from 60,000 points today to 100,000 points.

Which Marriott hotels should I book before March 2019?

This is the full list of hotels moving into Category 8 next year.

Click the text to enlarge – it is actually four separate images.  It was not designed to be readable directly from the article!  It is always difficult publishing tables on HFP because a lot of people read the site via mobile and they distort.

If you still can’t read it, go to this page of and sort the chart by category.  The Category 8 hotels will be on top.

Marriott Category 8 hotelsMarriott Category 8 hotelsMarriott Category 8 hotelsMarriott Category 8 hotels

What does this list mean in practice?

If you had been planning on staying at any of the hotels on this list, you should book before Category 8 comes into effect.  I now expect this to be during March 2019.

Your stay can be for any date up to 12 months ahead, so you are OK until March 2020 if you leave your booking until March 2019.

You will make a substantial saving.  It might be your only realistic chance to try, say, St Regis New York a bargain at 60,000 points (cash rates are $1,100 + tax per night) but toppy at 85,000 points and exceptionally high at 100,000 points, which is what it will be when ‘peak rate’ pricing is introduced.

The hotels in the charts above are a roll-call of some of the most famous hotels in the world.  This is an amazing opportunity to try them out in 2019 or early 2020 for a relatively sensible (60,000) number of Marriott Rewards points.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (October 2023)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (20)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • JK says:

    I don’t seem to be able to find any availability at all in Tokyo or Kyoto for July 2019… Seems a bit odd, or might it just be rates haven’t been loaded yet? I wouldn’t have thought it were that abnormal for people to plan 6-7 months in advance, so seems odd they wouldn’t have loaded them yet… The sinister side of me speculates if they’re all gaming it until the cut over?

    • Simon says:

      I noticed booked R-Cs Kyoto & Tokyo last month without issue, albeit for a year hence. Marriott calendar advances on Monday mornings (UK) at 8am and, IIRC, you can book 50 weeks plus 6 days in advance.

      • Simon says:

        *Booked• (autocorrected to noticed)

        • Simon says:

          Although I did put booked in twice. 🙂 I think I’m ready for that Christmas break.

        • JK says:

          Haha, indeed, Christmas break can’t come soon enough!

          Did you book cash rates, or on points? I’m trying to book the same two for July next year, so well within range. Just zero points availability for ANY hotel in those two cities. Seems a bit odd!

        • Simon says:

          JK, both times on points only.

    • AW says:

      I booked an April 2019 stay at the Kyoto RC back in September. Went back in November to add a second night and there was zero availability for the whole month (when I first booked in September there was loads). April is obviously much more popular than July but it may be that availability has gone…

  • JamieMac says:

    Is peak and off peak coming in January or is that delayed too?

  • Artem says:

    Thanks for reminding. I booked a 7 night stay in a hotel from the list but haven’t paid yet. Is it possible to switch my booking to Travel Package once I accumulate enough points? If so, is there a deadline?

  • Jeferson Amend says:

    Hi Rob, thanks for that, I’ve booked the W Koh Samui thanks to all your help/guidance, as well as been doing the Amex bonus cards.
    Quick question, I couldn’t find the article you wrote about the Marriott “suites only” hotels (like the one I mentioned above), could you please point me to that if you know it?
    Thanks, big fan of your blog.

    • Rob says:

      That has now gone – all of the hotels are pricing off the standard reward chart (I think), eg Al Maha in the Middle East.

      • Russ says:

        Comment(ish) – Rob, been waiting for availability at the Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi over 2019 GP dates to open. Nada. Maybe that goose has been cooked.

        • Rob says:

          Hotel is relaunching as a W in January-ish so it is possible they have pulled availability in advance of that?

  • Dave says:


    My bonus SPG/Mariott points (and my wife’s) for the ’29 ways to stay’ promo were credited today, although about 5-600 points short on both accounts.

    • Liz says:

      I am 500 short on my account. Email from Marriott says to wait 8 wks after the promo ended and if still not received go back to them!

      • Jill (Kinkell) says:

        Same here…short of 2000 points on my account and 500 on OH.. It took long enough to post the points we do have! Same email…wait 8 weeks.

    • Paul says:

      My Marriott competition points have just posted and look like they are the number I expected but my points expiry date has not reset and still shows July 2019 when I had expected the date to reset with the points activity to give me another two years. I am new to this game so perhaps I misunderstood how it works. The app has a starred “Qualifying Activity” indicator and these competition points don’t have that next to them. Oh well, there we are. Live and learn. Have a good holiday season everyone and all the best for 2019.

      • Liz says:

        Our 2 accounts were stuck at Feb 2020 and unknown expiry for a long time but I see that they have both been reset to Dec 2020. Had credit card activity on both accounts and MR transfer on mine recently.

  • Nate1309 says:

    Could have saved some MR points and spent more on my SPG card. But never mind. Can’t wait for my stay at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong. Apparently the tallest hotel in the world!

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