Marriott Bonvoy award category changes for 2020

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I got to be honest, I can’t relate to how people feel about Marriott Bonvoy category changes because I do not redeem my Marriott points for hotel stays. Here are the reasons why:

  1. I struggle to find nights in Marriott hotels that are cheaper with points (at $0.01 valuation) than cash because I have flexible travel plans and avoid nights that cost more than 20% above the hotel’s lowest rate. I also do not stay in uber luxury hotels all the time.

  2. I can get much better value by redeeming my points for miles on exotic Frequent Flyer Programs (as a Singaporean) like ANA Mileage Club, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Japan Airlines Mileage Bank and of course, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

However, if I have fixed travel plans around the region, I will be happy with the changes this time round as there are plenty of properties going down a category or two.

Mattress run

These changes also make it easier to do a mattress run if you are close to reaching a desired Elite status as there are now a whopping 11 properties in category 1 close to Singapore. Category 1 properties cost just 5,000 points per off-peak night. Of course, this goes down to just 4,000 points per night (worth $40) if you make a 5-nights redemption.

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Conclusion

I’ll probably find it harder to re-qualify for Marriott Platinum/Titanium when I decide to stop living in hotels. Besides, I value my Hilton Honors status more than Marriott Bonvoy and will make it a priority to re-qualify for Hilton Diamond. But if I am close to 50-nights with Marriott, it will be nice to know that there are 11 category 1 properties nearby for a mattress run.

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