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Frequent Flyer

Marriott Raises Award Prices at 1,000+ Hotels

Beginning on March 19, Marriott will require more points when redeeming for free nights at an eye-popping 27 percent of its network hotels. Ouch!

On March 19, Marriott will recategorize 36 percent of its portfolio of 3,900 hotels, making the affected properties either more expensive (requiring more points) or less expensive (fewer points) for award stays.

The bad news: While nine percent of the chain’s hotels will charge less for award stays, an eye-popping 27 percent will charge more.

In effect, Marriott Rewards points will be worth less when redeemed for award stays at more than a quarter of the chain’s properties. That’s a major devaluation.

Want to check the status of a favorite hotel, or a hotel where you have a pending reservation? It’s not easy. Adding insult to injury, Marriott published the category changes only as a 35-page PDF file, with the hotels listed in no discernible order.

Nevertheless, as always with award-pricing changes, travelers with upcoming Marriott award stays should review the list of affected hotels and book either before or after March 19, depending on whether their anticipated stays will be at hotels that are increasing or decreasing in price.

Reader Reality Check

How much devaluation can you stand before taking your business elsewhere?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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