Book These Marriott Card Free Night Awards Before the Category Changes on March 6
One of the best perks of the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card and Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card is the annual free night certificate they offer. In exchange for your $85 annual fee ($99 on the business card) you get one free night at a Category 1-5 property.
Marriott recently announced its annual category changes, effective March 6. Over 1,300 hotels are changing category, including a number of great Category 5 properties that are moving up to Category 6. Going forward, that means you'll have to spend 30,000 points for an award night at these hotels. If you have free night certificates you haven't used yet, here are six properties to consider booking before the changes take effect on March 6.
JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort and Spa
The JW Marriott Phu Quoc has historically been one of the best-value uses of Marriott free night certificates, with cash rates here starting at about $300. Commanding the southern tip of Phu Quoc, the largest island in Vietnam, this hotel effortlessly blends pristine private beaches with a unique and luxurious design. Guest rooms boast high ceilings and plenty of natural light.
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is proof that some of DC's greatest treasures lie just outside the city limits. The Gaylord provides easy access to our nation's capital, as well as historic Old Town Alexandria, a quaint little waterfront neighborhood situated just across the Potomac River. And don't worry, those 19 stories of glass windows aren't just for show — they provide a spectacular view of flights on final approach into Reagan National (DCA).
Fairfield Inn and Suites Orlando, International Drive/Convention Center
Orlando has plenty of hotels to choose from, but the never-ending flow of tourists to Disney and Universal keeps cash rates high even at lower-tier properties. The Fairfield Inn and Suites International Drive provides seamless access to Universal Studios, with regularly scheduled shuttle service to all the parks. Orlando was hit especially hard with this year's category changes. In addition to this Fairfield, six other Marriott properties in Orlando are moving up from Category 5 to 6. If you've been planning a trip to Orlando on Marriott points, now's the time to book!
The Algonquin St. Andrews Autograph Collection
Nestled in a quiet corner of New Brunswick, Canada right by the water, the Algonquin St. Andrews has it all. Whale-watching trips, a historic golf course and weekly farmers markets in town are just some of the activities guests can enjoy. If you're craving more nature, head over to the reversing falls, a series of rapids that flow backwards at high tide. Very few Autograph Collection properties are eligible for free night certificates, and it will be a shame to see this one go.
JW Marriott Zhejiang Anji
Despite its proximity to Chinese metropolises like Shanghai and Hangzhou, the JW Marriott Zhejiang provides a relaxing getaway from the big city. Surrounded on all sides by mountains and lush greenery, the hotel beckons you to stay put and relax, and maybe even enjoy a spa treatment. Outside the hotel, Anji is home to a number of waterfalls, canyon hikes and switchback mountain roads to give you a bird's-eye view of the valley.
Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley
Feeling priced out of the San Francisco hotel market? The Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley may be the answer. Just a short drive from Palo Alto, San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland, this hotel is a great jumping-off point for your next Bay Area trip. Business travelers will appreciate the easy access to tech hubs in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, while leisure travelers will enjoy being surrounded by a number of parks, hiking trails and mountain climbing.
For more information on the free night certificates available through the Marriott cards, see this post.