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Update: The category changes detailed below took effect on March 5, 2019. For details on Marriott redemption options, please visit How to Redeem Points With the Marriott Bonvoy Program.

One of the most lucrative redemption options in the new Marriott Bonvoy program is slated to come to an end this March when Category 8 pricing takes effect. Roughly 60 of the most luxurious properties in the program will jump from 60,000 to 85,000 points per night, including aspirational locations like the St. Regis Maldives and St. Regis Bora Bora.

Well, we now know when this will happen, as Marriott has officially announced that Category 8 pricing will take effect on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

The program has also announced its slate of annual category changes, and fortunately the impact is relatively mild. While the program normally has 10-15% of its properties changing categories,  just 6% are doing so in this round (note that this includes the 62 luxury resorts moving into Category 8). Unfortunately, the impact is most significant at the top, as 5% are moving up and just 1% are moving down.

It’s also frustrating to only have three and a half weeks’ worth of notice of these changes, as that isn’t a ton of time to finalize plans ahead of the new pricing taking effect. I was holding out hope that the program would provide plenty of notice, but clearly that did not happen.

We’re diving into all of these changes and will be back with a full analysis, but for now you can access the full list of these properties at this page (warning: PDF link). If you were planning a trip to one of the properties increasing in price, you should go ahead and lock in your reservation ASAP, as I’d guess that award inventory will dry up quickly at those resorts.

And even though the new pricing takes effect on March 5, you can book Marriott reservations roughly 50 weeks in advance, so you can take advantage of the current pricing for stays through February 2020, as long as you book by March 5.

Featured image of Al Maha courtesy of Marriott.

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