I'm probably not the first to mention this here, but it is an important discussion completely missing from this site. Under the new program, your existing points are going to be worth a lot less. How much less?
New rewards program:
Cat 1 - 7500 points
Cat 2 - 12500 points
Cat 3 - 17500 points
Cat 4 - 25000 points
Cat 5 - 35000 points
Cat 6 - 50000 points
Cat 7 - 60000 points
Cat 8 - 85000 points
Old rewards program:
1 7,500 (6,000 points saver)
2 10,000 (7,500 points saver)
3 15,000 (10,000 points saver)
4 20,000 (15,000 points saver)
5 25,000 (20,000 points saver)
6 30,000 (25,000 points saver)
7 35,000 (30,000 points saver)
8 40,000 (35,000 points saver)
9 45,000 (40,000 points saver)
Under the new program, a 5 night stay at a Cat 8 hotel will cost 340,000 points (1 night free).
Under the old program, a 5 night stay at a Cat 8 hotel will cost 160,000 points (1 night free).
2X more points!!!
Under the new program you will EITHER get an upgrade OR a perk (like lounge access / breakfast).
Under the old program you got BOTH.
To add insult to injury, since the new program was announced stays we've been at have NOT treated us like platinum elites. It's a black and white difference. In April/May we got treated exceptionally well. In July we did NOT. Perks like breakfast and parking that were often included previously were not, and we had to pay for BOTH.
Our background: My wife and I are MVC Chairman's Club and 10+ year Platinum Elites. We have been staying with Marriott for 25+ years.
Before the new program goes into effect on August 18 2018, I recommend checking how hotels you plan to stay at are affected. You may find that it will cost you more points under the new program. If so, you may want to make a points reservation prior to August 18 when the new program goes into affect. If the reservation can be cancelled at no cost, you've lost nothing.
Currently, Marriott is accepting reservations until the end of July/early August 2019. This means you can book a reservation under the old program between now and August 18 for a stay that is up to July/early August 2019.
It's important to point out that Marriott also is performing a complete re-categorization of hotels in the new program. Over the past years, there has been significant category inflation, so the re-categorization is correcting the over-inflation. I suspect, however, that we will continue to see category inflation in subsequent years, as hotels have incentives to continue to work toward higher categorization. Thus, you'll need to watch the category assigned to your favorite hotels for changes.
The hotel by hotel list of changes is here:
I noticed a lot of decreases were related to 2016, 2017 & 2018 category increases, so really a correction of over-inflation in my opinion.
Peak/off-peak changes also are relevant. A category change that is a benefit is offset by peak point charges. For example, a recategorizing may be -5000 per dayday but the peak point additional may be +15000 per day.
In 2019 and future years, I am certain we will see the trend of category increases continue. For 2018 there were 4X as many increases as decreases (21% increases vs 5% decreases).
Thanks everyone for your time.