Here at PointsNerd, we pride ourselves on keeping abreast of the latest news, especially if it affects Canadians.  Often times we get slow news days and you don’t see articles for days at a time and some days it feels like you can’t even take a breath because there is so much information.

Today is one of the days that feels like we’re drowning.  But this is a good thing but please bear with us as we unpack the news of the day because there is a LOT to know.  On top of the deluge of information from Marriott, we are sad to see Chao leave PointsNerd.  I think we were all pleasantly surprised at how well he was able to engage with the readership and deliver information with a great sense of humour.  He will be dearly missed.

What’s New With Marriott?

Well, there’s quite a bit.  First off, Marriott has announced the pricing for all hotels effective as of August 1, 2018.  What we need to keep in mind is that the period between August 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018, there are two things that will not take effect:

  • There will be no Category 8 hotels (Marriott’s new highest point category)
  • There will be no differentiation between Off-Peak, Standard, and Peak pricing

Once January 1st, 2019 rolls around, the above two points are null and void.  This means that for this short period of time between August 1st and December 31st, we have a HUGE arbitrage opportunity.

I will be delving into what some of these opportunities are over the weekend but just know that there will be plenty of opportunities to take advantage of excellent deals.

While you could certainly use Marriott’s website to take a look at each hotel’s new pricing and hotel categories, one of the limitations is that the table cannot do a multi-sort, so if you wanted to know which JW Marriott in California has gone down in price, you would have to look through a long list.  I got annoyed with that so I created the Marriott Master Spreadsheet.

You can access the Google Sheet at:

This sheet has everything I could cram into it, including previous categories (2017), the Award Chart (including cash + points), and the new Travel Package pricing.

Just a Taste

I realize that there’s not a lot of information in this post but that spreadsheet took some time to put together so I’ve run out of daylight today.

Here’s what I plan on unpacking in the coming days:

  • Best hotels to book during the August 1 – December 31 time period (and how to do it)
  • An analysis on whether or not you should purchase the Marriott Travel Package now or after August 1, 2018
  • The new SPG card news

Give me a bit of time and I’ll help guide you down the path for the best use of your SPG/Marriott points.


Marriott has given us a LOT of information to digest.  We’ve only taken a nibble at the information but promise to have more for you in the coming days.  Stay tuned and as always, thanks for your support.

Brian Ewanchuk is an avid frequent flyer and has held status amongst all the major North American carriers. While Brian has certainly redeemed across multiple programs, nowadays, he prefers a more simplified approach to his mileage earning and redemptions.


  1. I look forward to your most valuable information. I will be interested in your opinion concerning the cobalt card and its future.
    I personally will be curious about whether it is recommended to cash in the miles and hotels after maximizing the cobalt retirn and the timing of this operation.

  2. By the way, this is a potful of work and I want you to know that I and many others appreciate all your effort.

  3. So much info it’s hard to keep track, thanks for the Marriott Redemption chart. Any truth that those who already have the Marriott Travel Packages will be cancelled after August 1 and converted to equivalent points, credited to the member’s account for future redemption?

  4. Thanks so much for this chart … it’s especially handy since Marriott’s new mini site post August 18th doesn’t show the ‘old points’. Love that it’s in Excel so that can sort in different ways to see where the sweet spots are. Thanks again PointsNerd!!


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