Bamboo Forest

The Marriott-SPG merger has been a hot topic the past few weeks. I was so caught up trying to book a room at the St. Regis Maldives for only 60,000 points per night that I completely overlooked a points saving opportunity for an existing reservation of mine. Earlier in the year, I booked three nights at the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto for my upcoming honeymoon at 70,000 points per night. Under the new program, the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto is now a Category 8 property. That means  award bookings are a whopping 85,000 points per night!

ritz carlton kyoto
Ritz-Carlton Kyoto

When I first saw the new award chart, I thought “boy am I lucky to have booked this already!”. However, just like the all-suite Category 8 property that I was so keen on booking, the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto is available for 60,000 points per night until 2019 when the new award chart is released.

I couldn’t make a new booking at the lower rate myself since the nights I wanted were no longer available. Instead, I called Marriott and was able to get the points refunded to my account pretty easily. Since the system is still buggy, I had to wait on hold on and off for about an hour as the customer service rep waited for a supervisor. Wait time aside, I’d say an hour of my time is worth it to get 30,000 points back.

Have you saved on any Category 8 Marriott properties since the merger?

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