Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
Reward nights start at 10,000 points. Free anniversary night (no points needed) good at any IHG hotel (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, more).
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
On March 7, Marriott Rewards is changing the category assignments of hundreds of hotels, as it does every year.
In this year’s mix are dozens of hotels on the border of Category 5, the highest category hotel that you can book with the free night certificate if you get as a Marriott Rewards Premier credit card holder.
Good hotels generally creep up in categories over the years, so the free night certificate tends to be harder to use as time goes on.
And while this year is no exception to losing some good hotels to a bump up to Category 6, out of reach of the free night certificate, there are some good Category 6 hotels that will become Category 5 come March 7.
How do you play this?
If there’s a hotel moving up from Category 5 on March 7, try to book a night with the certificate before then. You can always cancel it later and try to use it at another hotel if your plans don’t work out.
And if there’s a hotel moving down to Category 5 on March 7, making it freshly eligible for the certificate, wait until March 7 to book and lock in the new availability.
Certificates are good for stays up to 12 months after the date they were issued.
Over 50 hotels are moving down from Category 6 to Category 5 and will be newly eligible for free nights with the certificate.
These are urban center hotels, or hotels near good vacation destinations that could get good value for your certificate.
The Renaissance Austin is probably the biggest value add here, as that hotel often goes for $250 a night or more in booming Austin.
If you’re on vacation the Renaissance Paris La Defense is a decent option, though it’s in the business district, off to the west from the main tourist destinations.
Buffalo Marriott Niagara
BWI Airport Marriott
Canyon Lodge, Autograph Collection
Courtyard Clifton Park
Courtyard Grand Rapids Downtown
Courtyard Hanover Lebanon
Courtyard La Crosse Downtown/Mississippi Riverfront
Courtyard Miami Aventura Mall
Courtyard Miami Coconut Grove
Courtyard Shreveport-Bossier City/Louisiana Boardwalk
Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center
Davenport Tower, Autograph Collection
Fairfield Inn Baltimore Downtown/Inner Harbor
Fairfield Inn Naples
Fairfield Inn Tuscaloosa
Fort Lauderdale Marriott North
Franklin Marriott Cool Springs
Hotel Lusso, Autograph Collection
Indianapolis Marriott Downtown
Marriott Plaza San Antonio
Palm Beach Gardens Marriott
Redmond Marriott Town Center
Renaissance Albany Hotel
Renaissance Austin Hotel
Residence Inn Albany Clifton Park
Residence Inn Glenwood Springs
Residence Inn Pensacola Downtown
Residence Inn Richmond Downtown
SpringHill Suites Naples
SpringHill Suites Newark Liberty International Airport
SpringHill Suites Pittsburgh Southside Works
SpringHill Suites Scottsdale North
Stone Mountain Inn
Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe
The Columbus, A Renaissance Hotel
The Depot Minneapolis, A Renaissance Hotel
TownePlace Suites Galveston Island
Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel
Delta St. John’s
Santiago Marriott Hotel
Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay
Marriott’s Village d’lle-de-France
Renaissance Paris Hippodrome de St. Cloud Hotel
Renaissance Paris Hotel La Defense
Courtyard Berlin City Center
Gewandhaus Dresden, Autograph Collection
Moscow Marriott Hotel Novy Arbat
Istanbul Marriott Hotel Sisli
Renaissance Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel
Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel
Venezuela Marriott Hotel Playa Grande
100 hotels are moving up from Category 5 and won’t be eligible for the certificate come March 7.
These aren’t huge losses, but the Castle takes away something useful near Universal and Disney World in Orlando that’s more adult friendly than most places around there. And the JW Marriott Bogota often goes for over $400 a night, which was an outstanding use of the certificate.
The loss of the Renaissance Curacao takes away one of the few good resort options in North America in Category 5.
Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest
Atlanta Marriott Marquis
Boston Marriott Burlington
Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Courtyard Ann Arbor
Courtyard Athens Downtown
Courtyard Bradenton Sarasota/Riverfront
Courtyard Cocoa Beach Cape Canaveral
Courtyard Dallas Arlington by the Ballpark
Courtyard Fort Lauderdale East
Courtyard Irvine Spectrum
Courtyard Los Angeles Woodland Hills
Courtyard Miami Homestead
Courtyard Myrtle Beach Barefoot Landing
Courtyard Novato Marin/Sonoma
Courtyard San Diego Central
Courtyard San Jose Airport
Courtyard San Mateo Foster City
Courtyard Sarasota Bradenton
Denver Airport Marriott at Gateway Park
Fairfield Inn Augusta
Fairfield Inn Brunswick Freeport
Fairfield Inn Louisville East
Fairfield Inn Nashville at Opryland
Fairfield Inn Pigeon Forge
Fairfield Inn Portland Maine Mall
Fairfield Inn San Diego Carlsbad
Fairfield Inn Santa Clarita Valencia
Fairfield Inn Seattle Sea-Tac Airport
Fairfield Inn Waterbury Stowe
Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection
Memphis Marriott East
Norfolk Waterside Marriott
Renaissance Allentown Hotel
Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel
Renaissance Indianapolis North Hotel
Renaissance Meadowlands Hotel
Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel
Renaissance Phoenix Downtown
Residence Inn Augusta
Residence Inn Bozeman
Residence Inn Colorado Springs South
Residence Inn Denver Cherry Creek
Residence Inn Denver Downtown
Residence Inn Eugene Springfield
Residence Inn Greenbelt
Residence Inn Huntington Beach Fountain Valley
Residence Inn Los Angeles LAX/El Segundo
Residence Inn Los Angeles Torrance/Redondo Beach
Residence Inn Los Angeles Westlake Village
Residence Inn Memphis Downtown
Residence Inn Miami Coconut Grove
Residence Inn Omaha Downtown
Residence Inn Orlando Airport
Residence Inn Orlando Convention Center
Residence Inn Palm Desert
Residence Inn Pasadena Arcadia
Residence Inn Philadelphia Airport
Residence Inn Phoenix Glendale Sports & Entertainment District
Residence Inn Portland Airport at Cascade Station
Residence Inn Portland South/Lake Oswego
Residence Inn San Diego North/San Marcos
Residence Inn San Jose Airport
Residence Inn Sarasota Bradenton
Residence Inn Savannah Midtown
Residence Inn Seattle North/Lynnwood Everett
Residence Inn Seattle South/Tukwila
Residence Inn Sunnyvale Silicon Valley I
Residence Inn Sunnyvale Silicon Valley II
SpringHill Suites Athens
SpringHill Suites Atlanta Airport Gateway
SpringHill Suites Carle Place Garden City
SpringHill Suites Minneapolis Bloomington
SpringHill Suites Nashville Airport
SpringHill Suites Rexburg
SpringHill Suites San Jose Airport
SpringHill Suites Wenatchee
SpringHill Suites West Palm Beach I-95
St. Petersburg Marriott Clearwater
Tampa Marriott Westshore
The Castle, Autograph Collection
The Citizen Hotel, Autograph Collection
The Inn & Conference Center, University of Maryland University College
TownePlace Suites Anaheim
TownePlace Suites Auburn
TownePlace Suites Augusta Aiken
TownePlace Suites Nashville Airport
TownePlace Suites St. George
Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills
Delta Prince Edward
JW Marriott Bogota
Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose
Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino
JW Marriott Mussoorie Hotel
Courtyard Bali at Nusa Dua
AC Hotel Zizur Mayor
Meon Valley, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club
Follow @MileCards on Twitter for the latest updates and new offers
Foreign Transaction Fee Waived
Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?
Leave a comment below -- we'll reply shortly -- no need to use your real name. Or, use the email form at the top of the page for private advice.
"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."