Marriott Rewards is the latest major hotel loyalty program to announce changes coming up for its loyal members in 2013 — changes that will mean they’ll need more program points to claim a free stay at a number of properties.

The company said that hotel reward stays booked after May 16, 2013 will be subject to new redemption levels; Marriott Rewards is also adding one more hotel category to its eight existing redemption levels — at the highest end. The existing categories 1 through 8 will remain the same, with per-night award stays that cost from 7,500 points for Category 1 to 40,000 in Category 8.

The new redemption level, Category 9, will carry a cost of 45,000 points per night for an award stay. It will apply to just 13 hotels, but they are some of the most popular upscale locations in the Marriott family, including key properties in New York City, London and Paris.

Meanwhile, Marriott will shift the existing categories for many other hotels, mostly to the upside. The company said 63 percent of its hotels will remain in the same category where they are now, but 36 percent will increase by one or more categories. Just one percent will drop by one or more categories.

Executive Travel, 3/17/2013