Marriott has announced today some big changes to its Bonvoy loyalty program. We knew that Marriott Bonvoy Changes were coming later in 2019 but now we have most of the details and a starting date for the new pricing.
Marriott Bonvoy Changes
They have introduced new peak and off-peak award pricing will be introduced, which is probably the biggest update. Cash + Points pricing has also been change and limits are added to Points Advance reservations. It all kicks off September 14th.
Peak and Off-Peak
The major change in the Marriott Bonvoy program is the new peak and off-peak award pricing. This will go into effect on September 14th. The pricing was already announced previously and we knew what each tier would cost, peak and off-peak. Here’s what the chart looks like:
But we have some more details on how the pricing will work. The new award chart will apply to all 7,000+ hotels. Most days will have the standard pricing Marriott has said. The rest will be equally divided between peak and off-peak, which will be determined by an algorithm. Individual properties can’t make adjustments themselves.So now a night will cost you anywhere from 5,000 points for an off-peak Category 1 stay to 100,000 points for a peak Category 8 room.
Until now, Marriott properties have been priced at the Standard rate all year round.
Credit Card Free Night Awards
Some Marriott credit cards earn you Free Night Awards. Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant gets you a Free Night Award after your Card account anniversary. It’s for a redemption level of 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that you can book a Category 6 anytime. Peak pricing will now be 60,000 for a Category 6 hotel, so you can only book standard or off-peak. That makes planning ahead a bit harder, especially as pricing continuously changes.
If you already have Marriott stays booked beyond September 14th, you might wander what will happen. After that date, if a property has off-peak rates during your stay, you can cancel and rebook. if that’s till an option. Dates will be recalculated once a month, so now you need to keep an eye out on your bookings an check continuously to see if off-peak rates are offered.
Cash + Points
Marriott is also making changed to its Cash + Points option. The cash portion remains the same within a category, even as points change due to peak or off-peak pricing. Here’s the chart:
New Points Advance Limits
Starting September 14th, Marriott will limit Marriott Bonvoy members to having at most three Points Advance reservations at one time. For Points Advance reservations made before that date, they will let you have up to five at the standard redemption rates.
The number of points required to complete your reservation though will change during the hold. Once you have the points you need, you will pay the new amount.
‘5th Night Free’ is Now ‘Stay 5, Pay for 4’
Marriott’s ‘5th Night Free’ is getting a makeover. It will now be named ‘Stay for 5, Pay for 4’. Since each night might have a different pricing under the new award chart, the lowest-point night will be the one you get for free.
Previously it was automatically the fifth night that was free.
This is bad news for Bonvoy members. Most people will need to redeem more points for their stays, since most people travel during peak times. The new Points Advance rules and limit will also be a problem as you can’t lock in more than three bookings and you don’t know for sure what price you will end up paying.
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