Last month, I wrote extensively about the changes coming to Marriott Bonvoy. Key changes on the road map for Marriott’s now combined loyalty program include the launch of Bonvoy peak pricing and off-peak pricing. But unlike other travel companies, Marriott is doing it differently.
Peak and off-peak change for every hotel on a monthly basis, and an algorithm decides that, possibly on the basis of occupancy levels at the hotel and historic data. So, if you lock in a redemption today, on September 13, 2019, you could find out tomorrow if the hotel costs more points due to busy period, you have saved yourself a lot of points. But, if the hotel looks like it will be in off-peak pricing tomorrow onwards, then you could rebook and save yourselves all those points. You can read the earlier post for all the details.
So, all the redemptions booked on September 13, will still lock in on current standard rates. This way if your price goes up since the date is now a peak date, you will still pay the points rate you booked (unless you end up cancelling the booking or modifying it). How is the algorithm going to work out is still a black box.
Another change will happen to the Marriott 5th night free as a consequence of this change. At present, since all the nights would be uniformly priced, the fifth night would be free. Tomorrow onwards, when you book 5 nights, and let’s say it is a stretch of peak, regular, and off-peak dates, then the cheapest date, which will be an off-peak night, will be given out free for your stay.
The other key change is to Points Advance. Earlier, Marriott Bonvoy and its earlier versions would allow you to reserve a room at a certain points rate and you needed to present the number of points 15 days out and the certificate would be issued. ‘Points Advance’ will change on September 14, 2019 as follows:
- Points Advance will only lock in the availability of the room for you and not the price. So if after booking a Points Advance booking, you see that the price has gone up due to it being peak, then you need to present more points towards the same booking.
- Also, you will be only able to make three Points Advance reservations in your account here on. However, for tonight and the cut over, you only get to keep 5 Points Advance reservations in your Marriott Bonvoy Account.
So, if you have any intentions of saving yourself some valuable Marriott Bonvoy points, book your Marriott points reservations today.