Marriott Bonvoy Moving to Dynamic Pricing in March 2022

There are some significant changes to Marriott Bonvoy coming along in 2022. Many of them are positive, albeit small, and there is a big elephant in the room being introduced by Marriott Bonvoy. Here are the details from the announcement today.

Marriott Bonvoy to extend elite status for members for one more year.

It is like that One Last Thing announcement that comes in with every Apple product launch. Except this comes in once every year. Marriott is extending your 2021 status (based on 2020 activity or 2019 activity that got you a 2020 extension) through February 2023. In this, Marriott is following the lead set by Hilton Honors earlier on. However, there is no extra incentive for those requalified for status already (people like me!).

Free Night Certificates Extended till June 2022

Marriott will be extending the validity of all free night certificates set to expire between January 3 and June 29, 2022, whether those come from cobranded card benefits in some countries, annual choice benefits for some of us, or some other sort of promotion. These will now be extended to be redeemable till June 30, 2022. This should be good news for those who are sitting on certificates that are subject to expire soon.

Points Expiry paused till through December 2022

Marriott Bonvoy has paused the expiry of points through December 31, 2022. At that time, your points will only expire if your account has been inactive for at least 24 months.

Suite Night Awards (SNAs) expiry extended.

Marriott Bonvoy has also extended the expiration of Suite Night Awards (SNAs), previously set to expire on December 31, 2021, to June 30, 2022.

Free Night Awards can now be combined with points.

Free Night Award certificates have been challenging to use for Marriott Bonvoy members, especially since the properties they want are right across a bit of the other end of their certificate. For instance, you might want to stay at a particular property that is off-peak at 40,000 points, but those off-peak dates are hard to come by. In this case, you cannot combine points and certificates to get the value you intend for redemption.

Marriott Bonvoy is changing this. Early 2022, members will be able to combine a free night award with up to 15,000 points from their account. This means a 40,000 points certificate can now get you up to 55,000 points value as long as you can upfront the points. This is going to make it helpful to straddle the redemption across peak and standard nights in the future and will make the certificates more useful for sure. However, this change applies only to redemptions for standard ‘base’ rooms. It doesn’t let you spend extra points for a free night certificate redemption in a premium room.

Marriott Bonvoy moving to dynamic pricing; to eliminate award chart

Marriott has announced today that they will be doing away with a published award chart effective March 2022. Marriott calls it a flexible point redemption rate. Per them, “rates will more closely resemble hotel rates and give members more flexibility and options to explore our portfolio when redeeming points for stays.”

Now, this is just meh because there are already various combinations for pricing a room for rewards, including the PointSavers, the off-peak, standard and peak rates and the cash and points rates in many cases. Marriott stated that the current redemption process with hotel categories will remain in place through February 2022. After that, you won’t see hotel categories (1–8) or redemption rates classified as Off-Peak, Peak, or Standard.

As per Marriott, “we expect redemption rates for nearly all hotels – more than 97% – will continue to range between their current off-peak and peak redemption rates for stays throughout 2022.” But, “For stays beyond 2022, we will adjust rates based more closely on hotel rates”.

While this is more like reading the tea leaves for now, but this means you could fully expect those properties right at the top to cost more than even 100,000 points going forward. Say bye-bye to outsized value if this is the case. The good thing is, Marriott Bonvoy will be keeping the fifth night free, whereby you redeem points for four nights and get the fifth free.

Bye Bye to Al Maha, even for 100K points

Bottomline

Many positive changes coming from Marriott, including the extension of elite status through February 2023 and free night certificates through June 30, 2022. Then, there is the ability to top-off a free night certificate with up to 15,000 points to use it at a higher requirement hotel. But Marriott Bonvoy is killing the award chart, which means you should no longer expect outsized value coming your way at some point in time from your Marriott Bonvoy points.

What do you make of these changes coming to Marriott Bonvoy? How high do you think will award pricing go after the caps are off?


Liked our articles and our efforts? Please pay an amount you are comfortable with; an amount you believe is the fair price for the content you have consumed. Please enter an amount in the box below and click on the button to pay; you can use Netbanking, Debit/Credit Cards, UPI, QR codes, or any Wallet to pay. Every contribution helps cover the cost of the content generated for your benefit.

(Important: to receive confirmation and details of your transaction, please enter a valid email address in the pop-up form that will appear after you click the ‘Pay Now’ button. For international transactions, use Paypal to process the transaction.)

We are not putting our articles behind any paywall where you are asked to pay before you read an article. We are asking you to pay after you have read the article if you are satisfied with the quality and our efforts.

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

More articles by Ajay »

Comments

  1. Perfect timing for my reaching Hyatt Globalist. Time to move to Hyatt fully, burn my Marriott points, cancel the cards I have with them and Bon-bye!

    • Sandeep, Even Hyatt follows Dynamic Pricing. So, What’s the value add? Why not stick to Marriot? Earning and transferring Marriott points is much easier when compared to Hyatt. What’s your take on this?

  2. Hi Ajay,

    This is not the news I was looking for, just brought 1250$ worth of points (same as you did), was planning an international family holiday next year in June. Hope I will still be able to recover the amount spent on points. ☹️

    I think Marriott is missuing their market position being the biggest hotel chain in the world. Time to shift loyalty to some other brand!

    Thanks
    Sameer

    • @Sameer, you have till February to make a redemption at the old rates and lock it in. So travel in June with the old rates is still possible.

  3. This change would be done by keeping approximate value per point in mind.. Along with seasons where properties usually go empty..

    They would also need to benchmark it against the price they charge while we purchase point at card rate.

    I too feel, cat 1/2 properties in India would become friendly in terms of redemption.

  4. Hi Ajay

    Understand the frustation here.
    Especially me, who is having a Million points thinking I can redeem it after 2022!! Now I got cheated literally I would say. Poor me

    But still isnt it a good news as well on the other side? Especially in India?

    For Example, most aloft/fairfield or Cat 1/2 hotels are priced at 2000-3000rs .. We still need to burn 7500 points .

    Due to dynamic pricing wont that 7500 not be reduced to 4000 as well??
    May be I am wrong, you can throw some light here?

    Yes, Dubai, Maldives/ Europe’s Cat 8 hotels redemption can be totally forgotten 🙁 🙁

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *