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
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.
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.