The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program eliminated its existing award charts and transitioned to “Flexible Point Redemption Rates” on March 29, 2022.
This means guests can expect dynamic award pricing, similar to Hilton Honors and IHG One Rewards, where award rates reflect more closely the cash rate of a hotel night.
For the last several years, Marriott Bonvoy has been using a redemption chart with off-peak, standard, and peak rates which has given guests an idea of how much to expect to spend on an award night. This is no longer the case now that these changes have been fully implemented.
Let’s take a look at the details.
Marriott Bonvoy Moved to Dynamic Award Pricing
Marriott Bonvoy’s award charts went away on March 29, 2022. However, according to the chain, more than 97% of its hotels and resorts will continue to use the range between off-peak and peak redemption rates for booking through the end of 2022.
This means there will still be a minimum and a maximum amount of points guests will need to redeem for a free night in 2022. However, starting in 2023, those limits will be removed and prices will go up and down on a daily basis to reflect current room rates.
For guests who like to save their Marriott Bonvoy points to redeem at high-category (read: expensive) properties, this is bad news as those nights are most likely going to become much more expensive — especially during popular travel periods.
Old Award Chart
Here were the rates through March 29, 2022.
Hot Tip: Want to get the best value for your Marriott Bonvoy points? We detail the best Marriott hotels and resorts to book with points for maximum value.
Good News vs. Bad News
These changes are obviously bad news for most travelers — and especially for those who like to maximize their points at high-end properties. But, Marriott Bonvoy did try to balance out the negatives by mixing in some positive developments.
The chain announced that elite status will be extended through February 2023, and points expiration has been paused until December 31, 2022. However, if there has been no account activity in the previous 24 months, points will expire immediately after that.
Guests with free night certificates earned with certain Marriott co-branded credit cards will now have until June 30, 2022, to redeem them.
But that’s not the only good news when it comes to Free Night Awards — more on that below.
Free Night Award Certificates
If you have a Free Night Award certificate, starting in early 2022, you can add up to 15,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to it in order to redeem it at a more expensive property.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is a popular card, but the annual Free Night Award (up to 35,000 points) can be difficult to redeem. Soon, guests will have the option to upgrade it and then redeem it somewhere nicer, like The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes.
For the rest of 2022, most hotels are expected to continue pricing award nights within the bounds of the peak and off-peak limits, but they won’t be fixed award rates. Starting in 2023, however, award prices will be known as Flexible Point Redemption Rates and will be more closely aligned with the cash rate of the hotel night.
There are about 200 hotels that will not be waiting until 2023 to start using Flexible Point Redemption Rates, and Marriott has published the list of hotels online.
At the end of the day, this is bad news for guests who like to book Marriott properties with points.
While there will certainly be rates in the future that are close to what we know now as “off-peak,” it wouldn’t be a surprise if they are a rarity.
For travelers who like to get the most value out of their Marriott Bonvoy points at aspirational properties or during busy times like sporting events, Spring Break, or holidays, Marriott Bonvoy’s move to dynamic award pricing means stays are going to get more expensive.
Although the new changes to Free Night Award certificates are nice, they’re overshadowed by this devaluation.