Marriott is rolling out their new pricing structure next month after they announced that they were delaying the rollout until 2019. To be exact, the changes are coming on September 14, 2019.
The world’s largest hotel chain is adding a new eighth category to its rewards chart, as well as adding peak and off-peak pricing. These changes affect how many points are required to book a free night. Furthermore, the changes also affect Cash + Points redemptions.
Marriott is also making changes to advance bookings and rates that are locked in. Currently, Marriott’s advance booking policy is quite generous. That means these changes are another example of the hotel giant tightening the screws.
New Rewards Charts
Currently, all free nights can be booked at the Standard rates. However, this can change depending on the time of year and hotel category. The new Marriott Bonvoy rewards chart will look as follows:
Looking at the chart, you can see some interesting numbers related to the Marriott Bonvoy Cards’ sign-up bonuses. For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card has a bonus worth 50,000 points. That bonus is enough for one night at a Category 6 property under standard pricing or a Category 7 property under off-peak pricing. Moreover, the same bonus can be redeemed for two nights at a Category 4 property under standard pricing.
Furthermore, the Cash + Points rewards chart will look as follows:
|1||$50 + 2,500 points||$55 + 3,500 points||$60 + 4,000 points|
|2||$60 + 5,000 points||$65 + 6,000 points||$70 + 6,500 points|
|3||$70 + 7,500 points||$80 + 8,500 points||$90 + 9,000 points|
|4||$90 + 10,000 points||$105 + 12,000 points||$120 + 13,500 points|
|5||$120 + 16,000 points||$140 + 17,500 points||$165 + 19,000 points|
|6||$165 + 22,000 points||$190 + 25,000 points||$225 + 27,500 points|
|7||$225 + 27,500 points||$250 + 30,000 points||$325 + 35,000 points|
|8||$325 + 35,000 points||$440 + 42,500 points||$625 + 50,000 points|
All cash values are in US Dollars.
More Changes Coming to Pricing
The new pricing structure is not the only change coming to Marriott. The following pricing structure rules are also coming:
Peak and Off-Peak Dates Will Be Balanced
Marriott is balancing the amount of peak and off-peak dates for their hotels. However, most dates will have standard pricing. In other words, there is a higher chance that a hotel will have standard pricing than off-peak or peak pricing. This is nice because it provides Marriott Bonvoy members a sense of familiarity and predictability.
Dates will be Adjusted Monthly
Marriott is also adjusting dates every month instead of every year. Properties will not be given set dates for peak and off-peak times.
Hopefully, Marriott will post adjustments on their website or on each property’s webpage. That will help prospective guests plan when to their trips and give them information on how many points to allocate or save.
Re-Pricing Awards Booked Now After September 14
All standard room redemptions made before September 14 (and are available at off-peak pricing after the changes occur) must be cancelled and re-booked to get the lower price. Marriott’s standard cancellation rules also apply.
Changes Coming to Advance Bookings
The following changes apply to advance bookings with points and cash + points. Advance bookings with straight cash are exempt.
- Marriott is limiting the number of advance bookings with points to three.
- If you book a stay in advance, you will be locked into the rate that is present at the time you book.
The latter change can be good or bad, depending on when you book your stay. Try to book rooms at off-peak periods to save points and money.
Marriott has been anticipating this new pricing structure and the other changes since 2018. Now they are coming, and Marriott Bonvoy members must be prepared.
I am grateful that Marriott posts their rewards charts online because there are competing hotel chains (like Hilton) do not. These charts are useful because prospective guests can plan their trips as necessary and know how many points are needed for a free night. Many travelers can also calculate how many points are needed to make their entire stay free. From there, they can also see if Points + Cash is a viable alternative to straight points.