Back in April 2018, Marriott made it known that in addition to standard redemption rates, peak and off-peak pricing would soon be coming to its Marriott Bonvoy rewards program. That time is almost now here: According to the company, the new rates will begin on September 14, 2019.
In the simplest terms, this means that Marriott’s entire chain of more than 7,000 hotels worldwide will now be offering three different rates: Peak, Off-Peak, and Standard. Under the new rates, the fewest number of points a member will need for a free night is 5,000, during “Off-Peak.” Standard rates will stay at their current redemption levels—beginning at 7,500 points—while Peak rates begin at 10,000 points per night and can’t be more than 15,000 points higher than the Standard rate for the hotel. Travelers looking to redeem points can expect to see Standard rates a majority of the time, according to Marriott.
These forthcoming changes have a ripple effect on the rest of the Bonvoy program: Cash + Points will still exist, but the point amounts will depend on the property’s redemption rates. Points Advance, which currently lets Bonvoy members lock in a room while earning points to cover the stay, is also changing: Although travelers will be able to hold a hotel room, the rate and room can change until you have enough points in your account. Translation? If the redemption amount changes after you’ve committed to the room, you’ll have to cough up the difference.
For travelers who have made reservations prior to September 14 but are traveling after the new rules go into effect, there’s good news: Marriott will honor the original rate and even give you some points back if the rate drops to Off-Peak pricing. (If the rate jumps to Peak pricing, though, you’re off the hook, and do not have to pay Peak price.)
Marriott Bonvoy, which officially launched in February of 2019, is one of the most comprehensive hotel loyalty programs in the world, as reported for AFAR by Ramsey Qubein. In sum, it covers 30 brands, including everything from the big luxury names (Ritz-Carlton) to smaller brands like Moxy.
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Katherine LaGrave Katherine LaGrave is a deputy editor at AFAR focused on features and essays.