Marriott Bonvoy is about to become even less valuable on the redemption side after announcing it would eliminate award charts in 2022. Just how bad these will these changes be?
Marriott Eliminates Award Charts, Adds Dynamic Pricing
Currently, all Marriott properties are subject to an award chart, which ranges from Category 1-8 with off-peak, standard, and peak pricing. You’ll pay anywhere from 5,000 to 100,000 points per night. That itself is not ideal, but at least there is some transparency and you know the upper bounds of what an aspirational resort like the Al Maha.
But starting in March 2022, Marriott will switch to dynamic pricing and eliminate award charts. Marriott promises that in 2022, 97% of properties will still price award change between current peak and off-peak rates. However, starting in 2023 there will be no caps and we can expect to see rapid inflation of award pricing, particularly at hotels and resorts that are popular throughout the year. (that’s my prediction, anyway)
Marriott’s aim is clear here: cut its reimbursement costs at franchise hotels, particularly when those hotels are expensive and full.
The move mimics what Hilton and IHG have already implemented, much to the detriment of their members.
Marriott has not explained it formula for pricing hotels and resorts, but has said that it will not be strictly correlated to the price of the hotel. Award rooms will still be limited.
Time To Earn And Burn?
I don’t see an urgency to earn and burn…just yet. Certainly, if you are thinking about staying at one of Marriott’s most aspirational properties like the St. Regis Maldives or Al Maha, pricing will likely rise next year and therefore you do want to lock in something sooner rather than later.
The 3% of properties that will rise in price will be those properties that currently provide the most outsized value: count on it.
But don’t rush to burn your stash of Marriott Bonvoy points. With Marriott promising that 97% of hotels will remain with in the current range next year, I expect there will be time to strategically burn your point and then evaluate your loyalty going forward.
Marriott Bonvoy will eliminate award charts and move to dynamic pricing beginning in 2022 and fully in 2023. Those hoping that certain high-end properties will come down in price during the off-season will likely be disappointed.
Meanwhile, Hyatt could not have asked for a better day for its peak and off-peak pricing to go into effect. No one is going to be complaining about charging 35,000 per night for a top-tier property when Marriott is about to do away with limits. And we know that we’ll soon see Delta-like rates…it’s only a matter of time…
image: Marriott (St. Regis Maldives)