Marriott Devalues Points For Home & Villa Stays, Reflecting Broader Bonvoy Points Value Reductions

Loyalty Lobby points out that Marriott has devalued Bonvoy points for booking Homes and Villas redemptions. Marriott has a curated competitor to Airbnb, Bonvoy is one of the key selling points against this behemoth competitor with a huge head start in the space. But Marriott has chosen to erode its advantage.

Previously, you needed 143 points for each USD (14,300 points per $100 in Homes & Villas rate).

This has been changed to 166.67 per USD (16,667 points per $100). This devalues Marriott Bonvoy points by 17% if you use them for Homes & Villas stays.

You used to get 7/10ths of a cent per point redeeming for home and villa stays. Now you get 6/10ths of a cent.

On the one hand it’s an odd time to devalue a program, during a pandemic, when Marriott needs their marketing engine more than ever to put heads into otherwise-empty beds. However there’s a certain logic to this change.

  • When I last produced comprehensive point valuations across airline, hotel, and credit card programs I considered Marriott points to be worth 7/10ths of a cent (70 basis points).

  • Since then there have been multiple rounds of devaluations, such as the introduction of category 8 high season (awards now cost up to 100,000 points for a hotel night, excluding outliers like North Island) as well as category creep. And even with hotels largely empty they’ve had to run short-term promos to actually offer properties at low season pricing. There are just too many nights where the program wants high season rates for empty hotels.

  • I’d been a bit on the fence about my valuation, tentatively assigning 65 basis per point, but that was likely generous and Marriott has probably pushed down the value of a point to 60 basis points (6/10ths of a cent each).

In other words, given broader devaluations in the program over the past couple of years, Marriott is just playing catchup adjusting down the value of points for homesharing stays.

Still, making this change right when Airbnb goes public to a $100 billion valuation is striking. One of Marriott’s key advantages in its arsenal is the value of its loyalty program. Airbnb still doesn’t have one, which represents upside in its own potential. Hotels need to double down on the unique value and production differentiation they offer, not reduce that difference, in order to compete effectively with Airbnb and similar operators. So to reduce the value of Bonvoy for homesharing is probably the opposite of the strategic direction they should be moving in.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Agreed. I was listening to how Cramer was boosting up Arne on Mad Money Friday. It seems Marriott’s CEO knows how to make wall street happy, but wall street has a horizon of 1-2 quarters tops.

  2. I’ve said it before, but Bonvoy is worth about 0.75-0.8 cpp solely bc of the airline transfers of 60k:25k. If you’re saying that the value of Bonvoy is only 0.6 cpp, you’re also saying you don’t value any of the airline programs at more than 1.44 cpp.

    If the airline transfers go away (or are devalued), so does the value of Bonvoy.

  3. @Ben: The next shoe to drop will be a shutdown or devaluation of airline transfers.

    I decided to buy enough points to reach 60k. Then I bid adieu to Marriott earnings after over 30 years, including a few years at top status from 75 nights. Paying cash for stays is so much simpler and usually more efficient.

  4. @nsx: Completely agree that the airline transfer deval is probably coming in the next 1-2 years, but until then it’s why Bonvoy is worth more than 0.6 cpp. I’m 7k away from my 60,000 point increment for an airline transfer. Debating whether to buy/transfer some points to get there but not sure which program I’d transfer to (likely either Alaska or ANA).

  5. I’m getting 1.2 cpp in Aspen and got 1.5 cpp in Venice. No complaints with Bonvoy except for the Gold status deval when the new program went live.

  6. Tell me which of their 35,000 point properties in California are currently worth $210. I think 0.6 cpp might be a bit too much.

    The airline mile people are overstating their case, too. Transfers aren’t instant, and you have to transfer in increments of 25,000 miles to unlock full value.

  7. With hotel rates severely depressed, even the Marriott off-peak and pointsavers rates have largely remained at pre-pandemic rates. I’ve had a lot of stays during the pandemic in various chains and not one has been worth spending Marriott points vs. cash. Many properties pricing out below 0.5 cpp value at the moment. Hilton (and even IHG now) do a much better job adjusting points values to reflect dynamic cash rates.

  8. Take a look at NYC properties for example this week. 40,000 points or $75-$80 a night. .20 to .25 cop!

  9. Marriot Villas? Don’t make me laugh. Every single property offered by them is also offered on vrbo or airbnb for 20% or more less. I can’t imagine why I would buy a stay through Marriott.

    Just another wonderful choice by this company. I became LT Titanium with the switch and have not stayed a single night since, not even with the free suite upgrades offered this year (including to LT who haven’t actually stayed).

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