Marriott has shared that they’re dropping award charts in March and moving to dynamic pricing. We now know that the date this goes into effect will be March 29, though the transition will be gradual and spread into March 30. And we also know how much more expensive some properties may become.
Dynamic pricing means no longer getting great value for points. There may be times when you’ll get better value (when rates are low and award prices used to be high). In those case you shouldn’t have spent points, and spent cash instead. Now the ‘great values’ of the past will start to go away, since redemption prices will rise to meet higher rates.
They’re easing members into this. In 2022 most redemption prices will stay within the same range of current categories which are:
However for about 200 hotels (full list, .pdf) point ranges will go outside of current off-peak and peak pricing. For instance,
- Price ranges will vary by up to 10,000 points more at The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis Langkawi; JW Marriott and Westin Los Cabos; Ritz-Carlton Cancun; Marriott Sanibel Harbour; Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes; Westin Hapuna Beach Resort; W Fort Lauderdale
- Price ranges will vary by up to 20,000 points more at The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa, Mauritius; Le Meridien and Ritz-Carlton Maldives; St. Regis Bora Bora; Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, St. Thomas, and Turks and Caicos; St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort; the Sardinian gems of Cala di Volpe, Hotel Romazzino, and Hotel Pitrizza; Mystique and Santa Marina in the Greek Islands; Gritti Palace in Venice and Mardavall in Mallorca; St. Regis Punta Mita; Al Maha; Phoenician Residences and Canyon Suites; Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, New York Central Park and NoMad; Bachelor Gulch; Kapalua; Lake Tahoe and Naples; St. Regis Aspen, Bal Harbour, Deer Valley and New York; W South Beach
- Price ranges will vary by up to 30,000 points more at Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui; Westin Grand Cayman and St. John; Paris Marriott Champs Elysees; Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe and Paris Vendome; Bodrum and West Hollywood EDITION; The Jaffa Tel Aviv; Grand Bohemian Asheville and Charleston; JW Marriott Essex House and Marco Island Resort; Ritz-Carlton Santa Barbara, Georgetown, Fort Lauderdale, Half Moon Bay, Laguna Niguel and Sarasota; Westin Maui, Westin Princeville Ocean Resort; Wailea Beach Resort.
Al Maha Desert Resort
Moreover “about 40 hotels” in this group of 200 “may rise above the bounds of the previous Category Eight during peak/busier travel times.” We’re going to be seeing 130,000 point per night redemptions.
Marriott emphasizes that it’s ‘only 3%’ of hotels that are going to get more expensive than they can be under current award charts, but in large measure it’s the ones you may actually want to redeem.
Many of the ‘good spots’ in Mexico and the Caribbean, nice hotels in the U.S., values in the Maldives and special places like Al Maha and Cala di Volpe are going to go up and potentially by quite a lot. And that’s just in 2022, when they’re clearly trying to limit the impact members feel right away from this change.
While my read is that in 2023 all gloves are off that is decidedly not Marriott’s narrative. A spokesperson offers,
For stays in 2023, we are focusing on ensuring even our most aspirational properties offer a mix of great rates during the year. Changes in rates for stays in 2023 above or below the high low range for stays in 2022 are planned to be incremental.
Marriott Bonvoy Senior Vice President David Flueck previously shared with me that we’re also going to see prices fluctuate more frequently. When they launched off-peak and peak pricing three years ago, they were adjusting prices about once a month. Going forward it will happen more regularly than just once a month.
The one positive in all of this is that as hotels become more expensive, free night awards become easier to use, and that “by the end of April” it will be possible to top off Free Night Award certificates with up to 15,000 points per night – so a 35,000 point certificate can be used for up to a 50,000 point redemption for instance.