In March 2022 Marriott officially eliminated award charts. Here’s what their free night award pricing looked like at the time:
Marriott’s move to ‘eliminate’ its award chart was really a play to:
- Reduce transparency
- Change award pricing more frequently, without telling customres
- Hide increased pricing
It turns out that Marriott didn’t actually eliminate award charts they just hid them and raised prices. Seal The Deal Travels discovered that when pulling up award pricing on a hotel, viewing page source will show you “prop_rewards_category_level” and this will give you the category number the hotel is assigned to.
Fortunately Seal The Deal Travels did the work to construct the current Marriott award chart. Back in March I reported that Marriott had started charging up to 150,000 points per night for some hotels. That still seems to be the top price outside of certain Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties.
|Ritz Reserve Zadun
|Ritz Reserve Dorado Beach
Always and everywhere, any time that loyalty programs have eliminated award charts it has been bad for members. Narratives like making more rooms available at lower prices are never true. 100% of the time it’s a way to cut program costs or charge members more for the same thing as before.
It’s especially telling that Marriott still formally has an award chart with category assignments and that these categories are even embedded in hotel listings on its website. They’re just hidden from members to reduce transparency. They could easily still share hotel category assignments, and current price ranges for each, but Bonvoy chooses not to do so.
This helps you understand what category of hotels 35,000; 40,000; 50,000; and 85,000 point Free Night Award hotel certificates will book for you. Each certificate can be topped off with up to 15,000 additional points from your account, a ploy to charge you more for your redemption stays since the cost of those stays has in many cases gone up at least that much. Put another way, it was a mechanism to reduce Marriott costs for the certificates being offered through Chase and American Express co-brand cards.
(HT: Frequent Miler)