Marriott Won’t Even Tell Members When In March They’ll Devalue Points

Marriott is eliminating award charts, but they won’t tell us exactly when. So it’s a secret devaluation. In commenting on the timing on this devaluation the offer,

With the introduction of flexible point redemption rates sometime in March and the elimination of hotel categories, we can no longer offer Travel Packages.

They say it’s coming sometime in March. That’s consistent with the original announcement that award charts would cease in March 2022. Some people have assumed this would mean March 1, 2022. And that’s possible, however a Marriott spokesperson tells me “we haven’t announced the date yet.”

Marriott knows that they are doing this in March. It’s possible they’re not certain when they’ll be ready with the tech in place, but even if that’s the case they could wait until the new anti-customer system is ready and tested and then announce a date, with advance notice, for this to go into effect. There’s no rush, other than reducing program expenses more quickly versus less quickly.

When I spoke to Marriott Senior Vice President David Flueck about the elimination of award charts back in October, he told me we’d see points prices more closely align with room rates.

  • More price points than before. It will no longer be just 8 hotel categories with off-peak, standard, and peak rates.

  • Most hotels won’t fundamentally change price in 2022. What this looks like is that while the category chart goes away “97% of hotels will still range between off-peak and peak through 2022” in other words most hotels aren’t going to change price by orders of magnitude. That’s a promise for only one year, and only about the points range and not about average redemption prices.

    For stays starting in 2023 Marriott will “adjust rates based more closely on hotel rates.” I expect this won’t mean things are… better.

  • More rooms will be available for redemption. Flueck confirmed that the minimum number of rooms a hotel has to provide to the program isn’t changing, so this must be accomplished by raising the price Marriott will pay properties for rooms in some fashion. I’ll have to wait until a hotel shares an updated program guide to see the updated economics here.

    There should also be “more premium rooms available for redemption,” and the Bonvoy program is “working hard with owners to ensure” this. The pricing structure for premium rooms (as an add-on to the base redemption price) won’t change.

  • More rapid price adjustments. No more categories means no more annual category adjustments. Currently dates at hotels move between off-peak, standard, and peak on average monthly. Moving forward we’ll see pricing changes happen more regularly than just once a month, though we’ll see changes in smaller increments than a category adjustment would have meant.

  • 3% of hotels will see big changes right away. Flueck described hotels that have seen significant recovery, higher average daily rates, will be the ones going up – where there’s outsized value in redemption prices relative to room rates. This is “not necessarily the most expensive” hotels, which I take to mean it’s hotels that are operating at close to capacity and where Marriott finds itself paying out override rates for rooms (actual average daily rates instead of discounted redemption rates) often along with pulling in higher than expected room rates.

Making more rooms available for redemption at average value isn’t something that’s going to be good for members. Eliminating the transparency of an award chart, and changing redemption prices more frequently, isn’t something that’s going to be good for members.

The fundamental proposition of points is the possibility of getting outsized value for redemptions.

  • Hotel chains can buy inventory cheaper than guests. That’s doubly true for excess inventory.

  • But guests value the stay at what they’d have paid for it. So the chain can deliver rooms at a discount to members redeeming their points.

  • With fixed or award chart pricing, it makes sense to spend cash when a room is cheap and redeem points when the room is expensive – in other words, getting more value for points.

  • But tying redemption prices to cash means always getting average value, and taking the possibility of outsized value off the table. There’s no more leverage in collecting points, and they’re no longer about making dream stays possible.

Revenue-based redemptions make collecting points more like a punch card, with guests earning a straight rebate on their hotel spend or card spend. And who would accept earning 2 points per dollar on a Marriott co-brand if each point is just going to get you $0.006 apiece? That’s a 1.2% rebate card, which is hardly competitive in today’s marketplace.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Look for Marriott to duplicate what they’ve done with most of the Homes & Villas points redemptions. Those are priced based on the cash price and equate to $0.006/point. Yes 6/10 of a cent.

  2. The Marriott claim that 97% whatever won’t change in 2022 is something I doubt to be relevant to most Marriott members wanting to redeem points for hotel stays. Instead I expect that the “3%” change could become something that badly hits the vast majority of big point holders redeeming Marriott points for hotel nights after the “3%” change is fully in place later this year.

  3. Hopefully we can still just transfer all points for miles. Maybe that is a better value than room redemptions moving forward.

  4. Gary, just as secret, they’ve also only said “early 2022” for when we’ll be able to use points to top up a free night certificate (e.g. 35K cert plus 5K points for a 40K redemption). I’m really hoping this comes before the devaluation does, since I fear that 40K pricing may jump significantly. The silence is maddening.

  5. Jorge, you are correct. If someone is worrying about this benefit or that benefit, the person is still playing the game. But, it’s their game. And, article after article has demonstrated a pattern of continually making hotel loyalty programs worth less and less to members. People need to find a different path and move on.

  6. I am so sick and tired of the way Marriott has taken away from their Loyal members..I am a member for 25 years..Marriott has become greedy and could care less about us..I have lost my respect for them…

  7. It is a fact of life that, under the influence of “market forces”, prices of various commodities (including room rates) in Almighty USD or in any other hard currency change dynamically, why then bitch when the same sound economic principles are applied to points currencies?! Inquiring minds wanna know…

    Marriott is eliminating award charts, but they won’t tell us exactly when. So it’s a secret devaluation.

    As one who almost invariably has a different take on many loyalty-related issues, I am not at all sure that I agree with the enunciated and prevalent notion that dynamic award pricing, for which Hilton Honors is a case study, is synonymous with or automatically spells ‘devaluation’.

    Hilton Honors has had dynamic award pricing since 2017, a time span during which I redeemed 4 weeks of award stays at Hilton hotels in N and SE Asia at the end of every year, until the pandemic hit in early 2020. Based on that experience, I’ve seen no evidence of a substantial “devaluation” due to either dynamic award pricing or the demise of the Hilton Honors award chart. Standard awards are still capped at 95K/night, except at WA Maldives and WA Los Cabos, just two highly “aspirational” properties that were not commissioned until after the demise of the award chart, where standard awards can cost as high as 150K/night. Moreover, award costs at most properties still do not exceed their pre-dynamic pricing maxima, and vary, if at all, within +/- 10%-15% of those maxima. Premium awards, on the other hand, are the ones that Hilton varies almost in synchrony with revenue room rates, and there is a reason for it too: if a premium room is available for booking with cash, it is always bookable with points — lots and lots of points.

    Why then is there a general “feeling” that Hilton awards cost more because of dynamic pricing? The first reason is that, without any evidence, self-anointed “travel gurus” automatically began equating, as soon as it was introduced, dynamic award pricing with “devaluation”, and have convinced themselves and others of that equality, as is explicit in this post. More generally, I believe that with the HH award chart gone and suspecting a “secret devaluation” as a result, people started to check award availability only at a Hilton most ‘aspirational’ properties, like WA Maldives, WA Cabos or a few others, and finding only or mostly ‘premium’ awards that can cost millions of points per night, they’ve concluded that there has been a huge “devaluation”.

    However, lack of standard awards availability at the chain’s most “aspirational” properties, which number in single digits out of more than 6k hotels, a devaluation does not make or prove because those same ‘aspirational’ properties that show only the availability of ‘premium’ awards requiring millions of points per night would simply have shown no availability at all if Hilton still had its award chart, just like in any other program! Which is more annoying between no availability of standard awards or the availability of only premium awards costing millions of points per night is for each person to decide, but I see the two situations as being identical.

    I urge anyone who believes that there has been a “devaluation” or shortage of good HH awards based on the lack availability at WA Maldives or WA Los Cabos to play with Hilton’s “Points Explorer” utility [1] that enables award costs and availability to be searched in whole cities or countries in one shot (be sure to reset all filters!)… then call me in the morning.

    Remember: it is generally best to plan one’s vacations based on where one would truly like to go than on hyped-up standards about must-achieve redemption “values” of points, which most do not even know the first thing about. No, you do not have to go to the Maldives or to Bora Bora to have a memorable vacation…

    [1] Link provided in next comment.

  8. Gary writes: “however a Marriott spokesperson tells me ‘we haven’t announced the date yet.'” They’ll announce the date on the date it happens, no doubt.

  9. Hotel chain masquerading as one massive crime wave
    When I was in hospitality school many years ago Marriott was thought too be the the most respectful trustworthy hotel company in the world
    Their reputation has crumbled and their founders are turning over in their grave.

  10. With my next Marriott stay, I’ll reach Lifetime Gold…good enough for me. I will be shifting my loyalty elsewhere.

  11. We should respond to secret devaluations by putting Marriott on Double Secret Probation.

  12. @fatboyphilly – LOL. I didn’t say that Marriott had a great loyalty program by any stretch, just that not so many years ago they acted with integrity on pretty much everything. Now they just try to find ways to weasel customers – particularly engaged loyalty members – instead of striving to draw business by showing that they’re worthy of your loyalty. It’s really rather pitiful how they’ve become such a nasty piece of work.

  13. Marriott doesn’t want to tell customers because they don’t want us booking at the old rates. Marriott lies to customers. Surely, it must also lie to investors. When are the investors going to start asking tough questions?

  14. @dwondermeant: I think the Marriott founders are physically unable to turn over in their graves. To help increase profitability and reduce corporate overhead, I believe the current Marriott management double-booked all the executive casket space that had an ocean view. Instead of further reducing corporate expense by overbooking dead executives in one grave, the Marriott cemetery could be repurposed to a beautiful new Motel 6, where Accor management, a world-leading hotel group in hospitality, will at least, leave the light on for you (and them).

  15. I’m on a mission to burn through all of my points before devaluation. I have a chase card with them but will get that switched to another product. Marriott’s no bonvoy is going nearly useless much like Hilton unless they start quadrupling the points given to make up for devaluation. Hilton gives away insane amounts of points but it also costs insane amounts of points per night. If Marriott starts giving away tons of points it might still have some value. But at the current rates and “earn extra points every other stay starting with your second stay…” games they do there will be little value to Bonvoy.

  16. @ChadMC – Your entire preceding comment is ignorant. Please read my long comment above and be enlightened about that purported “devaluation” that you see coming, and most certainly about those Hilton awards that cost “insane amounts of points per night” when the program’s standard awards still cost about the same as they did 4-5 years ago.

    G’day.

  17. The change coming in March to allow up to 15,000 points to be supplemented to the Chase certificates that max out at 35,000 was going to give access to lots of 50,000 point properties. Especially helpful in NYC. I bet Marriot jiggers the present 35,000 point properties so not many such opportunities remain.

  18. Ah, more personal attacks and blind defense from DCS when it comes to any possible criticism of his beloved Hilton. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    @DCS: “Please read my long comment above and be enlightened about that purported “devaluation” that you see coming, and most certainly about those Hilton awards that cost “insane amounts of points per night” when the program’s standard awards still cost about the same as they did 4-5 years ago.”

    Except for the fact that this isn’t necessarily true – Hilton’s awards, since they fall within a range (based on the point explorer link that DCS more than happily provides) only have a minimum and a maximum award rate. He has provided absolutely no evidence whatsoever about how any particular award prices on any different day within that range.

    Translated, just because an award fell anywhere between 65,000 and 95,000 points four years ago, and it still falls between that range today, that doesn’t mean that the actual award cost doesn’t trend closer to 95,000 points today, when it might have trended closer to 65,000 points four years ago.

    Even ignoring that aspect of it, DCS claiming that standard awards cost about the same today as they did “four or five years ago” is also false. He conveniently seems to have forgotten about Hilton making significant award changes back in June of 2019 – with absolutely no notice whatsoever – in which Hilton adjusted the ranges at many of its properties.

    While people at the time focused on the properties where the maximum end of the range was increased (about 1,000 hotels, or 18 percent of the portfolio, saw the maximum award cost increase by 5,000 to 10,000 points per night), the more significant (and more sneaky) cost increase came at the lower end – just over half of the properties (2,850 or so, out of 5,500) increased their *minimum* redemption amount.

    And of those 2,850 hotels, nearly a fifth of them increased their minimum redemption amount to be equal to the maximum amount.

    Add those two things together, and it resulted in point changes at about 65 percent of Hilton properties that increased either the minimum or maximum cost of a standard award. Though there were also about 15 percent of properties that changed their minimum or maximum as well, it is still patently absurd for DCS to assert that Hilton has not changed the average cost of an award since 2017, given this change in 2019.

    https://onemileatatime.com/hilton-honors-devaluation/

  19. I was going to ignore good ol’ Mikey’s entire comment that seems to make him quite proud of himself, because every single one of his objections therein is utterly stupid. Really. However, I will respond because they present me with the opportunity to illustrate the veracity of the points I made in my long comment above that @Mikey tried to debunk and, yet again, failed miserably.

    @Mikey wrote:

    @DCS: “Please read my long comment above and be enlightened about that purported “devaluation” that you see coming, and most certainly about those Hilton awards that cost “insane amounts of points per night” when the program’s standard awards still cost about the same as they did 4-5 years ago.”

    Except for the fact that this isn’t necessarily true – Hilton’s awards, since they fall within a range (based on the point explorer link that DCS more than happily provides) only have a minimum and a maximum award rate. He has provided absolutely no evidence whatsoever about how any particular award prices on any different day within that range.

    Translated, just because an award fell anywhere between 65,000 and 95,000 points four years ago, and it still falls between that range today, that doesn’t mean that the actual award cost doesn’t trend closer to 95,000 points today, when it might have trended closer to 65,000 points four years ago.

    The only problem, Mikey, is that you missed the whole point about why I recommended Hilton’s Points Explorer utility (now I suspect other ignoramuses just like you missed the point as well).

    What you are objecting to (i.e., “just because an award fell anywhere between 65,000 and 95,000 points four years ago, and it still falls between that range today, that doesn’t mean that the actual award cost doesn’t trend closer to 95,000 points today, when it might have trended closer to 65,000 points four years ago”) is precisely why the Points Explorer is such a powerful tool!!!

    All you needed to do was to select or click one of those links that showed award cost ranges and then that would have taken you to precisely what you accused it of not doing!!! It would have displayed monthly calendars showing daily award costs for up to 11-12 months from now. Just do it correctly and you will see how stupid that comment is.

    Second, you posted a link to a discussion at OMAAT in 2019 where I seemed to acknowledge that Hilton award costs had increased. That is something else that differentiates me from self-anointed “travel gurus” and from air-head pontificators in need of attention like you. It did bother me greatly that things did not seem to work as they should have, so I investigated. It turned out to be just a misreading of the search results. We are used to premium awards costing many thousands or millions of points. But guess what? That is a gross misreading of the search results because premium awards do not have to cost thousands or millions of points per night! Most awards that fall significantly outside of their maxima before the demise of the award chart will be classified as premium awards. You won’t believe me unless I present incontrovertible evidence about it, so I will provide a link to a screen capture that supports what I just stated (you can even do the search yourself if you can figure out how to use the Points Explorer correctly).

    Shanghai, PRC, is one of my favorite award redemption destinations. So, whenever I want to figure out certain things about the cost of awards, my searches usually start with Hilton hotels there, which is what I did before posting the long comment above that unhinged you, yet again. Anyway, my recent search of HH hotels in the city revealed 13 hotels, including high-end ones like WA Shanghai on the Bund, where I have redeemed awards stays since 2015, and what appears like a brand new Conrad Shanghai that I can’t wait to check out. To make a long story short, I took things beyond the step where you did not figure out that one needed to go to get the full picture, and checked the availability of wards for 12 months at all 13 hotels. What I found were awards galore at all 13 properties, with costs at or below their previous category maxima.

    Now, here’s the punch line. Award stays at DoubleTree by Hilton Shanghai Nanxiang[1] are shown as costing between 15K and 278K points per night. Sounds awful, right? Then when one takes the step that you failed to take and looks at the actual daily rates for months, one sees exactly what is gong on, which is that despite the wide range of award costs, standard awards at this property covered only the range that was within a few tens of percent of their pre-dynamic pricing costs, exactly as I said they would. Then, once the award costs get out of that range, they are classified as premium. In short, at DoubleTree by Hilton Shanghai Nanxiang, awards that cost just 41K points/night are classified a premium awards!!! [1].

    Lastly, my playing with the Points Explorer did pay off big-time for me. Do you know of those reports that say that the only awards that seem to be available at WA Maldives cost over 1M points/night? Well, they are all true…from now until December 2022. Then, I ventured into January 2023, and lo and behold, there were several consecutive days with standard awards (120K and/or 150K HH/night) available![2] Without hesitating, I grabbed a 5-night award stay for January 17-22, 2023, that will cost me just 120K HH/night[2] for 5 nights for a total of 480K HH points (5th night free, saving me 120K points), and a redemption value of 2 cents/HH point, which is like getting 6 cents WoH point!

    Your stool still has three legs, which means that coming after me remains very stupid because you do not have what it takes to present a viable challenge.

    G’day.

    In next comment:
    [1] Link to image showing premium awards cost of just 41K HH/night.
    [2] Link to image showing availability standard awards at WA Maldives Ithaafushi.

  20. DCS’s latest “rebuttal” (if you want to call it that) is typical DCS. It’s full of personal attacks and insults, because he perceives any sort of disagreement with him as a personal attack, and responds to said disagreements with narcissistic rage.

    He misrepresents and distorts arguments in order to ensure that he is never wrong.

    He avoids real arguments, instead nitpicking tiny issues and attacking those.

    He cherry-picks statistics and tries to prove points based on observations and anecdotes, rather than real data.

    So let’s go through his screed point by point.

    @DCS: “The only problem, Mikey, is that you missed the whole point about why I recommended Hilton’s Points Explorer utility (now I suspect other ignoramuses just like you missed the point as well).”

    Nice personal attack there, DCS. It is especially funny that you’d throw the word “ignoramuses” in there in the middle of your misrepresentation of my argument, seeing that you’re the one who intentionally misrepresented my argument for the sole purpose of making me look bad.

    @DCS: “What you are objecting to (i.e., “just because an award fell anywhere between 65,000 and 95,000 points four years ago, and it still falls between that range today, that doesn’t mean that the actual award cost doesn’t trend closer to 95,000 points today, when it might have trended closer to 65,000 points four years ago”) is precisely why the Points Explorer is such a powerful tool!!!

    All you needed to do was to select or click one of those links that showed award cost ranges and then that would have taken you to precisely what you accused it of not doing!!! It would have displayed monthly calendars showing daily award costs for up to 11-12 months from now. Just do it correctly and you will see how stupid that comment is.”

    I’d highly suggest you read what I wrote again. I know fully well that Points Explorer will show what the daily award costs are for a hotel today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or at any point between now and the beginning of next year. I never disputed that.

    My dispute, which you are intentionally avoiding (because you can’t ever admit that you’re wrong), is that it in no way proves your original assertion – that the award costs today are largely the same as they were four or five years ago. The only thing that it will do is show what the costs are today.

    The crux of my argument really didn’t hinge on this issue, because I can’t definitely prove that the award costs today are at the same point within the minimum/maximum range as they were four years ago or not.

    My point is simple: YOU CAN’T PROVE IT, EITHER. The point cost for a hotel in Points Explorer for any given night only is an observation of what the cost is now, or at any point between now and the end of the search range. It makes no observation of that these costs were in the past.

    For you to claim, somehow, that Points Explorer is somehow the magical bullet that incontrovertibly proves that there has been no devaluation of awards since 2017, is patently absurd – not only because it provides zero proof of that claim, but also because it’s a claim that I never made in the first place.

    The claim that I did make, though, is the one that you decided to obfuscate and misrepresent.

    @DCS: “Second, you posted a link to a discussion at OMAAT in 2019 where I seemed to acknowledge that Hilton award costs had increased. That is something else that differentiates me from self-anointed “travel gurus” and from air-head pontificators in need of attention like you. It did bother me greatly that things did not seem to work as they should have, so I investigated. It turned out to be just a misreading of the search results.”

    The reason why I linked that OMAAT article had to do with the change in the minimum and maximum award costs for Hilton properties that was made (with no notice) back in June of 2019. It didn’t have to do with you at all, DCS – again, not everything is about you.

    The reason why that article was significant was exactly because of the reasons I stated in my first post here – Hilton chose to increase either the minimum or maximum point cost (or both) for standard awards at nearly two-thirds of its properties. There was, at the time, a focus on the maximum award cost increasing at about 18 percent of the properties, so it was deemed to be a relatively minor change.

    What no one really focused on, though, was something that I raised in the comments of that post – the fact that the minimum award cost increased at about half of the properties in the portfolio at the time (as well as having the minimum increase to equal the maximum at about 10 percent of the total portfolio). This is where the net increase occurred – because for about half of the portfolio, the price was going to increase at the points where awards were going to be the cheapest.

    I will grant that it is possible that, at many of these properties, they would have never been pricing the awards at the lowest end of the range anyway. But since no one here can do a property-by-property comparison of award costs back in 2017 versus award costs today (which is what the data in Points Explorer would require), it merely takes a comparison of the ranges back then versus the ranges today – *which changed back in June of 2019, as clearly noted in that OMAAT article* – to show that DCS’s assertion that there has been no devaluation in the past five years is blatantly and ridiculously false.

    And why would we even limit the range for the devaluation of Honors points to just 2017 anyway, DCS? Why is it not fair game to show the devaluation of Honors points since 2015, or 2013, or earlier, such as I’ve done several times (and which you’ve attacked me for previously)?

    But that raises an even more fundamental question – why do you insist on insulting and attacking people who think that an Honors point isn’t worth as much as you think it is?

    @DCS: “We are used to premium awards costing many thousands or millions of points. But guess what? That is a gross misreading of the search results because premium awards do not have to cost thousands or millions of points per night! Most awards that fall significantly outside of their maxima before the demise of the award chart will be classified as premium awards. You won’t believe me unless I present incontrovertible evidence about it, so I will provide a link to a screen capture that supports what I just stated (you can even do the search yourself if you can figure out how to use the Points Explorer correctly).”

    First, the subtle personal attack at the end (insinuating that I’m probably too stupid to figure out how to use Points Explorer) is typical DCS, but it’s a nice touch to slide it in there.

    Second, at many points in arguments, DCS starts trying to move the goalposts so that he can never be proven wrong, and this is the point in this “argument” where he starts doing just that. The issue of premium awards is completely irrelevant to the argument – he never raised it before, and I didn’t raise it in my rebuttal, because we have always been talking about the cost of a standard award.

    Standard award ranges were the basis for my arguments, especially relating to the award range changes back in June of 2019. I never raised the issue of premium awards, so for him to do that here – as if I’m using premium awards to make my case here about point devaluation – is pretty intellectually dishonest of him to do here, because it’s an argument I never made.

    @DCS: “Shanghai, PRC, is one of my favorite award redemption destinations. So, whenever I want to figure out certain things about the cost of awards, my searches usually start with Hilton hotels there, which is what I did before posting the long comment above that unhinged you, yet again. Anyway, my recent search of HH hotels in the city revealed 13 hotels, including high-end ones like WA Shanghai on the Bund, where I have redeemed awards stays since 2015, and what appears like a brand new Conrad Shanghai that I can’t wait to check out. To make a long story short, I took things beyond the step where you did not figure out that one needed to go to get the full picture, and checked the availability of wards for 12 months at all 13 hotels. What I found were awards galore at all 13 properties, with costs at or below their previous category maxima.

    Now, here’s the punch line. Award stays at DoubleTree by Hilton Shanghai Nanxiang[1] are shown as costing between 15K and 278K points per night. Sounds awful, right? Then when one takes the step that you failed to take and looks at the actual daily rates for months, one sees exactly what is gong on, which is that despite the wide range of award costs, standard awards at this property covered only the range that was within a few tens of percent of their pre-dynamic pricing costs, exactly as I said they would. Then, once the award costs get out of that range, they are classified as premium. In short, at DoubleTree by Hilton Shanghai Nanxiang, awards that cost just 41K points/night are classified a premium awards!!!”

    These two paragraphs here are nothing more than DCS cherry-picking data to try and prove a point – as if the fact that, somehow, single observations of dates at thirteen hotels over fixed dates in one location at some point in the future, and observing that the award costs are below their maximum, somehow proves that award costs over thousands of hotels in the portfolio are static since 2017.

    DCS likes doing this, though – there are a lot of occasions where he’s taken observations at a handful of hotels and used them to prove things, such as the times he’s tried to tell me that you can use the Diamond Force on an award (even though it’s specifically prohibited under Honors T&Cs) because he saw one example of it at a hotel back in 2018.

    Or the times where he’s argued that Hilton didn’t devalue the cash+points changes from 2017 – when they changed to the current sliding scale that Hilton uses today for those awards – by showing examples of seven hotels (out of more than 5,000) to try and prove his point. Even though a simple observation of the old system (where the C+P award was 40 percent of the standard award, plus a cash component that was usually less than 50 percent of the going rate) must necessarily be a devaluation of the award, since you have to pay more than 50 percent of the room rate if you only want to use 40 percent of the point rate; or more than 50 percent of the point rate, if you want to pay less than 50 percent of the room rate.

    The worst part of all of this is that DCS is a professor at an Ivy League university, and he is a published researcher – he’s a very intelligent person, and I have no doubts that he’s good at what he does for a living. For someone who does this for a living, though, to rely on statistics that are basically equivalent to a coin flip in order to prove his points – when I highly doubt he is that cavalier with his research in his real life – makes me believe that this is just his NPD – and his absolute desire to always be right – driving the bus here.

    And once you even get past the whole “the plural of anecdote is not data” issue, he’s trying to double down on that straw man argument he built regarding premium awards versus standard awards, with an additional fixation on Points Explorer (which wasn’t the basis for my argument, and which does nothing to prove his, either).

    @DCS: “Lastly, my playing with the Points Explorer did pay off big-time for me. Do you know of those reports that say that the only awards that seem to be available at WA Maldives cost over 1M points/night? Well, they are all true…from now until December 2022. Then, I ventured into January 2023, and lo and behold, there were several consecutive days with standard awards (120K and/or 150K HH/night) available![2] Without hesitating, I grabbed a 5-night award stay for January 17-22, 2023, that will cost me just 120K HH/night[2] for 5 nights for a total of 480K HH points (5th night free, saving me 120K points), and a redemption value of 2 cents/HH point, which is like getting 6 cents WoH point!”

    This is a complete non sequitur, where we not only have him using personal anecdotes as evidence of some universal truth, but we get the additional bonus of him trying to compare the values of points across chains (something that is especially amusing, considering that he usually starts attacking people when they do similar comparisons).

    @DCS: “Your stool still has three legs, which means that coming after me remains very stupid because you do not have what it takes to present a viable challenge.”

    If you want to conclude with a personal attack, DCS, then you should consider one that actually makes sense, because this one frankly doesn’t. Unless, of course, you’re going to gaslight everyone into believing that a three-legged stool can’t properly balance.

    And next time, if you want to have a debate, try actually sticking to the facts that are presented, rather than creating your own.

  21. @DCS – Just admit that you got schooled and try again next time. You lost this one and it wasn’t even close.

  22. @Mikey wrote:

    Except for the fact that this isn’t necessarily true – Hilton’s awards, since they fall within a range (based on the point explorer link that DCS more than happily provides) only have a minimum and a maximum award rate. He has provided absolutely no evidence whatsoever about how any particular award prices on any different day within that range.

    He was clueless and had to be schooled on using the simplest of search tools, and now he comes with yet another fact-free, long dissertation that I won’t bother reading because I am only too keenly aware of where that leads. He will just get more unhinged.

    You lose, again. Crawl back into the hole where you’ve been hiding of late. You belong there.

    Goodbye, Mikey.

  23. @Christian — Wishful thinking. You would know nothing about “schooling” anyone because you are just as clueless as @Mikey, maybe even more so…

    Learn to use the Hilton Honors Points Explorer, and you might just get smarter than @Mikey. Who knows? You might even luck out, as I did, and find 15 consecutive nights of standard awards at WA Maldives and grab 5 of them with the 5th totally free, as I did, before they are all converted to premium awards, as just happened in less than 12 hours!!!

    I am outta here.

    G’day.

  24. @DCS: “He was clueless and had to be schooled on using the simplest of search tools, and now he comes with yet another fact-free, long dissertation that I won’t bother reading because I am only too keenly aware of where that leads. He will just get more unhinged.”

    Not only are you projecting again, DCS, you’re thoroughly embarrassing yourself more and more every time you open your mouth.

  25. @Mike – His “You’re wrong but I’m not.” Is simply a rephrasing of “I know you are but what am I?”. It’s so ridiculous and petulant that I’m simultaneously awed and vastly amused. Maybe as an encore he’ll hold his breath, just to teach us a lesson.

  26. So what is the play here? Move to cap one card providing points and/or dollars back across all brands and call it a day?

    I still value the late check out and other perks but the continual devaluation of points (as this article notes and many others have as well) makes me care less about trying for a marriott stay over another brand anymore. In many cases, the marriott properties offered are inferior anyway.

    Just wondering what those who have said OK im done have moved on to.

    Thanks

  27. I am canceling all three of my Marriott cards. I cannot use the certificates in SoCal where I live. They have doubled the points requirements on every hotel!!! I am soooo pissed after being so loyal for sooo long,

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