We’ve known the rates, we’ve known they were coming sometime and now we know exactly when. Marriott Bonvoy has revealed September 14 as the date that Peak/Off Peak pricing will take effect for booking free nights with the program. To refresh your memory, here is the Marriott Bonvoy reward night redemption chart now indicating when Peak/Off Peak comes into play.
I guess we’ve been kind of
lucky that it has taken this long for the full chart to be implemented as it was originally revealed way back in April 2018 and we’ve only had to deal with standard rates since then (and not to mention Category 8 Hotels as Category 7 prices for awhile!) Now we have all the details surrounding the Peak/Off Peak Pricing:
- These rates will extend to all 7,000 Marriott Bonvoy participating properties portfolio wide.
- The fewest number of points members will need for a free night stay will be 5,000 when the property is in Off-Peak. Members who redeem a free night for a category 8 property during an Off-Peak time will save up to 15,000 points when compared to the Standard rate.
- Standard rates will continue to start at 7,500 points per night and will be available a majority of the time year-round, throughout the portfolio
- Peak rates will start at 10,000 points per night and are capped at no
more than 15,000 points higher than Standard rates. Even popular
destinations will offer Off-Peak rates during certain times of the year
- A majority of days throughout the year will remain in Standard and there
will be even distribution between Off-Peak and Peak rates portfolio
wide. Although we don’t know what dates at what properties. That you
will only be able to figure out by initiating a booking on Marriott.com or via the Marriott app (hint: you can use the flexible date finder to
see one month at a time)
So what happens if you have already made a reward booking for a stay or stays after September 14 and those nights happen to become Off Peak rates? You are encouraged to cancel your booking and re-book at the lower rate. And what if Peak rates apply? You get to keep whatever rate you originally booked at (the standard rate) however if you make any changes you will then be subject to the Peak pricing.
Cash+Points bookings will also fall under the Peak / Off Peak pricing with a standardized cash amount but varying points amount for Peak/Standard/Off Peak:
Marriott has created some videos to help out with Peak/Off Peak pricing and redeeming for free nights:
The next change comes to Points Advance, the part of the Bonvoy program that allows you to book reward nights even if you don’t have enough points. Essentially you book the reward nights in advance with the premise that you will have enough points in your account when the time comes to stay. Up until September 14th you were locking in the rate and date, the change that is coming only locks in the room for you. So if you book a Points Advance stay at a Category 5 hotel you will get that room but what you will pay in points may vary. At the time of booking the standard rate may be in place but if Peak pricing kicks in for the dates you stay you’ll be paying 40,000 points instead of 35,000. Of course the opposite could happen as well, that Off Peak pricing will apply and you’ll only have to pay 30,000 points. This makes Points Advance more of a speculative booking option – however if points aren’t as much of concern as locking in dates is this feature can still be very useful. They are also changing the number of Points Advance bookings a member can have at one time from five to three. Once again, Marriott has provided a video to help educate members on Points Advance:
The last change coming to the program on September 14 is to the 5th night free benefit. This is the benefit where you book four reward nights and get a fifth night for free. Now the benefit is being renamed “Stay for 5, pay for 4” to take into account Peak and Off Peak pricing. What this means is that if your five night stay happens to have varying points rates they will give you the night with the lowest points requirement for free. For example, if you have five nights at a Category 5 hotel, four are Peak and one is Standard, you will get the Standard night free. What they have essentially done here is protect themselves from someone booking a standard rate for their first four nights followed by a free fifth night at a Peak rate.
That’s about it in a nutshell! What do you think of the latest announcement from Marriott Bonvoy? Tell us below in the comments!