Points Advance, a very popular feature of the Marriott Bonvoy program underwent some changes this week. The changes while appearing negative can actually be viewed as an enhancement for members who have found it difficult to book award night stays at some of the more popular Marriott locations around the globe.
Essentially what Points Advance allowed Marriott Bonvoy members to do was to book award nights without having the full amount of points for those actual stays. The stipulation is that the member must have the amount of points required 14 days prior to check in. This meant you could book a stay six months from now and plan to earn enough points by that 14 day cut off to redeem for the stay. Over the years they have adjusted the feature a few times – nothing major though – until this week when more changes took place.
Points Advance bookings will now be subject to following rules:
- Arrival Date must be 30 or more Days from the Booking Date
have up to 60 days from the time of booking or 14 days prior to arrival
(whichever comes first) to earn enough Points to cover your existing
Points Advance reservations.
made using Points Advance will be held for up to 60 days and will only
be confirmed once the required Points are earned or purchased.
you do not earn or purchase enough Points to cover the reservation
within 60 days, or by 14 days prior to arrival (whichever comes first),
the reservation will be cancelled.
- You can hold up to 3 Points Advance bookings at one time (This is not a new rule)
The major change happening is that you can only hold a Points Advance booking for 60 days before you need to cover it with the full amount of points. So you can still book a Points Advance stay for six months from now but you have the have the full amount of points within 60 days of making that booking (in this example about 4 months before the stay) otherwise the booking will be cancelled.
Here are some examples provided by Marriott:
Marriott explained the reason for these changes is that some Marriott properties were seeing upwards of 25% of all bookings being Points Advance bookings. Then many of those get cancelled as members don’t have enough points to book them plus I’m guessing there are quite a few bookings made speculatively to hold that space and then cancelled. What this creates though is a lack of availability for those members who do or will have enough points for award stays at those properties. So in some ways Marriott is addressing this issue and hopefully it does transpire to there being more availability for award stays in the future.