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I have written about this previously, but it is worth reminding readers that Marriott Bonvoy will be implementing peak / off-peak award pricing on 14 September, 2019.
It is perfectly reasonable to expect that popular hotels will cost more points at peak demand times. To be honest, we’re crossing our fingers that certain popular hotels won’t be allowed to implement year-round peak date pricing!
The only way to avoid this situation is to book your Marriott reward stays now! This will allow you to take advantage of current award pricing for whatever travel dates you might have in mind.
Unfortunately, if you change dates after 14 September, you will be subject to whatever the new award pricing is at the time of your changes. So you’ll want to have a pretty firm idea of your travel dates. Moreover, Points Advance is now useless – you cannot use it to lock in award prices. (click here for details)
Of course, the upside is that you might miraculously find that award prices decrease for stays you have booked. If that is the case, you can cancel and rebook after the 14th. So… anything you book today is like a one-way bet. You win if the price goes down. You won’t care if the price goes up!
Remind Us of the New Award Chart…
All Marriott Bonvoy hotels are allocated to one of eight award categories. Within these award categories individual hotels will be able to decide which dates fall into “off-peak”, “standard” and “peak”.
The Bottom Line
This new award chart concept was published back in August 2018 during the implementation of the new Marriott Bonvoy, so it should come as no surprise… However unless Marriott stops individual hotels from abusing the opportunity to charge peak date prices for the vast majority of the year –> we’re looking at a substantial devaluation. Cross your fingers and do whatever you can to prebook any planned holiday stays…