Recall of Marriott Bonvoy's changes
Since September 14, 2019, here is the price schedule for an overnight stay according to the hotel category:
A night can cost between 5,000 points (category 1 hotel in low season) and 100,000 points (category 8 hotel in high season).
How are the seasons determined?
We would have thought that low/high-season rates would be determined based on the geographical location of the hotels. It will be more complicated… and unpredictable.
- The low/high-season rate will be different from one hotel to another, even if they are located in the same city or region
- The hotel does not have control of this rate: it is Marriott Bonvoy who will decide the rate via an algorithm
- This price will not be set in stone: it will be adjusted every month
- Most dates will be at the standard rate .. . on the entire portfolio (which may mean that some hotels have more high-season rates like in the Maldives for example).
- For stays of 5 nights or more, the 5th night free will actually be the cheapest in points (if the rate is different from one night to the next). The option is renamed“Stay 5 nights at the price of 4”
In fact, it can happen that in a same week, a hotel is categorized in 3 ways:
- Low season fare
- Standard fare
- High season rate
Here’s an example with SpringHill Suites Orlando at Flamingo Crossings/Western Entrance,very close to Walt Disney World.
SpringHill Suites Orlando at Flamingo Crossings/Western Entrance is a Category 4 hotel and during the same week, 3 rates are in effect:
- 20,000 points (low season)
- 25,000 points (standard)
- 30,000 points (high season)
How do I browse a hotel's rate schedule?
To browse the hotel’s rate schedule, you will have to search with “flexible dates” on marriott Bonvoy’s website:
Stay 5 nights at the price of 4
With the introduction of low/high-season rates, it is now the cheapest night in points on your 5-night stay that will be free.
So, using the example of SpringHill Suites Orlando at Flamingo Crossings/Western Entrance,if you arrive on November 3, 2019 for a 5-night stay, this will result in:
- November 3rd: 20,000 points – low-season
- November 4: 25,000 points – standard
- November 5: 25,000 points – standard
- November 6: 30,000 points – high season
- November 7: 30,000 points – high season
This stay will then cost 110,000 points instead of 130,000 points (since the cheapest night at 20,000 points will be free).
The free one-night certificate worth 35,000 points
With the introduction of the low/high-season rate, you can use this certificate hotels in Category 1 to 4 in all seasons.
On the other hand, for hotels in Category 5 in category it will be possible to use the certificate for the low season rate (30,000 points) or standard (35,000 points).
But it will not be possible to use it if the hotel in Category 5 is in high season rate (40,000 points).
Marriott Bonvoy’s points advance is used to “block a room” but not to “block a rate.”
This means that this option allows you to ensure that the room will be available with the points. On the other hand, as long as you haven’t paid for it with your points, the rate will change between low-season/standard/high-season.
And it is possible to make a points advance for up to 5 bookings.
How do I adjust your rate online?
To the surprise of the facebook group members, Marriott Bonvoy simplified the work to adjust the rate for those who had already applied points for a booking (excluding points advance).
As indicated by Gab G., it is possible to edit your booking and update it if you find that the rate is more advantageous for you!
However, for this option to be present, rooms must always be available for booking with points.
To proceed you will need to go on your reservation and click “change the room”:
If a room is available with points, you will be able to see the current rates. In this case, the rate is cheaper for the whole stay: 80,000 points instead of 100,000 points.
All you have to do is click“refresh”:
A confirmation screen will be used to let you know that the points will be credited back to your account.
And here is the updated booking in the account at the rate of 80,000 points instead of 100,000 points.
Here’s another example of booking from 150,000 points to 130,000 points thanks to low-season rates.
How to honor a points advance over the phone?
For those who have made reservations via the points advance BEFORE September 14, 2019,it is possible to ask Marriott Bonvoy to honour the current rate (standard rate) or to request an adjustment to the low-season rate if it is applicable.
To do this, call Marriott Bonvoy at 1-800-535-4028 or via the online chat(which may appear on this page).
Looking for sweet spots!
It will be up to everyone to look for sweet spots (i.e. good deals) in the Marriott Bonvoy program!
To help you, we have put together a map of all hotels by rate category! (Click on the square at the top right to open it fully).
There are many hotels in Category 1 to 3 around the world
Here is a sweet spot we found in Indonesia at Four Points by Sheraton Manado which is classified in category 1. Here are the rates for June 2020:
By making a 12-night stay from June 3, we benefit from:
- low-season rate on 12 nights
- 2 free nights (1 free night for every 5 nights).
Confirmation on the final screen:
While the cash rate would have been 12,538,938 IDR!
That’s close to CA$ 1,200 at the rate of the day (or 100 CA$ per night)!
In fact low/high-season rates, Marriott Bonvoy has just introduced a dynamic pricing schedule. This allows Marriott Bonvoy to adjust its rates based on hotel traffic.
It has become much more difficult to plan stays by setting a goal of points to achieve as we recommend in our game plans.
It will therefore be necessary to constantly monitor:
- the rates of Marriott Bonvoy hotels you want to stay in
- bookings made to try to get a better price