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Marriott Bonvoy: Elite Status Extension & Award Chart Eliminated in 2022

To the point

Marriott Bonvoy has announced changes such as elite status extension to 2022 but also eliminating its hotel categories.

Marriott Bonvoy will extend the Elite Status and deadlines for some of its member benefits for 2022. However, the hotel program is also announcing a major concerning change for points redemption. Let’s start with the bad news.

Negative change

Marriott Bonvoy Flexible Point Redemption Rates: Dynamic pricing

Until now, hotels of the Marriott Bonvoy program were splitted into 8 categories, themselves subdivided into 3 rates (off peak, standard, peak).

A free hotel night could therefore cost between 5,000 points (category 1 hotel – off peak reate) and 100,000 points (category 8 hotel – peak rate).

Category Off peak Standard Peak
1 5 000 7 500 10 000
2 10 000 12 500 15 000
3 15 000 17 500 20 000
4 20 000 25 000 30 000
5 30 000 35 000 40 000
6 40 000 50 000 60 000
7 50 000 60 000 70 000
8 70 000 85 000 100 000

As of March 2022, Marriott Bonvoy will no longer display hotel categories or seasonal rates. It is the introduction of a dynamic pricing model. And this is VERY bad news that can be described as a devaluation of the program.

Indeed, hotel point rates will closely follow cash rates. Marriott Bonvoy assures that there will be minimum and maximum point rates, without specifying what that will be: the surprise will be revealed in March 2022 when the award chart will disappear.

Take for example this hotel in the Maldives that has been getting a lot of press for being a category 5 hotel available from as little as 30,000 points per night (or even 24,000 points per night for a 5-night stay in off peak season).

Here, in this example in peak season, we have 4 hotels of category 5-6-7-8.

maldives marriott bonvoy fr

By doing a quick points valuation calculation, it’s easy to see why Marriott Bonvoy wants to get rid of hotel categories to dynamically adjust the points cost based on the public price:

Hotel Category Points Dollar Value per point
Le Méridien 5 40 000 $804 2 cents
Sheraton 6 60 000 $581 0.9 cents
The Westin 7 70 000 $788 1.1 cents
JW Marriott 8 100 000 $1,516 1.5 cents

In this famous Le Meridien, we get a value of 2 cents per point in this case. At the Sheraton, it’s 0.9 cents per point.

If Marriott Bonvoy decides to give each point a fixed value of 0.9 cents (a value we estimate), here’s what the rates would look like:

Hotel Points Dollar Value per point
Le Méridien 89 333 $804 0.9 cents
Sheraton 64 555 $581 0.9 cents
The Westin 87 555 $788 0.9 cents
JW Marriott 168 444 $1,516 0.9 cents

Let us hope that there will be capped rates to avoid such costs.

Of course, we can find situations where this type of change will be positive. For example, in a large city in the low season when the points fare had no measure of the fare paid (we have seen this especially during the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic).

humaniti bas tarif marriott bonvoy

But this type of situation is not likely to occur often, unless you visit a destination in the off-season.

Positive changes

Elite Status Extension

Marriott Bonvoy will extend the current Elite status of all its members until February 2023.

Marriott Bonvoy had already extended the 2019 and 2020 Elite Status to February 2022.

This is good news for those who had not stayed at a Marriott Bonvoy hotel this year. Their status is self-renewing as of 2019. However, it is a shame for those who worked hard this year to maintain their Elite status. Let’s hope Marriott Bonvoy does like this year (offering Elite Night Credits counting for lifetime status).

For Ambassador Elite members, Marriott had reduced the spending threshold this year from $20,000 to $14,000. As of January 1, 2022, it will revert to $20,000 and the 100 annual qualifying night requirement will remain in place.

Expiration of points

Marriott Bonvoy had earlier announced that the expiration of points would be suspended until March 31, 2022. The new date is now December 31, 2022.

However, if your account has been inactive for at least 24 months at that time, your points will expire.

Suite Night Awards

Suite Night Awards are extended to June 30, 2022.

Previously, they had been extended until December 31, 2021.

Free Night Award

Again, there will be an extension.

If you had a free night award that would have expired between January 03, 2022 and June 29, 2022, the new expiration date will be June 30, 2022.

A free night award is earned through promotions, a choice of member benefits or with a Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit card.

Combine points with a Free Night Award

Early 2022, it will be possible to combine the Free Night Award with points (up to 15,000 points). This is great news for Marriott Bonvoy credit cardmembers.

Until now, it was only possible to use a certificate for a free hotel night with a maximum value of 35,000 points. So you were able to use it in category 1 to category 5 hotels (except in peak season for this category):

Category Off peak Standard Peak
1 5 000 7 500 10 000
2 10 000 12 500 15 000
3 15 000 17 500 20 000
4 20 000 25 000 30 000
5 30 000 35 000 40 000
6 40 000 50 000 60 000
7 50 000 60 000 70 000
8 70 000 85 000 100 000

From now on, it will be possible to use a Free Night Award (35,000 points) and to add points up to a total value of 50,000 points (i.e. up to 15,000 points more).

This is also good news for members with a Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status who opt for an annual benefit of one free night for hotels up to 40,000 points in value. With this change, they will be able to use up to 15,000 points to get a free night up to a total value of 55,000 points.

Conclusion

So Marriott Bonvoy has announced good news for most members with Elite status who have not been able to travel in the last two years. Their 2019 Elite status will be retained for 2022, and free night awards are extended.

However, alongside this good news, Marriott Bonvoy also slipped in some very bad news with this introduction of a 100% dynamic pricing. Once again, the adage “earn & burn” makes sense: if you have Marriott Bonvoy points and a planned stay in the next year, use your points by March 2022 to lock in your booking! With that in mind, check out Caroline’s article on how to use 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

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