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Marriott shifts to Flexible Point Redemptions: What can we expect?

Marriott Bonvoy will soon implement Flexible Point Redemptions. This new redemption structure will take effect from 29 March 2022, replacing off-peak, standard, and peak rates when categories are removed.

So what can we expect to see when this takes place?

Marriott currently offers a ‘fixed' reward chart, providing members with full transparency around the cost of redemption, with no surprises. There are widespread concerns that Marriott's shift to dynamic pricing will significantly increase the cost of redemptions – particularly for high-demand dates at popular properties.

Amidst this concern that redemption rates will jump considerably, Marriott will only state that “nightly redemption rates are expected to move more closely in line with (not exactly with) hotel rates and availability”. Redemption costs are expected to follow supply and demand: Members traveling to a location with more availability can expect to use fewer points. Conversely, if the desired location is busier at the preferred dates, the point redemption amount may be higher.

So when will these changes take place? Members can expect to see the Flexible Point Redemption rates take effect gradually over March 29 and 30.

Positively, Marriott states that for all stays in 2022, nearly all hotel redemption rates will fall within the same high low range of the current categories. Changes in rates for stays in 2023 above or below the high low range for stays in 2022 are planned to be incremental.

That said, if you have a redemption in mind for a particular property, we'd encourage you to lock it in before 29 March 2022. That's particularly the case if you are looking to secure peak dates and/or a popular property, where price increases will likely hit the hardest.

Marriott jacks rates for 200 hotels

Further to the above, for a small group of hotels, approximately 200 hotels or less than 3% of the Marriott portfolio (including the standout Al Maha Resort), Marriott has advised that the point redemption rate bounds will be higher than they are currently. For those 200 properties, their rate range will increase between 5,000 to 30,000 points per night from their current bounds. So, if you fancy a stay at a premium property like Al Maha, now is the time to book!

Further flexibility for Free Night Awards

In addition to announcing the date for Flexible Point Redemptions, Marriott has announced plans to allow members to combine their Free Night Award with up to 15,000 points to help access more hotels from late April 2022. Members can also look to reserve a redemption stay by booking now and the flexible cancellation policy will allow them to modify their reservation if they find a lower rate in the future.

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