Marriott devaluing points on April 1, 2018 is a big deal for any traveler who holds Marriott points because they could be worth less than the current value of one cent by next month. But it isn’t just travelers that are concerned over what will happen when these new rules go into effect; many members of the Marriott Rewards program have voiced concerns as well and demanded answers from their favorite hotel chain.
Marriott has been known to devalue points in the past, but they have not told members when it will happen. Members are now taking Marriott to court for not telling them about the devaluation. Read more in detail here: marriott bonvoy points value.
Marriott won’t even tell members when their points will be devalued in March.
on January 20, 2022 by Gary Leff
Marriott is getting rid of reward charts, but they won’t say when. As a result, it’s a covert devaluation. In response to a question about the timing of the offer’s devaluation,
We are no longer able to provide Travel Packages due to the introduction of variable point redemption rates in March and the deletion of hotel categories.
They say it’s coming sometime in March. That’s consistent with the original announcement that award charts would cease in March 2022. Some people have assumed this would mean March 1, 2022. And that’s possible, however a Marriott spokesperson tells me “we haven’t announced the date yet.”
Marriott is well aware that they will be doing so in March. It’s conceivable they’re unsure when they’ll be ready with the technology in place, but even if that’s the case, they might wait until the new anti-customer system is complete and tested before announcing a timetable for implementation. Other than decreasing program expenditures more rapidly vs less quickly, there is no hurry.
Back in October, when I asked Marriott Senior Vice President David Flueck about the deletion of reward charts, he said that point pricing will be more closely aligned with room rates.
- More price points than before. It will no longer be just 8 hotel categories with off-peak, standard, and peak rates.
- Most hotels won’t fundamentally change price in 2022. What this looks like is that while the category chart goes away “97% of hotels will still range between off-peak and peak through 2022” in other words most hotels aren’t going to change price by orders of magnitude. That’s a promise for only one year, and only about the points range and not about average redemption prices.
Marriott will “adjust pricing based more closely on hotel rates” for stays beginning in 2023. This, I assume, will not imply that things have improved.
- More rooms will be available for redemption. Flueck confirmed that the minimum number of rooms a hotel has to provide to the program isn’t changing, so this must be accomplished by raising the price Marriott will pay properties for rooms in some fashion. I’ll have to wait until a hotel shares an updated program guide to see the updated economics here.
In addition, “additional premium rooms should be available for redemption,” according to the Bonvoy program, which is “working hard with owners to assure.” The premium room pricing structure (as an add-on to the basic redemption fee) will remain unchanged.
- More rapid price adjustments. No more categories means no more annual category adjustments. Currently dates at hotels move between off-peak, standard, and peak on average monthly. Moving forward we’ll see pricing changes happen more regularly than just once a month, though we’ll see changes in smaller increments than a category adjustment would have meant.
- 3% of hotels will see big changes right away. Flueck described hotels that have seen significant recovery, higher average daily rates, will be the ones going up – where there’s outsized value in redemption prices relative to room rates. This is “not necessarily the most expensive” hotels, which I take to mean it’s hotels that are operating at close to capacity and where Marriott finds itself paying out override rates for rooms (actual average daily rates instead of discounted redemption rates) often along with pulling in higher than expected room rates.
Increasing the number of rooms available for redemption at average value isn’t going to benefit members. It is not in the best interests of members to remove the transparency of an award chart and change redemption rates more often.
The basic idea behind points is that they may be redeemed for a large amount of money.
- Hotel chains are able to purchase merchandise at a lower cost than visitors. This is especially true in the case of surplus inventory.
- Guests, on the other hand, value their stay at the price they would have paid for it. As a result, the hotel chain may offer discounted accommodations to members who redeem their points.
- With fixed or reward chart pricing, it makes sense to pay cash for a hotel when it’s cheap and redeem points when it’s costly — in other words, obtaining more value for your points.
- However, connecting redemption prices to cash ensures that you always obtain average value and eliminates the chance of outsized value. Collecting points no longer has any value, and they’re no longer about making fantasy stays feasible.
Revenue-based redemptions treat accumulating points like punching a card, with customers receiving a direct return on their hotel or card spending. And who would accept collecting two points for every $1 spent on a Marriott co-brand when each point is only worth Revenue-based redemptions make collecting points more like a punch card, with guests earning a straight rebate on their hotel spend or card spend. And who would accept earning 2 points per dollar on a Marriott co-brand if each point is just going to get you $0.006 apiece? That’s a 1.2% rebate card, which is hardly competitive in today’s marketplace..006? In today’s market, that’s a 1.2 percent rebate card, which is scarcely competitive.
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