Marriott Is Making Guests Pay More for This, Starting March 29
The hotel company is beginning to work in a major price change.
There's a lot that goes into planning a vacation. From travel to accommodations to transportation, the cost for what might seem like even a simple getaway can start climbing once you begin putting everything together. Fortunately, there are typically several different options for what to choose based on your means. Marriott, the world's biggest hotel chain, owns a bevy of hotels, from the fancy Ritz-Carlton to the more affordable Aloft. But no matter which side of the spectrum you fall on, you could soon get hit with a price hike from this company. Marriott has announced a new change that will force many guests to starting coughing up more cash next month. Read on to find out what you might have to pay more for.
Marriott is changing the pricing for its rewards program.
If you're a frequent Marriott guest, you'll want to know about a significant upcoming change. The hotel chain is planning to switch to a new pricing system for its rewards program next month, The Points Guy reported. According to the travel site, the Marriott Bonvoy program will be getting rid of its current award charts starting at the end of March. Instead, reward program members will have to become accustomed to a dynamic pricing system Marriott is calling Flexible Point Redemptions.
"Members will see the flexible points redemption rates take effect gradually over March 29 and 30," Marriott told The Points Guy.
Some of the company's hotels will be getting more expensive next month.
According to The Points Guy, 97 percent of Marriott's properties will keep the same current peak and off-peak pricing ranges for the rest of 2022 even with the new pricing system in place. But the remaining 3 percent will start pricing outside of the current bands in March. "And while that doesn't sound like a lot of hotels, it comes out to over 200 properties," the travel site warned.
In the U.S., this will include some of the following properties in various parts of the country: Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, and SpringHill Suites. For these hotels, the minimum and maximum pricing will increase between 5,000 to 30,000 points per night. This means that around 30 properties in Marriott's highest category could potentially rise above the hotel company's original peak pricing cap of 100,000 to around 120,000 points per night starting next month.
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And all properties could get more expensive in 2023.
In 2023, all of Marriott's properties will be able to price outside of current bands, according to The Points Guy. This could make it much harder for guests to predict what an award night might cost them in the future, which was seen as "one of the merits of the Marriott Bonvoy program," the travel site explained. In the past, members had to take peak pricing into account, but there was a maximum rate they knew it wouldn't surpass. That will no longer be the case next year.
"For stays in 2023, we are focusing on ensuring even our most aspirational properties offer a mix of great rates during the year. Changes in rates for stays in 2023 above or below the high low range for stays in 2022 are planned to be incremental," Marriott said in a statement to The Points Guy.
Marriott members might want to go ahead and book their future stays now.
Even if your go-to property isn't getting a price hike for its minimum and maximum point range yet, you could still be looking at a costlier bill beginning at the end of March. According to The Points Guy, the new flexible pricing system means that a Marriott-owned hotel could potentially charge the maximum rate every night of the year—although this shouldn't happen in practice. Marriott said that nightly redemption rates would move more closely with hotel rates and availability, but it won't be an exact science by any means.
"There are and will continue to be established criteria run by the program that do/will determine redemption rates," the hotel company told The Points Guy. But the travel site is warning members to go ahead and book upcoming stays to lock in current pricing rates and avoid major increases or higher maximum rates.
"This notice gives Marriott Bonvoy members time to redeem their points for upcoming stays at the current award chart levels. If plans change or prices go down under dynamic pricing, members can cancel their reservations for a refund," the travel site explained.