Marriott Bonvoy Devaluation: How Bad Will It Be?

Marriott Bonvoy Devaluation: How Bad Will It Be?

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An interesting discussion came up in the comments section of my St. Regis Aspen review, which I wanted to address in a separate post.

Marriott Bonvoy devaluing in March 2022

As was initially announced in October 2021, major changes are coming to the Marriott Bonvoy program in the coming weeks:

  • Starting in March 2022, Marriott Bonvoy will transition to dynamic award pricing, rather than using the current published award chart (which already has some variability, due to off-peak, standard, and peak pricing)
  • Between March 2022 and the end of 2022, pricing at 97% of properties will continue to range between off-peak and peak redemption rates
  • Starting in 2023, there will be no more limits on award pricing across the board

For context, below is the current Marriott Bonvoy award chart, where award pricing ranges between 5,000 and 100,000 Bonvoy points per night.

Lastly, for what it’s worth, I currently value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents each.

The economics of hotel loyalty programs

Before I share my predictions of what Marriott Bonvoy’s award pricing devaluation will look like, I think it’s worth recapping how the economics of hotel loyalty programs work:

  • Marriott doesn’t own a vast majority of properties, but rather has a management or franchise agreement with them
  • When a member redeems Marriott Bonvoy points, the loyalty program pays the hotel some amount for that stay
  • The amount reimbursed is dependent on a combination of how full the hotel is, and what the average daily rate is; if a hotel is nowhere close to full, the reimbursement rate is low (just enough to cover the incremental costs of serving that guest), while if a hotel is close to full (think 95%+ occupancy), the hotel is reimbursed at pretty close to the average daily rate

In other words, Marriott Bonvoy would much rather have you redeem points at the St. Regis Maldives when it’s not full, compared to a Courtyard that’s sold out during a football weekend. The latter will likely cost Marriott Bonvoy more in absolute terms, not even accounting for the former experience likely requiring more points.

Al Maha Dubai, Luxury Collection

I don’t think Marriott Bonvoy will have fixed award pricing

Some people think that Marriott Bonvoy will pull a Delta SkyMiles, and essentially make each Bonvoy point worth a certain amount toward a redemption. In other words, let’s say that each Bonvoy point gets you 0.5 cents toward an award redemption.

In other words, a hotel that costs $100 per night would cost you 20,000 points, while a hotel that costs $2,000 per night would cost you 400,000 points. Personally I feel very strongly that this isn’t the direction the Bonvoy program will go.

Why? That simply wouldn’t make sense based on the economics of loyalty programs. Marriott Bonvoy executives absolutely want you to redeem points, they just want to control costs. Simply making each Bonvoy point worth a certain amount in comparison to the cash rate wouldn’t make sense, because it wouldn’t factor in the single biggest cost variability that the program has, which is occupancy.

St. Regis Maldives

I think Marriott Bonvoy award pricing will be occupancy driven

While I have no inside information, I have a feeling that the new Marriott Bonvoy award pricing will heavily reflect the costs incurred by the program:

  • For the average, run-of-the-mill redemption, I wouldn’t expect the elimination of award charts to be bad news
  • I’d even expect that many high-end hotels will continue to have award pricing that’s similar to what it is today, at least for much of the year
  • I suspect Marriott Bonvoy will use historical data on redemptions and occupancy to figure out which awards are likely to be most costly, and price awards accordingly
  • Personally I think there will be some unofficial cap on redemption rates; I don’t see Marriott Bonvoy charging more than 200,000 points per night for a standard room, even in peak season (I just made up that number, but that’s my best guess)
  • Marriott Bonvoy’s goal (in part) isn’t just to have award pricing that reflects costs, but also in general to shift member behavior so that there are fewer redemptions during peak periods

The good news is that I don’t think all aspirational properties will suddenly become outrageously priced. The bad news is that I think seasonality will have a much bigger impact:

  • Currently a Category 8 property costs anywhere from 70,000 to 100,000 points per night
  • In the future I wouldn’t be surprised to see lower pricing than that in the off season, if you’re prepared to go to Al Maha Dubai or the St. Regis Maldives in summer, or Gritti Palace or the St. Regis Florence in winter
  • However, in peak season I think pricing will be way higher than what we’re seeing right now; so expect that those hotels could cost significantly more than 100,000 points per night

Anyway, that’s just my best guess, and from a program economics standpoint, that’s also what makes sense. I don’t think Marriott’s best properties will suddenly be completely unaffordable when redeeming points. Rather I think you’ll just have to go during non-peak season if you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg.

Santa Marina Mykonos, Luxury Collection

Bottom line

The Marriott Bonvoy program will be devalued as of some point in March 2022. We’ll see Marriott eliminate award charts, instead eventually introducing dynamic award pricing at all properties.

People have different takes as to what this devaluation will look like. Many people believe that there will be consistent dynamic award pricing, and each Bonvoy point will be worth a certain amount in comparison to the cost of a stay in cash.

Personally my take is very different. I think we’ll see award pricing reflect the costs incurred by the program, rather than reflect the cash cost for staying at a hotel. I think pricing at hotels that aren’t full will continue to be reasonable, while we’ll see a huge increase in pricing at properties in peak season, when occupancy is generally 95%+.

I do think, perhaps naively, that there will be limits on how much will be charged. The most expensive properties currently cost 100,000 points per night, and I think we might see pricing cap out at 200,000 points per night with the new program, give or take. That would do enough to deter many people from redeeming at those kinds of properties, without being beyond unreasonable.

What are you expecting from Marriott Bonvoy’s devaluation?

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  1. David Guest

    Bonvoy credit cards earn 2X for grocery and gas. Hilton earns 6X. Hilton will be the better option by far for higher end properties. If I spend 3000 bucks a month on my Bonvoy, the max points I earn is 6000 points. Buying gas and groceries, etc at Hilton will net me 18000 points. The Surpass card gives automatic Gold status which also gives breakfast. its easy to see which provides the best value.

  2. PointsDoMatter Guest

    The new rates have loaded, and we now know that, for some properties, Marriott is valuing the points at less than 0.5 cents. For example, looking at April 2-3 in Miami, the Autograph Collection Cadillac Hotel is 52000 points for a $264 room, which rounds to 0.5 cents. For the same date in Honolulu, the Courtyard Waikiki is now 52000 points for a $183 room, which rounds to less than 0.4 cents per point. But...

    The new rates have loaded, and we now know that, for some properties, Marriott is valuing the points at less than 0.5 cents. For example, looking at April 2-3 in Miami, the Autograph Collection Cadillac Hotel is 52000 points for a $264 room, which rounds to 0.5 cents. For the same date in Honolulu, the Courtyard Waikiki is now 52000 points for a $183 room, which rounds to less than 0.4 cents per point. But some of the more ridiculous redemptions (which were 0.2 cents per point before the change) are at least somewhat reasonable now. It seems to depend on occupancy.

  3. Levy Flight Guest

    Dynamic award pricing was a sht show for the airline industry. Who flies KLM now? Do they still exist? Bonvoy is pretty crap before these devaluations. This just adds to AirBNB’s bottom line. They win every time a hotel chain stumbles. Marriott seem to think we don’t have options. Of course we do, and they were never a good one.

  4. John Crestani Guest

    Im a titanium member and I've seen a decline in customer service within this program ever since Starwoods (I was grandfathered in from this program) and Marriott combined.

    I used to be able to check right in at the bonvoy concierge at most hotels... not so much the case anymore.

    I used to be able to get a hold of someone who was genuinely helpful when calling customer service... now im sent to some outsourced...

    Im a titanium member and I've seen a decline in customer service within this program ever since Starwoods (I was grandfathered in from this program) and Marriott combined.

    I used to be able to check right in at the bonvoy concierge at most hotels... not so much the case anymore.

    I used to be able to get a hold of someone who was genuinely helpful when calling customer service... now im sent to some outsourced foreigners who have zero authority to do anything, waste my time with a million questions, only to forward me along to other people who cant make any reservations/changes/etc happen. Spent almost an hour on a call the other day trying to change the name of a reservation for a business partner.

    I used to be able to book almost any hotel within the Starwoods group with points... now there's never any guarantee I'll get a hotel I want on points even if theres availability! And on top of that, the effective point cost has been inflated, so I feel Im getting less and less value out of my points.

    I understand these are 'first world problems', but I spend 100s of thousands of dollars a month in my business, and expect a certain degree of customer service if I'm going to be doing so. I've been very loyal in my spending habits through my SPG/Bonvoy cards when I have other options (ie. I could make wire payments for many of these transactions), and don't feel like the loyalty is being reciprocated. My favorite hotel is the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, but I have started looking around for other programs.

    1. Brian Guest

      100% agree. I am also Titanium for life and have noticed the level of service has fallen off a cliff since the merger. Bonvoy continues to devalue their points and strip out elite rewards that people spent a lot of money to achieve. Marriott treats you like an accounting number. SPG genuinely valued and rewarded loyalty. What a shame.

  5. u600213 Guest

    I have no award travel planned. Should I let my Marriott points sit there or convert to something. If convert, what?
    Thanks

  6. zirtek Guest

    These are reasonable predictions assuming the occupancy-based compensation model. The consumer-psychological assuption underlying this model is that award nights are -- awards -- which consumers would choose not to stay (with cash) if they didn't have the points. However, with more and more consumers educated by forums and blogs like this one, loyalty programs have eventually realized that this isn't the case: points are treated as cash, at least when it comes to personal travel;...

    These are reasonable predictions assuming the occupancy-based compensation model. The consumer-psychological assuption underlying this model is that award nights are -- awards -- which consumers would choose not to stay (with cash) if they didn't have the points. However, with more and more consumers educated by forums and blogs like this one, loyalty programs have eventually realized that this isn't the case: points are treated as cash, at least when it comes to personal travel; stays that redeem points will still happen and be paid in cash if the cash rate is "better". Accordingly, the old occupancy-based compensation model will no longer stand (consider the compensation model that IHG started to adopt three years back), and all your predictions will inevitably fail.

  7. John S Guest

    Have been done with Marriott for several years. Always book Hyatt, better brand all the way around.

  8. Jim Stevens Guest

    Two words.
    Costco Travel.
    Beats any hotel price out there and at this point who cares about chasing points when total dollar amount is what we should all be chasing.
    Oh ya, with Costco you get 4% cash back!
    I find the comments interesting and a lot of them are saying the hotel property doesn't care.
    No I do NOT work for Costco, But I realized that chasing points just...

    Two words.
    Costco Travel.
    Beats any hotel price out there and at this point who cares about chasing points when total dollar amount is what we should all be chasing.
    Oh ya, with Costco you get 4% cash back!
    I find the comments interesting and a lot of them are saying the hotel property doesn't care.
    No I do NOT work for Costco, But I realized that chasing points just becomes futile as the goal line keeps moving.
    Example; I was in Cancun at the JW in December staying 4 nights at the Club 91 level thru Costco.
    If I booked it directly with Marriott it would have cost me $700 more! I asked the Manager at the JW and he said we can't touch their prices. Same great service and a killer ocean view room, i only earned 1 night BUT all of the room charges were on the Chase Bonvoy card so you do get credit.
    for me? saving $$ is better than chasing points.

  9. glenn t Diamond

    It has always been my opinion, as a ' run of the mill member' not given to warm & fuzzy feelings of loyalty towards any loyalty program, that redemptions, even using points purchased during good sales, are of dubious value.
    When you crunch the numbers you may find only a 5-10% differential between a cash booking and points redemption. Of course there are exceptions but the notion of sitting in an over-water luxury hut...

    It has always been my opinion, as a ' run of the mill member' not given to warm & fuzzy feelings of loyalty towards any loyalty program, that redemptions, even using points purchased during good sales, are of dubious value.
    When you crunch the numbers you may find only a 5-10% differential between a cash booking and points redemption. Of course there are exceptions but the notion of sitting in an over-water luxury hut at Bora Bora or the Maldives when you really want to be in Paris is not for most. It will be interesting what changes get thrown up.

  10. DCS Diamond

    Some people think that Marriott Bonvoy will pull a Delta SkyMiles, and essentially make each Bonvoy point worth a certain amount toward a redemption. In other words, let’s say that each Bonvoy point gets you 0.5 cents toward an award redemption.

    In other words, a hotel that costs $100 per night would cost you 20,000 points, while a hotel that costs $2,000 per night would cost you 400,000 points. Personally I feel very strongly that...

    Some people think that Marriott Bonvoy will pull a Delta SkyMiles, and essentially make each Bonvoy point worth a certain amount toward a redemption. In other words, let’s say that each Bonvoy point gets you 0.5 cents toward an award redemption.

    In other words, a hotel that costs $100 per night would cost you 20,000 points, while a hotel that costs $2,000 per night would cost you 400,000 points. Personally I feel very strongly that this isn’t the direction the Bonvoy program will go.

    - Ben

    That is exactly what Hilton does with their premium awards, but not their with standard awards, which are capped.

    The way Hilton does it is that within each property, any award that is priced above that property's standard award cap (e.g., 120K or 150K for WA Maldives) is designated as "premium" and its cost in points is tied to the associated room's revenue rate and determined by dividing that revenue rate (say, $2,655 - an actual villa rate at WA Maldives) by a constant factor in dollars/point, which may be fixed for a given property (currently $0.0021/HH point at WA Maldives; "currently" because it is unclear whether it changes).

    So, premium award costs that you see for different types of rooms within a property are derived the same way:

    Premium award cost = (revenue room rate in $)/(fixed factor in $ per point) eq. [1]

    The cost of that 'premium' room in points with a revenue rate of $2,655/night will be (actually is):

    $2,566/($0.0021/HH point) = 1,264,285 HH points !

    and that's just the property's lowest priced 'premium' room. It's downhill from there!

    Plots of premium room rates in $ vs. their costs in points according to eq. [1] are absolute straight lines with a slope that is equal to the fixed factor in $ per HH point above.

    How about standard awards? That is the good news! They generally do not follow the linear equation eq. [1] that applies to premium awards, because if they did there would never be the type of outsized redemption values that are possible at "aspirational" properties, especially when coupled with the 5th award night free.

    The revenue rate of the standard KING REEF VILLA WITH POOL that I booked for my 01/2023 award stay at WA Maldives is $1,887.

    If we apply eq. [1] to derive its award cost as if it were a 'premium' room, it would be

    $1,877/($0.0021/ HH point) = 893,810 HH points/night

    That exorbitant award cost for just one night is about twice what I paid for my 5-night award stay at "just" 120,000 HH points/night, with 5th night free!

    Thus, there is a clear "discontinuity", especially at "aspirational" properties, in the plot of eq. [1] at the point where standard award costs stop and where those of "premium" awards (and true dynamic pricing) start.

    well, I did the work that graphically shows everything I just said above so that you wouldn't have to bother. Why don't you take a look because it s quite explanatory of how Hilton Honors' dynamic award pricing works:

    Link: https://bit.ly/3r5YnVa

    It could serve as a reference point for BonVoy's upcoming "secret devaluation" ;-)

    While HH standard award costs to vary somewhat dynamically with revenue room rates, the variations are much smaller in relation to those of 'premium awards.

    G'day!

    1. Steve Guest

      Wow you might be onto something @DCS
      Thank You

    2. DCS Diamond

      @Steve - what I described is way beyond "being onto something". It is scientifically flawless.

      Here's the link to a plot that shows the same thing for WA Los Cabos Pedregal, Hilton's other highly 'aspirational' property with hardly any standard awards all year:

      Link: https://bit.ly/3AFUh9B

      The range of award costs in points (the x-axis) is narrower so things are much clearer. Note the same discontinuity at the intersection of standard awards and 'premium' awards,...

      @Steve - what I described is way beyond "being onto something". It is scientifically flawless.

      Here's the link to a plot that shows the same thing for WA Los Cabos Pedregal, Hilton's other highly 'aspirational' property with hardly any standard awards all year:

      Link: https://bit.ly/3AFUh9B

      The range of award costs in points (the x-axis) is narrower so things are much clearer. Note the same discontinuity at the intersection of standard awards and 'premium' awards, and then the latter varying linearly (i.e., dynamically) with revenue room rates. The sharper the bend at the discontinuity, the better or higher the redemption values are likely to be, which happens at higher end properties.

      At mid- to low-end properties, the bend is generally not as sharp and may not even be present, in which case standard awards and premium awards form a continuum, and you'd better hope that the slope of that cash rates vs. award costs line (eq. [1] in top post) is much higher, say, at least $0.004/HH points, because that slope is the redemption value that you'll get!

      The "bend" represents the deviation away from the redemption values of 'premium' awards, which is why the sharper the better, because redemption values of 'premium' awards are almost invariably awful.

      G'day.

  11. Cedric Guest

    When you think about it, paid stays are dynamic, so it just makes sense for points to be dynamic. But it just means points are worth less and less. I switched most of my spend to cash back a few years ago.

  12. Dwondermeant Guest

    In breaking news after Marriott makes most properties 300k a night and up the good news is corporate has decided to let its customers redeem Points for Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Crème to quell the anger and unrest of its members otherwise

  13. Bill Guest

    Lifetime titanium. CY Orlando airport. Confirmed suite night upgrade. Regular king room, which is what I booked is “considered a suite” because of the view of the courtyard. Bonvoyed! Now it will be more wild, Wild West. Just like my worthless Delta million miler Silver status I am free to be a free agent.

  14. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    "Marriott doesn’t own a vast majority of properties, but rather has a management or franchise agreement with them"

    This is not fully true.

    Marriott neither owns nor manages the vast majority of its properties. More than 70% of all properties across all brands are owned and either managed by the franchisee or a third-party operator. Marriott manages less 30% of its properties.

    Marriott's customers aren't the guests. Marriott's customers are the owners and third-party operators....

    "Marriott doesn’t own a vast majority of properties, but rather has a management or franchise agreement with them"

    This is not fully true.

    Marriott neither owns nor manages the vast majority of its properties. More than 70% of all properties across all brands are owned and either managed by the franchisee or a third-party operator. Marriott manages less 30% of its properties.

    Marriott's customers aren't the guests. Marriott's customers are the owners and third-party operators. Guests are the product Marriott sells them so the hotel flies a Marriott flag.

  15. Jeff Guest

    To go from a top aspiration property being valued at 45k just a few years ago, to 100k now, to 200-300-400k next year is simply nuts. I blame myself for hoarding all of my 1.6M points, but when you look at how much spend is required to "earn" the points, and then think about a single night requiring 300k points -- it makes me wonder why anybody would be loyal to Marriott going forward. I certainly won't be.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      How can anyone save enough points for an aspirational property going forward? At least before you knew you might need 300,000 points for 5 nights or whatever at some fancy hotel. Now you never knew because point redemptions will be tied to nightly cash rates. Does anyone actually think the nice hotels in Paris, London, Rome, Hawaii, the Maldives and so forth will ever cost under 100,000 points per night?

  16. ChadMC Guest

    They are likely going to follow Hilton and make the points worth barely anything. In Hilton's case, it's kind of ok as the points are so easy to get. They are not worth much so it's fair I suppose. I mean, there's always some promotion with Hilton and some go as high as thousands of extra points per stay or sometimes even per night. That's on top of 10 points per dollar, then another 12-14...

    They are likely going to follow Hilton and make the points worth barely anything. In Hilton's case, it's kind of ok as the points are so easy to get. They are not worth much so it's fair I suppose. I mean, there's always some promotion with Hilton and some go as high as thousands of extra points per stay or sometimes even per night. That's on top of 10 points per dollar, then another 12-14 per dollar if you have their credit card. Marriott is no where near that generous. Marriott plays games - "get double points on every other stay starting with your second stay..." or other junk like that. Their promotions are no where near as generous as Hilton. I'm not at fan of Hilton's program either, but at least the points are easy to come by. If Marriott is going that path, they'll need to at least triple or quadruple (if not even more) the amount of points given as they will be worth so little.

    There are some Fairfield Inns that are priced insanely high just because of their location, but they are low category points-wise - rightfully so as the Inn offers basic amenities. I fully predict something that today costs 5000 per night will skyrocket to 100,000 per night.

    Sadly, they won't do anything even remotely consumer-friendly. Their loyalty program has been on a path to garbage, following Hilton's (which is now nearly useless). I've got status with both of these programs, but now just stay where the best place is and have zero sense of loyalty to either as it's basically pointless.

    1. DCS Diamond

      They are likely going to follow Hilton and make the points worth barely anything. In Hilton's case, it's kind of ok as the points are so easy to get. They are not worth much so it's fair I suppose.

      - ChadMC

      That comment is ignorant, as are nearly all comments, claims or assertions that pertain to the relative "worth" of hotel points currencies.

      Believe it or not, all the major hotel loyalty points...

      They are likely going to follow Hilton and make the points worth barely anything. In Hilton's case, it's kind of ok as the points are so easy to get. They are not worth much so it's fair I suppose.

      - ChadMC

      That comment is ignorant, as are nearly all comments, claims or assertions that pertain to the relative "worth" of hotel points currencies.

      Believe it or not, all the major hotel loyalty points currencies are worth exactly the same. And - get this - the only hotel points currency that was worth less (make that worthless) than the rest was the now-defunct starpoint that self-anointed "travel gurus" ignorantly crowned "the single most valuable hotel points currency." In fact, the starpoint was so worthless as a hotel points currency that it became more popular as a points currency that could be earned with the SPG AMEX and then transferred to airline miles, without ever setting foot in a Starwood hotel, which, quite likely, contributed to the chain's demise.

      G'day.

    2. Mike Guest

      @DCS: "That comment is ignorant, as are nearly all comments, claims or assertions that pertain to the relative "worth" of hotel points currencies.

      Believe it or not, all the major hotel loyalty points currencies are worth exactly the same."

      DCS likes to trot this out once in a while, and then he'll use some math to try and prove it, but all he really does is prove that, all things equal, one point from one...

      @DCS: "That comment is ignorant, as are nearly all comments, claims or assertions that pertain to the relative "worth" of hotel points currencies.

      Believe it or not, all the major hotel loyalty points currencies are worth exactly the same."

      DCS likes to trot this out once in a while, and then he'll use some math to try and prove it, but all he really does is prove that, all things equal, one point from one chain does NOT equal one point from another chain.

      It's also more evidence that DCS is completely incapable of anyone having an opinion that differs from his own (especially when it comes to the value of points from his beloved Hilton, which most reasonable people would believe is an inherently subjective measure), so he resorts to personal attacks and specious arguments in order to try and build up his fragile ego from what he perceives to be an attack on him.

      Translated - grow up and get help, DCS.

  17. NYGuy24 Gold

    I stopped dealing with this program a long time ago. Don't even think I have points with them anymore. At one point I was platinum elite but no more. Just one more reason why I will opt for other chains over Marriott.

  18. Stvr Guest

    This is optimistic and not at all how it turned out with Hilton. It is however how it turned out with ihg. What makes you confident of the IHG path over the Hilton one?

    1. LSP New Member

      This issue with Hilton seems to be that the most aspirational properties (Bora Bora, Cabo, etc.) have almost 0 "standard rooms" where pricing would be reasonable (95k, 120k), so to book these on points, you basically have to pay outrageous sums for "premium rooms". So the issue isn't award pricing (for standard rooms) per se, it's the lack of standard rooms. Marriott properties in my limited experience don't seem to have such extreme limitations on...

      This issue with Hilton seems to be that the most aspirational properties (Bora Bora, Cabo, etc.) have almost 0 "standard rooms" where pricing would be reasonable (95k, 120k), so to book these on points, you basically have to pay outrageous sums for "premium rooms". So the issue isn't award pricing (for standard rooms) per se, it's the lack of standard rooms. Marriott properties in my limited experience don't seem to have such extreme limitations on the number of standard rooms bookable on points; if that stays the same, then I think what Lucky is saying is likely.

    2. azamaraal Guest

      I'm booked into Conrad Maldives for 15 nights in very high season at the bottom rate of 95,000 (78,000 after 5 for 4).

      I don't see any valid complaints against Hilton properties as long as you stay at aspirational ones.

      But Bonvoy on the other hand - who cares?

    3. LSP Guest

      I just checked, and there is not a single night available at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island between October and January (peak season) for under 721,000 points/night. Other aspirational Hilton properties Oct-Jan:
      -WA Maldives, I found 7 total nights available < 1 million+ points/night.
      -Conrad Bora Bora - 0 nights available < 579,000
      -WA Cabo - 1 night at 120,000, otherwise 496,000+
      -Hilton Moorea - 5 nights at 90,000, otherwise 176,000+ (mostly...

      I just checked, and there is not a single night available at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island between October and January (peak season) for under 721,000 points/night. Other aspirational Hilton properties Oct-Jan:
      -WA Maldives, I found 7 total nights available < 1 million+ points/night.
      -Conrad Bora Bora - 0 nights available < 579,000
      -WA Cabo - 1 night at 120,000, otherwise 496,000+
      -Hilton Moorea - 5 nights at 90,000, otherwise 176,000+ (mostly 250k+)

      So yeah, good luck to almost anyone trying to find "standard" award availability at these aspirational properties.

    4. JetSetGo Guest

      I suspect you will have to check daily to find multiple nights good deals at HH aspirational properties as those get snatched up quickly. A random check for availability isn’t going to cut it. One can say who has the time? I bet there are people out there who do it as a hobby.

  19. Chris Guest

    Lucky, do you have any intel on whether Marriott will do one more Bonvoy Points sale before the devaluation?

  20. Khatl Diamond

    Can't be disappointed more than I have been by Bonvoy since they took over SPG.

    Will add that there is already a form of dynamic pricing at a number of Marriott properties, which have basically taken peak/off peak to the extreme and apply low, standard, peak on a day-by-day basis. e.g., the Protea Kruger Gate in South Africa sets a different redemption price for a Friday night or Saturday night, a slightly lower price for...

    Can't be disappointed more than I have been by Bonvoy since they took over SPG.

    Will add that there is already a form of dynamic pricing at a number of Marriott properties, which have basically taken peak/off peak to the extreme and apply low, standard, peak on a day-by-day basis. e.g., the Protea Kruger Gate in South Africa sets a different redemption price for a Friday night or Saturday night, a slightly lower price for Sunday night, and a lower price again for Mon-Thurs nights. It has been that way for at least the past 6 months. I've seen other properties doing the same.

  21. DCS Diamond

    This looks like a good place to yet gain inject a robust dose of reality.

    It is a fact of life that, under the influence of "market forces", prices of various commodities (including room rates) in all-mighty USD or in any other hard currency change dynamically, why then bitch when the same sound economic principles are applied to points currencies?! Inquiring minds wanna know...

    Marriott is eliminating award charts, but they won’t tell us exactly...

    This looks like a good place to yet gain inject a robust dose of reality.

    It is a fact of life that, under the influence of "market forces", prices of various commodities (including room rates) in all-mighty USD or in any other hard currency change dynamically, why then bitch when the same sound economic principles are applied to points currencies?! Inquiring minds wanna know...

    Marriott is eliminating award charts, but they won’t tell us exactly when. So it’s a secret devaluation.

    As one who almost invariably has a different take on many loyalty-related issues, I am not at all sure that I agree with the enunciated and prevalent notion that dynamic award pricing, for which Hilton Honors is a case study, is synonymous with or automatically spells 'devaluation'.

    Hilton Honors has had dynamic award pricing since 2017, a time span during which I redeemed 4 weeks of award stays at Hilton hotels in N and SE Asia at the end of every year, until the pandemic hit in early 2020. Based on that experience, I've seen no evidence of a substantial "devaluation" due to either dynamic award pricing or the demise of the Hilton Honors award chart. Standard awards are still capped at 95K/night, except at WA Maldives and WA Los Cabos, just two highly "aspirational" properties where standard awards can cost as high as 150K/night and did not even exist when Hilton still had an award chart. Moreover, award costs at most properties still do not exceed their pre-dynamic pricing maxima, and vary, if at all, within +/- 10%-15% of those maxima. Premium awards, on the other hand, are the ones that Hilton varies almost in synchrony with revenue room rates, and there is a reason for it: if a premium room is available for booking with cash, it is always bookable with points - lots and lots of points.

    Why then is there a general "feeling" that Hilton awards cost more because of dynamic pricing? The first reason is that, without any evidence, self-anointed "travel gurus" automatically began equating, as soon as it was introduced, dynamic award pricing with "devaluation", and have convinced themselves and others of that equality, as is explicit in the title of this post. More generally, I believe that with the HH award chart gone and suspecting a "secret devaluation" as a result, people started to check award availability only at Hilton's most 'aspirational' properties, like WA Maldives, WA Cabos or a few others, and finding only or mostly 'premium' awards that can cost hundreds of thousands to over a million points per night, they've concluded that there has been a huge "devaluation".

    However, lack of standard awards availability at the chain's most "aspirational" properties, which number in single digits out of more than 6k hotels, a devaluation does not make or prove because those same 'aspirational' properties that show only the availability of 'premium' awards requiring hundreds of thousands to over a million points per night would simply have shown no availability at all if Hilton still had its award chart, just like in any other program! Which is more annoying between no availability of standard awards or the availability of only premium awards costing millions of points per night is for each person to decide, but I see the two situations as being identical.

    I urge anyone who believes that there has been a "devaluation" or shortage of good HH awards based on the lack availability at WA Maldives or WA Los Cabos to play with Hilton's "Points Explorer" utility [1] that enables award costs and availability to be searched in whole cities or countries in one shot (be sure to reset all filters!)... then call me in the morning.

    Remember: it is generally best to plan one's vacations based on where one would truly like to go than on hyped-up standards about must-achieve redemption "values" of points, which most do not even know the first thing about. No, you do not have to go to the Maldives or to Bora Bora to have a memorable vacation...

    [1] Link provided in next comment.

    1. DCS Diamond

      [1] Hilton’s Points Explorer: https://www.hilton.com/en/hilton-honors/points-explorer/

    2. DCS Diamond

      Sorry - I should have attributed the quote that "Marriott is eliminating award charts, but they won’t tell us exactly when. So it’s a secret 'devaluation'" to a recent piece by Gary Leff where I first posted the above evidence-based 'perspective'.

    3. azamaraal Guest

      Totally agree.

      My 5th stay at Conrad Maldives this coming March is at the "Standard Rate" of 95000/78000 points (high season). Same as the last time in 2017. (Compare to rack rate of $22,400 for the cheapest Honors rate which includes the 10% service charge and taxes). That's approximately $.02 per point. One can currently purchase points at $005.

      Last time I even had some extra perks thrown in. Hopefully this might happen again. (Diamond)

      ...

      Totally agree.

      My 5th stay at Conrad Maldives this coming March is at the "Standard Rate" of 95000/78000 points (high season). Same as the last time in 2017. (Compare to rack rate of $22,400 for the cheapest Honors rate which includes the 10% service charge and taxes). That's approximately $.02 per point. One can currently purchase points at $005.

      Last time I even had some extra perks thrown in. Hopefully this might happen again. (Diamond)

      (Probably should keep this a secret in case some Bonvoyer's are listening)

    4. DCS Diamond

      Last weekend, I decided to check availability of standard awards at WA Maldives for all of 2022, Jan - Dec, and found none other than one here or there in a sea of "premium" awards costing over 1M points/night. Then I decided to go beyond December 2023, and lo and behold, in January 2023 there were 15 consecutive days with standard awards @120K per night! Without giving it a second thought, I grabbed 5 nights,...

      Last weekend, I decided to check availability of standard awards at WA Maldives for all of 2022, Jan - Dec, and found none other than one here or there in a sea of "premium" awards costing over 1M points/night. Then I decided to go beyond December 2023, and lo and behold, in January 2023 there were 15 consecutive days with standard awards @120K per night! Without giving it a second thought, I grabbed 5 nights, and a good thing I did too because within 6 hours, they were all gone!

      So, the pandemic not raining on the parade, I am returning to WA Maldives in January 2023 for a 5-night award stay redux that will cost me 120K/night, the 5th totally night free. Maybe by then there will be enough countries in SE Asia allowing visitors to where I could turn the trip into the resumption of my patented Year-end Asian Escapade by adding stops along the way!

  22. Luke Guest

    Hoping the ability to redeem hotel rooms using the free night certificates with the still to be launched topoff of up to 15k bonvoy points on top of what the certificate is for comes before this deval. Am waiting for that to use 4 50k certifcates I have to book the London Edition hotel thats currently at 60k points per night in May. Hope will be able to do this and if otherwise the deval puts this redemption out of reach again!

  23. Geoff Guest

    Your example of a sold-out Courtyard on a football weekend is a bad omen for me. Almost all my redemptions center around attending major sporting events. That's precisely what makes the program so valuable to me.

    1. Josh Guest

      I use mine for major festivals. Same difference. That’s no longer going to be a thing. Goodbye Marriott and my lifetime platinum. I’ve already switched to Hyatt and really enjoying globalist. Marriott RUINED SPG, it’s so offensive and pathetic. I know when a relationship is abusive Marriott and when to walk away...

  24. Falcon Guest

    Well, you can always convert 60k bonvoy points into 25k Aeroplan. I hope they are not planning to devalue point transfers.

  25. Randy Gold

    If Bonvoy devalues too much - might be best to setup Bonvoy profile to earn AAdvantage LP rather then Marriott Points.

  26. CF_Frost Member

    Occupancy-driven prices is a very old-fashioned revenue management technique. Marriott will likely use something closer to a willingness to pay model. You can still charge high prices during low occupancy if guests are willing to pay that price.

  27. cahbf Member

    I'm lifetime Plat and ditched any loyalty (moved to Hyatt) after being Bonvoyed so many times. I booked a paid stay this week in Mexico at a JW and man, they literally could not care less about the program. I got nothing, and I mean NOTHING for my status. I even asked for a 1-hour late checkout and they had to escalate this to the hotel manager who made a "one time exception" for this...

    I'm lifetime Plat and ditched any loyalty (moved to Hyatt) after being Bonvoyed so many times. I booked a paid stay this week in Mexico at a JW and man, they literally could not care less about the program. I got nothing, and I mean NOTHING for my status. I even asked for a 1-hour late checkout and they had to escalate this to the hotel manager who made a "one time exception" for this huge gift, in a half empty hotel on a Tuesday. I told him I didn't want it. Convoy can kiss my ass

    1. JWLT Guest

      I've felt the same lately. Stayed at an Element property (a brand which seems to have zero benefits) recently and asked if an upgrade from a regular studio to a larger studio might be possible as a Titanium member. Was initially told no because they "don't participate in the upgrade program" but then was given a "one time exception" upgrade to the slightly larger room.....but was made to feel like I'd asked for the presidential suite.

    2. Willieron Guest

      Per the T&C's " The Complimentary Enhanced Room Upgrade for Platinum Elite Members and above is available at all Participating Brands except at Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, Aloft, Element and Vistana properties." So they are correct and nice that they upgraded you when they didn't have to.

    3. Andrew Guest

      I wish I could have warned you about this property! I stayed there for 5 nights in November for a wedding. The wedding party and many of the guests were lifetime titanium. I'm titanium myself and we were treated horribly. I requested upgrades 3-4 months in advance, which were denied. They told me my room was available at Noon, and I showed up within the hour. The room available was different than the one I...

      I wish I could have warned you about this property! I stayed there for 5 nights in November for a wedding. The wedding party and many of the guests were lifetime titanium. I'm titanium myself and we were treated horribly. I requested upgrades 3-4 months in advance, which were denied. They told me my room was available at Noon, and I showed up within the hour. The room available was different than the one I paid for... They "upgraded" me to the lowest floor and our balcony looked at the roof of a restaurant. There were no apologies or acknowledgment of status. They treated every member I knew horribly.

      By FAR the worst Marriott I have ever stayed at.

    4. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      To be fair, the Mexico properties are shady. As far as I know, most of the legacy Marriott brands in Mexico beach resorts are licensed to local hotel owners and operators who could care less about Marriott. They just want the name. If you remember, legacy Marriott's Marriott brand in Mexico resorts used to be called "Marriott Casa Magna."

  28. Another Lump Guest

    How low can Bonvoy go? We shall see. But when loyalty programs, air or hotel, turn their points into a straight rebate on cash spend, they take away the entire reason to get emotionally invested in their program: dreaming that these boring run of the mill hotel stays or flights will eventually result in a free aspirational trip. Nobody looks forward to a free night at a courtyard inn or an economy flight to OKC....

    How low can Bonvoy go? We shall see. But when loyalty programs, air or hotel, turn their points into a straight rebate on cash spend, they take away the entire reason to get emotionally invested in their program: dreaming that these boring run of the mill hotel stays or flights will eventually result in a free aspirational trip. Nobody looks forward to a free night at a courtyard inn or an economy flight to OKC. If you don't look forward to something far in the future, you have no reason to take any action now.

    They need to strike the right balance between compensating properties and motivating customers. Bottom line: Bonvoy should be subsidizing high end award stays, probably more than they already are, so the change will mean I have no interest in accumulating a single more Bonvoy dong (a reference to the Vietnamese currency, but I guess it works both ways)

    1. Mark Guest

      This...exactly! I am totally guilty of chasing status/points sometimes irrationally. Bonvoy and Hyatt have been the two programs i've pursued the most in the last couple of years. I never get excited about Southwest or Hilton. Only if they are the cheapest option (sometimes by a decent margin) will i book them. I doubt i'm the only one that would completely give up on Bonvoy if they didn't offer some tease of out-sized value.

    2. Reno Joe Guest

      The fact is that individual properties don't care about network loyalty. They care about loyalty to that property.

      This is why I abandoned the hotel loyalty program game. I now negotiate directly with hotels for straight cash discounts plus perks. I receive far better benefits than what the programs offer.

    3. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Yeah. I think this is really going to hurt the random Fairfield or Courtyard in flyover country. The whole reason I stay at the Fairfield in Sheridan, Wyoming or the Courtyard in Vicksburg, Mississippi instead of driving back to Jackson for the night is to get points that I can eventually redeem for a big trip somewhere nice. The owners and franchisees of the hotels operate the property under that assumption as well. But if...

      Yeah. I think this is really going to hurt the random Fairfield or Courtyard in flyover country. The whole reason I stay at the Fairfield in Sheridan, Wyoming or the Courtyard in Vicksburg, Mississippi instead of driving back to Jackson for the night is to get points that I can eventually redeem for a big trip somewhere nice. The owners and franchisees of the hotels operate the property under that assumption as well. But if Marriott points are worthless, I might as well stay at the local Best Western or the nicer independent hotel. This is especially noteworthy since Marriott's growth in North America isn't from upscale hotels. Almost all of their new North America properties are flagged under lower-end, limited-service brands.

  29. Reno Joe Guest

    Ben, dynamic pricing is just another brick in the wall. The next brick will be properties' strategic use of their 60 "wild card" days to limit or exclude award inventory to prevent award stays for practical purposes . . . or at least prevent a stay-for-5-pay-for-4 stay. How bad can it get? They are just getting started.

  30. Beachfan Guest

    I predict it will be like Hilton’s pricing for any room above base room. 330k points/night at the Gritti palace.

    1. Reno Joe Guest

      Just wait . . . the Four Seasons lost out on the Donatello in Venice. Perhaps it will turn its sights on the Gritti.

  31. Dominic Guest

    I can all but assure you it will be inventory-driven. I worked for the big M for many years, and even their associate rates are inventory-driven.

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cahbf Member

I'm lifetime Plat and ditched any loyalty (moved to Hyatt) after being Bonvoyed so many times. I booked a paid stay this week in Mexico at a JW and man, they literally could not care less about the program. I got nothing, and I mean NOTHING for my status. I even asked for a 1-hour late checkout and they had to escalate this to the hotel manager who made a "one time exception" for this huge gift, in a half empty hotel on a Tuesday. I told him I didn't want it. Convoy can kiss my ass

2
DCS Diamond

<blockquote>Some people think that Marriott Bonvoy will pull a Delta SkyMiles, and essentially make each Bonvoy point worth a certain amount toward a redemption. In other words, let’s say that each Bonvoy point gets you 0.5 cents toward an award redemption. In other words, a hotel that costs $100 per night would cost you 20,000 points, while a hotel that costs $2,000 per night would cost you 400,000 points. Personally I feel very strongly that this isn’t the direction the Bonvoy program will go. - Ben </blockquote> That is exactly what Hilton does with their <b>premium</b> awards, but not their with <b>standard</b> awards, which are capped. The way Hilton does it is that within each property, any award that is priced above that property's standard award cap (e.g., 120K or 150K for WA Maldives) is designated as "premium" and its cost in points is tied to the associated room's revenue rate and determined by dividing that revenue rate (say, $2,655 - an actual villa rate at WA Maldives) by a <b>constant factor</b> in dollars/point, which may be fixed for a given property (currently $0.0021/HH point at WA Maldives; "currently" because it is unclear whether it changes). So, <b>premium</b> award costs that you see for different types of rooms <b>within a property</b> are derived the same way: <b>Premium award cost = (revenue room rate in $)/(fixed factor in $ per point) </b> eq. [1] The cost of that 'premium' room in points with a revenue rate of $2,655/night will be (actually is): $2,566/($0.0021/HH point) = <b>1,264,285 HH points ! </b> and that's just the property's lowest priced 'premium' room. It's downhill from there! Plots of premium room rates in $ vs. their costs in points according to eq. [1] are absolute <b>straight lines</b> with a slope that is equal to the fixed factor in $ per HH point above. How about standard awards? That is the good news! They <b>generally</b> do not follow the linear equation eq. [1] that applies to premium awards, because if they did there would never be the type of <b>outsized</b> redemption values that are possible at "aspirational" properties, especially when coupled with the 5th award night free. The revenue rate of the standard <b>KING REEF VILLA WITH POOL</b> that I booked for my 01/2023 award stay at WA Maldives is $1,887. If we apply eq. [1] to derive its award cost as if it were a 'premium' room, it would be $1,877/($0.0021/ HH point) = <b>893,810 HH points/night</b> That exorbitant award cost for just <b>one night</b> is about twice what I paid for my <b>5-night</b> award stay at "just" 120,000 HH points/night, with 5th night free! Thus, there is a clear "discontinuity", especially at "aspirational" properties, in the plot of eq. [1] at the point where standard award costs stop and where those of "premium" awards (and true dynamic pricing) start. well, I did the work that <b>graphically</b> shows everything I just said above so that you wouldn't have to bother. Why don't you take a look because it s quite explanatory of how Hilton Honors' dynamic award pricing works: <b>Link: https://bit.ly/3r5YnVa</b> It could serve as a reference point for BonVoy's upcoming "secret devaluation" ;-) While HH standard award costs to vary somewhat dynamically with revenue room rates, the variations are much smaller in relation to those of 'premium awards. G'day!

1
FNT Delta Diamond Guest

How can anyone save enough points for an aspirational property going forward? At least before you knew you might need 300,000 points for 5 nights or whatever at some fancy hotel. Now you never knew because point redemptions will be tied to nightly cash rates. Does anyone actually think the nice hotels in Paris, London, Rome, Hawaii, the Maldives and so forth will ever cost under 100,000 points per night?

1
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