Marriott Reduces Award Redemption Rates, Makes It Easier To Earn Status

Filed Under: Marriott

The hotel industry is struggling at the moment, and we’ve seen major hotel groups extend elite status for members, offer creative promotions, and generally try to engage with member. Well, Marriott Bonvoy has just announced some potentially valuable initiatives for members.

Temporary Marriott Bonvoy perks

With today’s news, Marriott Bonvoy members can expect award redemption rates to be lower over the coming weeks. Furthermore, Marriott is giving more elite nights to all members with status, making it easier to qualify for a higher elite tier, and also making it easier to earn Choice Benefits.

Let’s take a look at the details:

Marriott Bonvoy reducing free night redemption rates

In the fall of 2019, Marriott Bonvoy introduced peak and off-peak redemption rates, creating more variability to award pricing. Here’s a look at Marriott’s current award chart:

While this new limited time promo, Marriott will exclusively have off-peak pricing for all 5,500+ properties:

  • This is valid for bookings between June 15 and June 30, 2020
  • This is valid for stays through July 31, 2020
  • All properties globally will have off-peak pricing

Since peak and off-peak pricing is supposed to be demand driven you’d assume most properties would already be off-peak. However, that’s not necessarily the case, especially in areas that people might be taking road trips to.

This is a nice guarantee for anyone willing to travel soon.

Points redemptions this summer will have off-peak pricing

Marriott Bonvoy 50% bonus elite nights for members

In light of the disruptions to status this year, Marriott is giving all members elite night credits equal to 50% of the elite tier earned in 2019. This isn’t based on how many nights you actually stayed last year, but rather this offers a fixed number of elite nights based on your status. This means:

  • Silver Elite members will get five additional elite nights
  • Gold Elite members will get 13 additional elite nights
  • Platinum Elite members will get 25 additional elite nights
  • Titanium Elite members will get 38 additional elite nights
  • Ambassador Elite members will get 50 additional elite nights

Two more things:

Now, the catch is that Marriott has already extended elite status for members through February 2022, so what exactly is the point of this?

  • This can help you if you want to earn a higher elite tier; for example, if you’re an existing Platinum member with the right Marriott credit cards you’d already be at 55 elite nights for the year, just 20 elite nights Titanium
  • This can help you earn Marriott’s Choice Benefits, which are offered at 50 and 75 elite nights

Elite members will have elite nights credited to their accounts

Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite members can share Platinum status

Marriott Bonvoy’s top tier Ambassador Elite members are getting an additional perk on top of everything else. Ambassador Elite members who earned statues in 2019 and reach 100 elite night this year will be able to share Platinum Elite with a friend, family member, or loved one.

Qualifying members will receive an email with details starting in late July through the end of the year.

Ambassador Elite members can gift Platinum Elite to others

Other previously announced initiatives

In addition to the above (including status extensions), Marriott has already implemented the following initiatives:

  • Marriott Bonvoy points won’t expire until February 2021 at the earliest
  • Suite Night Award expiration will be extended by one year, so you can use them through December 31, 2021
  • Free Night Award expiration has been extended to January 31, 2021

Bottom line

These are some great promos to see from Marriott Bonvoy. Award redemptions for stays throughout June and July will all price at the off-peak level, while it will be easier for Bonvoy members to qualify for a higher elite tier and/or earn Choice Benefits, thanks to Marriott giving everyone elite nights equal to 50% of their status.

Will you benefit from these new Marriott Bonvoy initiatives?

Comments
  1. Suppose giving elite nights is a nice gesture (although halving requirements would have been better).

    Off peak awards rates only for June and July is puzzling. They should have extended it through the fall, at least.

  2. A “promo” that is good for travel during ONE month during the COVID? What a waste of time! Seriously…why not actually offer Off-Peak for a longer time frame and actually make this a real promo that people can take advantage of? Total joke from a joke of a program.

  3. Not sure how formal this is, but when I booked some rewards nights, I was a bit short. They “spotted” me the ~4000 points I was missing. Showed up as a “Goodwill Adjustment”. That was a nice surprise!

  4. Thanks for this Ben. Question: While award nights booked with points do count towards elite status, is this also true for bookings made using award certificates?

  5. That’s enticing for someone who wants to move up a level (i.e. a Gold who has both credit cards would need only 7 nights this year to make Platinum), but with Marriott basically saying they are suspending any guarantee of elite benefits for the time being, one has to wonder, what is the point?

  6. They need to further extend the free night certs till the end of 2021.
    Extending them to just Jan 31 2021 is an insulting joke as most of us still won’t be able to use our certs by then.

  7. @ Gene — Marriott Bonvoy offers great recognition for ‘real’ paying customers… Thankfully not anymore for the spoiled former spg fanboys who only got their lifetime status thanks to generous employers paying for their stays. These clowns think the world owe them everything. You must be one of them

  8. @ Stanley — No, I just dont like being told that suite upgrades are a platinum beneift when they actually aren’t. It is called lying.

  9. @Gene – but tricking customers is what Marriott does! (“Elites can have free breakfast, unless it’s in a nice hotel… or a crappy hotel. You can have a suite upgrade, unless either the hotel or central reservations decides you can’t.”)

    Lying is their only real competency!

  10. This is complete crap. Some of us have already earned ambassador status for 2021 through legitimate 2020 stays and revenue. Marriott needs to rollover my nights or part of my 2020 spend for 2022 status since everyone is getting an automatic extension.

  11. Just curious! Does the Bonus Elite Nights based on last year’s (2019) status or current status (2020)? It would be nice if this is based on last year’s status, since I was Titanium

  12. @Stanley – Stop with the nonsense. Corporate employers are also “paying” to have their guests stay there so from Marriott’s POV they could care less who’s bank account their money is coming from.

    I do hear you though as it’s largely corporate employees who bitch and moan and think everyone else is freeloading or gaming the system.

    If that’s your gripe, I’ll agree with that, but not the nonsense about Marriott caring about you because the money you give them comes out of your account.

  13. Am I reading this right? So if I am Titanium Elite last year (but only stayed for less than 20 nights so dropped to Gold Elite), will I get 38 qualifying nights in 2020 plus 30 elite qualifying nights from personal and business credit card and plus another 5 elite qualifying nights from 50 nights annual choice?

    This will give me 73 nights in 2020 so I just need to stay 2 more nights to qualify Titanium Elite all the way to 2022?

    Would you be able to confirm my assumption here please? @Lucky

  14. Got off the Marriott hamster wheel since they’ve decided COVID is a great year to remove the status soft landing. This is just too little, too late.

    Hyatt + Virtuoso + TA programs work better for me than Marriott now that I’ve given it more thought during this COVID down time.

  15. Not seeing off peak pricing for July. Is it the usual “applies to all hotels – except the hotels that don’t want to participate” BS?

  16. I’m really pleased to see Marriott provide the elite nights. I’ve been a Titanium for years, and while I knew a few months back I’d have the same status, the SNAs looked pretty unattainable. This will put me up to 72 nights as soon as its posts, so I’ll get the elite gifts again this year for sure. Is Marriott having an SPG moment? 😉

  17. Just booked a category 6 for $99; even with off-peak pricing, it didn’t make sense to use points

  18. Please caption the hotel name in your pictures, especially when they’re nice looking like the ones in this post.

  19. @Stanley – yes Marriott made it so difficult to earn lifetime status…except for:
    – rollover nights counting
    – credit card nights counting
    – double nights counting
    – birthday nights counting
    – faux meeting room nights counting
    – etc. etc. etc.

    So hard!

  20. Do you know when the off peak pricing will be reflected on Marriott.com? I was looking at making some bookings for next summer and I see plenty of cases of properties showing at pricing that appears to be something other than off-peak.

  21. @Bill – it’s for the “elite tier earned in 2019” which would have been gold elite so you should only get the 13 additional nights. Your titanium was earned in 2018.

  22. well the question is whether they really based off 2019 actual stay elite credits or does credit cards from 2019 counts too and if the spending for 75k to plat count as well ?

  23. Great. Marriott executive lounges are already overcrowded with riff raff. Now even more will qualify for lounge privileges. I wish they would at least make it so only Titanium and Ambassador statuses could access lounges.

  24. Overcrowding lounges (if they come back) in the works. Should adjust benefit for lounge access to ambassadors and titaniums only and give platinums 5 annual certificates up to 5 nights each for guaranteed lounge access. Be like hyatt with Explorists club lounge certificates.

    Whatever Marriott does, people will be unhappy. At least make it worth it to change things. Adding qualifying nights does nothing. Should be more qualified bonuses to stimulate more stays… FNCs, 2k points per night, etc.

  25. Ben – could you ask your Hyatt contacts if they’re going to do something similar with the status nights? I didn’t have Globalist this year and set my sights on it. I’ve lost more than a 1/4 of the year due to covid and what Marriott did seems like a good plan, basically lowering the target by a 1/4. 60 nights is so hard for Globalist. And the only thing Hyatt has ran out is the extra credit for cc spend. Would really love them to match Marriott here. Would you ask your Hyatt connections? Really appreciate it.

  26. @Stanley – Gene is right, Marriott is the worst. I had a situation last year, Marriott emailed me saying they were giving me back miles as the hotel canceled my reservation and rebooked me requiring more miles. I wasn’t aware….do I now need to double check reservations to make sure I am not being scammed? I never had issues with SPG.

    I also don’t like all the lies with Marriott. If Marriott wants to screw their customers so be it, but with the CEO going public saying they did a survey and people haven’t been happier. Please, enough BS.

  27. Q – if you elect your Choice Benefit as the 5 night credit + you had Titanium last year (38 nights) + both Marriott pers/biz cards (30 nights), would you be at 73 nights? Am I thinking of this correctly? thanks as always

  28. what a strange promo!
    Should Marriott offer some bonus points for stays like Hyatt?
    It looks like that the Marriott idea was to have a promo with minimal expenses.
    Also, I cannot find 40,000 point redemption for Westin Hilton Head (recent change to Cat 6) for the entire month of July.

  29. What if you “earned” status in 2018 (not 2019) and had this status in 2019? Would you still get this 50% night credit?

  30. So, let’s get this straight:

    1) Status extension
    2) Bonus elite nights
    3) Free platinum for a friend or family member of ambassadors

    In other words, everyone that wasn’t already a titanium will be a titanium in 2021. I feel sorry for platinums. The lounges, if they ever re-open, will be more crowded. Upgrades will be difficult to get, at least at desirable properties. Plus, everyone will have suite night award certificates. The only possible win are ambassadors but only at properties that differentiate between ambassadors and everyone else.

  31. And that whole give your family member or friend platinum status for ambassadors is a worthless gesture since an ambassador elite traveling with a family member or friend already gets lounge access, etc. for both. It’s only valuable if your family member or friend travels without you and even then only enough to never get the status on their own.

    Before coronavirus, more than 50% of the guests at popular hotels were platinum or higher. I’ve stayed at Courtyard properties in the middle of no-where and had 4 ambassadors and 25 titaniums on a Thursday night. I’ve been at the J.W. Marriott Grosvenor House with 125 other guests having lounge access — so, platinum and higher — on a given night.

  32. I already had 35 nights from travel in January and February and from credit cards. Add 38, and I will use my 50-night credit to get 5 more, which then gets me to 78, requalifying for titanium (which I was given anyway extended for a year), but it will also put me over 600 nights for lifetime plat..

  33. What if your 2019 Gold status was from the United tie-in? Do you still get the 13 additional nights?

  34. @Lucky – what if we had Titanium and already requalified this year based on night stayed – even in these strange times I was able to get 75 nights for 2020. Does this mean my status will be extended to 2023?

  35. I just checked rates over a weekend in July in Phoenix, which is pretty much low season, because it’s not just summer and 115, it’s occasionally monsoons – room rates for cash in the Valley of the Sun In midsummer are traditionally very low, so you have to figure this would be a great place for Marriott to dump some of those 5500 or so hotels for off peak prices, amirite? Someplace with fairly low demand at a time of depressed demand. Seems logical to me.

    LOLOLOLOLOL

    Consistent .2-.3 (no, I did not misplace a decimal point, that’s point two to point three) Marriott cents per point. Sweet, Courtyards for $83 cash before taxes or 40,000 points. Where do I sign up?

    I kid you not, Hilton was offering about double the value in points that Marriott was. Let’s see, an HGI for 24,000 points or that Courtyard for 40,000?

    And no, the high end Marriott properties sucked for point value too.

    I casually looked at Vegas and it was garbage too (which makes sense because there might be some vacation demand), but damned if I can figure out what Marriott is up to, other than something that seems a lot less impressive than it should be.

  36. I always find it interesting that so many people are against Marriott’s program. Other programs’ platinum status is basically equal to their gold status. And they have many more hotels in their group than other brands often making them a convenient choice.

  37. Going to hit 100 solid nights in a week time, but only half way to meet the spending part, another pointless promo for me.

    Marriott does not seems to care about those who has supporting them during this critical time.

  38. @JL: Exactly. I stayed at a hotel as an ambassador in a state that was 100% fully open. No restrictions. Breakfast was a bacon and egg Jimmy Dean sandwich. No alternatives. Not even yogurt. I got a better breakfast at McDonald’s.

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