OUCH! Bonvoyed: Marriott Kills Award Charts; Elite Status And Certificates Extended

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I’m currently on safari in Africa, but I had to take a break from my break to cover today’s major news. Marriott will join Delta, United, IHG, and Hilton in eliminating award charts.

Once upon a time award charts gave members and assurance that they knew how many points they would need to save up in order to book an aspirational flight or stay. Then programs added peak and off-peak redemptions to better align the award cost of a flight or room to the paid rate.

And now the trend continues to move to variable rates that take away the most valuable redemptions. Loyalty programs make this switch at their own peril. Eventually their members will switch over to hybrid cards that offer the ability to accumulate bank points that can be used for their choice of redeeming points directly for paid rates on any flight or hotel or transferring points only when it makes sense to do so.

Perhaps we should have realized this was coming when we saw unprecedented offers for the Chase Marriott, Marriott Brilliant AMEX, and Marriott Business AMEX cards.

Effective in March 2022, award charts will be eliminated. However for stays in 2022 the vast majority of stays will be within the off peak to peak range of their previous category. However 3% of hotels will see immediate price increases starting for bookings made in March, so you’ll want to make speculative bookings before then.

Here is the current Marriott award chart.

For stays starting in 2023 prices will be fully variable with no cap and will align with paid rates. That’s even worse than Hilton’s elimination of award charts as they maintain a range and maximum rate that a hotel can charge. Aspiratonal Marriott properties will surely become unaffordable when using points.

There was little reason to use a Marriott card for earning points after the SPG merger other than to earn a signup bonus, and this change means there’s even less reason to do anything but have a Marriott card buried in your sock drawer if you want the annual free night certificate.

  • Marriott also announced that:
    • Your current status, regardless of when it was earned, will be valid through 2/28/23.
    • Points won’t expire until 12/31/22.
    • Certificates that were set to expire before 6/30/22 will be extended until 6/30/22.
    • Suite night awards set to expire this year will be extended until 6/30/22.
    • Starting in 2022, you will be able to add up to 15K points on top of certificates. That means if you have a 35K certificate you can use up to 15K points on top of the certificate to use it at hotels that cost up to 50K points and 50K certificates will be able to be used at hotels up to 65K points. Unfortunately, this only applies to base rooms, not upgraded rooms.

Those are all nice kickbacks, but Marriott has officially pulled the rug out from under their members.

Bonvoyed indeed.

Now the only question left is when will Marriott devalue their airline transfer ratio?

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75 Comments On "OUCH! Bonvoyed: Marriott Kills Award Charts; Elite Status And Certificates Extended"

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If you hate Marriott so much just go to another hotel chain. We get it you hate Marriott even though, as you note, they are doing the same thing at the rest of the industry


What will be the ratio of paid rate to points needed?

Terrible news indeed. But don’t let it ruin your vacation!


So how much will a free night 35k be worth ? Is it still worth keeping the card ?


This is beyond stupid. I hate consolidation.


The award certificate kicker is maybe the only good news here. unless you wanted to stay at an airport Marriott those yearly certificates were usually worthless in most cities.


Never had an issue using 35K FNA for more than AF – even moreso when you consider the taxes on paid stays in some locations.


So I assume my 7 night category 4 hotel voucher from a flight and stay package from a few years ago will be extended again as the current expiration is 1/3. If so, and if I don’t book by 3/31, how will they align the category 4 to the dynamic model when categories are stripped away? Thanks!


Absolutely disgusting
In ten years award charts will be a relic of ancient history


Can’t wait for the trip report!

Mr. Knowitall

Friends dont let friends stay at a Marriott?


Starting 2022. Does that mean you can book now for a 2022 stay with a 35k+15k. Or can only book starting in 2022?


Guys, please comment and retweet Dan’s tweet. Tag Marriott.


Link to tweet please?


This is making IHG look good. But as it stands Hyatt is still the best…… there goes the travel agency business


Ability to add 15k will be great for 2022. after that the certificates seemingly will be less valuable.


Topping up certificates is very valuable. Let us not ignore the good news! Personally I normally loose a few certificates a year.


I agree, 2022 might be a sweet spot where we can top off certificates before award chart goes away. But once 2023 hits, the pricing might be so bad that the certificate top-offs may not even matter.


Have they already extended the certificates or it’s going to happen soon? I have a five night package from pre-merger that expires 1/3/2022 and am hoping the certificate extensions will cover mine as well. But it still says Jan 3 in my account :/


Will adding 15k points also work on category 7nights certs?


I would like to know that too. I am sitting on travel package that is set to expire 12/31/2021


Anyway to downgrade or change my old Amex bonvoy card since it somehow has a 30+ year credit history. Or will this reflect on any Amex card I open ?


Call Amex and see if you can move to the no-fee Bonvoy card ( if they have one) w same credit history. Amex and Chase have done this for me in the past. Good luck


I’m reposting my back and forth with you from just 23 days ago, when you posted a bonvoy offer. I guess my post was prophetic. When something is irrelevant the best thing to do is ignore it, or else get bonvoyed at your own risk!…..

Disappointed that you have decided to promote a company that has a track record of always duping clients. Sure, deal seems good now but as soon as you receive your bonus they’ll probably announce some devaluation of the points, or category increases. Yes, still reeling from the certificate fiasco and poor customer service….

REPLYOctober 3, 2021 9:53 pm

The travel certificate case was egregious, but didn’t rise to the level that I wouldn’t do business with them when it makes sense.

I still get more than enough value out of the anniversary nights that come with their cards, I just no longer spend on the cards like I did with SPG.

REPLYOctober 3, 2021


Wow this is heartbreaking for me. Haven’t paid for a hotel for close to 10 years. Any hotel credit card you’d recommend? Have pretty ridiculously high credit lines with the Bonvoy card tbh. Guess ill gave to start anew……….


How do you book a stay for someone else using Marriott points (same last name)? Thanks!


Is there any possibility that we can do a class action law suit? People holding lots of points. I wonder if hotels can sue them?


I guess it all makes much more sense when you consider the fact that loyalty programs are meant to build YOUR loyalty. Which means the customer will be loyal to you, even when they probably shouldn’t because a competitor may be equally priced or even better priced. Loyalty, as a business case, only warrants investment if it yields a customer base who will be loyal to you even when they shouldn’t be. Through that lens, all of Marriott’s devaluations actually make perfect sense.


What people need to understand is Marriott strategy, it started with the SPG acquisition and that is to be the biggest everyday hotel company to provide predictable service and to drive loyalty from the semi frequent traveler who wants a predictable return for his loyalty. They are not going to compete with Hyatt for the frequent traveler looking at the best award share redemption he can score.
It is similar what Delta did with awards and while we all hate it if you speak to any non frequent traveler they will tel you how much they love Delta and the “free flights”… basically too big to care or leave you with competitive options and on some level these mergers should’ve never been allowed


And to add to that: they will be quite successful at it generating shareholder value and revenue


When you say the certificates was extended until 6/30/22 do you also mean the annual free night that comes with the Marriott credit card ?

Deal Guy

For example, I’ve seen cat 6 hotels (50k) points currently charging just $190 this month since it’s not the season, while in session it can be $600.

My question is, is there a silver lining, that on days that it’s selling for $180, it may be available for 30,000 points, something that is currently not possible?

Deal Guy

Will I be able to add 15k points per night to an old 1-4 category so that it can go up from 25,000 to 40,000


Will i be able to upgrade my free Week (Cat 4) certificate?


“ Your current status, regardless of when it was earned, will be valid through 2/28/23.”

Does this count towards lifetime status? Currently 9 out of 10 years as plat elite or higher. Will the extension of my current status (Plat Elite) through next year make that a 10 out of 10?


@dan “There was little reason to use a Marriott card for earning points after the SPG merger other than to earn a signup bonus”
Question: If you have Marriott status isn’t it still an advantage to be able to use Marriott points when staying at a Marriot property vs. using Chase points etc. ? This way you get status benefits, i.e. upgrades etc. . That’s what keeps me still accumulating and earning Marriot points. Is that a mistaken calculation??


Any idea if also giving 1/2 nights to reach status again?
Trying to get nights towards lifetime…


Seems like a typo please update:
“Certificates that were set to expire before 6/30/22 will be extended until 6/30/22.”


It’s not a typo. If you have certificates that will expire BEFORE 6/30/22 (12/21, 1/22, 2/22, 3/22 for example) they’ll be good UNTIL 6/30/22


Hi Dan,

I’m sitting on 1.9M Bonvoyed points. Not a big Marriott guy.
Oh what would you recommend I do, hold or do an airline transfer at this point?


Sell them while they are still worth something. find a points buyer. U shud be able to get at least .6 cents a point. That’s great money for u


now we know why they raised the bonus on their cards

Michael S

Interesting…I am at 35 nights right now for this year and was debating pulling the trigger on the Amex Bonvoy Brilliant to get the last 15 nights and qualify for platinum while earning that 150k bonus and the 2 free 85k and 50k night certificates. The platinum status would now stay in effect through Feb 2023. Worth it or just forget Marriott at this point?


Well, I was tempted by the latest sign up bonuses. I get great use out of my free night certs in rural areas where the prices are high, but categories tend to be lower. I never have big stock piles since I’m a little fish who travels a decent amount. BOOO MARRIOTT!


In the email they sent out today, it seems like there will be a cap on how much a hotel can cost in points (so it shouldn’t be that bad..?)?


Of I need 3 more nights by the ends of the year, to reach platinum level, is that time being extended also?