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Yesterday was supposed to be the last day that Marriott Bonvoy members could book awards at a variety of high-end properties (and a number of less high-end properties) at the rates set out in the program’s award charts, but that’s not how things have turned out.
A few weeks ago, Marriott confirmed that it would be introducing dynamic award pricing to the Bonvoy program on 29 March so most Marriott Bonvoy members were expecting to wake up this morning to see that properties like the St. Regis Maldives, the Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui, and the JW Marriott Essex House New York now cost up to 130,000 points per night.
At the time of writing, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case and that’s because it now appears as if the move to dynamic award pricing won’t be happening until later tonight.
Loyalty Lobby has reported that a Marriott spokesperson has confirmed that the changes needed to introduce dynamic award pricing will not be processed until “late Eastern Time today” and that means that we all have a few more hours in which to make sure that we’ve made all the provisional/firm bookings that we need to make under the current (award chart) rules to ensure that we don’t get gouged once the dynamic prices go live.
This is the list of ~200 hotels that Marriott says will be costing significantly more once the program changes are in place but as there’s no guarantee that other properties will not also change their rates later this year, everyone should be locking in whatever good deals they can find right now in case those deals are no longer around when they’re ready to firm up their plans.
Most Marriott Bonvoy award bookings can be cancelled without penalty in the days leading up to the check-in date* so there’s very little downside to making a few bookings now to lock in the rates set out in the award charts (assuming the rates offer good value).
Should you end up not needing any of the reservations that you make now, you can always cancel and get your points redeposited into your Bonvoy account and if rates drop (wouldn’t that be miraculous?!), you can cancel and rebook penalty-free as long as you stick to the property’s cancellation policy.
*A few properties have very onerous award cancellation policies so make sure you read the policies carefully before making any provisional bookings.
Most of us were expecting to see some Marriott awards costing up to 130,000 points per night when we got out of bed this morning but it looks as if that’s not the case just yet. Marriott will still be moving to dynamic award pricing today but, apparently, this won’t now be happening until late Eastern Time tonight so there are still a few hours left in which to book awards at the rates dictated by the outgoing award charts.