Marriott ditches award chart March 29th. Top properties to go up by 30K.


Marriott has announced that “flexible point redemption” (i.e. the end of its award chart) will take effect on March 29, 2022. We have long expected that this will mean a sizable increase in nightly rate at some properties and Marriott has shared a list of 200 properties that will cost more — in some cases significantly more — than their current price ranges. I was actually more disappointed than I expected to be when I saw the list. While the fact that only about 3% of the Marriott portfolio will cost more this year than the top of today’s award chart, that 3% represents the places people want to stay the most and the increases are in the range of 30-50% in many cases — including at limited-service brands like Fairfield Inn and SpringHill Suites. Dynamic pricing will probably be welcomed by those folks who just want to use their points to pay for their hotel no matter how many points it costs, but I feel like this change sucks a lot of the joy out of what an award program ought to be.

a hotel entrance with a street and a building

Award chart ends March 29, 2022

Starting on March 29th, Marriott will introduce “Flexible Point Redemptions” (a.k.a dynamic award pricing). That change will gradually take effect between March 29th and 30th.

We are told that nightly award rates will move “more closely in line with” hotel cash rates and availability, though not exactly matching hotel cash rates and availability.

In fairness, that will probably feel like good news to those folks who just want to be able to use their points. I have to imagine that there are many travelers who typically travel during peak holiday weeks and who just want to be able to use their points, no matter the cost. If your only travel plans are during those peak weeks and you can never seem to find availability, you may feel like the points are “worthless”. This new system gives some joy of free to those folks who are more concerned with when than how much.

Obviously the benefit to that crowd comes at a cost of less value per point, which is the opposite of what we want as award maximizers. We are told that members traveling to a property with more availability can expect lower award rates while those traveling during peak periods of demand will pay more.

To that end, award rates for 2022 stays will remain between the current off-peak and peak price bands for most properties in the Marriott portfolio. In other words, if a property is in Category 4 today (30K off-peak / 35K standard / 40K peak), we can expect that for the rest of 2022 it will not cost more than 40K points nor fewer than 30K points. That sounds not so bad except that it means that high-demand properties could be peak priced for the rest of 2022 while still fulfilling that promise. We don’t know that anything will get cheaper.

And we do know that a number of properties will become significantly more expensive.

200 properties will exceed current price bands

a man throwing a baby up in the air on a beach
Gosh I looked forward to taking my kids to play on this beach at the St. Regis Bora Bora one more time, but sadly this might become too rich for my blood very soon.

Marriott has provided a list of 200 properties at which new dynamic pricing may vary from the pricing bands of their current award chart positions. Here is a link to the full list:

As a reminder, here is the award chart that exists until March 29, 2022.

a chart of different colors

Of these 200 properties that will vary beyond their current pricing bands, a small handful will only see a 5,000-point increase in the minimum and maximum hotel rates of today’s award chart. A much larger handful or two will see an increase of up to 10,000 points. Painfully, many of the most popular properties in the Marriott portfolio will see increases of up to 20,000 or even 30,000 points per night over current redemption levels.

Hold on to your hats with that: current Category 8 properties cost 70K off-peak / 85K standard / 100K peak. According to Marriott’s announcement, those properties during 2022 will cost as much as 130K points. That’s an increase of 30% over peak pricing (and represents nearly double the current off-peak cost).

But that’s actually the part of the story that I expected. What I didn’t expect was the number of properties not in Category 8 in that list of places that will increase by up to 20K or 30K points per night over their current pricing bands and the effect this would have on using free night certificates even at limited-service properties like Residence Inn or TownePlace Suites.

Take for example the Westin Maui, which is currently a Category 7 property. This means it costs 50K / 60K / 70K points under the current award chart. Starting March 29th, it may cost as many as 100K points per night. That’s an increase of 43% over the current peak price.

If we want to look for a positive point, it’s that the most popular Marriott properties seem to mostly be in the band of properties increasing by up to 20K points (rather than 30K). Properties like the St. Regis New York, St. Regis Bora Bora, the Gritti Palace in Venice, Mystique in Santorini, the St. Regis and Le Meridien Maldives, and many popular Ritz-Carlton properties are slated to increase by as many as 20K points per night. The 20K increase on properties currently in Category 8 seems less outlandish at some of these properties that feature similarly outlandish cash rates year round — though it is still massively massively disappointing for those of us who spend nights at Courtyard and Residence Inn properties for the purpose of collecting points we can use at these aspirational properties. I know that I personally participate in hotel loyalty programs specifically to reach that goalpost of staying at outlandish properties that I otherwise wouldn’t.

But what really surprised me were the number of Residence Inn, Courtyard, and SpringHill Suites type properties that are slated to increase by up to 20,000 points per night. Take the Residence Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront as an example. It is currently in Category 5, which means that it costs 30K / 35K / 40K. After March 29th, it may cost as much as 60K points. That’s an increase of 50% over peak rates and 57% over the current standard rate.

What’s worse is that this is but one of many examples where a property will move out of free night certificate range even when “standard” priced. An increase of “up to 20K points” puts many Category 5 properties conveniently out of range of the ability to use a 35K free night certificate and top it off with points since we will only be able to use up to 15K points on top of the certificate. The same is true about Category 6 and 50K free night certificates.

Some of this was expected. As someone who loved my stay at the St. Regis Bora Bora and expected to return in a few years, I am very disappointed that it will increase by 20K points per night this year. In 2023, we are told that changes from 2023 onward at the most aspirational properties are expected to be incremental, but clearly those properties are going to cost even more.

What surprised me the most though was the inclusion of about 30 limited-service properties in the United States in brands like Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites, Residence Inn, Courtyard, and SpringHill suites that are increasing by “up to” either 10K or 20K points. Again, this devalues annual credit card 35K free night certificates further if you’d have used them to stay at a peak-priced Category 4 property that could be increasing by 20K points.

I found it a bit odd to see the inclusion of properties that haven’t even opened yet. For instance, the Courtyard and SpringHil Suites Myrtle Beach Oceanfront aren’t even slated to open until April, yet they are on the list of properties that will increase by up to 20K points more than the current award chart.

a screenshot of a computer

Again, we expect award rates will continue to increase in 2023.

Remember that Points Advance doesn’t lock in price

Keep in mind that Marriott allows Points Advance reservations, so you can make a reservation now even if you don’t have enough points in your account to cover the stay. However, Points Advance does not lock in the award rate. You’ll need to get the points in your account to pay for the stay and attach them to the stay to lock in the current rate. Also remember that Marriott now allows a Points Advance reservation to be held for up to 60 days or until 14 days before check-in, whichever is sooner, so you can’t just scoop up award availability speculatively and hold it.

Free night certificate top-up coming in April

Many readers have asked when Marriott will debut the ability to top up free night certificates using points. As a reminder, Marriott announced late last year that coming in early 2022 we will be able to add up to 15,000 points to a free night certificate. This makes those free night certificates much more flexible.

We are now told that this ability will debut in April — which is to say that we won’t get this ability until after the award chart is eliminated. That’s incredibly disappointing for those who were hoping to maximize use of a free night certificate one last time, though not particularly shocking.

Personally, I think the smart money is on finding a great use for your free night certificates now since the ability to get far outsized cash value in the future will likely be much more limited. While I think it will still be quite easy to get more value than the cost of the annual fee, this is probably your last chance to get hundreds more in value. Book ’em if you’ve got ’em.

Bottom line

We knew that Marriott intended to eliminate its award chart in March. I give Marriott credit for the amount of notice they have given with all of these changes: we’ve known for months that this would happen and now we know a month in advance the ate when the award chart will go away. That’s nice in that it gives you a chance to make plans now if you were hoping to lock something in. On the other hand, the official announcement does not make me more bullish on the future of the Marriott Bonvoy program given that sizable increases are slated to hit even very limited-service properties in locations that aren’t as exotic as Paris, the Maldives, and Bora Bora. If you have free night certificates, it really makes sense to lock those in now because the clock is clearly ticking on your window of time to get maximum value out of those.

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Larry Forbis

time to ditch


One more business day in April 2022, and still no ability to top-up free night certificates.

Billy Bob

Looking at many hotels in central and eastern Europe that are not on that list: finding that they have ALL gone up, in some cases WAY up. The list was BS; everything has increased, considerably.
And some places, you have to assume that they got tired with dealing with the non-rich-and-famous crowd, as places like the Gritti Palace in Venice are now out of the question.
Another thing I am seeing: many hotels are pricing at 52000, 53000 points/night, just out of reach of the 50K certificate. Or, given the max of 15K you can add, I am seeing other places, such as the Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens, coming in at 66K per night, again just out of reach of the 50K certs plus the max 15K you can add.
No other way to put it: this was a massive and comprehensive devaluation of the Bonvoy program’s value. They must just hate their loyalty customers.


Someone suggested that Marriott may be aiming to make sure than on average a redeemed point won’t cost it even half a penny and that it may have budgeted for each redeemed point to cost it less than .46 cents each. I haven’t yet tried to look into that claim’s accuracy, but there is almost certainly some kind of budgeted arrangement set up by Marriott to cap off its costs for redeemed points that exists with the aim of meeting its internal targets/expectations and more.

Jim Barry

To bad they didn’t give any notice back in January on using award travel packages.


Just waiting for when Marriott devalues the airline point transfer benefit.

JW in GA

Heads up that you might still have time. I booked a stay yesterday and checked this morning during a peak period where I expect a spike in points required (due to a pro tennis tournament in 2023 when cash prices typically double/triple “normal” rates) but no change yet in any of the hotels. Run don’t walk!


I have a 7 night Category 6 stay using a 7 night certificate which expires at the end of June. I booked 7 nights with it, but am I better off canceling the certitficate and then booking 6 nights (1 night free) with points ?


I’ve seen some comments that topping off will be available in “late April.” Has Marriott said this officially because I can’t find it? I was hoping for April 1st!

Billy Bob

I called in early April and “late April” was what I was told.

[…] will do away with award charts and no longer use off-peak, standard and peak pricing. Instead, they’re going to “Flexible Point Redemptions” which is a fancy way to say that the number of points will closely match the cash price of rooms. […]

Reno Joe

Everyone should read Mark’s post on MtM about hotel loyalty programs burning down.

SAMUEL L. BRONKOWITZ, Nick R.Fan Club President

Has anyone ever had issues putting a family member on a certificate reservation so that they can use it without you?? I have a half dozen 35k Certs expiring June 30th. I bet many others out there are in the same leaky boat as I.


Read on another FM post how to do that and suggestion was make the ressie in your name, add the other person’s name to the ressie. If there is a problem at check in, maybe you check in remotely.

I’ve done it but it depends on the property whether they will allow it. Officially Marriott rules only allow gifting of point awards not certificates.

Art Leyenberger

10-25 years ago, my wife and I had several Marriott timeshares (Marriott Ownership resorts). Each year, you could use your own unit, try to trade for another property/location and every other year bank Marriott points, which we did often, Not sure it was the best deal, but all those Marriott points back then let us use 1 week cert. and airline points deals – we had 1-week trips to Paris, Munich, London (twice) with free air (Continental /United) and free Marriott level 6 or level 7 property.
We got rid of the timeshares as the program went downhill as partners kept leaving (Disney, Hilton, etc.) plus it became more difficult to trade for something good.
I still have 400,000 plus Marriott points from those days and have been using them trade just for airfare in the last decade.
Sorry to see the award charts end – I guess I’ll have to be clever in how I use those remaining Marriott points

Warren Seifer

Just how’d you get rid of your timeshsres?!

Art Leyenberger

We were lucky in that we were able to sell them back to Marriott. My recollection is that we more or less broke even.


I may be in the minority here, but I am looking forward to this change. My experience with IHG and Hilton after they went to dynamic pricing has been excellent. I just stayed at the SFO airport for 11k IHG and PDX airport for 16k. I could never dream of seeing such prices when IHG had fixed redemptions. I have some Proteas booked for South Africa for the summer, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the prices are lower dynamic than fixed. Also, unlike many of you here, I look for hotels at places where I’m already going, not the other way around. And many of these properties that are going up already had crazy prices anyway and plus charge high “resort fees” to use your points. I think the best idea is not to be “done with Marriott” but to have a variety of points (Marriott, IHG, Hilton, etc) and just pick the best option at wherever you need to go.


The whole trade of with dynamic vs fixed awards pricing is if you want to be screwed by a price floor (fixed) or by the lack of a price ceiling (dynamic). If all you ever did was use your Bonvoy points for lowish or mid-range properties, then yes, this change might actually be a slight upgrade in the program for you. However, for those of us who used our Bonvoy points at the top of the fixed chart for outsized value, this is a huge devaluation and means that many of the top aspirational properties or properties that have high seasonal rates are now pushed out of range for us. IMO, the huge loss at the top (thousands of dollars in value) is much greater than the small gain at the bottom (a few hundred dollars maybe in added value). Like I said, thouogh, largely depends on how you like to use your points.

Last edited 2 years ago by ActualMichael

True, if you wanted to spend your points at the top end of the fixed chart, this change will be very bad. But we should also remember that the outsized value that we want to get is more likely to be imaginary than real. Sure, it’s great to use your points at the Ritz that wants to charge $1000 a night, but you’re only getting $1000 in value if you would have otherwise spent that much real money.

Reno Joe

And, if top-rung properties are his target, then he is fully justified in his comments. Don’t discount him.


If you want to use certificates, dynamic pricing totally sucks. The ones I have left just went from hard to use, down to extremely time consuming. Who wants to spend an afternoon figuring out random pricing throughout the year?

Billy Bob

If you spend a lot of time in Europe like we do, this change absolutely sucks. I have been trying to book some places with certs and it’s damn near impossible. They’re turning out to be useless.


Yes, I’ve seen that too. I guess like with everything else, diversification is the key here. Have some of everything. IHG and Choice tend to be very reasonable in Europe.


Yep. The only thing that surprises me is how surprised you are.


I am done with Marriott. As a Platinum member points are way more valuable on international business and first. Every hotel I try to stay at has increased the price by 2-300% . The St. Regis in Deer Valley has lost their mind with rates regularly above $3000 per night. The W in Aspen or Verbier Switzerland a cat 8 now 1-130,000 points per night. Time to get rid of Marriott cards.