Marriott has made a change to its Points Advance policy without giving any notice. It’s now only possible to make a Points Advance reservation if you don’t have a sufficient number of points.
In the past, Marriott gave you a choice when booking an award stay when you had enough points to cover the cost – either pay in full with those points, or make a Points Advance booking and ensure you have enough points to cover the reservation within 14 days of your travel date.
Now, you only have the option to pay with the points that you already have:
Points Advance is still available for members that don’t have enough points to cover the stay, although it’s only available for stays more than 30 days away.
If you don’t have enough points and want to book a stay that’s more than 7 days but less than 30 days away, Marriott won’t allow you to do that. Instead, it’ll advise that either your account is too new or you’ve purchased the maximum number of points already, even if neither of those scenarios are true.
If you don’t have enough points for a stay within 7 days, Marriott will allow you to purchase points instead. That’s unlikely to provide good value though, so it’s not ideal.
Ultimately, this change to Marriott’s Points Advance policy won’t have a huge impact on most people because the majority of people booking a stay for which they have enough points will choose to use those points for the stay rather than doing a Points Advance reservation.
There will be some people though for whom this is yet another example of them being Bonvoyed given that Marriott gave no notice that this change would be implemented.