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Marriott is doing away with a lesser-known — but once beloved — feature of the Bonvoy program. On March 28, 2023, Marriott will no longer allow Bonvoy members to make new Points Advance reservations.
What Is Marriott Bonvoy Points Advance?
Marriott's Points Advance feature allows members to book future stays using points even if they don't have enough points in their account to book that stay.
Points Advance gives Bonvoy members added flexibility and takes some of the stress out of securing a room at a desired Marriott property. Members make a Points Advance reservation and, in theory, earn enough points to complete their reservation.
However, Points Advance has been watered down over the years. In 2021, Marriott changed Points Advance to make it more difficult to hold reservations for an extended period of time. Following that change, Bonvoy members must have the points required to complete a reservation within 60 days of making a reservation or 14 days of arrival — whichever was sooner.
Still, that was useful for snagging awards at rarely-available hotels — such as those in the Maldives:
Unfortunately, effective March 28th, Points Advance will no longer be a feature of the Bonvoy program.
Marriott “Retiring” Bonvoy Points Advance on March 28th
Effective March 28th, Marriott will no longer allow Bonvoy members to make new Points Advance reservations. According to Marriott, the feature's retirement is due to low demand.
While this is ultimately a negative development, there is some good news for members with existing Points Advance reservations. Marriott will honor all existing Points Advance reservations even if check-in takes place after the program officially ends.
Additionally, members can still make new Points Advance reservations through the end of the day on March 27th.
Here are a few of the questions about the retirement of the Points Advance feature that Marriott has answered on its website:
Can I still book a reservation using Points Advance?
“You may book a new Points Advance reservation through March 27, 2023. Points Advance reservations must be made at least thirty (30) or more days from the arrival date, and will be held for up to sixty (60) days from time of booking, or no later than fourteen (14) days prior to arrival date, whichever occurs first.”
What happens to the Points Advance reservation I have already booked?
“Reservations booked using Points Advance prior to March 28, 2023 will be honored. Remember, you must have the Marriott Bonvoy Points in your Account 60 days from the time of booking, or 14 days prior to arrival, whichever comes first. A Member may only have three (3) Points Advance reservations at one time.”
What happens if I need to modify or cancel my Points Advance reservation after March 28, 2023?
“Cancellation of the Points Advance reservation is allowed, but always subject to the cancellation policy tied to the reservation. If you are modifying the reservation dates after March 28, 2023, it cannot rebooked as a Points Advance reservation, only as a paid Stay.”
There are additional questions and answers about this change on Marriott's website. But, the main takeaway is that the Points Advance feature will be available through the end of the day on March 27th.
The Bottom Line
Marriott's decision to retire Points Advance comes as somewhat of a surprise. It wouldn't seem to be much of an issue to continue providing it just because it has low usage. The end of Points Advance is a negative development for members that appreciated that added flexibility and reduced stress the feature provided.
Of course, Marriott has provided members with what it views as alternatives to the Points Advance feature. Marriott recommends that members that do not have enough points in their account for a stay either buy more points or take advantage of Cash + Points rates.
What do you make of Marriott's decision to sunset Points Advance? Have you ever made a Points Advance reservation?
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