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In a customer-friendly move, Marriott just announced more program updates to encourage Bonvoy members to travel again. For a limited time, Marriott will make over 5,500 properties available at only off-peak award prices.
Also, Bonvoy members who earned elite status in 2019 will be gifted additional elite night credits. Although existing Marriott elite status has already been extended, this helps members towards earning higher status tier and additional Choice Benefits in 2020.
Off Peak Pricing
Since 2019, Marriott has utilized an award chart featuring seasonal pricing segmented into Off Peak, Standard, and Peak rates for free night awards. This chart splits all 7,000+ properties participating in the Bonvoy program into eight categories.
For a limited time, Marriott is making over 5,500 properties available at solely Off Peak award prices.
- Off Peak pricing is available for bookings made between June 15 through June 30, 2020 (promotional booking window)
- Promotional pricing applies to stays through July 31, 2020
- No Marriott Bonvoy properties will be priced at Peak award pricing for stays through July 31, 2020
A Marriott spokesperson shared with AwardWallet that there may be some markets offering a mix of standard and off-peak rates. This implies that all properties in some cities will be set at Off Peak, while other areas will have a mixture of Off Peak and Standard pricing.
Some noteworthy high-category U.S. properties that will be exclusively Off Peak for the promotional period include:
- The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
- Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club, Autograph Collection
- The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
- The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Bonus Elite Night Credits
Many members are unable to travel this year. So, Marriott is gifting bonus Elite Night Credits to Bonvoy members who earned elite status from qualifying activity in 2019.
- Bonvoy members will have Elite Night Credits (ENCs) deposited in their account equal to 50% of the elite nights necessary for the elite status tier earned in 2019
- Members can expect these elite night credits to appear in their account in late July 2020
- For U.S. and Canada residents, these credits are in addition to the elite night credits earned from holding Marriott co-branded credit cards
- These Elite Night Credits will count towards Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime elite status
While Marriott has already extended current Bonvoy elite status through February 2022, the idea behind gifting ENCs is to “jumpstart your ability to move quickly to the next elite tier.” These ENCs can also help members qualify for the Choice Benefits offered after reaching Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite status at 50 and 75 nights, respectively.
Gift Platinum Elite Status
Marriott Ambassador Elite status is one of the most challenging hotel statuses to earn, requiring 100 qualifying nights and $20,000 in qualifying spent each year. To further reward these most loyal of travelers, Marriot has announced a new perk targeting them specifically:
“Ambassador members who earned status in 2019 and reach 100 ENCs this year will be able to share Platinum Elite status with a friend, family member, or loved one.”
Anyone who qualifies for this exclusive benefit will receive an email with all the relevant details starting in late July through the end of 2020.
Paying Off-Peak prices is much more attractive than Standard or Peak pricing. At the same time, cash rates may also be very low. So, make sure you're getting a value that you're comfortable with before booking a free night award.
Additional ENCs are nice as well, especially when combined with the 30 ENCs members can earn from holding both a personal and business Marriott credit card. However, this may manifest itself in an unusually large amount of Bonvoy elite members for the next year or two.
Most of the major hotel groups announced major program updates in response to the pandemic in early April. Unfortunately, the outlook on travel hasn't improved nearly as much in the last two months as we would have liked. Marriott is now the first hotel group to double-down on these major, customer-friendly changes to try to convince travelers to leave their homes.
That said, I feel Marriott could go further. When Peak/Off-Peak award pricing was first announced, Marriott stated that Off-Peak and Peak pricing would be based on hotel demand. Yet, this Off-Peak promotional window is only available through the end of July. Is overall demand for August and September high enough that Marriott couldn't have extended the window for another month or two?
In any case, it's great to see Marriott taking further steps for its Bonvoy members. Hopefully, some of our other favorite hotel programs follow suit in the coming weeks.
Are you more likely to book a Marriott stay for July due to off-peak pricing?
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