Marriott is extending status and adjusting Marriott Bonvoy certificates and point expiration in hopes that it rebuilds loyalty and brings customers back in 2022. Through several extensions, Marriott is recognizing that travel has not fully recovered since the start of the pandemic. Marriott is now following Hilton’s lead by extending status and similar extensions. Extension include for Marriott Bonvoy status, suite nights awards, points expirations. Plus, Marriott is making award certificates slightly better.
Elite Status Extension Through 2022
First, the highest status achieved with Marriott in 2020, or 2021 will auto renew through February 2023. Status earned in 2019 will expire in February 2022. This will allow customers to continue to enjoy elite benefits when traveling again. Although, it would have been nice to see Marriott extend 2019 status through 2023, they are not being so generous. The good news is, in 2020, Marriott did roll over 50% of elite nights. This allowed many customers to regain status and/or keep status in 2020. Hopefully most people status will therefore be extended through 2023 without a drop in elite level.
Suite Night Award Extension
Suite night awards are a Marriott Choice benefits for those who stay 50 or 75 nights per year in Marriott hotels. Honestly, I often forget to redeem my choice benefits. Yet for those who do choose this option, Suite Night Awards now expire 6 month later. Now, utilize suite night awards through June 30, 2022.
Pausing of Point Expiration
Marriott is again pressing pause on point expiration. Although points can be earned through several options such as dining out, Uber, or credit card spending, Marriott is allow guests to keep points on the book without activity even longer. No points will expire before December 31, 2022. Partake in any type of activity between now and Dec 31, 2022 and points will only expire if the account has been inactive for 24 months or longer. If you need ideas on how to keep an account active, explore ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points without staying in a hotel.
Free Night Award Changes
Most Marriott credit cards include a free night award certificate. Certificates now will expire June 30, 2022. Thus, giving travelers six more months to book free travel. Certificates are typically only good at category 5 or below hotels; costing 35,000 points or less. Unfortunately, Marriott is doing away with award charts. With this change, further devaluation is expected as the Marriott moves to dynamic pricing. To make dynamic pricing seem attractive and to slightly improve free night award certificate, Marriott will allow members to redeem points + certificates.
In early 2022, a free night award certificate can be combined with up to 15,000 points from your account to pay for a hotel room. This may allow for certificates to be utilized at higher priced hotels. Yet, we likely will see those category 4 and 5 hotels cost even more points through Marriott’s dynamic pricing model. So really, although this would have been a great benefit if previous years, Marriott’s flexible pricing for awards will see free night awards be worth less.
Marriott is making some good changes to help travelers return to normalcy in 2022. As more people are vaccinated and the world reopens to travel, Marriott is making it easy to retain locality through extension of points, awards, and certificates. Unfortunately, Marriott is devaluing point redemptions in 2022 by getting rid of award charts and moving to dynamic pricing. Marriott is following a trend of many other travel loyalty programs who admit to have large balances of points on the books. Expect to see further devaluation of hotel and airline loyalty points and points become easier to earn through credit card spending and other means.