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If you follow FFB on Twitter you’ll have seen me re-tweeting the tweets from my Canadian account late last evening about the new Marriott Bonvoy dynamic pricing. If not, I’ll sum up some of what I tweeted and more in this post. I considered posting this last night but figured Twitter was enough and it also would give time for more locations to be updated to the new pricing and also give me time to see what else others have found as good, bad or just plain ugly new points requirements that I could share here.
I’ll start off with some of the pricing that I had tweeted last night. My first search was for Toronto in April as I had actually searched that earlier in the day to see if the dynamic pricing had launched yet, it hadn’t and two of the prime locations in Toronto, the St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton were still pricing at their et 60,000 points per night. Later in the evening I checked again to see if the dynamic pricing had launched and it had and to my surprise these two YYZ hotels went down in price!
I next looked at the Maldives, and most of the hotels were pricing at or near the Peak pricing of the category they were in before. Even the Ritz-Carlton which is one of the locations that make up the 3% of hotels that would be charging more wasn’t, it was at or near the Category 8 Peak pricing of 100,000 per night and not the 120,000 that they could be charging:
Next up was the famed Al-Maha in the United Arab Emirates. Again this is a hotel that falls into the 3% that would charge more, in this case the hotel can price up to 120,000 points per night but on the random nights is September that I checked out it remained at or near Category 8 Peak Pricing:
That got me thinking I should check out the only hotel in Canada that made up part of the 3% of hotels that could charge more than their old category rates and that hotel is the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver. And they’re milking it. Their old Peak pricing was 60,000 points. Here’s what they are charging for most of September:
Technically they can charge up to 70,000 points per night but still with most at 68,000 that’s a pretty big jump over the old 50,000 point standard pricing or 60,000 point Peak pricing. We do have to remember though this hotel used to be a Category 7 hotel when it first opened and then dropped to Category 6 for 2021 so now it’s basically a Category 7 hotel again.
Anshul from Points Miles & Bling noted “Paris is blood bath’
He wasn’t kidding – here’s the Paris Marriott Champs Elysees Hotel for most of August – note how this states “Lowest Price” – that was typically reserved for off-peak pricing and you’ll see here that the lowest price is in fact the highest price that could be charged in the old award charts:
Closer to FFBs home we looked at the Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel which used to be a Category 4 Hotel (20,000 off peak, 25,000 standard, 30,000 peak) and here’s what they are charging for most of August:
This isn’t too bad, with most nights in between standard and peak save for that one night that is pricing between off-peak and standard.
Finally, I also wanted to see if I could find any hotels from that 3% that were pricing at the new highest point amount of 120,000. I came close with the St. Regis Bora Bora:
Check your existing reservations
Wrapping it up
As was generally expected the most popular and sought after hotels are pricing higher so that isn’t much of a surprise. What did surprise me in my searches and reading some other blogs this morning is that there seem to be quite a few properties that are pricing lower now. So my initial thoughts are that this isn’t too bad – for now. You have to remember Marriott had promised 97% of hotels would have their award nights priced within the points range of the category there were in prior to this change for the remainder of 2022. There is no guarantee of what will happen in 2023 – Marriott can pleasantly surprise us or using the line from Anshul, it could be a blood bath.
Remember that you will be able to top up your free night award certificates from Marriott co-brand cards with 15,000 points from you account. This top up should become available sometime in April.
What do you think of the new dynamic pricing so far? Let us know what you have found in your searches. Have any of your existing reservations gone down in price and you’ll re-book or are you glad you booked before as now those same stays are pricing much higher? Tell us in the comments section below.
The 50K certificates used to work in places I’d actually like to go; now, even with the purported 15K top-up options, looks like the best I’ll be able to do in places I’d like to use them will be a ‘Courtyard Inn’ somewhere out of the city center.
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