Change is in the works at Marriott Rewards. While not a metamorphosis, most members will feel the effects of the changes.
Members now have seven levels to choose from when redeeming an award. There are no day-of-the-week restrictions, but the lowest cost to redeem a night has increased to 7,500 points. Two nights is 14,000 points, three nights 20,000, four nights 25,000, five nights 30,000, six nights 35,000 and seven nights 40,000 points. It doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that the more you stay the better the value. A level two hotel is 10,000 points, a level three hotel is 15,000 points and a level four hotel is 20,000 points — all for one nights stay. Out of 2,000 hotels, 93 percent of hotels fall into categories one through four.
Although blackout dates and award capacity controls are not being eradicated, members can override them by redeeming 50 percent more points for a Stay Anytime award. The Stay Anytime awards are really quite flexible. For example, if a seven-night stay is booked and one of the days falls on a blacked-out day, members can redeem extra for that night alone.
The 200,000-point all-inclusive award will change; the extent of which will depend on your destination. Members will now redeem the appropriate number of miles to get to their destination, along with the points required for any of the seven categories they choose from. Points are converted to miles at a 1-to-1 ratio depending on the destination. This change will be felt most by those who used this award for a trip to Europe, Asia or Australia, because more than 70,000 miles is required for two roundtrip tickets to those destinations. Destinations where 70,000 miles or fewer are needed will actually cost the member the same or fewer points.
It is now possible to exchange points into miles with over 20 participating frequent flyer programs. For most of the partners, it is possible to convert 10,000 points to 2,000 miles; 20,000 points to 5,000 miles; 30,000 points to 10,000 miles; 70,000 points to 25,000 miles and 125,000 points to 50,000 miles.
Members nonplussed with the changes can redeem from the old chart through July 31. Members can redeem immediately from the new chart.